“Deception, Murder, Retribution – Every dinner party holds a secret, but some are deadlier than others.”
In the heart of the city that never sleeps, where ambition thrives and dreams materialize, two young intellectuals, Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan, resided in an ornate, high-rise apartment. Their outwardly elegant lifestyle was a façade, concealing a haunting obsession with the philosophies of Nietzsche, particularly his concept of the ‘Superman.’ In their twisted interpretation, they believed that they were above ordinary men, exempt from the moral and legal constraints of society.
Idle conversation and banal routines no longer sufficed; they yearned for a thrill, an extraordinary act that would affirm their superiority. Thus, a chilling idea sprouted in their minds: The perfect crime – a murder concealed so skillfully that it would remain forever undetected. The victim: their former classmate, a young man unbeknownst to the horrific fate awaiting him.
Chapter 1: “The Perfect Plan”
As evening blanketed the city in darkness, Brandon and Phillip were couched in the hues of their ominously decorated apartment, ensnared by their sinister plot. They were devising their plan, sketching out each detail with morbid precision. In their minds, they were artists on the cusp of creating their masterpiece, not murderers about to commit a heinous act.
David Kentley, an affable and vivacious man they had once shared classrooms with, was to be the centerpiece of their macabre work. Lured under the guise of a reunion, David was utterly oblivious to the doom that cloaked his path.
Brandon, the dauntless and charismatic leader, coordinated the steps of their wicked dance, while Phillip, the more reserved and sensitive accomplice, reluctantly trailed behind. As the plans solidified, a strange cocktail of excitement and dread swelled within them. But Brandon, reveling in the thrill, silenced Phillip’s unease with promises of eternal infamy.
The thrill escalated as they decided to hide David’s lifeless body inside an antique wooden chest, transforming it into the cornerstone of their audacious display. The very next day, they were to host a dinner party, with the chest serving as the buffet table, displaying their ‘perfect crime’ in plain sight. The sickening irony of it all made them feel invincible.
The planning was as exciting as the execution for them. Every guest was chosen with meticulous precision, each holding a distinct connection to David. His father, his uncle, his girlfriend, all blissfully ignorant, would be dining inches away from his concealed corpse.
The apex of their audacity culminated in inviting Rupert Cadell, their former professor – an inquisitor by nature and a sharp detective by hobby. The risk of inviting Cadell, the man who lectured them on morality and ethics, amplified the thrill of their grotesque game.
As they toasted to their impending ‘achievement,’ their eyes gleamed with a cold, ruthless determination. They were not just going to commit a murder; they were going to craft a masterpiece, a crime so perfect that it would baffle humanity. Unbeknownst to them, their audacious plan would spiral into an unforgettable tale of suspense, deceit, and retribution, a twisted dance of morals where every step was fraught with unexpected danger and horrifying revelations.
Chapter 2: “The Strangling”
The living room of their charming city apartment was a testament to Brandon and Phillip’s refined tastes – decorated with antique furniture and art – a comfortable setting for the most discomforting of acts. They, the unlikeliest of criminals, had just invited their former classmate, David, for an evening of camaraderie and conversation. However, as the old adage goes, not everything is as it seems. Beneath the veneer of sophistication and grace, a truly horrifying act was about to unfold.
David, a naive man of twenty-three, had every reason to be unsuspecting. After all, it was an invite from old friends. The evening began with polite conversation and a toast to old times, but the atmosphere quickly descended into an eeriness that David seemed oblivious to. The purveyor of this transformation was a perfectly ordinary piece of rope – a symbol of their sinister intent.
The moment arrived when Brandon and Phillip decided to enact their audacious plan. Their jovial mannerisms dropped, replaced with a chilling determination that belied their polished demeanour. The room echoed with Beethoven Symphony No. 5, each note piercing the tension-filled air, matching the crescendo of their rising adrenaline.
Phillip, a man of slight build and paradoxically gentle in demeanor, grabbed one end of the rope, his hands shaking, his heart pounding, while Brandon, more composed, gripped the other end, his eyes locked on their unsuspecting victim. As the final note of Beethoven’s symphony filled the room, they lunged at David with the precision of a well-rehearsed play.
David’s surprise curdled into dread as the rope tightened around his neck. His eyes darted between the two men he called friends, his desperate gasps for air scoring a haunting rhythm. They watched, their faces masks of stoicism as his struggles gradually diminished. The room returned to an eerie silence, the record player idling in the background.
The body slumped, lifeless, eyes still wide in disbelief. The grotesque scene was a stark contrast to the cultured ambiance of the apartment. Both men stood there panting, staring at the lifeless body of the man they had just robbed of life. It was an image so chilling that it seemed to be etched into the very air of the room, the lingering taste of death in their mouths.
Brandon was quick to recompose himself, his eyes hardened with resolve. Phillip, however, was a different story. The reality of their heinous act was still sinking in, his hands still trembling, a sheen of cold sweat on his forehead. His eyes darted to Brandon, looking for consolation, only to be met with an untimely reminder of their ghastly deed.
“Now,” said Brandon, his voice shattering the silence, “we move onto the next phase.”
Phillip nodded, his face white as sheet, his heart still a drum against his chest. They both went about their set tasks, Phillip folding the rope and placing it back in the drawer, while Brandon went to fetch the antique chest – their macabre hiding spot for the evening.
As they lifted David’s body into the chest, the apartment suddenly felt alive with a different energy. It was no longer just a room but a macabre stage where a gruesome act of violence had been performed. And on this stage, Brandon and Phillip were not only the actors but also the directors of a chilling drama that was far from over.
Thus, the scene was set, their murderous act concealed behind a veneer of sophistication. As they prepared to welcome their unsuspecting dinner guests, one thing became undeniably clear – their night of deception had only just begun.
Chapter 3: “The Dinner Party Begins”
As the evening shadows immersed New York City, Brandon and Phillip’s apartment bustled with an enticing mix of laughter, sophisticated conversation, and the intoxicating aroma of fine wine. A cozy space draped with rich textures and filled with an air of intellectual irreverence. The dark, looming wooden chest stood in a corner, its grotesque secret hidden under the veneer of exquisite carvings and a faux veneer of a dessert buffet.
The guests began to arrive, adding more layers of chatter and laughter into the room. Each of them, a unique character, curated and invited individually by the hosts for this macabre night of mirth. There was Mrs. Wilson, the housemaid, her eyes flickering with curiosity and nescience. The victim’s father, Sir Arthur Kentley, a man pristine with age, eyed the chest with an unknowing familiarity. Then, there was Kenneth, the victim’s best friend, unknowingly walking into a nightmare.
Brandon, with his flamboyant charm and charismatic smile, was the evening’s puppet master. He regaled the guests with enchanting tales of their past exploits together, serving them the best wine, and diverting their attention from the curious absence of their supposed guest of honor. To the unsuspecting eyes, he was a jovial, generous host.
Phillip, on the other hand, seemed tense, his eyes darting nervously across the room. He stayed mostly quiet, occasionally breaking his silence with an out-of-place laugh or a stammering comment. His discomfort did not go unnoticed, but the guests attributed it to a less sinister cause — perhaps stage fright or social discomfort.
As the evening progressed, the wine flowed freely, loosening tongues and inhibitions. The room was alive with the buzz of conversation and laughter, each guest trying to decipher the others, unraveling their secrets and personalities, unaware of the monstrous secret hidden right under their noses. The ticking clock on the wall was the only indication of the passing time, adding an underlying rhythm to the night’s eeriness.
The wooden chest, remodeled into an elegant dessert buffet, stood as an abhorrent centerpiece of the evening. Luring the unsuspecting guests towards it with an array of deserts, it lay in sinister silence. Brandon and Phillip watched their friends gesture towards it and laugh, unaware of the gruesome sight it held.
As the night deepened, a few guests began to question the strange absence of the guest of honor, their dear friend. Brandon curtly explained his absence with a fabricated story of an emergency trip. He watched their expressions carefully, reveling in the success of his vile plan, the thrill of this deadly cat and mouse game coursing through his veins, intoxicating him more than any wine.
The evening seemed to be proceeding just as Brandon and Phillip had planned. Their chilling secret remained concealed beneath the veneer of a gleeful gathering. The strands of their ‘perfect crime’ were woven skillfully, but they were inadvertently setting the stage for an unexpected player. Their former professor, Rupert Cadell, was about to enter the scene, his arrival promising to turn their carefully laid plans on their heads.
As the chapter ended, Phillip’s nerves frayed further, and Brandon’s confidence waned slightly, they were unaware that their ‘perfect crime’ was on the precipice of exposure. The guests continued to laugh and talk, oblivious to the ghastly truth hiding beneath their banter. The once lively dinner party was transforming into a stage for unfolding dread, their jovial ambiance slowly curdling into a grim reality. Their game was far from over. The horrifying truth was slowly creeping towards the surface, ready to shatter the illusion of a perfect evening.
Chapter 4: “The Cracks Appear”
The initial euphoria of their audacious act began to lose its glow as the evening ebbed on. Phillip and Brandon had commenced the macabre charade, parading their nauseating bravado before their unsuspecting guests, who were oblivious to the ghastly secret housed within the antique chest. However, maintaining their façade was proving challenging under the weight of their vile act.
Small consistencies began to creep into their carefully crafted personas. It was as if their once glossy and impervious masks were slowly peeling off, revealing the sinister reality beneath. The first hint surfaced when Janet, the sharp-tongued lover of the deceased David, remarked on his conspicuous absence. Brandon, in his charismatic demeanor, casually dismissed her query mentioning a last-minute cancellation. Yet, his words seemed to hang in the air, casting an opaque veil of doubt among the present. It was a small disruption, a tiny ripple in their polished presentation, but the initial seed of suspicion was sown.
The dinner continued, the room glowing in a semblance of gaiety, yet as the evening slipped into twilight, the convivial atmosphere began to curdle. Phillip, the weaker link in this twisted chain of deceit, began to falter. His laughter seemed forced, his gaze evasive. Mrs. Wilson, the housekeeper, an elderly woman with keen senses sharpened by years of quiet observation, caught onto Philip’s discomfort. It was nothing more than a fleeting moment of hesitation, a swift glance exchanged with Brandon, but it was enough to pique her curiosity. Was there a scandal brewing beneath the jovial surface? Or was her imagination running wild? Either way, the seed of intrigue continued to sprout.
Among the guests, Kenneth, a former friend and an astute observer, picked up the undercurrent of tension. He had always found Phillip shaky, and tonight he appeared more unhinged than ever. Simultaneously, Brandon’s aloofness struck him as odd – it was as if the man was savoring a secret joke. It became a strange puzzle, a mystery that began to unravel, piece by piece, in the dim candlelight.
The climax of the evening, however, was incomplete without the unexpected arrival of Rupert Cadell. Rupert, the former professor with a cynical taste for psychological games, was not initially invited. He was an outsider, unacquainted with the gruesome plot, and yet he bore an uncanny ability to peel off deception layer by layer. Rupert’s sharp intuition reacted to the inexplicable tension in the room. He noticed Brandon’s overarching personality contrasted with Philip’s quiet despair and could not shake off a sense of unexplained unease.
The layers of pretense began to peel, the cracks were widening, and the once harmoniously orchestrated evening was gradually descending into disharmony. The beauty of the dinner was now a grotesque farce, its elegance tainted with the horror of the unsaid. The rope of their lies was fraying, and their perfect crime was teetering on the brink of exposure.
Their ordeal was far from over. The evening had only begun, and the game was afoot. Their guests were now participants in an unwitting charade, and the stakes were as high as they could be. The palpable tension transformed into a harrowing crescendo, escalating towards an inevitable climax that no one saw coming. As the clock continued to tick away, each second echoing ominously, the net of suspicion tightened around the two cold-blooded murderers. The perfect crime was beginning to crumble, and the only question that remained was how long they could keep up the act before the menacing truth exploded in their faces.
Chapter 5: “The Uninvited Detective”
Rupert Cadell, the intellectually sharp and world-weary former professor, wasn’t supposed to be on the guest list of Brandon and Phillip’s dinner party. Yet, the cosmic entanglement that tied his fate to his two former students made sure he was drawn into the maw of their grotesque charade.
Rupert arrived, a slight smirk playing on his lips, his distinct eyes scanning the room, immediately drawn to the antique wooden chest. As a scholar, he had an insatiable curiosity that always steered him towards the unknown.
The dinner party was in full swing, and yet there was an undercurrent, a quiet unease that prickled at his senses. He noticed Brandon’s excessive charm and Phillip’s nervous demeanor. Both stood out like anomalies in the otherwise mundane setting, leading him to question the true nature of the gathering.
Rupert’s suspicious were piqued when he noticed a dining table set up with an unconventional choice of seating arrangements and an even more unconventional choice for a centrepiece—the antique wooden chest. He found himself constantly drawn towards the chest, his intuition whispering that it was a labyrinth of secrets waiting to be unraveled.
Throughout the evening, his interactions with each of the guests, fueled by strained chit-chat and veiled concerns, further cemented his belief that something was amiss. The absence of their former classmate, who they claimed was out of town, seemed conspicuous. Meanwhile, hints of discrepancies in Brandon and Phillip’s stories became impossible to ignore.
With each passing hour, the enigmatic puzzle woven with well-structured lies and artful distractions intensified. His former students’ farce was unraveling before his eyes, their perfect crime not so perfect under his discerning gaze.
Phillip had started to buckle under the pressure, his repeated trips to the liquor cabinet giving away his anxiety. Meanwhile, Brandon, who’d always been the more audacious of the two, attempted to maintain the façade with forced cheeriness. But crack by crack, their mask of falsehood was disintegrating, making Rupert more resolute in his quest to uncover the truth.
His observations were interrupted by an eerie melody floating from the gramophone. The haunting tune intensified the escalating tension in the room, invoking a sense of impending doom. He returned his focus on his suspects, watching with morbid fascination as they danced around the damning evidence in the center of the room.
Rupert decided to confront them subtly, weaving his accusations into casual conversations, testing their reactions. Their coordinated attempts to steer the conversation away was confirmation of their guilt. Yet, they remained smug, dismissing his accusations as a result of his detective novel obsession.
By the time the clock struck midnight, Rupert’s suspicions had evolved into undeniable conviction. Under the guise of a casual gathering, a sinister plot had unfolded. Their reckless endeavor to stage a perfect crime had, instead, stage-managed their downfall. The evidence lay before him, three feet away in the antique chest, hiding in plain sight amongst the unsuspecting guests.
As the chapter drew to a close, Rupert, bolstered by his resolve, decided to pull at the loose thread of deception. He knew it was time to unravel the hideous secret, time for the perfect crime to encounter its perfect foil.
Chapter 6: “The Disbelief”
Rupert Cadell, the enigmatic former professor, with his disheveled hair and a keen eye that missed nothing, gazed at his two former students, Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan. The jovial ambiance of the dinner party was gradually overshadowed by a dark cloud of doubt and suspicion that had formed in Rupert’s mind. He had noticed their inconsistencies, their odd behavior, and now the puzzle pieces started to form a terrifying picture in his mind.
Brandon, the epitome of charm and charisma, maintained his composed demeanor, his lips stretching into a confident smile. Phillip, though slightly more nervous, was also doing his best to project an air of nonchalance. Rupert looked at them, his gaze moving between the two.
“Isn’t it strange,” Rupert mused, swirling the wine in his glass, “that David has been uncharacteristically absent tonight? He was really looking forward to this party, wasn’t he?”
The pair exchanged a brief look of alarm, quickly masked by forced laughter. “Oh, he probably got caught up with something. You know David, always the adventurous one,” replied Brandon casually.
However, Rupert, like a bloodhound on a scent, was not so easily convinced. He couldn’t shake off the uncanny feeling that something was horribly wrong. Rather than directly accusing them, he played along with his theory, cleverly presenting it as a hypothetical situation.
He leaned in closer, his voice dropping to a hush, “What if someone devised the perfect crime? Murder without a trace, without any possibility of getting caught…Imagine, gentlemen, that the evidence of the crime would be right in front of everyone’s eyes, yet no one would suspect.”
A deafening silence enveloped the room. The guests, in their blissful ignorance, dismissed Rupert’s words as mere speculation or an attempt at sparking an intellectual discussion. However, for Brandon and Phillip, the dangers of their secret unraveling seemed frighteningly real.
Feeling cornered, Phillip, the weaker of the two, began showing visible signs of distress. His forehead glistened with perspiration and his hands trembled slightly. Brandon, on the other hand, maintained his composure, his icy gaze never wavering from Rupert’s face. The word ‘murder’ resonated within the room, causing an unknowing shiver to run down the spines of the other guests.
Rupert, noticing Phillip’s discomfort yet maintaining his focus on Brandon, continued, “This ‘perfect crime’ would be an exhilarating exercise, wouldn’t it? The thrill of the chase, the excitement of the kill, and the satisfaction of getting away with it all. That’s the hypothetical situation I’m presenting.”
Brandon laughed, attempting to defuse the tension, “Interesting narrative, professor. But murder is a serious accusation, not a topic for a dinner party. Besides, who would be foolish enough to commit such a crime at a gathering like this?”
Rupert paused, his gaze intensifying, “Who indeed? Only those who believe they are truly capable of committing the ‘perfect crime.’”
As the chapter concluded, the room thrummed with a growing tension. Rupert’s accusations hung in the air, casting a shroud of suspicion over the remainder of the evening. Despite the murderers’ denials, the seeds of doubt had been planted. Their ‘perfect crime’ was now on the precipice of being unveiled, their carefully constructed façade of innocence beginning to crumble under the weight of their unspeakable secret.
Chapter 7: “The Reveal”
The room had become a pressure cooker, the tension so palpable it was almost a physical presence. Rupert Cadell’s mind worked like a machine, one piece of information slotting itself neatly into place after the other, forming a horrific picture. The antique chest that had been lurking ominously at center stage of the evening’s proceedings, had just taken a front seat in Cadell’s deductions. His heart pounded against the cage of his ribs, the clock ticking away its relentless rhythm, echoing the countdown in his mind.
Brandon and Phillip watched him nervously, their facades crumbling minutely under Rupert’s penetrating gaze. The room seemed to shrink, the air thinning, as if the walls themselves were closing in on them. They had played a dangerous game, one with the highest stakes, their freedom, and the sand in the hourglass was running out.
The room’s atmosphere was saturated with trepidation, guests clinging to the edges of their seats, not knowing why, but feeling the earth-shaking tremors of the impending reveal. Sweat trickled from Brandon’s temple, the chill of dread began gnawing at his confidence.
As Rupert moved towards the chest, the room fell into a hushed stillness. Each step resonated on the wooden floor, the sound amplified by the suffocating silence. His hand hovered momentarily over the chest’s gleaming surface, the final barrier between the hideous secret and the sweeping terror of its revelation.
He threw open the lid. The room sagged eerily, as if the very walls had inhaled sharply. The horror was not immediate, it had to sink in, seeping into every pore like a nightmare from which there was no awakening. The body laid there, lifeless, a grotesque tribute to Brandon and Phillip’s monstrous egotism.
A gasp tore through the room, shattering the silence into a thousand shards. Eyes widened in terror, hands flew up to mouths in shock. The world had tilted on its axis, truth and lie exchanging places in a cruel, disconcerting dance, as the reality of the evening’s jovial facade sunk in.
A sob echoed from a guest, a sad, disbelieving whimper. The perfectly crafted social ambience crumbled into ruin, replaced by a palpable wave of revulsion and fear. The spotlight now centered harshly on Brandon and Phillip, their once-charming personalities morphing into monstrous guises.
Rupert stood, his face ghostly pale, staring at the lifeless body. “This…this is your perfect crime?” His voice shook, the words slicing through the horrified silence like shards of broken glass.
The dinner party had ended, not with dessert and laughter, but with the chilling finality of a death knell. The echoes of the perfect crime reverberated hollowly in the room, it’s flagstones stained with innocent blood, its air tainted with monstrous betrayal.
As the hum of approaching sirens invaded the shocked silence, the futility of Brandon and Phillip’s carefully orchestrated plan laid bare. Their eyes met, the sinister satisfaction vanished, replaced by a stark realization; they weren’t the puppeteers they had believed themselves to be. They were nothing more than marionettes, tangled in their own ropes of arrogance and deception.
Chapter 8: “Retribution”
Rupert Cadell, the man who had taught them the philosophy of the superior being, superior intellect, stood in the middle of the richly furnished apartment turned charnel house, his eyes cruelly mocking them. The antique wooden chest, now an eerie sepulcher, lay open revealing their horrendous secret – their former classmate’s lifeless body.
“Did you think that by concealing him in such a macabre fashion, you could escape the truth of your depraved act?” Rupert’s voice, previously filled with jovial anecdotes and laughter, had turned into a cold sneer. It resonated throughout the apartment, the echo bouncing off walls like a spectral war cry. A shudder ran down Brandon and Phillip’s spines.
Philip, always the weaker of the two, crumbled under Rupert’s accusation, his terror-stricken face a mirror of his dreadful guilt. He turned to Brandon, the mastermind behind their twisted venture, seeking solace and perhaps, a way out. Brandon’s face, however, was a mask of egotistical defiance.
“Congratulate us, Rupert,” Brandon uttered, his voice neither desperate nor fearful, but eerily calm. “We’ve committed the perfect crime.”
Rupert’s lips twisted into a bitter smile. Straightening his posture, he moved towards the grand window overlooking the city lights, the sirens a distant yet a rapidly approaching wail.
“By hosting a dinner party over a dead body, inviting the deceased’s family, pretending the whole evening? The perfect crime?” Rupert retorted, his voice heavy with sarcasm. “You are so blinded by your perceived sense of intellectual superiority that you mistook recklessness for perfection.”
Brandon, with a flicker of uncertainty in his eyes, attempted to control the swiftly unraveling situation. “We were not reckless. We simply put Nietzsche’s theory into practice. Nietzsche said that superior beings must defy norms to prove their superiority. And we did.”
“But murder is not a game, Brandon. Not a proof of excellence, but a sign of insanity,” Rupert countered.
The argument escalated, a futile verbal battle as the background hum of sirens persisted, sharp and insistent. The shrill noise, at first ambient, began to coalesce into a harsh reality.
Just then, a loud, insistent knocking echoed through the apartment. The door rattled in its frame, the sound a jarring interruption to the mounting tension within. A beat of silence followed, as if the entire world had taken a sharp breath, waiting.
“Open up! This is the police!”
Phillip, an emotional wreck, turned to the door. But before he could make a move, Brandon grabbed his arm in a vice-like grip, yanking him back. His eyes, once filled with arrogant confidence, were wild, cornered.
But it was too late. The door shot open, revealing a contingent of stern-faced officers, their uniforms a striking contrast against the lavish, gruesome setting. Among them, a familiar face – the housekeeper who had slipped away unnoticed earlier, her decision to call the police proving to be her act of rebellion against her employers’ heinous act.
“Brandon Shaw? Phillip Morgan? You’re under arrest for the murder of David Kentley,” the leading officer declared, his voice echoing in the silent room.
As the pair was handcuffed and led away by the officers, a somber silence wrapped the room. Rupert, standing alone in the room, regarded the scene with a complicated expression. A sense of justice reflected in his eyes, but also a potent question: At what cost did it come?
As the sirens wailed their victory into the cold night, the apartment was once again washed in a sinister quiet, the echoes of laughter and clinking glasses now replaced by the chilling echo of the ‘perfect crime’ that had been anything but.
Some scenes from the movie Rope written by A.I.
INT. LIVING ROOM – EVENING
Two men, BRANDON and PHILLIP, both mid-20s, scholarly looking, yet with a dangerous air of arrogance, are planning something outrageous.
BRANDON, a charismatic and confident man with a devilish grin, pours two glasses of whiskey.
(raising his glass)
To the perfect crime.
PHILLIP, a more apprehensive and nervous character, reluctantly raises his glass in response, gulping down the burning liquid.
There’s a KNOCK at the door. They exchange a look of anticipation and dread.
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – EVENING
Their former classmate, DAVID KENTLEY, a naive, trusting man in his 20s, stands at the door, unknowing of the twisted premeditated act he’s about to become part of.
(with a friendly smile)
David! Good to see you. Come in.
As David walks in, the door closes ominously behind him, concealing the unknown darkness that awaits.
INT. BRANDON AND PHILLIP’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bright city lights twinkle through the high-rise apartment’s large windows. Classical music plays softly in the background. BRANDON, late 20s, debonair and smug, and PHILLIP, the same age but more nervous, share the space with their former classmate, DAVID, an unsuspecting victim.
DAVID smiles, enjoying their company.
You guys haven’t changed a bit!
Suddenly, BRANDON and PHILLIP exchange a nefarious glance.
(Whispers to Phillip)
They spring into action. Michael becomes startled, too late to escape.
What are you–
A ROPE tightens around DAVID’s neck. His gasp cuts short, his eyes bulge with fear and confusion.
(Whispers in David’s ear)
Shh…it won’t take long.
DAVID struggles, grasps at the rope, but his strength dissipates. His body drops lifelessly. The classical music swells, clashing with the gruesome scene.
Various conversations, laughter, and moments of friendship between DAVID, BRANDON, and PHILLIP. A stark contrast to the present.
BACK TO PRESENT:
Brandon and Phillip meticulously arrange David’s lifeless body in an antique wooden chest.
FADE TO BLACK.
And just like that, they had crossed the Rubicon. There was no turning back.
The perfect crime…
Phillip nods, his face drained of color, as they leave the room – leaving behind the gruesome sight and the echoes of classical music.
FADE OUT. END OF SCENE.
INT. BRANDON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The apartment is lavishly decorated. The antique WOODEN CHEST sits ominously at the center of the room. It’s a soundproof cocoon for the lifeless body of their classmate. WHISPERS of a party fill the room as GUESTS arrive in fashionable attire.
Holding a glass of champagne, BRANDON greets the guests with an easy charm, while PHILLIP nervously arranges the canapés.
Thank you all for joining this… special soiree.
Laughter and chatter fill the air as the guests clink their glasses. Phillip gulps down his drink, eyes darting towards the chest.
ANGLE ON: RUPERT, a middle-aged man with sharp eyes, scrutinizing the hosts and the chest.
(pointing at the chest)
What a fascinating piece of furniture! Is it a collector’s piece?
You could say it’s taken a lifetime to collect.
Phillip chokes on his drink. Rupert frowns, sipping his whisky. The atmosphere grows thicker with every tick of the mantle clock. The room is full of smiles, oblivious to the horror beneath the façade. The perfect crime unfurls itself as the guests continue to enjoy the soirée, blissfully ignorant of the deadly secret shared between the hosts.
INT. BRANDON AND PHILLIP’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
A lavish dinner party is in full swing. Guests are gathered around, enjoying the evening, oblivious to the lifeless body stored in the antique chest at the center of the room.
ANGLE ON: BRANDON (late 20s, charming, cunning) and PHILLIP (late 20s, nervous, sensitive).
BRANDON circles the room, engaging in light banter, while PHILLIP refills the wine glasses.
Suddenly, MRS. ATKINSON (60s, chatterbox, nosy) comes up to PHILLIP.
Phillip, dear, where did you find this lovely wooden chest? It’s simply exquisite.
Phillip freezes, his mind races.
Oh, it’s… it’s just a, (stutter) simple antique.
Phillip quickly steers Mrs. Atkinson away from the chest. But the damage is done. The room buzzes with subtle suspicion.
ANGLE ON: KENNETH (mid 20s, reserved, thoughtful), the victim’s ex-roommate. He senses the odd responses and strange vibes.
(sotto, to his girlfriend, JANET)
Don’t you find all this… bizarre?
What? Not everyone is as literal as you Kenneth.
Meanwhile, BRANDON watches PHILLIP closely, frustrated by his inability to maintain their façade. He pulls Phillip aside.
Keep it together, Phillip! Don’t let your nerves unravel us now.
The tension deepens, secrecy and suspicion becoming the uninvited guests of the evening. As the clock ticks on, the cracks in the perfect crime narrative begin to widen.
TO BE CONTINUED…
INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT
A LARGE WOODEN CHEST is ominously situated in the center of the room. Guests laugh and sip champagne, oblivious to its dreadful secret. The doorbell rings.
INT. ENTRANCE – NIGHT
BRANDON, smug and confident, opens the door to reveal RUPERT CADELL, a middle-aged man with an intriguingly cryptic aura.
Rupert, what a surprise!
I hope I’m not too late for dinner.
Brandon gestures Rupert in, exchanging a glance with PHILLIP, who appears rather anxious.
INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT
Rupert analyzes the room, his gaze settling on the chest. The room fills with tension.
That’s quite a chest, boys. New addition?
Just a piece of antique furniture, Rupert.
Rupert, unconvinced, circles the chest, while the party watches in an unsettling silence.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Rupert corners Brandon and Phillip, while the guests chat oblivious in the backdrop.
You two are not your usual selves tonight.
Phillip averts his gaze, Brandon smirks.
Perhaps it’s the wine, Rupert.
Rupert gives a knowing smile, the gears in his mind turning, as he begins piecing together the puzzle. The suspense heightens, the secret of the chest threatening to unravel.