Location, Location, Location
by Marion Deeds
SCENE: Imagine a cozy sitting room with two overstuffed chairs. The walls are lined with saint candles and figurines of mythic figures, and we'll further imagine that mandalas line the walls. We imagine a window stage left, drawing in a faint reddish glow, or maybe, if we're very imaginative, we see a large neon outline of a human hand through the panes. DANIEL and EMMA sit facing each other. DANIEL sets a cup of tea down on the side table.
DANIEL might be thirty, and dresses academic-casual. He has a cool but friendly manner--he is used to being the smartest person in the room. EMMA is about fifteen years older than he is. She's wearing yoga pants and a nice top. She seems harmless at first.
DANIEL: I don't want to waste your time, I only stopped by on a whim.
EMMA: It's not a waste, I assure you.
DANIEL: Is the sign accurate? Are you really selling the house--this house--for a dollar?
EMMA: And paying the closing fees too, but, basically, yes.
DANIEL: Why? What's wrong with it?
EMMA: The house? Nothing. It's a good house.
DANIEL: I mean, the location isn't great--
EMMA: You're right on the main artery through town.
DANIEL: Yeah, exactly. But even with that, four bedrooms, two and a half baths, nearly an acre.... Is it a murder house or something?
EMMA: Absolutely not!
DANIEL: Okay, sorry.
EMMA: That would have to be disclosed. And since you read the listing and the disclosure, you would know. No one's been murdered in this house.
DANIEL: What makes you think I re-- (Pauses. Grins, or maybe it's more of a smirk.) Haunted. It's haunted, right?
EMMA: Mmmm_ no.
DANIEL: Yeah? What, then? There has to be something. This place for a dollar? Something's hinky.
EMMA: There is a, well, not a catch, exactly. A condition.