Sampson Gregory

Sampson- A fairly new grim reaper who has a problem with being sarcastic. He has a tendency to move around a lot to compensate for his insecurities left by his past.

Tessa: The girl who is about to die. She overreacts at first, but she levels out later on when she comes to terms with what's going on.

(Scene opens to a parlor room somewhat reminiscent of the Victorian era. Sampson is sprawled out on a sofa obviously bored and on the verge of sleep. Tessa enters the room and sees Sampson. She stays frozen for a few seconds before she attempts to slowly reopen the door and leave, but is interrupted.)

Sampson: (jumping up from the sofa) Of all the things you could possible be late for, you decide to be late for this!

Tessa: (slams the door loudly from shock) I'm not late for- what are you doing here?

Sampson: (walking over to Tessa) Oh, right. Hi, I'm called Sampson, Sammy for short, and I'm your personal grim reaper. (holds out business card) Congrats! You're going to die!

Tessa: (grabs business card and looks at it) What do you mean I'm going to die? Are you going to kill me?

Sampson: (shrugs) Well, not exactly. (starts walking across stage using hand motions to emphasize what he's saying) It's more like I'm going to take your soul and help you to whatever afterlife awaits you. You know, normal dying stuff. (turns back to smile at Tessa)

Tessa: (as she is walking to a chair) Oh, no. I'm not just going to die right here. I still have a job, responsibilities, people… (lists of whatever else comes to mind)

Sampson: (interrupts) Too bad. This thing is set in stone.

Tessa: (slumps down in chair) I'm going to die. I'm actually going to die. Right now. (pours glass of whatever liquid is on the table and drinks)

Sampson: Well, not right now. It's more like in twelve minutes and thirty-four seconds. You just drank the poison that's going to kill you. Yay! (smiles)

Tessa: (spits out drink and glares at Sampson) I WHAT? Why didn't you tell me anything? I'm going to die!

Sampson: (walks over to Tessa) Duh, and I'm your grim reaper, remember? (taps Tessa's forehead) I thought we already went over this.

Tessa: You didn't tellme how I was going to die! (stands up in furiously in front of Sampson)

Sampson: That's not my job. (smiles) Silly humans. And to think I used to be one. (starts walking around the room).

Tessa: So you're not some evil demon with wings, then? And what's the point of those things anyways? (points at wings)

Sampson: (pauses) Ah, no. Your folklore and all that fun stuff is totally off, but it makes for great entertainment. No, I'm just a dead person with issues. And the wings are just awesome. Deal with it.

Tessa: Issues, huh. (sits back down in chair)

Sampson: (picks up a book of Shakespeare from a bookshelf and starts flipping through it) Wow. You actually read this junk.

Tessa: (runs over and tries to snatch the book) That's not junk! Give it back. (grabs the book)

Sampson: You should really burn that or something. It's not going to get you anywhere.

Tessa: (opening to a page) Says you. (begins to read)

What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

Sampson: (tries to snatch book from Tessa) Stop.

Tessa: (maneuvering swiftly away)

What's in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

Sampson: (progressively more annoyed) Stop!


So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Sampson: (takes the book angrily from Tessa's hands) STOP IT!

Tessa: (furious) What is your problem? Did you have issues with Shakespeare too?

Sampson: (pauses before replying) No.

Tessa: Then what is it? (crosses arms)

Sampson: (turns away) It's nothing.

Tessa: (turns Sampson back around) I'm going to die in (checks pocketwatch) less than ten minutes. I deserve to know what you went through.

Sampson: (turns back away) Too bad. You can't.

Tessa: Oh, you are not getting away that easy, Sammy!

Sampson: That's not my name!

Tessa: (taken aback) What?

Sampson: (looks down) That's not my name. I can't even remember what my real name was before I died so I use my brother's. (looks back up) Heck, I can't even remember how I died.

Tessa: (slumps back down in chair) I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to intrude or anything. I just…

Sampson: Don't worry about it. It's not like it's your fault I died.

Tessa: (looks away for a second) It's an issue of yours. (Sampson glances at her). How you died. You said that you couldn't remember how it happened. What if you tried to remember?

Sampson: No point. My life wasn't that great so my death probably wasn't that all that grand either.

Tessa: You don't know that.

Sampson: (starts pacing across stage) So what's your point? I should just bring back all my awful memories from when I was alive and try to figure everything out in the hopes that I could fix some of my problems? (stops)

Tessa: Actually, yes. You summed it up quite nicely. Now, think.

Sampson: No. (stomps foot)

Tessa: (starts walking up to Sampson obviously annoyed) I am going to die here in a few minutes, and that's all you can do for me? By the way, what kind of poison was I given? I don't feel like anything is wrong with me right now. (looks down at herself examining her body for any signs of reaction to a poison)

Sampson: Oh, right. It's called red water. It usually doesn't cause any serious physical damage to the body, and considering how well your maid mixed it, the most you'll probably deal with is a little coughing. (Tessa stands frozen in shock) You shouldn't underestimate the power of your empire and who wants to steal it from you.

Tessa: (turns back to Sampson harshly) You know nothing about me!

Sampson: Oh? You're the owner of the engineering giant Winston and Salem Inc. Your parents weren't all that much of anything, but you worked your way up the business ladder through good hard work and should I say a couple things that you really don't want to bring forward. Never married, which is quite a sad thing considering how quickly time is running out for you. Surprising that a single twenty-two year old has done so much with her life in such a small amount of time. At least that's what you sometimes think. (looks at Tessa with a sinister grin)

Tessa: (stammering) I-what-how did you-

Sampson: It's part of my job description. Reaper. (motions to himself)

Tessa: Yeah, a reaper with issues. (sits back down in chair)

Sampson: (sternly) Hey, only I can describe myself like that.

Tessa: And only you can figure out what those issues were. Now spill.

Sampson: (somewhat whiny) Do I have to?
Tessa: I have less than eight minutes left here so it's a little crucial that you do.

Sampson: (grumbles for a second) Fine. I'll tell you. I guess you could say that my issues stem from my brother even though he didn't actually do anything wrong. He was actually doing everything right in his life. I'll admit I was a little jealous of him even though he was always so nice to me. He was the smart scientific one from the beginning. Our parents saw profit and prestige in him so they gave him more attention. I, on the other hand preferred literature and art. They saw no profit in that so they left me paid less attention to me. Even when they did talk to me, they were usually pretty bitter.

Tessa: But you acted like Shakespeare was the plague a few minutes ago.

Sampson: Number one- I do like Shakespeare. What I don't like is how much it reminds me of my past. Number two- don't interrupt, especially since you may not even live long enough to hear my whole story, and it's just plain rude.

Tessa: Fine. Continue.

Sampson: Well, one day, my oh so amazing brother died in a carriage accident by our house. It was really his fault because he was the one who wanted to go out in the first place. I was thirteen and he was fourteen at the time, and we looked very similar. Our parents couldn't lose their precious gem they had groomed so well so they claimed that I was the one who died in the accident instead of him. With a haircut and some different clothes, I became Sampson. I was adored and loved by everyone, but none of it was real to me. No matter how hard I tried, I could never truly be Sampson. My work could never be as good as his, and my parents harassed me about that for the rest of my life. Then, one night when I was walking home from the office I worked at, I was murdered. I can't remember exactly what happened. I just remember…

Tessa: (walking over to Sampson) Remember what?

Sampson: Well, you see. I worked as a head researcher of a company, and our rival was Winston and Salem Inc. The same one you currently work for.

Tessa: So I work for that company. What's your point?

Sampson: (takes a few steps towards Tessa) It was you. You murdered me.

Tessa: It wasn't my fault! They told me to eliminate Jasper and Co. using any means possible! I was desperate! They were going to fire me and blacklist my name if I didn't.

Sampson: That road. It was completely empty except for you. You called my name like we were old friends, and then you pulled a gun on me.

Tessa: It wasn't my fault. (coughs)

Sampson: But I was only a pawn the entire time! I tried to tell you that my name was Gregory, but you didn't care. My name is Gregory.

Tessa: I'm sorry. I didn't listen.

Sampson: My name is Gregory. (suddenly really happy) My name is Gregory! (bounces all over the room)

Tessa: (coughs again) Well, isn't that grand. You solved your problem.

Sampson: I'm free. (laughs) Years of being stuck, and I'm finally free!

Tessa: Congrats, but before you go, can you do one more thing?

Sampson: And what might that be?

Tessa: Can you forgive me? (coughs again) For, well, yeah.

Sampson: (pauses to think) But you killed me.

Tessa: It's my only unresolved issue. Please. (coughs harder) I know I'm going to die any second now. I don't want to be stuck like you.

Sampson: (thinks about the situation for a few seconds) …fine. I forgive you, but you had better not do anything stupid in whatever afterlife awaits you.

Tessa: (weakly between coughs) Thank you. (dies)

Sampson: (waits a few seconds then checks watch) Right on time. (walks away)