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Shotgun Love
Andre Shane
John Shane

Setting: A bar, somewhere in Chicago
Character List:
DINO SDRALIS- a man in his thirties.
ANDY- a man in his late twenties.
ALMA- a business woman in her twenties.
ROCKWELL- bartender in his forties.
JERRY- barfly in his sixties.


The bartender wears a name tag that says "ROCKWELL". He is intently wiping everything in front of him; empty glasses, bar-top, mixing cups, bottles. He's bored but focused. The bar's three patrons are barely registering on his radar. ANDY, is sitting at the bar. He's completely engrossed in a paperback copy of Dostoyevky's THE IDIOT, barely touching the pint of beer in front of him. ALMA, is sipping a chianti and talking on her cell phone. JERRY, is sitting alone in a booth, staring blankly at the muted TV set; CNN Headline News.

ALMA: (on phone) Right. That's what I said. Who the hell calls meetings at five, anyway? I just put in an eight- hour day, now I'm supposed to sit there and listen to this jerk for another hour... Fuck that! So I left. Right. Let him fire me, I wouldn't mind getting some time off. Me? No, I just needed a drink. I just will not put up with some guy's power trip.

Alma's chatter provides the only sound in the bar, but nobody pays any attention to her except for Andy. She notices him glancing up at her. It makes her uncomfortable. She starts getting ready to leave.

DINO SDRALIS enters the pub with a brisk walk. He's unshaven, wears a long trench coat and combat boots fastened over his blue jeans. Dino purposefully walks up to the bar, half way between Andy and Alma.

ROCKWELL: What can I get you, chief?

Dino pulls out a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and puts it on the bar counter. This gets everybody's attention.

ALMA: Hang on...
Alma puts her cell phone on the bar, but doesn't end the call. Dino looks at her and shakes his head "No". Alma presses the "End" button.
DINO SDRALIS: (to Rockwell) Now, let's make this pleasant for everybody.

ROCKWELL: Chief, you picked a slow business day. There's fifty bucks in the register. It's all yours.

DINO SDRALIS: Do me a favor and stop calling me chief. It's offensive to my Native American heritage.

ROCKWELL: Whatever you say, buddy.

DINO SDRALIS: I don't like "buddy" either.

ROCKWELL: Okeydoke.

DINO SDRALIS: Good. Now we can get down to business. Pour me a vodka martini, two green olives, dry. Also pour me a Brandy Alexander. No funny stuff. Top shelf only.

Rockwell proceeds to expertly mix the two drinks. We see the entire process in quick cuts. The drink ingredients appear as as subtitles on the screen. Rockwell places the drinks in front of Dino.

DINO SDRALIS: Well... Here we are.

Dino slides the shotgun under his right arm and carries the two drinks over to Andy.

DINO: You. What's your name?

ANDY: Uh... Andy.

DINO: Andy. This martini is for you.

ANDY: Is this my 'last' drink?

BEAT. DINO is confused.

DINO: Not if you do what I say. Now, I want you to take this beverage over to the lady over there.

DINO gestures to Alma. Andy is confused.

DINO: Somebody's waiting.

ANDY slowly makes his way toward Alma, Andy places the drink in front of her. No one says a word. Andy looks back. DINO gives a go ahead gesture. Andy turns to Alma and looks panicked. Dino walks up.

DINO: OK. I see this isn't working.

Dino hits Andy on the forehead, knocking him off his barstool.

ROCKWELL: Hey! Calm down!

DINO: I'm sorry, kid. But sometimes people have to be smacked. Here let me help you.

Dino gives Andy a hand up while pointing the gun at Rockwell with the other hand. Andy sits on the bar stool and hold out his hand.

ANDY: Andy.

ALMA: Alma. Are you all right?

Andy: Yeh.

There's an awkward silence. Dino steps back toward Rockwell, casually leans on the bar and motions for the couple to continue.

DINO: Go on, go on. Tell Alma something about yourself, Andy. Where are you from? Come on, we don't have all day here.

ANDY: OK. Well I'm originally from Climax. Climax, Michigan, but I went to school at Northwestern. I majored in political silence. Science, I mean.

Alma smiles.

Dino grins at Rockwell. Rockwell glances down at something underneath the counter.

ROCKWELL: Why don't you just take the money and get the hell out of here before somebody else comes in.

DINO: Do you have a dimmer? Can you dim the lights a little? Make the mood a little more... romantic.


Rockwell walks over to the light switch and dims the lights.

Dino then lights some candles and puts them by Andy and Alma, who are continuing their small talk.

DINO: Beautiful. Lighting is so important. People really take it for granted, but the right lighting can change your whole attitude. Personally, I hate fluorescents. I think fluorescent lights cause cancer. Maybe not directly, but they definitely elevate tension. And tension is the number one killer of relationships. So therefore florescent light is the number one killer of relationships. But, I'm interrupting.

Dino walks back over to the bar. Rockwell smiles and glances under the bar counter again.

ALMA: (quietly to Andy) What do we do?

ANDY: Just stay cool, and don't antagonize this guy. We'll get through this, I promise you.

Alma looks at Andy's eyes. His composure impresses her. She squeezes Andy's hand.

Jerry jumps out of his booth and bolts for the door. Dino quickly intercepts him and directs the old rummy back to his seat.

DINO: Excuse me, ah what are you doing? Can't you see that people are trying to have a good time here? Do I have to put a hole in your face? Huh, buddy? (points gun at Jerry)

Jerry sits back down.

DINO: My apologies for the interruption. Please, continue.

ALMA: (loud) Why gosh ANDY. You are so sweet. I think I can really connect with you. Why don't we go back to my place now? Andy is initially confused, but catches on.

ANDY That sounds like a great idea, Alma. Let us go.

They go for the door.

DINO: Hey......... No no no no. That was too quick. I don't believe you've really gotten to know one another. That's what we need. You got a jukebox?

Rockwell motions to the jukebox in the corner. Dino puts the shotgun on his shoulder with the barrel aiming behind him, walks up to the jukebox and starts examining the selections.

Rockwell takes this opportunity to reach under the counter, grab something and tuck it behind his back.

DINO: What! What the fuck is this? Modern country, REO Speedwagon, fucking Styx!?

The bartender looks frightened. Dino shakes his head.

DINO: (continuing) No Billy Holiday, no Chet Baker, no Sinatra! What kind of a jukebox doesn't have Sinatra? It's a sin, goddamnit!

ROCKWELL: Hey man, sorry. The owner is a country fan. What can I say; that's why we don't play too much music here.

Dino pops in a dollar, and punches in some numbers. A slow country song starts playing.

DINO: I guess this will have to do. For now.

He casually strolls over to Alma and Andy.

DINO: Well? Aren't you going to ask the lady to dance?

ANDY I don't really dance.

DINO: See, that's your problem right there, Andy. You don't dance.

Andy hesitates. The look on Alma's face reassures him. He takes her hand and they begin to "slow dance". Andy whispers into Alma's ear.

By the bar, Dino is smiling as he looks at Andy and Alma's dance. Dino glances toward Rockwell.

DINO: Pour another round of drinks. This time, be sure to pour one for the old timer in the corner. He looks like he needs another drink. Maybe not... Hey, keep dancing!

The bartender pours.

DINO: Isn't that beautiful?

ROCKWELL: I guess.

DINO: Stop being so jaded, man. Open your eyes to The beauty around you. I'm igniting sparks. And in the middle of this shithole, that's practically a miracle.

Jerry is moving his head to the music and smiling at Andy and Alma. Dino looks at Rockwell disappointedly and shakes his head.

Rockwell brings the pint over to Jerry. The music ends.

DINO: Bravo! (applaudes and happily dances over to where Andy and Alma are standing.) Alma, you should be very proud of Andy. And now, my friends, the magic moment when the two young lovers finally kiss. Come on. Be brave.

ANDY: Is this really necessary? Dino points the gun at Alma. Andy turns to Alma. Their lips move closer together.

ANDY: I'm really sorry about this.

ALMA: Don't be.

They kiss. Tentatively at first, then more seriously. Even passionately.

Dino closes his eyes with pleasure and smiles blissfully.

DINO: Beautiful! Beautiful. Now finally, our brave young hero asks the beautiful princess for her telephone number.

ANDY: What the hell are you trying to do, man!?

DINO: Just ask her for her number.

ANDY: Fuck you!

DINO: Love will blossom in this armpit of humanity, Andy; with or without you. You were my first choice, but Jerry has been alot more appreciative.

Jerry walks up.

DINO: One would think you perhaps lean toward the opposite persuasion, if you know what I mean?

ALMA: Oh, for crying out loud!

Alma pulls the paperback out of Andy's back pocket and starts scribbling numbers on the inside cover.

ALMA: Here. Here's my home number, here's my work number, and this is my cell phone; it's always on.

ALMA: (to Dino) Are you satisfied?

DINO: I'll take it on good faith that those are your real numbers.

ALMA: They are. And let me tell you something, asshole. You didn't make me do anything I wouldn't have done anyway. You think that gun gives you power over me... well it doesn't. I kissed him because I wanted to. I gave him my a number because I wanted to.

Alma grabs Andy by his face.

ALMA: It was this face, this smile. Now I don't know what kind of perverted game your trying to play with us, but just remember, I wasn't your pawn. You didn't make anything happen.

DINO: That's what I like to hear.

Dino smiles, and takes a backward step toward the front door.

That's when his head comes into direct contact with the barrel of Rockwell's '38 Special.

ROCKWELL: All right, chief. Drop the shotgun.

Dino slowly turns to face Rockwell.

ROCKWELL: I will shoot you dead right now, chief, if you don't put down the gun.

DINO: No you won't. Because deep inside, you're a romantic just like me.

Dino and Rockwell lock their gaze for a long, tense moment. Then, Rockwell smiles and lowers his gun... and Dino briskly walks out of the pub.


ANDY: (to Rockwell) Aren't you gonna call the cops?

Rockwell shrugs.

ROCKWELL: I don't like cops.

JERRY: I'll drink to that!

ANDY: Well, I'm gonna go see which way he went.

Andy turns to Delia and takes her hand.

ANDY: (continuing) Are you all right?

ALMA: Sure.

ANDY: Thanks for saying that. It doesn't even matter if you meant it or not. And as far as your number goes, I won't bother you if you don't want me to.

ALMA: You better bother me!

Andy and Alma smile at each other. Andy exits the bar.

EXT.STREET OUTSIDE THE BAR. Andy looks around. Andy starts running. He turns the corner and there's DINO leaning against the building smoking a cigarette.

DINO: So how did it go?

ANDY: Good. Great. I think she really likes me. I just wanted to thank you. Your methods were a little... unorthodox, but I think she may be the one.

DINO: She is the one. Don't fuck it up, Andy.

Dino Sdralis gives Andy a wink and starts walking away.

ANDY: Wait.. don't I owe you something? Money? Or...

DINO: Don't worry about it kid. I do what I do for love. Here's a card. Tell your friends.

Andy looks at the card. There's no name on it, just a picture of a bow and arrow and a telephone number. When Andy looks up from the card, Dino is gone. Andy tucks the card between the pages of his paperback and walks away.

FADE OUT: "Red Right Hand"