Medium of Exchange by STEVEN BLOWS | Script Revolution

Medium of Exchange

When money begins to talk to a frugal cashier, he discovers with extraordinary consequences that he has the power to bend its controlling influence to his will.



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An out-of-the-bottle style independent comedy short screenplay.

JUSEF (Turkish heritage, male, 30's, hardworking but lethargic) owns and runs his own cash conversion shop. He is a good person at heart, but years of modern adult life have drained common kindness out of him with the demand of taxes, inflation, and financial stress. His default setting is profit orientated as displayed when he offers little money to an elderly lady in desperate need of cash by selling him her family heirloom - a Mother Teresa statue. He requires the customer to complete a form including details such as her home address. As he places the statue (marked at a selling price four times what he paid for it) onto a high shelf the step ladder he is standing on slips, and he falls. The statue following him knocks him out cold. He wakes to a snarky voice laughing and taunting him. There is no one in the shop. He locates the source of the voice, a POUND COIN. When he sees the coin's mouth talking, he drops it in shock. Yusef can hear money talking. The Pound Coin explains to him the rules of the scripts 'magic'. Money has always been whispering, but no one has stopped to listen. To hear money, he must be on the same level as them. Yusef can whisper control like them. Unfourtantly for Yusef being on the same wavelength as money means that he will have to put up with the silly passing commentary made by coins and notes alike.

Yusef panics and runs out of the shop. As he catches his breath in the Highstreet he sees that it is not only the Pound Coin that is talking but all money. Money in a homeless man's collection cup - HAL (50's, beard, quiet) - wager on what pedestrians will give money, coins being poured into a cash conversion machine giggle with joy, and notes passing through a counting machine cheer with laughter.

Yusef returns to the Pound Coin. He argues that he must be crazy, and that money is only dead trees and pressed metal. The Pound Coin counters that if he truly believes what he says then draw some money and see what happens. Yusef does so and the drawing comes to life. Yusef quickly pockets the drawing when a customer enters the shop.

Later, Yusef is buying a coffee and cannot find his wallet, but he has his drawing of a note. He tentatively hands it to the cashier as he whispers, "accept this money, this money has power, power to give and power to keep". The drawing smirks. It is accepted as real money. Captivated by the idea of limitless funds Yusef prints his own fake notes and buys an array of new furnishing and luxury items. He also gives a wad of notes (at least a thousand pounds) to Hal. Every time he uses the money he recites his whisper of control. Yusef believes that he finally has what he wants. Freedom. Freedom to do what he likes.

A customer buys an item from his shop and Yusef is struck when the customer pays with one of his fake notes. He has never stopped to think about how his money could affect others. Yusef walks the Highstreet contemplating his situation when he passes Hal. He removes a fake note to give to Hal when Hal snatches the note from him and the wad of fake notes falls from Hal's coat. Yusef asks why Hal has not used the money for a hotel, a new coat, a hot meal, for something good. Hal counters that Yusef has not spent his money on something good, he has seen the new TV and lavish purchases. Hal explains that it his money to spend how he likes, besides, this money is different. It is asking to be saved for something special. He doesn't know what that is, but it will be worth the wait.

Yusef tries to sleep and forget about money, but his wallet talks to him begging to be opened. Yusef snaps and rushes as he puts all of the new items around his flat back into their packaging. The next day he returns them all to the shops he bought them from, fighting with cashiers to get the exact notes he paid with back. He searches for all his fake notes. Each time, Yusef passes the Pound Coin whose comments grow warier. Yusef pays triple the fake notes to value to people passing on the street, and he reaches down to pull one from the drain. He waits for night and is careful not to wake Hal as he removes the wad of fake notes and replaces them in equal value with genuine tender. Yusef even gathers the money from his cash register. Every note and coin that talks to him are collected.

Yusef drops the fake notes into a metal bin and pockets the confused Pound Coin. He walks to a dark field and places the bin on the floor and the Pound Coin next to it. Yusef gathers sticks. The Pound Coin knows what is coming next. Yusef pours the cash register into the bin, the coins cheering "It's raining!" as they fall. He adds the fake notes into the bin. The Pound Coin argues that Yusef cannot do this, but money no longer holds value to him. He just wants the voices to stop, for things to go back to the way they were before they met. The Pound Coin asks, "What will you be left with?". Yusef says "I will be free" as he drops a match and sets the contents of the bin alight. Voices scream as they die. The Pound Coin is the last to go. It appeals to Yusef, claiming that letting go of money is letting go of comfort. Yusef shrugs and drops the Pound Coin into the fire. The Pound Coin shouts in agony then suddenly, the screaming stops, and Yusef is left in silence. He closes his eyes and appreciates the stillness.

Yusef walks to morning streets with something in a carrier bag. He passes Hal eating a hot meal at a cafe and wearing a new coat. A pedestrian drops some coins, and he helps collect them for her. The coins are coins. He carries on walking and approaches a rundown house. He knocks on the door and walks away. The Mother Teresa statue waiting on the doorstep.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

The script has received professional coverage from Coverwrite with a rating of 4.5/5 with a "Highly Recommended" commendation. Quoted as being "A fantastic short with a litany of positives to pick from. It's smart, entertaining, unique, funny, and thought-provoking."

Submitted: September 28, 2022
Last Updated: October 18, 2022

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J.E. Clarke's picture
STEVEN BLOWS's picture


After enjoying the life of a reader for many years I am now a passionate writer compelled to create fantastical fiction in varying genres. With a focus on writing feature-length screenplays and experimenting with potential ideas in the form of short stories/scripts. Not a day goes by when I am not working on my latest screenplay, engaged in a writing group, or expanding my knowledge of cinematic practices. I aim to explore this world through writing. I have four completed feature-length spec scripts and fourteen short scripts of varying lengths from 3-24 pages long. Among other awards, my script 'THE MIGHTY VARIANTS' has been awarded a Quarter-Finalist place in the Final Draft Big Break... Go to bio

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