Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
By Adele O'Reilly
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Drew: (to Pete) Who’s out there?
Pete: No one. They’ve all left.
Tom: You sure?
Pete: Yeah, I’m sure. (pauses, looks around room) Did you hear?
Tom: Yeah, we heard.
Drew: Good riddance.
Tom: Got off easy if you ask me.
Pete (looking at John, speaks to Drew) What’s he doing?
Drew: Writing notes about this whole debacle.
John: (looking at legal pad) It just doesn’t make any sense.
Pete: (tries to take pad away from John) Are you crazy? Do you want them to use that against you?
John: Leave me alone! I have to sort this out—for my sake.
Pete: John, it’s not safe. You need to shred that.
John: I’m not afraid of them, unlike some people here.
Pete: What’s that supposed to mean?
Drew: Not now, John.
John: I saw it all on CNN.
Pete: (dismissing him with a wave of his hand) They spliced that whole report together…
Tom: Oh, please, Pete. Do you honestly expect us to believe that? That reporter asked you three times! And you still denied your involvement in all this.
Pete: (shouting) What did you expect me to do? Tell the truth, and get hauled away in handcuffs? Be tried and convicted before I have a chance to say goodbye?
Drew: (getting in between them) Guys, cut it out. We have to regroup here, before the opening bell on Monday. What’s our strategy going forward?
Pete: Strategy? How about turn tail and run! (grabs newspaper off table) Do you see what they’re saying? (reads copy) “In the beginning, this company’s bright star signaled a paradigm shift in the corporate model of business. But in the end, corruption and greed have destroyed the dream of thousands of investors.” Or how about this jewel (picks up a magazine, reading)”If not for the heroic whistleblower, Jude Santini, Caris International might have continued for years bilking millions of people and causing worldwide economic collapse.”
Tom: Too bad the hero hung himself. Nice, quick death-- unlike our CEO.
John: Shut up!
John: This can’t be how it all ends! We didn’t do anything illegal, least of all him!
Tom: Face it, John. We’re all screwed. You know, I had my doubts about this all along. It was too good to be true. All that talk about shaking things up, getting away from how the rest of the world did it.
John: I can’t get it out of my head. The last thing he said to me at dinner was this was the end of the beginning. What do you think he meant by that?
Pete: Who knows? He was always talking in riddles. Half the time he had to stop and explain something he said.
John: It’s like he expected all of this to happen.
Drew: No one could have predicted how catastrophically this all ended.
John: I should have---I was the guy’s best friend.
Drew: John, stop beating yourself up. We’re all feeling guilty over this.
Pete: Tom, how’s Mary holding up?
Tom: Not good. She’s planning on going to the grave early in the morning.
John: (looking at his watch) It is early morning.
Pete: That’s a bad idea. I bet the media is camped out there right now, just waiting to harass us all.
Drew: (gathering his things together) Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’m done here. I can’t just sit around and wait to see if I’m the next guy arrested. You coming, John?
John: (sitting back down at table) I’m not going anywhere. You guys go ahead. I need to go through his papers one more time. Maybe I missed something.
(Mary bursting through the door)
Mary: He’s gone!
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