FAITH (female, 16), JENNIE (female, 17), MIKE (male, 16-18), GERMANE (male, 16-18), FRANKLIN (male, 16-18), FERRIS WHEEL OPERATOR, CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD, CARNIVAL GAME MC, TOPLESS SERVER, BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND, BIKER, FREAK BOY (male), DAISY DUKE (female), CLAIRE (female), MARCUS (male), JANEL, KATIE, JOEL, SCOTT, MAN (late 40s), GIRL (14), DOCTOR, NURSE, ALEX TREBEC, TINA, GRANDFATHER, OLD DUDE, WAITRESS (16), SECURITY GUARD (male), RESTAURANT MANAGER, COP
A 16-year-old girl, FAITH, lowers herself onto the seat of a portable toilet. The sounds of a carnival come muffled through the plastic walls. Faith wears blue Keds, gray sweatshorts, and a white button-up shirt. Her hair is tied with a ribbon. She stands. Someone bangs on the door.
JENNIE (OS) Hurry. The fuck. Up.
Faith opens the door. A 17-year-old, JENNIE, glares at her. Jennie wears black and hot pink spandex shorts and a yellow t-shirt that says LOCAL 411. Her hair is frizzy ultra-blond with orange splotches. Behind Jennie crowds of people move through a carnival. Two jugglers pass bowling pins and flaming batons between themselves. Children eat cotton candy.
Jennie holds out her hand. Faith puts her hand in Jennie’s. Jennie squeezes it and jerks Faith out of the Port-O-Let.
Jennie drags Faith by the hand through the carnival. She crosses directly in front of people and cuts apart couples and families. Skate boarders do tricks in a cluster. A child drops an ice cream and cries. A man puts his hand in the butt pocket of his girlfriend’s jeans.
3—EXT CARNIVAL: FERRIS WHEEL—NIGHT
The FERRIS WHEEL OPERATOR is taking tickets. Among those nearby are three guys between 16 and 18 years old, dressed in green camoflage BDUs and wearing combat boots. The girls take their place in line. A DATE COUPLE gets in line. The military guys get in line behind them. Faith looks at the top of the wheel.
FAITH Nuh uh. No way.
JENNIE Oh yes. Get back here.
FAITH Jennie you’ve got to be kidding me.
JENNIE If you can fuck Jeffrey Rammel you can come with me on this.
FAITH I never fucked Jeffrey Rammel.
JENNIE Then what was you two doing in my bathroom for three hours?
FAITH It wasn’t three hours.
JENNIE I know three hours when I see it. Come on.
FAITH No, Jennie, no. Really.
JENNIE Do you want me to make a scene? Cause I will drag you up there kicking and screaming. Now come on.
Faith and Jennie see that the military guys are listening to their conversation.
JENNIE Come. On.
The ferris wheel operator takes the girls’ tickets and they get into the gondola. The ferris wheel operator lowers the safety bar across the girls’ laps.
JENNIE Now look what you did.
FAITH You’re the one who’s fucking yelling.
The ferris wheel operator closes the door to their gondola and moves the next one into position.
The date couple gets in. Two of the military guys, MIKE and GERMANE, get into the next gondola. The other guy, FRANKLIN, gets in the one after that. Faith looks down over the side of the gondola as the wheel turns to let in the last rider.
JENNIE Don’t get theatrical on me, girl.
The ferris wheel operator starts the ride. As the ferris wheel turns, the military guys look at Faith and Jennie. Jennie looks back and winks at them.
FAITH What are you doing?
Jennie puts her arms around Faith’s neck.
JENNIE So. How are you liking your ride? Is it high enough for you? No? Well just wait, my dear, cause it’s getting higher every second. I hope they turn up the speed and make it go real fast.
FAITH Get off of me.
JENNIE Get you off? Get you off Faith? I can’t. Not here. Not while they’re watching. I want to get you off but I can’t while those fucking GI Joes are watching! GI Joe! He’s an American Hero! GI Joe!
Faith pinches Jennie’s arm with her nails.
FAITH Shut. Up.
JENNIE Ow-owww! Fuck. Bitch. I’m gonna throw you off this thing.
Mike and Germane pry off their safety bar. Mike stands up and does a martial arts move on Germane to pull him up. Germane winces, but stands. Mike fake-pushes Germane over the edge of the gondola, but holds him back.
JENNIE Oh, that’s fucking great. Be a man. Be a man! Throw your friend off a fucking ferris wheel.
The date couple is staring at Jennie. They have their arms around each other.
JENNIE Fucking..get a room!
The date couple is shocked.
JENNIE Read my lips. No..new..taxes. Get..a..fucking..room! And you! If I was your friend I would throw you off if you did that to me.
Jennie stands up.
JENNIE Think you’re all Commando Joe standing up on a ferris wheel. You motherfuckers better be glad you’re not in a car with me.
Jennie climbs up on the edge of the gondola, bracing herself on a support cable with one hand. She looks over at the guys.
JENNIE Fuck. You.
Faith holds on to Jennie’s foot.
JENNIE Get up here, commando motherfucker. Fucking throw your friend off a ferris wheel. Get all the way up! GI Joe fucking Kung Fu-on-a-ferris-wheel-motherfucker! Hope you got a parachute under there, Spiderman! Hope you got velcro on the bottom of your shoes! Listen up, and you too, take a lesson. The next time you want to impress a girl—
Jennie starts rocking the gondola back and forth. Faith holds on to the bottom of the seat. Mike and Germane look at each other, surprised. The ferris wheel stops. An amplified voice comes up from below.
FERRIS WHEEL OPERATOR. Excuse me. Excuse me.
*Jennie looks down. Two CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARDS stand near the ferris wheel operator, who holds a megaphone to his face. Everyone is looking at Jennie.**
FERRIS WHEEL OPERATOR. I’m gonna need you to sit down, miss.
JENNIE Well, after I do that, I’m gonna need you to get this thing moving again, okay?
Jennie sits down.
FERRIS WHEEL OPERATOR. Yeah, we will. We’ll get right on that.
He presses the green button and Faith and Jennie’s gondola starts back down toward the ground.
4—EXT CARNIVAL: FERRIS WHEEL—NIGHT
When the girls get off the ferris wheel Jennie grabs Faith’s hand and leads her away hurriedly. The carnival security guards stop them.
CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD. Did you have a good time tonight?
JENNIE So far so good.
CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD. Well I hope you used all your tickets because that was your last ride.
Jennie turns to Faith.
JENNIE Are we out of tickets?
The guards move to escort the girls.
CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD. Come on. Let’s go.
JENNIE I don’t think we’re out of tickets yet, actually.
The security guard gets his 2-way.
CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD. Yeah, we may need a police unit down here.
JENNIE Okay. Fine.
The guards start walking the girls toward the gate.
JENNIE How bout we split our tickets with you?
A firm voice stops the guards.
MIKE Pain. Honor. Command. Resolve.
The carnival security guards and the girls turn to see who’s talking. The guards let go of Faith and Jennie.
CARNIVAL SECURITY GUARD Richards. Didn’t see that was you.
Mike and his boys approach. Mike looks the girls over and motions for them to go. Jennie pulls Faith by the hand, the two of them checking back over their shoulders as they go. The military guys and the security guards are talking jovially, not even looking in the girls’ direction.
5—EXT CARNIVAL: TWIRLY-WHIRL—NIGHT
Faith and Jennie eat cotton candy. Their dialogue is punctuated by buzzers and bells and the amplified banter of a CARNIVAL GAME MC.
JENNIE What can you say? We rolled a lucky seven. Triple cherries. Jackpot. Fuck it.
FAITH Doesn’t it make you kind of nervous?
JENNIE If you ever won the lottery, I swear, you’d find a way to give it back. You play enough poker you’re bound to get a full house eventually. What you so nervous about, girl?
Faith looks pointedly past Jennie. Jennie turns around. The three military guys are standing awkwardly near a face-painter. As Jennie turns, Germane and Franklin quickly turn their heads away. Mike maintains his stare.
CARNIVAL GAME MC Step right up and give-it-a-whirl. Try the Twirly-Whirl. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a girl. They all win big at the Twirly-Whirl. You, young lady? You, sir? Win something to show the lady you care? You, sir? Something for your daughter? Something to make her smile? Step-right-up. Give-it-a-whirl. Play the Twirly-Whirl! Play to win. Play to lose. It doesn’t matter, as long as you play. Step right up. Twirly-Whirl!
Faith scratches her shin. Jennie takes a huge bite from her cotton candy. Jennie gets up. Faith follows. They walk away, out of the guys’ view.
6—EXT CARNIVAL: SKEE BALL—NIGHT
Jennie plays skee ball. Faith sits on the end of a broken lane next to Jennie, drinking a red slushee. On the other side of Jennie, a SKEE BALL PLAYER, a man in his forties, puts tokens into the machine. A fresh stack of wooden balls smacks into place. The skee ball player picks one up and rolls it. He gets a 20. Jennie reaches into the stack in the man’s lane and pulls out his next ball. The skee ball player looks at Jennie but she ignores him. She rolls the ball up her lane way too hard. She gets nothing.
She looks at the skee ball player nonchalantly.
JENNIE You any good at this?
He doesn’t know what to say.
JENNIE I can’t quite get the hang of it.
Jennie takes another ball from his stack and rams it up her own lane. It strikes the backboard so hard it rolls back down. The skee ball player is about to say something to Jennie but she interrupts.
JENNIE Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.
Faith hands the ball to the man. As he winds up, Jennie takes another one from his stack. His ball drops into the gutter with no score.
JENNIE Don’t you hate that? I swear to god these things are rigged. Watch. Betcha I miss.
Jennie mock-concentrates, steadying herself. She closes her eyes, breathes deeply, opens her eyes. Again the man starts to say something. But Jennie won’t let him speak.
JENNIE Nuh! Uh! Just hold that thought for about eleven par-secs, okay, daddy-o, lemme get this shot off.
Jennie holds the ball up to her lips and kisses it. She glances at Faith.
JENNIE Bullet from a gun.
Jennie winds up like a baseball pitcher and throws the ball underhand. It hits the plastic shield in front of the target area and breaks it.
JENNIE See!? Better chance of getting bit by a dog with rabies.
She takes another ball from the man’s stack and throws it at the machine.
JENNIE Better chance of finding out your father is really your brother’s uncle!
She takes another ball from his stack and lobs it at the score board above the bay of games. Light bulbs shatter. Faith winces.
JENNIE You might as well take your life savings and go to Las Vegas!
She takes another ball and throws it.
JENNIE Spend seven weeks with a two-dollar hooker in a free hotel room drinking three-dollar martinis over fifty-dollar hands of five card stud!
She throws another.
JENNIE Try getting drunk on twenty-proof vodka in ninety-degree heat sometime. See how far that gets ya.
Jennie taps the man’s chest with her finger as she gives this advice. Jennie throws another skee ball. The score board goes crazy. Jennie stands up on the lanes. She looks to the scoreboard as if in prayer, then kneels and makes a motion like a gambler tossing dice in craps.
Jennie picks up a ball and throws it into a crowd of people who are watching her. Screams go up. Everyone jumps back. The ball hits an elderly woman in the back. It knocks the wind out of her. Faith tugs on Jennie’s arm, but Jennie pulls away. The man is staring at Jennie.
JENNIE What? What the fuck are you looking at?
The skee ball player cowers. Jennie picks up a ball and swings it about the man’s head, hitting him repeatedly.
JENNIE Don’t. You. Ever. Look. At me. When I’m. Not! Looking! At! You!
FAITH Stop. Stop. Stop, Jennie. Jennie! Stop!
Faith pulls Jennie off the man. Everyone is looking at them. Jennie’s face flushes. Faith drags her away from the skee ball tables. They are almost out of the area when Jennie is struck by a new pulse of energy. She breaks free of Faith and runs back to the man.
The man is sitting on the lanes. People are gathered around him examining his head. Jennie jumps on him and starts beating the shit out of him. The other people back away. Faith runs back and tries to pull Jennie off.
7—EXT CARNIVAL: PARKING LOT—NIGHT
Faith and Jennie lean against the base of a light in the parking area outside the carnival. The military guys are standing around a black Jeep. Mike periodically looks over at the girls. Faith and Jennie are watching them.
JENNIE I know you have a thing for military guys. Don’t even try to tell me you don’t have a thing for military guys because practically the last three guys you dated were military guys.
FAITH I guess that makes two of us.
JENNIE No other way to go. Have you ever tried dating someone other than a military guy?
JENNIE What would they be like?
FAITH I wouldn’t even want to find out.
Faith sees Jennie looking at Mike and Mike looking back.
FAITH Go talk to him.
Jennie looks at Faith in a what-are-you-getting-me-into sort of way. Faith kicks at Jennie’s feet.
FAITH Go. Go.
FAITH He’s gonna leave if you don’t go talk to him.
Jennie and Mike exchange another set of glances. Mike makes a point of jumping into the driver’s seat of the Jeep.
FAITH They’re gonna leave..
JENNIE They ain’t gonna leave.
Mike starts the Jeep. Germane gets in the front seat. Franklin gets in the back.
FAITH They’re leaving.
JENNIE Okay already.
Jennie goes toward the Jeep. Faith scratches her shin, bites her lips, fiddles with the draw string on her shorts. Jennie and Mike have a short exchange. Jennie comes back to Faith, hopping a little, then walking faster. She pulls one of Faith’s hands out of a pocket.
JENNIE Come on.
Faith takes her hand back, and they walk, side by side, toward the Jeep.
8—INT STRIP CLUB—NIGHT
A TOPLESS SERVER carries a tray of beer to a table of bikers. She turns around to serve the group next to them. It is Mike, Germane, Franklin, Faith, and Jennie. Everyone but Faith nurses a beer. The table is littered with empty cans, which the server makes some effort to collect.
JENNIE Thanks, honey, but I think we’re gonna switch to tequila.
Mike looks at Jennie, impressed.
JENNIE Five tequilas?
MIKE Let’s go.
JENNIE You in?
FAITH Better make that four.
JENNIE Come on, girl! Give us five shots of tequila.
FAITH No, I don’t think—
JENNIE Five tequilas. Pronto, hun, before she loses her nerve.
TOPLESS SERVER Five shots of tequila?
JENNIE Better make em doubles.
FAITH I don’t—
JENNIE Faith I don’t even want to hear it.
Jennie nods at the server. The server leaves. Jennie nudges up closer to Mike.
JENNIE So, you guys come here a lot?
MIKE Only on special occasions.
Jennie does her best to look seductively at Mike. Her speech is hyperbole and self-parody:
JENNIE And what is tonight’s..special occasion?
Mike smiles. Jennie busts out giggling. Germane leans over to Mike and says something. Mike motions with a paper bill for the closest POLE DANCER to go to Franklin. The pole dancer kneels over Franklin. Jennie watches excitedly. She turns to Faith with a huge smile (This is great, huh?) and Faith shakes her head. Jennie grabs Mike’s leg. She kisses Faith on the cheek.
JENNIE This one’s mine. You can have the other two.
Faith giggles, but brings a hand up to cover her mouth. The topless server comes back carrying a tray of five double shots of tequila and a can of Sprite. She wedges herself between Franklin and Germane and hands one of the shots to the pole dancer who is on Franklin’s lap and sets two on the table. She moves between Mike and Jennie to set the other two shots down. She places the short glass of fizzy liquid in front of Faith and leaves. The pole dancer takes Franklin’s double shot into her mouth and then feeds it to him while grabbing his crotch. Franklin almost chokes. Mike and Germane confer visually, and Mike hands Germane another bill for the pole dancer. Germane sticks it in the dancer’s g-string. The dancer winks at Germane. Germane picks up his shot. Mike picks his up. Jennie picks hers up. They are about to drink but Jennie stops them.
JENNIE Wait-wait-wait. We have to toast. Faith? Faith pick up your drink.
Faith picks up her drink.
JENNIE Now, Faith, give us a toast.
FAITH This is..to me..
This surprises everyone.
FAITH ..being able to drink you..
She holds her glass to Jennie’s.
FAITH ..under the fucking table.
Everyone lights up.
JENNIE Let’s go then, featherweight.
The four of them drink. Mike and Germane set their empty glasses on the table. Jennie snaps hers down. Faith slams hers down hard and pushes the chaser away from the her. Faith’s eyes flash at Jennie. The pole dancer leaves Franklin and returns to the stage. Franklin looks at them all, taken back, his mouth open. Germane slaps Franklin’s shoulder and Mike and Germane laugh hysterically.
JENNIE Fellas, fellas.
Jennie throws her arm around Mike’s neck and pulls him back in her direction.
JENNIE You wanna get down to business?
Mike raises his shot glass in the air and turns his head in what he thinks is the general direction of their server.
MIKE More shots!
9—INT STRIP CLUB—NIGHT
Jennie takes a shot and slams the glass down on the table next to three others. Faith slams a shot glass down in a corresponding row of her own. Germane blinks his eyes and shakes his head. Mike smiles, impressed. The topless server is standing next to Jennie.
TOPLESS SERVER Anything else?
Jennie’s speech is slurred.
JENNIE Better bring us the bottle.
Neither of the girls see that Mike shakes his head at the topless server on this request. The server leaves. Mike looks at Franklin’s chair. It is empty. He turns his head to look for him. Germane puts his hand on Mike’s shoulder and points with this other. Mike follows the line of Germane’s arm. Franklin is standing at the bar. The bar tender hands Franklin a pack of cigarettes and takes Franklin’s cash. Franklin taps the cigarettes on the bar. He is staring at a woman sitting next to him, a BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND. The BIKER stands next to her. His muscuar arms bulge out of his tank top. There is a leather jacket hung around the chair of the woman next to him with biker insignias on it and dotted with chrome spikes. Franklin taps his cigarettes rhythmically. His stare is uninterrupted. The biker says something to his girlfriend. She pulls her boyfriend close and whispers something in his ear. The biker leaves, not noticing Franklin. Franklin’s tapping becomes more pointed. He leans in toward the biker’s girlfriend and starts talking to her. Mike and Germane look at each other and get out of their seats. The biker’s girlfriend raises her eyebrows at Franklin.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND I have a boyfriend, you know.
FRANKLIN He never has to know.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND He’s in the bathroom.
FRANKLIN By the time he gets back we can be long gone.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND Oh yeah, where we going?
Mike and Germane are there. Mike is standing behind the woman. Germane stands behind Franklin.
GERMANE Pack it up, Franklin, we’re pushing off.
FRANKLIN Hang back a minute, guys, I got something going on here.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND Oh yeah, what do you got going on?
MIKE He’s got nothing going on, ma’am. Franklin. We got business to attend to. Elsewhere.
FRANKLIN Hang back just one minute.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND I don’t know, Franklin. Sounds important.
The biker has returned. He faces Mike.
BIKER These boys giving you trouble, baby?
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND Not yet.
MIKE There’s no trouble here, sir. We were just collecting our friend to go.
GERMANE Let’s. Go.
MIKE There’s no trouble here.
BIKER Not yet.
The biker moves toward Mike. Germane bends down and untucks one leg of his BDUs. He has a 9mm pistol in an akle holster. The biker’s girlfriend sees Germane pull the pistol. With his other arm, Germane grips Franklin’s shoulder and turns him so that he’s facing the bar. His back is to Germane. Germane holds the pistol flat against Franklin’s back, pointed at the biker.
GERMANE Watch it.
Germane cocks the gun. The biker’s girlfriend screams. The bartender and others at the bar look to see the situation, but the bartender can’t see the gun. The biker turns to see what his girlfriend is screaming about.
GERMANE Now. We were just leaving.
Mike comes around the biker toward Germane and Franklin.
MIKE I’ll get the girls.
Mike goes toward the table where Faith and Jennie are laughing and talking, watching the dancers, oblivious. Germane and the biker remain in a staring match. Franklin is stiff. The biker’s girlfriend relaxes somewhat. She looks at the pack of cigarettes. Franklin has stopped tapping them.
BIKER’S GIRLFRIEND Franklin. Gimme a cigarette?
10—EXT STRIP CLUB—NIGHT
The door of the strip club swings closed as Mike walks Faith and Jennie out. It opens again as Germane and Franklin come out behind them. Germane tucks the pistol in the back of his pants and looks behind them. Mike gets in the driver’s seat, Faith and Jennie in the back. Germane gets in the passenger seat and Franklin in the back with the girls. Mike starts the engine and they drive away.
The five of them are driving on the highway in the Jeep. Faith leans against Franklin in the back. Jennie leans up near Mike’s face.
JENNIE Where to now, big boy?
MIKE A surprise.
JENNIE Are you a big fan of surprises?
MIKE Giving or receiving?
JENNIE How about..receiving.
Jennie covers Mike’s eyes with her hands and pulls him back against the head rest. Germane, Faith, and Franklin tense up. Mike doesn’t even react.
MIKE Request permission to change lanes.
Germane looks back.
GERMANE Which way?
GERMANE You’re clear.
Mike swiftly pilots the Jeep one lane to the left. A car approaches them on the right. The Jeep is gradually swaying to the right, toward the approaching car.
GERMANE Need to veer left.
Mike rapidly swerves left.
GERMANE We’re coming up on the exit. Suggest you advise the lady to remove her hands from your eyes.
MIKE Just navigate.
GERMANE Need to change two lanes to the right.
MIKE Can I go now?
GERMANE You’re clear all the way to the other side if you go now.
Mike swerves all the way across the road.
GERMANE A little too far. Back a little.
Mike adjusts. Faith tenses against Franklin. Jennie looks back at Faith (Isn’t this great?).
MIKE Where’s the exit?
GERMANE Eighty yards. A little to the right. Sixty yards. Forty yards. Slightly to the left. Slow down. Twenty yards until the turn off. It’s about a thirty degree angle from the road, maybe twenty-five. Go now. To the right!
Mike barely makes it onto the exit. Faith grabs hold the Jeep.
GERMANE More to the right! Back a little! Okay, straighten out a little to the right. Okay. Fine. Slow down. Slow down!
They drive precariously along the exit toward a residential area.
12—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE—NIGHT
The Jeep approaches a house where many cars are already parked in the street. The Jeep pulls into the empty driveway, or into a spot right in front of the house that is empty. The lights are on all throughout the house. Some people are in the lawn spraying the hose on each other and squealing. Others sit drinking beer in cans on folding lawn furniture. Yet others are on the front porch lounging on delapidated couches and wooden chairs. Music from inside the house comes out to them in the Jeep. Faith and Jennie stare at the house.
FAITH What the hell is this?
MIKE This is home.
Mike gets up.
13—INT MIKE’S HOUSE—NIGHT
Mike goes into the house, Jennie hanging on his arm, Faith, Germane, and Franklin following behind. People are everywhere, drinking beer from cans, talking, making out, watching and screaming at televisions scattered throughout. There is a layer of trash six inches deep on the floor. A girl younger than Faith makes out with a guy on a couch in the living room. The guy reaches down the young girl’s pants. A skinny guy with knappy hair, FREAK BOY, is traveling through the room spasmodically. He sees Mike and swings by to greet him.
FREAK BOY Richards, what’s up my man?
Then, taking in the sight of the girls:
FREAK BOY Looks like you been tossing the nets tonight.
Freak Boy eyes Faith specifically.
FREAK BOY. Where the hella you coming from?
MIKE The fair.
FREAK BOY Ho. Ly. Shit.
Freak Boy sashees up to Faith.
FREAK BOY I don’t believe we’ve met.
FAITH We haven’t.
FREAK BOY Not for a lack of trying, though. You know if I were you I’d stear clear of this guy here. He’s like the North American version of an Indian king cobra. If you know what I mean..
Freak Boy makes himself into a snake striking at Faith and makes hissing and biting sounds. Mike pushes him off.
MIKE Freak Boy.
Freak Boy swings back toward Faith. A girl, DAISY DUKE, comes up and hugs Mike sensually. Mike reciprocates.
FREAK BOY I’ll catch you later.
Mike stops Freak Boy.
MIKE Show them around the house and bring them back when you’re done.
This excites Freak Boy. He responds with genuine appreciation and sarcasm, saluting Mike sloppily.
FREAK BOY Yes, sir! Right this way, ladies, for a cultural tour of the historic mansion of your host here. His presence has had a profound effect on the community. Wait till you see what he’s done with the place. Right this way. Watch your step please.
Freak Boy leads Faith and Jennie to the stairs. There are people there, making out, who block their path. Jennie looks back at Mike as he feels on Daisy Duke.
FREAK BOY Here we have a very nice in-progress Michaelangelo. It’s called, I think, The Lovers. It’s not finished yet, so if you would, please try not to touch it.
They squeeze past the people making out. As the tour party goes up the stairs, Freak Boy chatters.
FREAK BOY None of this wallpaper is permanent. We’re in the process of redecorating this entire stairwell to bring it more in line with the..the, uh..Victorian..neo-Orwellian sort of..thing we have going on here.
At the top of the stairs a girl with long dreadlocks and multiple nasal piercings, CLAIRE, sits, trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to light a cigarette with a lighter. Claire looks up at and speaks to Faith as Faith passes. She is appreciative of Faith’s beauty, but not subserviently so.
CLAIRE You look so pretty. Where did you come from?
In the upstairs hallway, Freak Boy points out the rooms.
FREAK BOY Bedroom. Bathroom. Closet. And in there you’ve got some sort of ritual sacrafice going on, I think..
There is a room with red light coming through the partially open door. Faith looks into the room. Forms move blurrily inside. Faith hears someone inside talking. It is MARCUS.
MARCUS (OS) Katie. Okay..Bite. Nipple.
A human form inside the red room moves more into focus as it approaches the open door. Whoever it is slams the door in Faith’s face. Faith turns around. Freak Boy is right there.
FREAK BOY What should we call you, anyway? You look like a..Marilyn Betty Boop Charles Manson Wednesday Adams like a sort of like a Marilyn Monroe crossed with Madonna’s baby..maybe..with a pinch of Jackie O? Maybe some La Femme Nakita? Um..
Freak Boy struggles for the perfect descriptor.
FREAK BOY Faith. Of course.
He turns to Jennie.
FREAK BOY My best guess would be..Renee.
JENNIE Jennie, you spas. Can we go downstairs I wanna see Mike.
FREAK BOY Sure sure. I guess that just about concludes our tour. I hope you ladies had a good time and I hope you will join us again next time you’re in the country. So. Let’s go downstairs, shall we?
Freak Boy holds out his arm for Faith. Jennie goes toward the stairs. Faith follows, leaving Freak Boy standing there by himself. He claps his hands together lightly.
FREAK BOY Okay then.
14—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM, UPSTAIRS HALLWAY—NIGHT
Jennie goes up to Mike, who is talking with Daisy Duke. Jennie taps on Daisy Duke’s shoulder. Daisy Duke turns around. Jennie looks at her, questioning pointedly. Daisy Duke turns her back on Jennie to face Mike. This pisses Jennie off.
DAISY DUKE. What is her problem?
Mike leans close to Daisy Duke and says something quietly to her. Jennie crosses her arms. Daisy Duke stomps her foot, turns, and pushes her way past Jennie. Jennie is about to go after her but Mike stops Jennie and pulls her close. Jennie smiles, completely satiated by Mike’s gesture. Mike and Jennie move out of the living room through the front door. Faith is standing at the bottom of the stairs. Freak Boy comes around from behind her. He has left his tour guide identity behind.
FREAK BOY Hey what do you say we take a trip outside? Check out the back yard..maybe insert ourselves into a friendly menage-a-quatre?
FAITH I don’t think so.
FREAK BOY You want something to drink? I can’t imagine the fair had much to offer in the way of..beverages.
Faith lights up.
FAITH Sure. Why don’t you bring me something. I’ll wait here.
FREAK BOY You’ll wait here?
FAITH Right here. Make it something strong, okay, I wanna get really trashed tonight.
FREAK BOY Extra strong. Martini or something. I’ll bring you a drink. Wait here.
FREAK BOY Be right back.
Freak Boy disappears into the kitchen. Faith makes sure he can’t see her and goes upstairs. As she goes up the stairs, Claire, who still hasn’t managed to light her cigarette, is just standing up. Claire goes to the door with the red light and tries the handle. It is locked. Marcus speaks from within.
MARCUS (OS) Who is it?
CLAIRE Let me in it’s Claire.
Faith goes up behind Claire. The door opens, and Claire goes in. Faith follows right behind her.
15—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: UPSTAIRS BEDROOM—NIGHT
Claire walks past Marcus but Marcus stops Faith. He is shirtless.
MARCUS Who is this?
Claire turns and sees Faith.
CLAIRE Oh. Don’t worry, she’s cool.
Marcus looks at Claire skeptically. He closes the door with Faith inside and locks it. There is different music in this room, though the beats of the main party music underly it. The room is smoky. People sit in a circle passing a wooden pipe they are using to smoke pot. There is a makeshift cot formed of blankets that some of the people are sitting on. On one side of the room, cardboard boxes have been inverted to serve as a dresser. A broken mirror fragment rests there, hung with jewlery. Marcus gestures toward the circle of people. He speaks to Faith.
MARCUS Please. Make yourself comfortable.
Faith moves toward the circle. People move to make room for her. There are seven people in the room all together, Marcus, Faith, Claire, JANEL, KATIE, JOEL, and SCOTT. Everyone already seated is shirtless. Katie retains her bra. Janel is bare-chested. Marcus walks halfway round the circle, duck-duck-goose style, then takes his place on the floor.
MARCUS Now. Where were we?
Joel is sitting next to Faith. He takes two healthy drags off the pipe and offers it to Faith. She accepts and takes a small hit. Marcus is waiting for her.
MARCUS Go ahead. Get a good one.
Faith stalls, then sees that his offer is genuine. She takes a long drag off the pipe and passes it along.
MARCUS Good. Now. To play this game—what is your name?
MARCUS Faith. To play this game, the first thing you have to do, as you may have already figured out, is take off your shirt.
Faith looks at Claire. Claire has already taken hers off.
CLAIRE We’re not perverts or anything—
MARCUS Yes we are. We are perverts. We are also a great many other things, in addition to being perverts, but we are, without a doubt, perverts. So. To play this game, if you want to play this game, if you want to stay in this room, even, we’re going to need you to take off your shirt.
Faith looks around at the people. They are looking at her.
MARCUS Anything else you do is up to you. No one’s going to force you to do anything in this room, except to take your shirt off. Even on this point no one is forcing you. It’s just that if you want to continue sitting in this room, in this circle, we need you to take your shirt off..now.
Faith looks at Marcus. She starts unbuttoning her shirt.
MARCUS Good. Now. Moving right along. It’s Janel’s turn. Janel, would you explain the rules?
Janel looks directly at Faith. She has two glow-in-the-dark dice in her hand and she rattles them around as she speaks.
JANEL We go in a circle. If I have the dice this time then Katie here will have them next time. After that Joel, then you..you get the poINT When it’s your turn you say the name of someone in the circle—
MARCUS Feel free to point until you learn our names.
JANEL Yes, feel free to point. So you say someone’s name, or point at them, or whatever, and then you roll the dice. Whatever it says on the dice..the person has to do to you. That’s basically it. So it’s my turn. I say someone’s name. I would say you since you just walked in and you’re looking mighty nice in that bra, if you don’t mind my saying, but I figure I should give you some time to warm up—
JOEL. You can say her if you want to.
Janel asks Faith:
JANEL Is that okay with you?
JANEL Okay, fine, I’ll say you. What’s your name again?
JANEL Okay, Faith. Now I roll the dice.
Janel rolls the dice.
JANEL Okay, this one says leg. Claire, can you see that? I can’t quite—
JANEL Blow. Okay, so, according to the rules of the game, you would now..blow..on..my leg.
People look at Faith wonderingly. There is a moment when no one is sure if Faith is going to stay in the room at all. Faith’s feelings are not clarified by her expression. Then, under the attentive gaze of everyone in the room, Faith rolls forward over her knees and crawls slowly toward Janel. She puts her hands on Janel’s legs.
FAITH Unzip your pants.
JANEL Excuse me?
Faith just waits for her.
JANEL You want me to unzip my pants?
FAITH I can’t blow on your leg while you have pants on.
Janel unzips her pants. The others watch.
FAITH Pull them down.
Janel gets up on her knees and shuffles her pants down a little. Faith pulls them down more and gently pushes Janel into a seated kneel. Faith unties her own hair ribbon and lets her hair caress Janel’s legs. She lays her head on and between Janel’s legs and blows on Janel’s upper inner thigh. Janel flushes and smiles elatedly. Joel inhales deeply off the pipe, which has come back around.
MARCUS I think she has the idea.
Faith comes up. Janel holds Faith’s face in her hands.
JANEL Have you played this game before?
Faith laughs and starts crawling back to her spot in the circle. She turns her head to look at Claire. Claire exhales smoke with her bottom lip out, sending it up at an angle. She smiles at Faith in a sideways glance, then looks at Marcus.
CLAIRE See? Told you she was cool.
16—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT—NIGHT
Jennie and Mike are sitting in Mike’s Jeep in front of Mike’s house. People are still playing and hanging out in the yard and on the porch. Jennie is cuddled up with Mike. She is drinking straight from a bottle of hard liquor.
JENNIE Want some?
MIKE I’ll take a swig.
Their bodies shift against each other with the passing of the bottle. It’s clear they like each other, but there is still some physical uncomfortableness.
JENNIE So..you got a girlfriend?
MIKE That’s a negative.
JENNIE That girl you was feeling on..?
MIKE ..just a friend.
JENNIE So it’s not a problem, then?
MIKE Not a problem.
17—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: UPSTAIRS BATHROOM—NIGHT
*Faith is in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, leaning forward, her eyes closed. She is completely still. She is topless except her bra. The walls peel and crumble, revealing pipe and stone. The floor’s gunky hexagonal tile is littered with toilet paper scraps and old trash. Tiles are missing. The mirror is missing a large chunk of silver in the corner. The room is lit by a single light bulb that dangles by its cord. Faith gets up. She moves slowly. Her eyes look tired. She wipes, flushes, and leaves the room.**
18—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: UPSTAIRS HALLWAY—NIGHT
Faith goes to the room with the red light and tries the handle. It is locked. She knocks on the door, waits. No one answers. She knocks again.
FAITH Come on, it’s Faith.
Faith waits. She bangs on the door.
FAITH Hey! Lemme in!
She bangs harder.
His voice comes at her muffled through the door.
MARCUS (OS) Can I help you?
FAITH It’s Faith.
A long pause.
MARCUS (OS) Sorry. What did you say your name was?
MARCUS (OS. I don’t know anyone named Faith.
FAITH I just left to go to the bathroom?
MARCUS (OS) I see. So what brings you back here?
FAITH I want to come in.
MARCUS (OS) I’m afraid that’s not possible.
Faith tries the handle again. Still locked. She is pissed.
FAITH Well I’m gonna need my shirt.
Marcus answers absently.
MARCUS (OS) Sorry..
Faith bangs on the door.
FAITH At least gimme my goddamn shirt you fuck!
She hits the door with the ball of her hand, but there is no response.
FAITH Some game.
She grudgingly goes toward the stairs, looking back more than once at the closed door.
19—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM, KITCHEN—NIGHT
Faith comes downstairs into the living room. Jennie and Mike are now on a couch in the living room. They are making out heavily, but Jennie is so drunk she can barely coordinate basic movements. Mike doesn’t seem to care. Faith goes up to them and tries to get Jennie’s attention.
FAITH Jennie. Jennie. Can we please go home? Jennie. I’m tired.
Mike looks away from Jennie, scanning Faith’s body.
MIKE You forgot your shirt.
FAITH Your friends stole it. Jennie, I’m ready to go.
Jennie finally realizes Faith is talking to her. She turns her head to Faith and coos, numb, happy. Faith grabs a blanket from the couch. Mike turns Jennie’s face back to him and they continue making out. Faith goes through the kitchen and stands in the door that leads to the back yard. People are sitting in a kiddie pool in the grass drinking and laughing. Faith sits down in the doorway, wrapping the blanket around her shoulders. People walk through the doorway, stepping over and around her as they go, couples and individuals wandering aimlessly in and out of the house.
20—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: BACK YARD, KITCHEN, LIVING ROOM—NIGHT
Faith wakes up sitting in a lawn chair that is behind the house. She has the blanket wrapped around her. The kiddie pool is void of people. Trash and beer cans float on its surface. Faith goes inside. In the kitchen, two boys sit on the counter, drinking and smoking cigarettes. Faith goes into the living room. The couch where Jennie and Mike were making out is now taken by another couple, passed out in each other’s arms. Faith lies down on the floor near this couch. She has to move several cups and cans to do so. She pulls the blanket around her, shifts her body, trying to get comfortable, and closes her eyes.
21—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
Faith wakes up to Jennie shaking her, to the sight of Jennie’s face and frizzy hair four inches away.
JENNIE Faith. Get up. Come on, girl, time to go. Time to get up. Time to go.
Faith sits up and gets a better look at Jennie. Jennie looks like she hasn’t slept at all. Jennie helps Faith stand up and leads her out of the house, both of them stepping over trash and people. Jennie holds one of Faith’s hands in hers, and with the other, Faith pulls the blanket along with her. They push open the screen door and stumble into the daylight.
Faith and Jennie are sitting across from each other in McDonald’s eating fries and milkshakes. Jennie is completely disheveled. Her hair goes in every direction. She is tapping her feet on the floor ninety miles a minute. Faith’s legs are off the floor, in the seat with her. She is wrapped in the blanket from the party.
FAITH So what exactly happened between you two?
JENNIE Oh, you know..
Faith dips her fried individually in ketchup as she eats them, coating each one as completely as possible with a thick layer of sauce. Jennie skips the ketchup, but seasons each one with salt before she eats it. Jennie looks at one of her fries optimistically.
JENNIE Wanna go out tonight?
FAITH Give me a few hours to think about it.
Jennie stares at the table. Faith feels bad.
FAITH Maybe to a movie or something.
Jennie likes this idea. She smiles and rakes through piles of salt with a fry.
FAITH Just you and me, though.
Jennie looks at Faith, understanding.
JENNIE Yeah. Just chillin.
They eat more fries.
*Faith and Jennie walk along the sidewalk outside of and away from McDonalds. They are in an area densely populated with fast food and gas stations. Cars and busses pass by on busy roads. Jennie’s walk is bouncy. Some of her usual energy is returning. Faith looks at Jennie cheerfully. Jennie skips for a step or two. They are talking as they walk away, but we hear their voices as though we were right there.**
FAITH How many rock stars does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
JENNIE I don’t know.
FAITH None. Rock stars only screw in jacuzzis. How many goth kids does it take to change a lightbulb?
JENNIE I don’t know.
FAITH They wouldn’t change it. They like everything black.. How many prostitutes does it take to change a lightbulb?
JENNIE How many?
FAITH Who needs lights? How many husbands does it take to change a lightbulb?
FAITH None. Let the bitch cook in the dark.
Faith still has the blanket wrapped around her as they recede into the city landscape.
24—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: UPSTAIRS BATHROOM—NIGHT
Faith is in the upstairs bathroom at Mike’s house. The bathroom is in worse shape than before. The walls have yellowed, peeled more. The shower curtain has been ripped down. It lays crumpled over the side of the tub. If the bathroom has any cabinets or drawers, they are open. The medicine cabinet is open. A moth hits the exposed overhead lightbulb again and again. Faith is sitting on the toilet. Her eyes are closed. She is humming nervously, tapping her teeth together. She opens her eyes and leans down to a piece of cellophane that supports a sloppy line of crystal methamphetamine. Faith inhales it. She enters a deep memory state. We see flashes of what she is remembering. Her sixth birthday party. Candle flames wavering. Children squealing. A boy coming up behind her and pulls down her pants. A six-year-old Faith whispering in the same boy’s ear (“Show me yours.”). Someone bangs on the outside of the bathroom door. Faith comes back to the present. The person bangs again. Faith screams at whoever it is. Her voice is different than before, raspy, screeching.
FAITH Fuck, you! Go, away!
There is no banging for a bit. Faith wipes herself and gets off the toilet. The banging starts again. Faith slams the medicine cabinet and looks at herself in the mirror briefly. Faith sees how bad she looks. She fumbles with the lock on the door, unlocking it, turning the handle, pushing the door. It opens one inch. Something is blocking it on the outside. Faith shoves the door open sharply with both hands.
25—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: UPSTAIRS HALLWAY—NIGHT
Jennie is standing in the hallway with her back to the bathroom door. It shoots open, knocking her forward. She stumbles, but doesn’t fall. There are others lounging in the hallway, coming and going, in and out of doors, up and down the stairs, smoking, drinking. It’s another house party. The music is darker this time. Everything about the place and the people expresses a further progressed sense of decay. People are more shifty. Trashier. Suspicious in their movements. Jennie is wearing a very short red dress, which, if worn by another person in another context, could be an evening party dress. It is badly wrinkled and coming off one of her shoulders. A shoulder pad sticks blatantly out of the neck of the dress. Jennie gets her balance and turns around to see Faith sliding through the open space of the doorway. Jennie puts her arms around Faith’s neck affectionately. Faith twitches in Jennie’s embrace. She stays in it, but is uncomfortable with the closeness. Jennie’s energy is smooth, her own unique brand of clumsy. Faith is snappy, fidgety, like a mouse. Her eyes focus on the irrelevant. She is somewhere else.
JENNIE Keep a girl waiting, why don’t you? What do you got for me?
FAITH “What do I got for you?”
JENNIE You gonna let me in on this, or what? Well, girl.. You gonna let me play too?
Faith has drifted away.
Faith snaps back.
JENNIE You got some of that for me?
Faith stares at her, deciding how to say it.
JENNIE You did save some for me. You did. I know you did.
Faith just looks at her.
JENNIE You did it all? Bitch! You’re such a fucking bitch! I leave you alone for five minutes and you do all my crystal..!
FAITH It wasn’t yours.
JENNIE That doesn’t matter. You think that matters? What matters is that you said you were gonna share with me and you..didn’t.
Jennie points her finger into Faith’s chest, tapping twice, as she says “you” and “didn’t.” Faith mumbles something unintelligable. Jennie leans in exaggeratedly.
JENNIE What was that?
Faith says it again.
JENNIE I didn’t catch that, Faith, you’re mumbling.
Faith grabs Jennie by her frizzy fucking hair. She holds Jennie’s ear near her mouth. She speaks coldly, absently.
FAITH I said. We’ll get. More.
Jennie pulls her head out of Faith’s grip and points a mean finger directly in Faith’s face (I’m warning you.). Faith slaps Jennie’s hand with a smack. Jennie recoils.
FAITH Watch it.
26—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—NIGHT
Freak Boy is sitting on Mike’s bed watching TV and eating compulsively from a box of Good ‘N’ Plenty’s. He’s watching an old western. He’s the only one in the bedroom. Faith opens the door and stands in the doorway while she talks. Behind Faith we can see hints of the party pulse.
FAITH Where’s Mike?
Freak Boy’s eyes stay on the screen.
FREAK BOY Grocery store.
FAITH Where the fuck is he?
FREAK BOY Said we needed milk and eggs. Went to the store.
Faith is incredulous. Freak Boy looks at her.
FREAK BOY Have you seen the fridge lately? We’re out of everything.
Faith wants to say something, but she can’t. She shuts the door. After a second she re-opens it and glares at Freak Boy, who is still looking at the spot where Faith was staning before, where she is again standing now, Freak Boy having not looked back to the TV.
FREAK BOY Mike is very concerned about my nutrition.
Freak Boy scans her figure pointedly.
FREAK BOY And yours.
27—EXT SOMEONE’S HOME—NIGHT
It is raining, a late summer lightning storm. We see the black Jeep, zipped up, pull into the driveway of a home in the suburbs with no lights on and come to a stop outside a closed garage door. Mike, Germane, and Franklin get out. They are dressed in black suits, putting on black masks as their feet hit the concrete. They are strapped with guns and gear. Mike makes a sign to the other two, and they split off from him, crossing through the back yard. They go over the fence into the back yard of the house next door. Mike goes to the back of the Jeep. He unzips the back window, pulls out a 9mm handgun, pops in a clip. He is wearing a scary-looking fitted neoprene mask. He has hand grenades snapped into his suit. He looks down at the 9mm, breathes in. He says quietly to himself:
MIKE Pain. Honor. Command. Resolve.
He cocks the gun and heads off through the back yard toward the fence.
28—INT SOMEONE’S HOME—NIGHT
A MAN in his late forties sits in a leather recliner watching a sitcom on TV. A GIRL, his fourteen-year-old daughter, is the only occupant of a wrap-around couch on the other side of the room. She has a math book open on her lap, pencil in hand, a piece of looseleaf paper on the book. She stares at the television. The man has a remote control in his hand. After a laugh in the sitcom he switches to another channel. Commercial. Switches again. A nature show, underwater animals. The girl on the couch looks down at her homework. The man switches back to the sitcom. The daughter looks up at the TV. They watch as another joke is being set up. Then the TV screen goes black. Dad tries the remote. Cable doesn’t respond. He and the girl look at each other, wondering. The dad gets up and checks the cable box. Tries the power. Off. On. Nothing. The girl is beside him.
GIRL Let me take a look at it.
MAN Maybe a tree fell on the wire?
The dad leaves the room while the girl examines the cable box. The dad goes through the dining room, the kitchen, looks out into the back yard. It is storming heavily, but no fallen trees are visible. He goes back through the kitchen, starting to speak.
MAN I didn’t see any—
He comes into the living room, or into view of the living room. Two men, dressed completely in black, masked, are standing there. They both have Uzis strapped to their bodies. One has a coil of rope on his back. They both wear neoprene gloves. One has an AK-47 pressed to his shoulder, aimed at the man, the girl’s father. The other holds a 9mm handgun to the daughter’s head. A 9mm muzzle held by a gloved hand comes up against the father’s head from the side in the same instant that he sees the living room. Rotate to see Mike standing beside/behind the father, Mike’s gun arm straight and steadied across his other as a rest.
MIKE. You make any sound louder than a pin drop, you die.
The man is frozen stiff. Mike raises his voice a little. He doesn’t take his eyes off the man.
MIKE Same goes for you, hon. You got that?
The girl nods.
29—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—NIGHT
Faith and Jennie are sitting on either side of Freak Boy, at the end of Mike’s bed, facing the TV. Light from the TV can be seen on their skin and clothes. Freak Boy is still eating from the box of Good ‘N’ Plenty’s.
FREAK BOY I don’t know what kind of deal you have with Mike. My deal..is cash..for shit.
Freak Boy makes a here..there motion with his hand. This..for that. Jennie looks at him blankly.
FREAK BOY Cash..for shit.
JENNIE Yeah yeah yeah we got it whiz boy. Gimme those.
Jennie grabs the box of candy from Freak Boy. Faith puts a hand on Freak Boy’s leg.
FAITH Listen, Freak Boy, we have the cash. We just don’t have all of it. We’ll give you some now..
Faith puts what cash she has in Freak Boy’s open hand, the one that was holding the box of Good ‘N’ Plenty’s.
FAITH ..we’ll give you the rest tomorrow.
Freak Boy makes no effort to take the cash Faith is giving him. Faith closes Freak Boy’s hand around it and removes her own from the entanglement. Freak Boy looks to Faith.
Freak Boy is considering it. He turns to Jennie. She is eating his candy, watching the TV. It takes her a bit to realize he’s looking at her. When she does realize it, she turns to him.
JENNIE Pretty please? With a cherry on top? What do you want from me?
Freak Boy stares at Jenny, considering their offer. Then he places Faith’s money on the bed in defeat.
FREAK BOY Sorry.
He grabs his Good ‘N’ Plenty’s from Jennie. Jennie flops backward on the bed.
Faith kneels behind Freak Boy and speaks suggestively in his ear. Jennie rolls her eyes at the tactic.
FAITH. When was the last time you got laid?
Freak Boy’s attention is with her. Then the bedroom door opens. Mike stands looking at Faith and Freak Boy while Germane and Franklin file in around him. They are still suited up, minus the guns and hand grenades, carrying their masks. Germane carries a case to the closet and leaves it there. Franklin tosses his mask on a chair beside the bed and detaches the coil of rope from his suit. Both Germane and Franklin pull off their black tops and change into short-sleeved t-shirts that are laying, folded, in the room. As soon as the guys come in, Jennie sits up on the bed. At the same time, Faith redirects all her attention to Mike. She leaves Freak Boy on the bed, going to Mike and placing her hands on him while she talks.
FAITH Could you have a talk with Freak Boy? We want a couple of bumps and he’s being a real asshole.
Faith says this quietly, only to Mike, but Freak Boy responds anyway.
FREAK BOY They don’t have the money.
MIKE Just give it to her. I’ll cover you.
FAITH Thank you thank you thank you thank you.
She kisses Mike, a peck. Freak Boy reaches into a pocket and hands Jennie two caps, which she receives greedily. Jennie interrupts Faith’s flirting with Mike, approaching them and making eyes (“let’s go”) with Faith, then lingering at the door. Faith detaches herself from Mike, and the girls start out of the room. Mike comes around to stand near Freak Boy, to see what’s on TV.
FREAK BOY Musta been a good run.
MIKE Better than last time.
Freak Boy perks up.
FREAK BOY No shit.
The girls are lingering outside the door, listening. Germane shuts it in their faces. Faith stares at the door but Jennie breaks Faith away. They go through the living room. All the places to sit are taken by people. A few people are dancing, a few others standing. Faith and Jennie come up behind a couch where people are sitting watching TV. Jennie hands one of the bumps to Faith.
JENNIE This..is called sharing.
Faith has the bump open and is about to sniff.
JENNIE Now..Wait! This is..a special hit..in honor of your birthday.
Jennie holds the bump up like a glass in a toast.
JENNIE Happy birthday.
Faith chinks the bump with Jennie’s and they each sniff theirs. As it hits them, they fall into each other, fall over the back of the couch onto the people who are sitting there, holding each other and smiling and laughing uncontrollably. The people they fall into are not pleased, but, recognizing the pair, they move out from under them without complaINT People are still sitting on the arms and edges of the couch as Faith and Jennie lie together.
FAITH I love you, Jennie, you know that?
JENNIE I know, Faith, I love you too.
Faith kisses Jennie on the mouth, another peck. Someone sitting on the edge of the couch smoking is distracted by the way the girls are lying with each other. The person’s cigarette hand lowers too close to a layer of trash on a lamp table and the trash catches fire. Someone else standing nearby shouts to the smoker and the smoker, turning to see what is being shouted about, knocks over a shot glass filled with red liquid that was sitting on the lamp table. The liquid catches fire. Flames ignite the lamp shade. People jump back, yelling. Faith and Jennie are so into each other that they don’t even notice what’s going on until someone, trying to put out the lamp shade portion of the fire, knocks the lamp off the table. Jennie glances away from Faith. Faith lifts her head to see the action. People are jumping around like idiots, doing nothing effective to help put out the fire. Faith yells at them.
FAITH Just get a fucking fire extinguisher!
She assumes someone will do it, and goes back to laughing with her friend.
30—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—NIGHT
The living room is quiet and dark. The couch is empty. The lamp shade is burned, lamp lying on the floor. Faith lies near that mess, in front of the couch on the floor. The TV is off. Faith stirs, rolls over, wakes up. She stumbles up onto the couch and looks around the room, getting her bearings. She steps very near a patch of broken glass as she goes, in socked feet, toward Mike’s bedroom.
31—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—NIGHT
Mike and Freak Boy are standing over bundles of cash, most in small denominations, stacks of crumpled twenties. There are brown paper bags wrapped in rubber bands laid out in a grid across the bed, a pile of empty Zip-Lock bags, a set of druggists’ scales and metric measuring spoons. There is a 9mm handgun sitting on the chair beside the bed with the neoprene mask that Franklin put there earlier. Freak Boy is loading the wrapped paper bags into a black Nike duffel bag. There are two raps on the closed door. Mike and Freak Boy look at each other. Freak Boy stops what he’s doing. Faith’s voice comes through to them:
FAITH (OS) It’s Faith.
MIKE It’s open.
Freak Boy goes back to loading the duffel bag as Faith comes in. She is groggy with sleep, looking at the floor as she walks. She has already closed the door behind her when she sees what the guys are doing. She stops walking.
MIKE Come here.
Faith goes to Mike and puts her arms around him. Freak Boy eyes them critically.
MIKE Having fun?
FAITH I need to talk to you.
Faith looks at Freak Boy. After a few seconds Mike gets the picture. He looks at Freak Boy.
MIKE We can finish this later.
Grudgingly, Freak Boy stopps filling the duffel bag. He walks around the bed and goes out of the room. He leaves the bedroom door open. Mike goes over and closes it. He comes back to Faith, who stands facing him with her back to the side of the bed. Faith messes around with Mike’s shirt. She’s looking at his chest when she says:
FAITH I want some more.
Mike is genuinely surprised.
MIKE More crys?
MIKE Freak Boy says you’re out of cash.
She sits down with her legs parted and pulls Mike in close to her. He looks down at her. She looks up at him.
FAITH I know.
32—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT PORCH—DAY
Jennie is laying in a porch swing staring at Freak Boy. It is light outside. Freak Boy is sitting on the swing next to her, completely upright, sleeping. Jennie’s legs lay over his lap, bare feet propped on the arm rest of the swing. She has a plastic straw protruding from her mouth. It is mangled and creased from her chewing. She bites the straw as she gazes at Freak Boy. With one of her feet, she feels around at his crotch. Gradually Freak Boy comes to, looks down at the foot in his crotch, and follows the line of leg over to Jennie’s grinning face, frizzy hair, wild eyes, chewing on a straw. She puts her foot on his head and her toes play with his ear. Freak Boy looks at her with a mixture of skepticism and hopefulness. Jennie pinches his ear between two of her toes and pulls him closer to her. He looks at her face. She taps her closed lips with the straw. He comes up on her and she pulls him closer. They start to kiss. They kiss at length, Freak Boy positioning himself between Jennie’s legs. Jennie shifts awkwardly under his body. When his hand goes to her chest she pulls it off. They continue to kiss. In not too long a while Freak Boy’s hand is back on Jennie’s chest. She pulls it off again. Freak Boy reaches down to her waist. Jennie pushes his face away from hers with her hand.
JENNIE Okay no n-n-n-no. No. No. No!
On her first post-stutter “No” Jennie taps Freak Boy in the chest. On the next one she pushes him away from her forcefully. On the last one she pushes him completely off the swing. He lands on his feet, though stumbling.
JENNIE I said kiss..
She taps the straw on her lips.
JENNIE ..not fuck.
She taps the straw on her cooter.
FREAK BOY Fine. Relax.
JENNIE Fucking hornball.
FREAK BOY Chill. Run around the block or something. Hyperactive..
JENNIE First thing in the morning..
FREAK BOY ..fucking..diesel dyke.
JENNIE What?! What you say?
FREAK BOY I said you’re too fucking agressive. You need to go run around the block or something. Get some of that energy out.
Jennie is incensed. Her eyes narrow.
JENNIE Lace it up, then. You wanna get some energy out? Step into the fucking ring. Be a man, don’t be a pussy. Come on!
Jennie dances around like a prizefighter.
JENNIE Lace it up, bitch. Let’s go.
Freak Boy shakes his head at Jennie like she’s crazy. Jennie stops hopping.
JENNIE Are you gonna lace it up, or what?
Jennie is heedless to the fact that Freak Boy is not combatting her, that he’s not even recognizing her attack with a defense. Freak Boy turns to leave.
JENNIE Ding ding ding!
Jennie punches Freak Boy in the back of the head. He winces.
JENNIE Round one!
Jennie goes up to him and, grabbing his shoulders, knees him. He doubles over and Jennie kicks him as hard as she can, throwing him down the stairs off of the front porch onto the concrete walkway. In his fall, the concrete scrapes Freak Boy badly. There is a large bleeding scrape across his forearm. He raises himself from the ground a little, looking silently up at Jennie. She is bouncing up and down with both hands in the air, victorious. Jennie sees Freak Boy staring. She stops bouncing, a bit self-conscious. She masks her embarrasment with affected toughness.
JENNIE Learn how to take a punch, champ.
Jennie turns her back on him, opens the screen door, and goes inside the house.
33—INT MIKE’S HOUSE—DAY
The house is desolate. Jennie goes through the living room to Mike’s bedroom door. It is closed. Jennie knocks, longer than a person would normally knock. There is no answer.
JENNIE I know you’re fucking in there. I’m ready to go, Faith. Tired of Mr. Freakity Freak Boy trying to go down my pants every five minutes.
Jennie waits a second.
She knocks some more.
JENNIE Faith, open the fucking door. I want to go home.
She keeps knocking. Then she stops. No sound comes from inside. Jennie puts her hand on the door handle. Waits a second. Turns it. Unlocked. Turns it all the way, slowly opens the door. Then, seeing what’s inside, opens it the rest of the way real fast.
34—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: BEDROOM—DAY
Faith is lying on the bed naked, on her side, turned away from the door. Her ankles are tightly bound together with rope. A loose cord connects her feet with the bottom end of the bed. Her wrists are similarly bound and connected to the top end of the bed. The room is in disarray. The paper bags that were in a neat grid on the bed are now strewn on the floor. Jennie sees Faith’s head, covered with something black. Jennie goes over and crawls onto the bed. She puts a hand on Faith’s shoulder and turns her partway onto her back. Faith is wearing one of the scary neoprene masks from the home invasion. Her eyes are open. For a split second they do not move. Then they shift, seeing Jennie, recognizing the friend. Jennie leans in close to her. Her voice is quiet, gentle, concerned.
JENNIE You okay?
Faith is in pain. She closes her eyes. Jennie puts her hand down near Faith’s leg, trying to turn Faith all the way over on her back. When Jennie puts her hand down it meets a puddle of crust on the sheet. She looks over and sees it is dried blood, radiating in a stain from Faith’s body. Jennie’s verbal reaction is one of regret that this has happened, regret that she was just yelling at Faith through the closed door.
JENNIE Aww, fuck me..
Jennie looks around. She goes up to Faith’s head, which is covered with the neoprene mask. Jennie carefully takes the mask off of Faith. When it’s off, Faith turns her own head to look at Jennie. Faith’s face is badly bruised.
35—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT—DAY
Medics carry Faith out through the front door of the house on a stretcher. They take her down the front steps and out to the street and load her in the back of an ambulance. Freak Boy watches from the porch, where he sits nursing his arm and smoking a cigarette. Jennie comes out after the medics carring Faith’s clothes. The medics let her get in the back of the wagon with Faith. They close up the back. The driver comes around to the front and gets in. They drive away down a street whose trees show the first signs of autumn.
36—INT MOVIE THEATRE: AUDITORIUM
A movie is playing, auditorium half full of people. In one of the rows Faith and Mike sit side by side. Mike is wearing his military uniform with braided ropes and medals hanging off of it. Faith is holding an extra large tub of popcorn in her lap. With one hand, she feeds herself popcorn while staring at the movie screen. Her other hand is in Mike’s lap. She is giving him a hand job. He tries to keep his eyes on the screen, but he is visibly distracted by Faith’s touch. Faith has no trouble managing Mike, the popcorn, and the movie all at once. Mike’s pleasure increases. Faith gets a cramp in her forearm and stops, pulling her arm back to her own space, her face visibly pained, rubbing her arm with her other hand to relax it.
Mike speaks at his regular volume.
MIKE What’s the problem?
FAITH A cramp.
Mike’s voice gets louder. He speaks of unfinished business:
MIKE What the fuck is the problem?
FAITH I have a cramp in my arm! Give me a second—
MIKE How can you ever become anything unless you finish what you start.
His “finish what you start” is yelling at her. Other people in the theatre are looking at them. Mike starts fastening his pants, tucking in his shirt.
MIKE Damn you.
This hurts Faith’s feelings. She sulks, on the verge of tears tears, still rubbing her arm. When Mike is finished tucking in his shirt he composes himself, then speaks to Faith.
MIKE If you ever do that to me again—
Faith has had enough. She stands up, spilling the popcorn all over Mike and a couple in front of them. When she stands up, we can see that she is pregnant. Her belly is about as big as it could get. Faith storms up the aisle of the theatre. Mike stands and turns around, yelling at Faith across the darkness of the auditorium.
MIKE Do not leave when I’m talking to you.
Faith continues out.
MIKE If you walk out of here you will not have a home to go to.
*Faith walks out.**
37—EXT MOVIE THEATRE—DAY
It is summer again. Faith rushes out into the light. She is walking fast, through the parking lot. Mike comes out after her, catches up with her, grabs her wrist, stops her, turns her around. The way he holds her is physically menacing.
MIKE Do not ever again act like that in public. You hear me?
Faith is afraid Mike is going to hit her.
MIKE Now. I’m going to take you to this car..and you finish what you started.
Faith wriggles in his clutch.
FAITH Let..go of me.
Mike lets go of Faith and then immediately slaps her face. It turns red. Faith’s eyes start to well.
MIKE I find it extremely unpleasant to be led on by you and then dropped, like nothing was happening, right in the middle of it.
FAITH Now you know what I feel like half the time.
Faith jerks her arm free of Mike’s grip, and heads away from Mike.
MIKE Your behavior lately is totally unacceptable, Faith. Faith! Stop walking, turn around, come back here and listen to what I’m telling you.
Faith stops walking, but not because of what Mike is saying. The oddest look comes over her face. She looks down at her legs. Clear liquid is running out of her. She turns her head to Mike. He sees it, is confused.
MIKE You piss yourself, woman?
FAITH My water broke. We have to go to the hospital.
MIKE Right now?
Faith nods. Mike looks at the theatre building, then at Faith.
38—INT HOSPITAL: DELIVERY ROOM—DAY
Faith is lying in a hospital bed. Several DOCTORs stand around her, talking to her, administering drugs intravenously. NURSEs come and go, following the doctor’s orders. Mike and Jennie are in the room, standing away from Faith.
DOCTOR. You’re doing fine, Faith, doing fine. I’m gonna need you to give me one real big push right now.
Faith grunts a push. A nurse holds her hand.
DOCTOR. Good. Give me a little more now.
Jennie chastises Mike. He is holding a McDonald’s bag and eating a burger.
JENNIE I’m gonna lead you through a review of some basic concepts. Okay? First thing. Never, ever slap a girl while she’s pregnant.
Mike turns away. Jennie gets in his face.
JENNIE You got that? If I ever, ever find out you did that again—
MIKE It doesn’t look like she’s going to be pregnant much longer.
JENNIE Well no shit Sherlock. That don’t mean you can go around slapping on my girl. You reading me loud and clear, commander?
Mike turns to walk away. Jennie steps into his path.
JENNIE Hey! Hey! We’re not through. Lesson two. When a girl’s water breaks, which tends to happen after she’s been pregnant for about nine months, that means she’s about to have the baby. That means you get her to a fucking hospital..right..then. It doesn’t mean you stand around talking about it first—
JENNIE It doesn’t mean you stop for McDonald’s on the way—
MIKE I was—
JENNIE Especially you don’t stop at McDonald’s on the way to the hospital with your pregnant wife and only get food for yourself!!
MIKE She wasn’t hungry.
JENNIE Did you even ask her if she wanted anything?
MIKE She just had a whole bucket of popcorn.
JENNIE Oh, that’s wonderful. How’s she supposed to grow a baby inside her body on movie popcorn you wanna tell me that, Encyclopedia Brown? Try to grow a baby on movie popcorn. You sure your momma didn’t drop you on your head a couple of times when you was little? You ain’t seeming to have it all together these days, Richards. Got some loose screws rattling around your cannon, something.
Mike continues eating his burger. He looks at Jennie with contempt.
JENNIE Richards, you’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’, you know that? One of these days—
MIKE Would you shut the fuck up, woman?
Jennie glares at him. They are interrupted by the sound of Faith moaning as she goes through a contraction. The doctors and nurses help Faith through. Jennie grabs Mike’s McDonalds bag, takes a fry, eats it. She eats another one.
JENNIE One of these days, Richards, I swear..
MIKE You swear what?
Jennie continues eating Mike’s fries. Both of them look toward Faith.
JENNIE You ain’t got no business getting that girl pregnant. Practically just a boy yourself. No job..
Mike looks at her.
JENNIE What? You think you and your goons are gonna keep up that invasion shit?
Mike is uncomfortable with her talking about it in public; it shows.
JENNIE It ain’t no big fucking secret! You think we don’t all know where you be going for three hours in the middle of a party?
Mike looks at her warningly. Jennie shuts up for a moment while they both watch Faith.
JENNIE Do you even know what she wants to name it?
MIKE We haven’t talked about—
JENNIE Danny. If it’s a boy. Bulinda if it’s a girl. You should really start keeping up with these things, now that you’re going to be the father.
Faith is crying from the pain.
NURSE. Honey, you’re going to get through this. Believe me, I’ve done it three times. I know it seems like hell right now but pretty soon it will be over.
DOCTOR. Good, Faith, good. Good. Okay, you can relax for a minute.
JENNIE Still, you might want to consider stashing some of that loot away for retirement.
Mike speaks under his breath.
MIKE If you don’t shut the fuck up, right now—
JENNIE Interest-bearing financial vehicle of some kind. IRA or something. Maybe get a financial advisor—
MIKE If I hear one more word from you today I will snap your neck.
Jennie responds a a volume that ensures everyone in the vicinity can hear her.
JENNIE Oh, that’s great. Witnessing the birth of a child and all you can think of is making death threats on a close personal friend of the mother of your only child! The person without whom she might have never even gotten to a hospital today because your dumb ass can’t tell the difference between water breaking and a woman pissing herself! Can’t tell the difference between a sheep and an ox! Can’t tell the difference between a cooter and an asshole! Can’t tell the difference between a fucking nine to five job with an honest-to-God paycheck and running a bunch of goons around the world staging fucking home invasions!!! Gonna have a new baby in the house and still got high-powered rifles laying out where anybody can see!!!
The doctors and nurses observe this exchange first with rising puzzlement, then with annoyance. Faith doesn’t even notice them. At the end of Jennie’s speech Mike is trying to cover Jennie’s mouth with his hands. Jennie lurches back, resisting, escaping his grip, continuing to shout her speech. One of the doctors motions with his head to one of the nurses. She goes up to Mike and Jennie.
NURSE. You’re going to have to wait outside.
JENNIE A hundred pounds of crystal meth laying around the breakfast table like a hundred pounds of Special K! And I ain’t talking about no Kellog’s, neither.
NURSE. There’s a waiting area in the hallway right outside—
JENNIE You want us to miss the birth of our baby girl?
Jennie indicates Mike and speaks confidentally to the nurse.
JENNIE He’s been waiting all morning for this.
NURSE. After she’s had the baby you can—
JENNIE I’m the fairy godmother. I can’t miss the birth of my—
NURSE. You’re making too much noise to stay here—
JENNIE Oh he’s sorry about the noise. He’ll try to keep it down, I promise—
NURSE. If you’ll just wait outside—
Jennie leans in to the nurse accusingly.
JENNIE And miss the birth of my godchild? You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Jennie peers into the nurse’s face, inspecting. Jennie’s next line is delivered with absolute solidity, complete integrity of statement, as though she has known the nurse for years and it has taken her that long to come to a point where she can say it.
JENNIE I could tell from the moment I first saw you that you were a frigid bitch.
The nurse is shocked. She looks to her colleagues for support. Jennie and Mike look over, too; they hear the sound of a baby screaming. The doctor cuts the umbilical cord.
DOCTOR. It’s a boy!
Jennie rushes over to see the baby. Mike and the nurse follow. Someone cleans the infant’s nose out with suction. The doctor carries the screaming baby to show it to Faith. Faith’s face is flushed and moist from labor.
39—INT HOSPITAL: PARKING GARAGE: ELEVATOR—DAY
There is an old man already in the elevator on one side. He breathes using a mobile oxygen tank. The elevator stops, its doors open, and Mike and Jennie walk in together.
JENNIE —can’t expect me to stand by and watch that kid grow up around the type of shit you have going on in that place. Fucking..Freak Boy is bad enough. But a kid growing up every day seeing..stuff..you know..growing up thinking that shit is normal. Thinking everybody has it. Everybody does it. Whatever. Nobody wants it Martha Stewart, but shit..
Mike looks at her meanly. Jennie puts her arm around him.
JENNIE You reading me a-okay, cowboy? Got your superscope set on five-by-five?
Mike takes Jennie’s arm off of his shoulders.
MIKE If you have any care for that baby you will watch your mouth in public from now on.
JENNIE Gee, I wish my dad had your paternal instincts.
Jennie presses a button on the controls. Mike presses another.
MIKE If you speak in public like you did in there, even once, it will be the last time you get the chance to speak at all.
The old man looks worriedly at Mike and Jennie. The elevator stops, the doors open. Mike gets out. He is walking away from the elevator when, right as the doors are closing, Jennie presses the door open button. She raises her voice to get Mike’s attention.
JENNIE Guess I’ll get that bump off you later, then.
Mike comes rapidly back toward the elevator. Jennie presses the door close button but they don’t close for another few seconds. During them, Mike draws a 9mm handgun from somewhere in the back of his uniform. Standing outside the doors, he holds the gun to Jennie’s forehead. The old man’s body shakes at this development. The elevator doors start to close and Mike pulls his hand back. The doors close completely.
40—INT HOSPITAL: PARKING GARAGE—DAY
Mike walks to the Jeep. He goes to the back and unzips the cover. He lifts up a cloth. Other weapons are there. He puts the gun in the pile, covers them with the cloth, zips up the back. He gets in the driver’s seat, buckles his seatbelt, and starts the Jeep. He heads down the twisting ramps of the garage. He turns on the car stereo; he listens to hate metal. Jennie pulls out of nowhere in a crapped-out red Chevy Cavalier, and hits the side of the Jeep, knocking it into parked cars. Mike shakes off the shock of being hit and looks at Jennie. She is staring through her windshield at him, both hands gripping the top of her steering wheel, baring her teeth like a rabid dog. Mike throws his Jeep into reverse and screeches backward up the twisting ramp out of view. Jennie drives her Cavalier up after him. They chase each other up and down and all through the garage, going the wrong direction along ramps and passages. Their object, apparently, is to hit each other’s cars. At one point, Mike is chasing Jennie and Jennie is looking back at Mike while she speeds away from him. She is headed for a car out of which a doctor, dressed in ER clothing, has just emerged. The doctor has a brown paper lunch bag in his hand. He sees Jennie coming and just barely jumps out of the way as she rams into his car, crushing the driver side door. The doctor looks at her like she’s crazy. She sticks her tongue out at him, gives him the middle finger, and throws her vehicle into reverse. The chase ensues. Mike and Jennie each try to outdo the other with their daring. Then, backing up around a corner, Mike’s Jeep hits a child who was lagging behind his mother, looking down, playing Tetris on a Gameboy as he walked. The boy is thrown against a concrete wall. The kid’s mother screams and runs to her child. Mike gets out to see the kid. The mother yells hysterically at Mike and at the situation in general. Mike looks at the kid. For a while the child doesn’t move. Then he opens his eyes. Mike hears a car horn, continuous blast. He turns to see that Jennie is idling nearby, leaning on her horn. Jennie smiles. She is gloating at her victory.
41—INT HOSPITAL: BEDROOM—DAY
Faith is laying in a hospital bed. She is alone in the room. She looks at the window. The thrust from an air conditioner or air vent causes the string on the window’s blinds to move about. A nurse comes in with Faith’s baby.
FAITH Is that him?
NURSE. This is him.
The nurse sits down on the side of the bed and hands the baby to Faith. Faith is all love, her eyes full of the child.
FAITH Well you sure hurt coming out. You were worth it, though. Mmmm. You’re so beautiful. So..so..beautiful. You and me, we’re gonna be best friends. No one’s gonna ever hurt you, not while I’m around. No one’e ever gonna hurt you. And we’re gonna do everything together, at least for a while. And we’re gonna go places together. Yeah. And I’m gonna call you Danny.
42—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
It is late afternoon. Mike, Germane, and Franklin are sitting on the couch and chairs, staring at the television. Mike and Germane are holding video controllers, playing a game. Franklin is flipping through a porno mag and occasionally glancing at the television. The coffee table and arms of the chairs are littered with beer cans. All three of them are already drunk and are still drinking. Faith and Jennie are in the kitchen with DANNY. Danny lies on the floor. The girls change his diaper.
JENNIE Richards, if your dick was half this size I’d try to steal you back.
Faith glares at Jennie, half-amused.
JENNIE What?! Wouldn’t you? This kid is gonna have to beat them off with a stick. Aren’t you, Danny? Little cute-ums. Damn, this kid is hung. Richards, seriously, you should take a lesson.
Franklin lights a cigarette. The gaming continues.
JENNIE Don’t fucking call me woman. I’m telling you, Richards, you got me this close..
MIKE To what?
JENNIE If you’re so curious then why don’t you come over here find out?
Mike squints and sighs, anonyed. Faith smells the cigarette smoke. She looks into the living room and sees Franklin smoking while he stares at the porno mag.
FAITH You can’t be smoking that around my baby.
Franklin looks to Mike. Mike shakes his head. Faith continues looking at Franklin pointedly.
FAITH You gotta put that out.
Franklin stares at the TV. Mike won’t get involved. Franklin takes a drag off the cigarette and, looking straight at Faith, exhales. Jennie touches Danny’s cheek with a smile, stands up, and comes around Faith into the living room.
JENNIE You heard what the woman said, porno-boy. Who you looking at today, Britney Spears? Some bitch with a cucumber up her asshole? Gimme that.
Jennie grabs the magazine and flips coarsely through the pages. She looks at Faith.
JENNIE Why do guys think this’s sexy? Franklin, lemme ask you something. You find a girl who can stick a cucumber up her asshole, you still gonna wanna fuck that shit? See what I’m saying? Girls with fucking lawnmowers up their cooters. You think that shit is gonna be tight enough to get you off after she gets done making all these pictures? Huh?
Franklin blows out his smoke. Jennie gets in his face.
JENNIE You ever ass-fuck a girl, Franklin? I don’t think you have because that’s the whole point, you see? Girl’s asshole is tighter than her pussy. Gotta be, else guys would never do it. You got blood on one hand..you got shit on the other. What the fuck do you think you’re gonna choose? A fucking cucumber? Think again, Einstein.
Franklin looks away from her, at the TV screen.
JENNIE And give me that.
Jennie snatches the cigarette from Franklin’s mouth. Mike’s arm comes at her. Mike doesn’t even get up, but his fist strikes Jennie’s face and knocks her backwards. The cigarette lands on Jennie’s arm and she sweeps it off. Franklin picks it up and puts it back in his mouth. Jennie lies silently on the floor. She is badly hurt. Faith goes to comfort Jennie and look at her face. It is already red. Faith starts to approach Mike.
Jennie grabs hold of Faith’s hand, though, and stops her. Faith looks at Jennie, and Jennie shakes her head at Faith, slightly, urging Faith not to try. Danny cries out from the kitchen. Faith goes to the kitchen. Jennie slowly gets up to follow.
43—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—DUSK
Jennie is stretched out on her back, on the bed, with a plastic bag of ice on her face. Faith is sitting on the bed next to her, holding Danny. The TV is on. The muted light of dusk comes in through the windows. Someone pounds on the outside of the bedroom door.
FAITH What is it?
Mike’s voice comes muted through the door.
MIKE (OS) I need to get in there.
MIKE (OS) No?
FAITH You heard me.
MIKE (OS) I’m going out. Faith?
MIKE (OS) We’re all going.
MIKE (OS) Is Jennie in there?
Faith looks at Jennie, who is lying awake in bed.
FAITH She’s sleeping.
MIKE (OS) I have a message for her. When she wakes up..tell her something?
FAITH Tell her yourself when you get back.
MIKE (OS) Tell her I have that bump she asked for.
FAITH She doesn’t want it.
44—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DUSK
Mike stands facing the door to his bedroom. Germane and Franklin flank him. All are dressed in black operational suits, strapped with guns, wearing gloves. Mike leans close to the bedroom door.
MIKE Just tell her.
Mike turns around, stuffs a 9mm into a shoulder holster.
Franklin cocks his gun. Germane nods.
FRANKLIN Let’s do it.
45—EXT A HOUSE—NIGHT
Mike is kneeling underneath a window in a brick house. He is completely suited up, mask and everything. Yellow light comes through the window from the inside. The curtains blow in the wind. The glass part of the window is open. A screen is in place. There is a black rope fastened to the roof. Two strands hang down the middle of the window. Mike holds them in one hand. A 2-way radio is in the other. Mike speaks quietly into the radio.
MIKE Seven. Six. Five.
Mike’s voice trails off. He clips the radio onto his suit and stands up. He grabs both strands of the rope, one hand high up, at the top of the window, and braces his feet on the side of the brick house. At the time when the zero of his countdown would have happened, he launches himself feetfirst through the screen, through the curtains, through the window and into the house.
47—INT A HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—NIGHT
Two elderly people, a man and a woman, are sitting in a living room watching TV. The man sits in a recliner. The woman sits on the couch. Mike comes flying through one of the living room windows. Germane comes through the other. Franklin walks into the living room from the kitchen. The three of them assume offensive positions with respect to the elderly couple.
MIKE Charlie, how’s it looking?
FRANKLIN All clear so far, sir. Just these two.
MIKE Okay, what I need you to do, is—pop, you sit tight. Bravo, make sure he doesn’t move. Charlie, watch the mother. I’m gonna have a look around. If either of you two make any sound louder than a pin drop..
Mike cocks his 9mm.
MIKE ..you’re gonna meet God a little sooner than you expected.
Mike chides them.
MIKE You got that?
Germane moves to cover the man. Franklin moves toward the woman. Mike heads upstairs. Germane and Mike use plastic zip-ties to fasten their victims’ hands together. Then they use cord to tie the man to his chair and the woman to the couch.
48—INT A HOUSE: UPSTAIRS—NIGHT
Upstairs, Mike goes into each room sequentially, cautiously, watching his back, opening closet doors, quickly making sure no one else is there. In the hallway, he notices a ceiling entrance to an attic. When he comes to their bedroom, the last room to search, Mike opens their bureau and looks through it. He skips over watches and jewlery but grabs a small wad of cash folded with a clip. He looks under the bed. He sees nothing. Then he goes to the closet. He yanks a pull chain inside and the closet light goes on. He slides clothes to the side. There is a small safe in the back, on the floor. Other than that, all he sees is shoes and clothing. He quickly goes downstairs.
49—INT A HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—NIGHT
Germane and Franklin have the occupants fully secured and gagged. Franklin has bound the woman tightly. She is in pain. The man cannot move, but he is not hurt. Germane and Franklin see that Mike is back.
FRANKLIN Occupants are fully secured, sir.
GERMANE Any more up there?
MIKE Not a mouse. Got a safe in the bedroom closet. Bravo, stay with those two. Charlie. Get the combination to the safe. Open it. I’ll check the attic.
Mike goes back upstairs.
GERMANE Don’t let me find out you’re having a bridge party here later tonight, because the first person through that door..it’s not gonna be something you want the little lady to see, know what I mean?
The old man looks at the front door, shakes his head.
FRANKLIN You know the combination, lady? Or is that his department?
The old woman looks at Franklin fearfully. Franklin is gesturing sloppily with his gun as he speaks to her. The TV is playing Jeopardy. The sound for a daily double comes on. Franklin looks over at the TV. We don’t see the show, but we see Franklin looking at it.
ALEX TREBEC (OS) That sound, as I’m sure you know, means that you’ve selected our daily double. A correct answer to this question is worth two thousand points. Tina, are you ready?
TINA (OS) Yes.
ALEX TREBEC (OS) Alright. This country western singer’s debut album—
FRANKLIN So? You know the combination?
The lady says nothing. She’s too scared. Besides, she has a gag in her mouth. Franklin looks at Germane. Germane looks at the old man, then moves to take off his gag.
GERMANE Listen, old man, cause I’m only gonna say this once. I’m gonna take this thing off so you can tell me the combination to that safe. If you say anything else, or if you don’t tell me, my friend there is gonna kill your wife.
The wife closes her eyes briefly. She is crying. Franklin stares at the TV, watching Jeopardy. His gun is on the woman’s face. He speaks absently, his attention given to the show.
FRANKLIN Sorry, lady, that’s just the way it is.
The sound for a wrong answer comes from the television.
50—INT A HOUSE: ATTIC—NIGHT
The attic is dimly lit from an unshielded ceiling light. Mike kneels beside a trunk and flips open the latches on its side. He opens the lid. Inside are neatly folded military uniforms, a black and white photograph of a soldier standing aboard a Navy vessel, and underneath, several gun cases. Mike gingerly removes the uniforms and photograph and places them on a stack of books nearby. He stands, leans down, and removes the first gun case from the trunk. He unzips the case and tosses the case aside. He is holding a hefty hunting shotgun. He cocks the gun, puts the stock to his shoulder, and looks down the barrel.
51—INT A HOUSE: BEDROOM—NIGHT
Franklin is turning the dial on the closet safe. He pauses at the third number, then tries the handle. It moves. He opens the door and peers inside. Mike comes into view through the bedroom door, carrying three guns over his shoulder, none in cases. He sees Franklin at the safe.
MIKE They come through?
FRANKLIN Roger that, boss. What’s it like up there?
MIKE Twenty-twos, shotguns. One more load.
FRANKLIN Want me to get it?
MIKE I’m sending Bravo.
FRANKLIN We’re done then?
MIKE Whatever you got..
FRANKLIN Done here in two.
Mike starts to move on.
MIKE Don’t forget the ATM cards.
FRANKLIN Uh..I think we can forget the ATM cards.
Mike pauses for a split second, excited.
Franklin is holding an open check box full of fifty-dollar bills. The open safe contains an old-fashioned pistol and a dozen boxes similar to the one he is holding. He closes the box and tosses it into a black Nike duffel bag, then starts moving the rest of the contents of the safe.
52—EXT A HOUSE: OUT BACK—NIGHT
In the alley behind the house, Mike and Germane sit in the Jeep, engine running. Franklin comes running out through the back gate and jumps into the back of the Jeep, duffel bag over his shoulder.
GERMANE What took you so long?
Franklin says nothing. He settles into his seat as Mike drives away from the house. They get to the end of the alley. It meets a cross street. Mike looks both ways, then pulls into the street and drives away.
53—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—NIGHT
Jennie and Faith are sitting side-by-side on the bed watching TV. They are watching Jeopardy. Faith holds Danny, who is sleeping. Jennie no longer has the bag of ice on her face. Her face is bruised and swolen. Faith splits her attension between the TV and watching her baby while he sleeps. Jennie gets up.
JENNIE I’m going home.
FAITH You gonna be alright?
JENNIE Yeah. Thanks for..
Jennie indicates her head.
JENNIE ..you know.
FAITH When he gets home I’m gonna have a thing or two to say..
JENNIE You say one thing to that boy and I will come over here and kill you myself. Just take care of that baby.
They look at each other. Jennie holds up her hand in a still wave, unlocks the bedroom door, and goes out, closing the door behind her.
54—EXT THE HIGHWAY—NIGHT
Jennie is driving the red Cavalier down an uncrowded stretch of highway. She has the stereo up loud. Popular music plays on the radio. Jennie is banging on the steering wheel, yelling.
JENNIE Your motherfucking ass is mine! Your..motherfucking..ass..is..mine motherfucker!!
Jennie comes up behind two slower-moving vehicles that are blocking both lanes of the road. She hits the gas and swerves around them on the shoulder.
55—INT A HOUSE—NIGHT
A dark street in the middle of the night. Jennie pulls up in front of a house and parks her car sloppily, half on the sidewalk, half on the street. There is an old-fashioned vehicle parked near hers on the street. Jennie gets out and walks toward her house, stumbling because she is so mad, ranting to herself.
JENNIE Motherfucking asshole motherfucker. Trying to slap a woman with a baby in the house. He ever hurts my friend..ever..ever..that sonofamotherfuckingsonofafuckingmotherfucking..mother..fucking..ooohhh..chills me to the core..
Jennie gets to the door of her house. She tries the handle. It is locked. She kicks it a few times while digging in her pocket for the key.
JENNIE Why you gotta lock your own family out the motherfucking house? Keep everything locked up like a goddamn military base!
Jennie has the key out. She unlocks the door and throws it open.
56—INT A HOUSE—NIGHT
Jennie is silenced by what she sees. Her grandmother lies on the couch, bound multiply, her face covered with one of the neoprene masks, the same kind Jennie found on Faith one day before. Blood has come out from around the edges of the mask and dried on the grandmother’s nightgown. Jennie’s GRANDFATHER is bound to his recliner, looking at Jennie pleadingly. He is crying. Jennie goes to her grandmother in shock. She feels the body and recoils. She goes to her grandfather and takes off his gag. He speaks erratically, panicked.
GRANDFATHER They got her. They got her..
Jennie surveys the room, quiet.
The red Cavalier speeds along the highway at midday. The sky is blue and half covered with cumulus clouds. Jennie is at the wheel, speeding in a straight line in the fast lane. Faith sits in the front seat, buckled in, holding Danny. Jennie is not wearing her seatbelt. No one says anything for a time. Jennie drives clench-jawed, staring forward, her expression hard. Faith holds her baby tightly, looks at him, looks out the window at the cars and signs they pass, and looks at Jennie, who does not return the glance. Jennie steers the car onto a ramp that takes them to another highway. She maintains her speed around the curves and comes onto the new road. She merges without looking to see if anyone is there, changes lanes in a similar way, crossing over a middle lane and placing herself roughly within the lines of the leftmost lane.
JENNIE Do you know what he did to me the other day? That motherfucker came over my house and asked me if I wanted to fuck him.
Faith looks at Jennie, surprised, and not happily.
JENNIE That’s right. That motherfucker came over my house and stood on the porch with his lip stuck out like like a little puppy, begging me to let him in and fuck him.
FAITH What did you say?
JENNIE I says hell no. I ain’t letting that motherfucker in my house. He says we’ll maybe I’ll just come in anyway. I says no you ain’t. You step across this doorway I’ll blow your motherfuckin balls off. I’ve got a twenty-two shotgun in that closet and I’m not afraid to use it. What’s he do? He says, all sweet like, you wouldn’t do that to me, baby. I says don’t you call me your baby and you bet your hairy little ass I would too do that to you. And would you believe, after all that, motherfucker still tried to come in my house.
Faith looks down at Danny, plays with his tiny hands.
JENNIE Sorry, girl, but you gotta know…And while we’re at it, there’re something else I gotta tell you.
Faith looks worriedly at Jennie.
JENNIE I want you to know that that bastard fucked Kelly Washington. And I ain’t talking about before you two got together. I’m talking about like, two days ago.
FAITH How do you know?
JENNIE I know because I walked in on em.
JENNIE Friday. Kelly invites me over to her house. I was on the phone with her at like five o’clock and she says come right over. So I come right over. I musta got there like fifteen minutes later and I walk in cause their screen door was wide open and there’s Kelly with her legs spread and Mike’s right there in the middle fucking his puny little dick off..owwwewww! Those two lovebird motherfuckers were yelling their heads off. Before I even went in when I was standing on the porch I heard this real loud Ohhhhhhhh! sort of moan coming from inside. And I go in and they’re grabbing each other’s butt cheeks and all that, and Kelly’s sweating all over the floor and shit. Laid her naked ass right down on the floor. Motherfuckers had Barney playing in the background. I love you..you love me..we’re a happy fam-i-ly!
Jennie blows the horn and slams on the gas to squeeze through a tight spot between two cars. She lurches ahead of the other cars, swerving back into the left lane. Danny slams into Faith’s chest on this acceleration, and Faith tries to cushion him.
JENNIE Motherfuckers beware! There’s a crazy woman on the road! You think I won’t hit your ass in that fifty-three boat piece of shit? Haven’t you ever heard of foreign cars? Hey! Your taillight’s out, motherfucker! You better get that fixed before I run you over..otherwise they’ll think it’s your fault! I’ll just say I’m sorry judge, but I couldn’t see em because their taillight was out. Do you hear me, motherfucker?! Yeah, you with the friggin wax beehive..yeah..sixties-lookin motherfucker..hippie freak..hey, fucker! Get out of my lane, I’ll run you over. Fuck you! Faith, hand me something!
JENNIE Anything! Preferably something heavy so I can knock that motherfucker out.
Danny cries out. Jennie glances over at him.
JENNIE Awww, Danny boy, your mommy’s gonna take good care of you. Don’t mind me, Aunt Jennie’s just feeling a little INSANE right now!
A spring water truck is merging into their lane in front of them. Faith sees it, Jennie does not. They are barreling toward the truck. Faith screams:
Jennie swerves to the right one lane into the spot where the truck came from as the truck takes its place in the left lane.
JENNIE Spring water yuppie motherfuckers! I hope every one of you dies of tapeworm and piles and I hope you all go to hell and have to fuck your dog. Of course, I fucked my dog one time and it was actually kind of fun..they don’t yelp as much as some cheating behind-the-back motherfuckers that I know! At least dogs shut up every once in a while! At least dogs don’t cum so damn much!
The car approaches the crest of a gradual hill. Without turning her eyes from the road, Jennie comes to the point of resolve she has been teetering around as she drives, and she says, so that Faith can hear her, but mostly to herself:
JENNIE After we get done with this, I’m going over Mike’s house and kill that motherfucker.
The Cavalier speeds over the crest of the hill and along the highway.
Jennie, Faith, and Danny are in the flower section of a grocery superstore. Faith holds Danny. They are picking out flowers.
FAITH What about these?
JENNIE I don’t know. Let Danny decide. Danny, do you like these? What kind are those anyway?
FAITH It doesn’t say. What kind of flowers are you supposed to take to a funeral, do you know?
JENNIE I never took flowers to a funeral before.
FAITH There’s gotta be a certain kind you’re supposed to take. Maybe we can find someone who knows what kind you’re supposed to take.
A WOMAN SHOPPER is within earshot. Jennie glances at her.
JENNIE Around here? These dumb motherfuckers probably wouldn’t know a tulip from a trashcan.
The woman shopper scurries off.
FAITH What about these?
JENNIE Too..fuck it, I don’t know, but those are kind of wilted.
JENNIE Is it carnations?
Jennie turns in the direction of the woman shopper, who is some distance from them now.
JENNIE Are you supposed to take carnations to a funeral?
The shopper doesn’t reply. Jennie mutters:
FAITH Yeah, it is. It’s carnations. I think.
JENNIE Only one problem.
JENNIE What color?
FAITH I don’t think it matters. Any color of carnations seems proper for a funeral.
JENNIE Well..not fuschia!
FAITH Tell me something. Have you ever seen a fuschia carnation?
JENNIE How am I supposed to know?
FAITH Here we go. Red, white, yellow. Carnations. Which one do you want?
Jennie looks at the choices blankly. She shrugs.
FAITH I think red.
JENNIE I was thinking red, too.
Jennie selects a pre-wrapped arrangement of red carnations.
JENNIE It’s the color of blood.
Faith looks at Jennie skeptically.
Jennie is standing directly in front of a sunglass rack, her face two inches from a try-on mirror. She is wearing a pair of purple sunglasses. Faith, holding Danny, stands a bit off to the side. Jennie takes off the purple glasses and puts on a pink pair. She is looking at herself in the mirror, but she talks to Faith. She takes off the pink pair, tries the purple ones again, then tries the pink ones again.
FAITH We’re gonna be late.
JENNIE We’re already late. You should get a pair.
FAITH I hate sunglasses.
JENNIE Then don’t ever marry Jack Nicholson.
FAITH I wasn’t planning to.
Jennie turns to Faith. She is wearing both pair.
JENNIE Good, because..I’m telling you this as your friend..I don’t think it would work out.
FAITH You’re stalling.
JENNIE If you refuse to help me decide, then you have to accept that this might take a while.
Jennie goes back to her myopic self-view in the mirror.
JENNIE This is a crucial point we’ve arrived at. Purple..pink..purple..pink.
60—EXT SUPERSTORE: PARKING LOT—DAY
Jennie, Faith, and Danny, come out of the superstore and walk through the parking lot toward the car. Jennie is wearing the purple sunglasses. They get in. Faith settles Danny on her lap. And old couple, a woman and an OLD DUDE, are getting into the car next to theirs, close to the driver’s side of the Cavalier, where Jennie sits. Jennie starts the car. The old dude leans down to speak to Jennie.
OLD DUDE. Pardon me, young lady, but do you have the time?
Jennie glares at him sardonically.
JENNIE The time for what, you old pervert?
Jennie turns to Faith, but speaks mainly for the sake of the dude.
JENNIE I think he wants to fuck us.
The old man repeats himself tentatively.
OLD DUDE. Just..the time..
Jenny turns to the old man and faces him for a moment in which he waits politely for her to respond. Jennie spits in his face and wipes her mouth with her arm.
JENNIE Time for you, you old senile delinquent warbly-ass motherfucker? Yeah, I got time for you. Step away from the car. We have young impressionable ones aboard.
Jennie stars backing out of the parking space.
JENNIE Stand back you pee-wad pee-wee ass-wipe peniswrinkle, before I accelerate my nineteen-eighty-four broken-down red crusty-looking piece of shit up your ass!
The old dude looks at Jennie, Faith, and Danny, bewildered.
JENNIE I mean the car you old pervert! Stop looking at her son! He’s not like that! He doesn’t want your semen up his ass! It’s still tender, he’s only three months old. I bet you’d like to get yourself a piece of that, wouldn’t you? But we’re not gonna letcha.
Jennie looks at the old dude’s wife.
JENNIE Why dontcha see if she’ll let you slip it up her ass once in a while? She looks like a bitch with a tight ass.
The woman is mortified. Faith is looking at Jennie and the couple. Faith is likewise mortified. Jennie backs the car out into the parking lot lane, then pauses, staring at the couple. She says one last thing to the man, in the mock-tone of a grandfather giving advice to his grandson, bouncing him on his knee. She says this like it is the summation of the whole of the universe in a catchphrase. She peers over the top of her purple sunglasses.
JENNIE Try drinking five-dollar scotch with a two-bit whore sometime. See how far that gets you.
Jennie winks and smiles at the dude, then starts the car moving forward.
A small group of mourners stand around a wreathed casket near an open grave. Jennie’s grandfather stands prominently among them. A MINISTER speaks to the crowd. Across the field of graves, at the cemetery entrance, Jennie and Faith trapse toward the ceremony, carrying, respectively, red carnations and Danny. Jennie has the purple sunglasses propped up on the top of her head.
JENNIE How’s he holding up?
FAITH He’s sleeping.
JENNIE Good kid.
At the grave site, the minister continues speaking. Jenny and Faith come up quietly behind those already standing at the grave site. They stand behind everyone else. Faith stands still to keep Danny asleep. Jennie peers toward the front of the group. She and the minister make eye contact. Jennie’s face is flushed. She looks a combination of angry and embarrassed. The minister keeps speaking. Jennie goes up between the people. She goes past her grandfather, who looks at her as she goes past. Jennie puts the flowers on the casket awkwardly, turns around, and goes to her grandfather. She puts her hands on his shoulders and kisses his forehead. He smiles at her, best he can, and Jennie goes back the way she came. When she gets to Faith, Faith is absorbed in looking at her baby. Jennie gets Faith’s attention by tugging on her shirtsleeve. Faith gets the point, and they all head, unhurriedly, back away from the ceremony toward the car. Many other graves in the cemetery have been recently adorned with flowers, flags or other colorful ornaments. The trees and grass are full summer green and the sun shines bright on them as they pass under patches of ground uncovered by trees.
62—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT—DAY
The red Cavlier is parked in front of Mike’s house. Jennie and Faith are sitting listening to the radio, Jennie in the driver’s seat. Danny is awake. Jennie is holding him up in front of her, talking to him.
JENNIE Awww..so cute..so..so..cute. Arentcha?
Faith switches through the radio presets and settles on the oldies station. Her feet are propped on the dashboard, showing her blue Keds. She is chewing bubble gum, blowing huge translucent bubbles before her face.
JENNIE Just a cute little stinker. Stinker, stinker, stinker. How long does it take to get to Mexico?
Faith lets a bubble pop on her face.
FAITH Don’t know.
As Faith retrieves the film of gum from her face, Jennie speaks to the baby:
JENNIE You want to learn how to speak Spanish?
Faith rolls her head sideways against the headrest to look at Jennie. Her lips half-crack a smile. Jennie meets Faith’s gaze knowingly. Jennie holds the baby out for Faith to take.
JENNIE Take him. I’m going in.
FAITH No you’re not, not without me.
JENNIE What about him?
FAITH We’ll leave him here.
JENNIE Faith. Leave your baby in a car all by his self? I don’t know what’s gotten into you. Now take this child out my arms, I’m getting tired of holding him and I don’t want to drop him.
Faith takes him.
JENNIE Don’t let me catch you coming in there after me.
Faith does not look convinced.
JENNIE Swear to god you will not come in there.
FAITH Okay, I won’t.
FAITH I swear..
Jennie pulls her sunglasses down off the top of her head and sets them over her eyes. She breathes out, both hands on the steering wheel. The keys are in the ignition. Jennie turns to Faith.
JENNIE Take care of that baby.
Jennie pulls the lever that unlatches the trunk, gets out of the car and goes around to the back. She opens the trunk, reaches in, and pulls out a handgun. It is a Glock 9mm, one of Mike’s. Jennie stands at the open trunk holding the gun. She meditates verbally to herself:
JENNIE ..playing Russian Roulette among suicide kings with the absolute intention of a TKO..
Jennie pops a clip into the handle, closes the trunk, and tucks the gun into the waistline of her shorts, in the front, handle protruding obviously. She is not attempting to hide the gun, she’s merely putting it there for easy carrying. Jennie closes the trunk and goes up the walk toward the house. Faith holds her baby, rocking him to the music and singing along with the oldies. She does not look in Jennie’s direction.
63—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
Germane and Franklin are sitting on the couch playing video games, smoking and drinking. Germane’s shoes are off. His dirty sock feet are propped on the table in front of the couch. The guys play their game blank-faced, hardly moving their eyes from the screen. With respect to the game, Franklin is the more relaxed of the two. Germane, it is clear by the greater stress of his movements, is feeling the pressure of losing the game.
GERMANE Where the fuck is that motherfucker?
FRANKLIN It’s only been ten minutes.
Germane fucks up his game. He tosses/drops the controller and reaches for his beer.
Franklin pauses the machine, and right then, the two of them look up because they hear the sound of the screen door closing, by its spring, on the door frame. Jenny is standing in the doorway with the light of the day behind the thin limbs of her body. The 9mm gun is still protruding obviously from the front waistline of her shorts. The boys notice it, but if they are surprised in this moment, it is not to see her with the gun, but to see her at all. Jennie’s body twists like a child who has to pee, legs crossed, waist and shoulders pivoting on her ankles. She smiles at them, her head cocked way to the side, showing her teeth. Her speech is strained.
JENNIE Where’s Mike?
Germane swallows his beer. Franklin leans all the way back in his chair.
FRANKLIN Mike is running a small errand which will only take a few minutes would you like to..have a seat?..
Franklin holds up his game controller.
FRANKLIN Play a little?..
Germane offers Jennie his controller, as he is closer to her. Germane is oblivious to any danger. Franklin is starting to catch on. Jennie’s face goes blank; her exaggerated smile drops completely away and she is just fed-up-Jennie, Jennie-with-an-attitude. She looks down at the gun in her pants, then back at Franklin. Germane sees them staring each other down. Jennie is waiting for Franklin to speak. Franklin doesn’t say anything. Germane blinks.
GERMANE Why do you have a gun?
Jennie laughs. Germane and Franklin exchange glances. Franklin gets up.
JENNIE Sit. Sit sit sit sit sit..don’t you worry your little heads about it.
Germane and Franklin move toward her.
JENNIE You boys got a funny way of behaving in situations like this.
She nonchalantly pulls the gun out of her pants and waves it in their general direction. Germane and Franklin have assumed strategic postures. Germane makes a decisive move toward Jennie. She stops him by pointing the gun straight at his head.
64—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT—DAY
Faith sits in the passenger seat of the car rocking her baby gingerly in her arms. A new song comes on.
FAITH Ooh..ooh..I’ve been waiting for this one all day.
She turns up the volume slightly, making sure it doesn’t wake Danny. Then her head turns away from her child. Multiple gunshot sounds come from the direction of the house.
65—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
*The living room is perfectly still. The television has been knocked over. Beer has recently spilled. The TV is still on, displaying the paused video game screen. Franklin lies on his back, eyes open, slumped against the table in front of the couch. He has been shot in the face and chest. His cigarette is on the carpet near his body. Germane is lying face down, his head near the door, his feet crumbled under and behind him. He has been shot through the chest and then, from above, in the back of the head. His arms are folded under his body. The screen door opens slowly. The creak of the springs is the eminent sound. Faith comes in, carrying Danny, proceeding with measured, lightly-treading steps, avoiding touching any aspect of the mess and being sure she doesn’t accidentally trip while holding the baby. Faith looks at Germane and Franklin as she passes through the room. She is nonreactive. She passes over their bodies toward the entrance to Mike’s and her bedroom.
66—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—DAY
Jennie is rummaging through the dresser. Faith walks up beside her, looking over her shoulder. Jennie doesn’t look up. She is loading credit cards, cash, handguns, and bags of drugs into a black Nike duffel bag.
JENNIE How’s he doin?
Faith glances at the face of her child.
FAITH He’s sleeping. You need a hand?
JENNIE Naw..I got this taken care of.
She empties the last of the dresser drawer into the now-bulging bag. The last few items she takes from the dresser drawer are the check boxes. She sees her grandfather’s antique pistol, but leaves it there. She turns around. She and Faith exchange the glance of partners. Jennie heads toward the door, looks out into the living room. Facing away from Faith, facing into the living room, Jennie says
JENNIE You know what this means..
JENNIE We’re gonna need more carnations.
Jennie hears clattering behind her. She turns around. Faith is standing in the closet doorway. She has Danny in one arm. She is leaning into the closet, pulling out an all-black shotgun with a barrel as big around as a silver dollar. She grips it by the cocking sheath, and, as she leans back out of the closet, she slides body of the gun up, then down, relative to the sheath, cocking the gun. Faith walks out through the bedroom door into the living room. As she passes Jennie, she says, without making eye contact:
FAITH Help yourself.
Jennie goes to the closet and surveys its contents. She reaches in and pulls out the AK-47, throws the strap over her shoulder, and follows Faith out of the room.
67—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
In the living room, Faith and Jennie carefully step over the boys’ bodies on their way toward the front door. Jennie focuses on the two dead bodies. She sees their faces, the cigarette, still burning, laying beside Franklin. She sees the holes in the back of Germane’s head. She sees the TV, their game still on pause, and the neglected game controllers strewn idly before the system. Faith goes to each of the bodies, in turn, and, switching the shotgun to the hand whose arm still holds Danny, retrieves a wallet from a pocket of each of the dead boys. At the screen door, she switches the shotgun back into her free hand and delicately pushes on the screen to let herself out. Jennie is close behind.
68—EXT INDUSTRIAL ZONE—DAY
Jennie’s red Cavalier is parked in a railyard by a factory. Jennie, Faith, and Danny are inside. The girls sit facing straight forward in the front seats. They watch track workers move along the cars of a train, performing inspections. There is a long silence between them. Then Faith looks down at Danny.
FAITH You need your diaper changed.
Faith places Danny on the back seat and then climbs back to change his diaper. She goes through the business of changing him while she and Jennie talk. Faith is a moment into the diaper-changing process before Jennie says
JENNIE If shit goes down..If shit goes down I don’t want you having any part of this.
JENNIE No no no. Don’t argue. You’ve got a baby, Faith. You understand what that means?
FAITH ..Are we still going to Mexico?
JENNIE Yeah we’ll go that way but I’m just saying..if we don’t make it—
FAITH We’ll make it.
JENNIE Yeah yeah yeah..we’ll probably make it—
FAITH We will make it—
JENNIE I’m just saying..if we don’t. Mexico’s a long way from here and I don’t exactly know how to get there, do you? It’s not exactly like I go there every day.
FAITH ..Do you need a passport to go to Mexico?
JENNIE Exactly. Do you need a passport to go to Mexico? That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. These things just come up, you never know..a flat tire..running out of gas in the middle of nowhere..snakes..I mean, god knows what we’ll run into. How bout extra diapers for the kid? How many we got?
FAITH ..Two but I’m sure you can buy diapers in Mexico.
JENNIE How can you be sure? I mean, it’s not like the Holiday Inn down there. This is Mexico, okay, it’s not like they have a seven-eleven on every street corner. Can you buy diapers in Mexico. I..don’t..know. Can you buy diapers in Mexico? Also, another problem..Spanish. As far as I know I took French and as far as I can remember..you took French too. And as far as I can remember, Spanish is still the national language of Mexico, so that makes the two of us..right about..el fucked. Standing on the side of the road holding a taco.
FAITH We could to go to Canada.
This is unthinkable to Jennie.
JENNIE No. No. I won’t have that kid growing up Canadian.
FAITH A lot of people speak English in Mexico, I’m sure.
Instantly met by the confidently nonsensical:
JENNIE Yeah, but do they speak it well?
Faith has nothing to say to that. Jennie lets the question hang in the air for a moment. Then she loses interest in it herself and begins tapping her hands on the steering wheel and bobbing her head to some internal music. Faith finishes up with Danny and moves herself and him back into the front seat. Faith settles in with Danny while Jennie entertains herself. Then Jennie turns the ignition and the car starts. Jennie turns to Faith and stares at her expectantly. Faith looks at Jennie, looks away, looks at Danny, looks out the window, then looks back at Jennie. They stare at each other for a second.
JENNIE Well, don’t you wanna know where we’re going?
JENNIE The mall!
When she says this, Jennie throws the car into reverse and backs up real fast. Faith doesn’t have her seatbelt on. Faith and Danny lurch forward in the seat. Faith’s hand goes out for the dash to stop them.
69—INT MALL: CLOTHING STORE—DAY
The three of them are in a clothing store like Gadzooks. They try on zillions of shirts and blouses and sun dresses. They trade off holding Danny while the other one tries on clothes. Store clerks help them pick out clothing, help them by using poles to bring clothes down off high racks so they can try them on. Faith hands Danny to one of the clerks who is helping them. They put back clothes. They go into the dressing cubicles alone, then together. They take off their clothes and put on new ones in the dressing cubicle. They kiss each other on the lips, then go out and model their clothing for Danny and the clerks. When they leave the store, Faith and Jennie are each carrying two bags of clothing. Additionally, Jennie carries the black Nike duffel bag. They are wearing new shoes and clothes they bought at the store, pastel sun dresses and black leather clubbing boots, new sunglasses, the works.
They walk past a restaurant entrance in the mall. Jennie stops and stares inside. Faith doesn’t see the restaurant, doesn’t see Jennie stop. She keeps going. Jennie realizes Faith has gone ahead. She runs forward and drags Faith back to the restaurant entrance. Faith resists.
Jennie drags Faith and Danny into the restaurant past an empty host stand.
71—INT MALL: RESTAURANT—DAY
Faith and Jennie sit at a table in the mall restaurant, It’s the middle of the afternoon and almost no one is there. Faith holds Danny. A WAITRESS leans down to look at Danny. Danny stares blankly into space. Faith bounces the baby slightly on her lap and smiles at the waitress. The waitress is Faith’s age.
FAITH I think he likes you.
WAITRESS. Awww..he’s so cute! How long have you had him?
FAITH He just came out about three months ago.
WAITRESS. Awww..he’s so sweet. I wanna have one.
JENNIE Fraid we can’t help you there, sweetie. Why don’t you go check on our food? Will ya? Thanks..
The waitress goes away, hurt. Faith glares at Jennie for it.
FAITH What is your problem?
JENNIE My problem? My problem, Faith? My problem is I just spent the morning at my grandmother’s funeral and then I barged into the house of the motherfucker who did it and even though I got to shoot two of the motherfuckers who did it, the real motherfucker I wanted wasn’t there..that’s my problem, Faith.
FAITH You don’t have to take it out on her.
Under the table, where Faith can’t see, Jennie takes a 9mm out of the Nike duffel bag. She fumbles with it while she talks.
JENNIE You know what your weakness is, Faith?
JENNIE ..You’re not willing to kill.
JENNIE That’s right. You’re not willing to kill. And sooner or later, it’s gonna be you and some motherfucker at the point of a gun.
Faith steers her eyes away from Jennie, looking at her baby.
JENNIE And what’re you gonna do then, Faith? What, are, you, gonna, do? What are you gonna do about your baby?
FAITH ..What do you mean, what am I going to do?
JENNIE I mean, Faith, what are you gonna do..about your baby. What are you gonna do when it’s you and some crazy motherfucker and your baby. You hear what I’m sayin, Faith? Because one of these days it’ll come time for you to see what kind of metal your guns are made of. If it’s steel it ain’t nothing but steel. If it’s glass, it ain’t nothing but glass. It ain’t until you get hit..that you know which one you are.
The waitress comes to the table with a tray carrying five plates of food. Jennie puts the gun back in the duffel bag.
WAITRESS. Here you go.
FAITH Thank you.
The waitress smiles at Faith. Jennie smiles at the waitress. The waitress sets all the plates on their table. When she is done the small table is overloaded with food.
WAITRESS. Do you need anything else right now?
JENNIE Actually, yeah..is your bar open?
The waitress looks over at the bar. No one is sitting there. No one is tending bar.
WAITRESS. What would you like?
JENNIE Some kind of—just a martini or Scotch or something.
Faith looks at Jennie curiously.
WAITRESS. Just a martini or..something?
JENNIE Anything, honey, just make it fast, okay?
Jennie asks Faith:
JENNIE You want anything?
Faith speaks to the waitress.
FAITH No thank you.
The waitress leaves.
FAITH That’s what I’m talking about.
Jennie leans across the table fast.
JENNIE I know, Faith. I know. But what I’d really like right about now is if you could just cut me some fucking slack.
Jennie leans back. Faith is not happy with her. Jennie tries to recompose herself. She settles on getting up from the table without a word and walking toward the bathroom.
72—INT MALL: RESTAURANT—DAY
The waitress punches some buttons on the register. The girls’ check prints out. The waitress studies its contents while she goes toward their table. We can see the contents of their meal, in restaurant abbreviations, scrolling past jerkily in the waitress’ view while she walks. CHK FAJ 7.99, BEAN BURR 6.99, etc. She gets to their table and sets the check between Faith and Jennie. Their plates are empty. Jennie has had several drinks. Faith is leaning against the side of the booth, holding Danny. Danny is asleep. Faith looks close to sleep herself. Jennie is slumped forward, her elbows on the table, laughing quietly, insanely, to herself. She looks up drunkly as the waitress leaves the check, and says, even though the waitress has said nothing:
JENNIE No, we’re fine, honey, just leave the ole..damage..and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.
The waitress walks away. Faith reaches over to pull the check closer but Jennie does the same, faster, interrupting Faith’s motion, and Jennie pulls the check to look at it herself.
JENNIE Country fried steak eleven ninety-nine?! Buff. chick? Eight ninety-nine?!
She yells after the waitress.
JENNIE Hey. Hey! We’re gonna have some questions about some of these line items, sweetie, you better pull up a chair..
Jennie speaks confidentially to Faith.
JENNIE You better wait outside..don’t want to upset the baby. I’ll take care of this.
Too tired to argue, Faith gingerly gets up with Danny, grabs the baby bag and a shopping bag, and passes the waitress, who is waiting in the aisle for Faith to get up. Faith goes out toward the entryway into the mall. The waitress approaches Jennie cautiously. Jennie motions for her to sit down.
JENNIE Seriously, honey, better have a seat.
The waitress looks at Jennie like she’s crazy.
A male SECURITY GUARD is bent over the information desk talking to a FEMALE WORKER behind the counter. He is not looking at the person he’s talking to, but instead browsing around the mall. He sees Faith exit the restaurant and walk to a bench in the mall’s common area.
SECURITY GUARD. ..these are real big guys, I’m talking about frickin, Harley dudes, you know, and me and these, like fifty frat dudes we’re just like..wailing on em, I mean, they didn’t have a chance..
Faith sets her bags down, then sits on the bench. The security guard turns sharply to the female worker, and says, with affectation:
SECURITY GUARD. Would you excuse me?
He leaves the information desk and saunters over to Faith at the bench. He walks straight up to her and stands right in front of her until, because of the shadow and proximity of his body, Faith looks up from her baby to the guard. He looks at her quasi-charmingly. She looks at him blankly. He looks at her pointedly. She looks around, confused.
The security guard makes an elaborate show of sitting beside her on the bench. They are both quiet for a moment, then the guard speaks, as though the previous moment hadn’t happened and it’s their first moment of interaction:
SECURITY GUARD. Is that your baby?
FAITH No, I found him in the trashcan.
74—INT MALL: RESTAURANT—DAY
Jennie is sitting at the table by herself. She counts out fifty dollar bills onto the table. She counts through a stack, picks it up, then counts two out on the table. She packs the rest of the money up into one of the shopping bags, gathers her things, and stands to go. She turns back to the table, picks up her last drink, and sucks the last bit out of it through a straw. She looks at the two fifty dollar bills. She puts her drink down and takes back one of the bills and puts it into her pocket. She starts to go again, then stops again, looks around, then takes the other fifty and puts it in her pocket. She takes her shopping bags and goes. On the way out, Jennie passes the waitress, who is on her way to the table. Jennie is super-cheerful:
The waitress doesn’t say anything. Jennie looks back after they pass and then hurries out into the mall.
Jennie rushes up to Faith and the security guard, who are still sitting next to each other on the bench. The security guard is leaning in close to Faith, talking to her. Faith is leaning back, away from the guard. Jennie stands between them, cutting off the guard’s advances.
JENNIE Sorry, Cassanova, but the little lady’s gotta get on down the road. Better luck next year.
Faith is relieved. She starts to gather her things. The guard is startled by Jennie’s manner.
JENNIE That’s right. Scoot back, will ya? Gimme some room? Girl, we gotta blow this bitch, right now, gotta go, let me help you with that. He still sleeping? Good boy, keep on sleeping..we gotta get this little wagon back on the trail, you know what I’m saying, sheriff?
Jennie takes the guard’s hand and shakes it in parting. She smiles at him widely.
JENNIE Gotta mosey on down the road, saddle up the ole six cylinder, but we’ll stop by and see ya if we’re ever in these parts again, okay cowboy?
Someone we haven’t seen before, the RESTAURANT MANAGER, comes out of the restaurant waving the girls’ check. He yells loudly and accusingly and approaches them.
RESTAURANT MANAGER Miss! You forgot your check!
The security guard and Faith both look at Jennie, surprised.
RESTAURANT MANAGER Your check? You wanna come back inside and take care of this?
JENNIE Oh, yes..my check..
Jennie grabs the check from the restaurant manager and rips it up.
JENNIE I want you to take this check..
She tries to hand it to him but he won’t take it. She stuffs it into his shirt pocket.
JENNIE ..and when you get some time to yourself, I want you to take this check..
She squeezes the manager’s nose between her fingers. He jumps back, offended. Jennie advances on him and, as she speaks her next line, kicks him in the shin, then swats him with a shopping bag.
JENNIE ..and shove it up your MOTHERFUCKING ASS!!
Senior citizens in the mall turn their heads to see what’s going on. The information desk worker picks up a phone and dials “0”. The guard pulls Jennie off the restaurant manager. Faith tries hard to blend into the background. The restaurant manager tries to recover his composure. Jennie squirms in the security guard’s arms and manages to wriggle herself around so she’s facing him by the time the restaurant manager is done speaking.
RESTAURANT MANAGER It’s a criminal offense to walk out on a bill. It’s stealing. Ronnie, I want you to detain this woman while I call the police.
Jennie couches her body seductively against the security guard. She speaks an inch from his face, holding his eyes with her gaze.
SECURITY GUARD. Ronald, really.
JENNIE It’s beautiful..
The restaurant manager looks confused.
JENNIE We can take care of this without him, don’t you think?
The security guard speaks to the restaurant manager.
SECURITY GUARD. I think..we’ve got this..I’ll take care of..we’ll bring her in there in a minute and she can pay the bill. No problem, okay? Have her right in, get it all straightened out.
JENNIE Yes we are..gonna get it all straightened out.
Jennie smiles at the guard and holds him tighter. The restaurant manager reluctantly turns away.
RESTAURANT MANAGER Okay but miss? Miss I am calling the police, since you struck me.
Jennie looks over her shoulder at him blissfully and answers him with a “hmmm” sound, then turns back to Ronnie. She straightens his collar.
JENNIE You know what, Ronnie?
SECURITY GUARD. What?
JENNIE You did the right thing. I’m proud of you.
Ronnie looks at her happily. Jennie then speaks where Faith can’t hear her.
JENNIE And I want to make it up to you.
The guard perks up even more.
JENNIE Would you like that?
The guard nods cautiously, then looks self-consciously at the information desk worker, who is watching them. Jennie follows Ronnie’s gaze then manually turns his head back to look at her.
JENNIE Is she your girlfriend?
SECURITY GUARD. I used to like her.
JENNIE Does she like you?
SECURITY GUARD. I—
JENNIE Cause if she does she’s not gonna like what I’m about to let you do to me.
The guard looks at Jennie, bewildered.
JENNIE That’s right. She’s gonna be real motherfuckin pissed. But to tell you the truth, Ronald..
Jennie looks over at the female worker, grabbing Ronnie’s crotch.
JENNIE I really don’t care.
She looks back at Ronnie.
JENNIE Do you?
Ronnie shakes his head.
76—INT MALL: BATHROOM—DAY
*Jennie drags the security guard, holding his hand, down the long hallway leading to the mall bathrooms. Faith stands with Danny at the mouth of the hall. Jennie and the guard approach the men’s bathroom. Jennie swings the door open, holding it open with her foot. She bangs loudly on the open door with the palm of her hand.**
JENNIE Listen up, boys, I need everybody out of this bathroom in nineteen seconds. Let’s go! Let’s go! I’ve got a security inspection team coming through here in..
She looks at her watch that isn’t there.
JENNIE ..about yesterday so let’s get the peters back in the pockets and get a fucking move on!
One guy walks slowly out of the bathroom, looking suspiciously at Jennie. Naturally, Jennie is unphased.
JENNIE Let’s go! I don’t need you to think about it I just need you to do it so let’s get it on down the motherfucking hall! Thank you. Thank you.
She shoos another guy out of the bathroom.
JENNIE We all clear in there?..Don’t let me come in there and find you hiding out in one of them stalls, I swear I will cut your dick off, I don’t care if you’re three years old.
No one else comes out. Jennie winks semi-seductively at the security guard and leads him into the bathroom, door closing behind them. She leads him into a stall and pushes him up against the wall. She rubs his crotch, then starts to undo his belt. She leans up and almost kisses him, backing away at the last minute. Their interaction is absurd. Jennie is gross as she mock seduces him. The guard is pathetically wrapt to her weak seduction. Then, suddenly, Jennie opens her eyes real wide and bares her teeth. The guard is freaked out. Jennie backs out of the stall. The door swings half closed. The guard approaches the stall door and when Jennie sees the door move inward to open further she kicks the door as hard as she can with one leg. It slams into the security guard’s face and knocks him back into the toilet. His arm hits the lever and the toilet flushes.
Jennie comes running along the long bathroom hallway toward Faith.
JENNIE We gotta go. We gotta go! Can you run with him?
Jennie takes all the shopping bags from Faith.
JENNIE Well give it a try, please, because what we gotta do right now is hit the motherfucking road.
They run toward the exterior door of the mall. The restaurant manager comes out of the restaurant waving fragments of the girls’ check and yelling at them.
RESTAURANT MANAGER Hey! Hey! Where’s Ronnie? Stop! Stop!
The girls go through the exterior door and the door closes behind them.
78—EXT COMMERCIAL BOULEVARD—DAY
Jennie is driving, with Faith and Danny in the car, on a 35-mile-an-hour residential boulevard. Jennie is driving a little too fast. The girls are laughing.
FAITH What did you do to him?
JENNIE I sucked his dick!
FAITH I know you didn’t suck his dick. You weren’t in there long enough.
JENNIE He came fast!
FAITH You did not suck his dick.
JENNIE Girl, I still got cum in my mouth.
Jennie leans over to kiss Faith.
JENNIE Wanna taste?
Faith looks like she’s considering it, then her eyes widen, seeing that their car is fast approaching the one in front.
FAITH Watch out!
Jennie swerves around the car.
JENNIE Fuck, girl, why didn’t you say something?
FAITH I did!
They are both stressed to the point of hilarity. They laugh, and then say nothing for a moment while Jennie drives and Faith checks on the baby in her lap. Then Faith lifts her head and looks at the road.
FAITH Was his dick big?
She looks at Jennie. Jennie looks back, then busts out laughing.
JENNIE How the fuck am I supposed to know? I didn’t even kiss that motherfucker.
A cop pulls out behind the red Cavalier and turns on its lights and sirens, positioning himself behind their car. Jennie looks at the spedometer. It reads 55.
Jennie hits the gas.
FAITH What are you doing?
Jennie is checking the mirrors and suddenly intent on the road.
JENNIE Gonna outrun this motherfucker.
FAITH No, Jennie! You can’t—
JENNIE We have to! I don’t know how they found us but we ain’t stopping here.
Danny starts crying.
FAITH They didn’t find us—
JENNIE What do you call this then?
Jennie runs through the beginning of a red light. Cars on the crossstreet jerk to a halt. Faith looks at Danny worriedly.
FAITH It’s just for speeding! They didn’t find us..
JENNIE They know! They know!
FAITH They don’t know. This one doesn’t know.
JENNIE Trust me, Faith, they’re always talking back and forth on those little walkie talkie things..they know. Every cop in a hundred miles is gonna be looking for this car!
Faith looks at Jennie cockeyed. The car approaches a highway on-ramp. There is an intercection between them and the on-ramp. They have a red light. Cars are passing at a medium density from both directions on the cross street. Jennie’s fingers tap the steering wheel nervously.
JENNIE What are the chances..what are the chances..
Faith looks at Jennie with raw fear but doesn’t have time to say anything before Jennie slams on the gas and their car barrels toward the intersection. Faith braces herself against the seat with one hand and holds Danny with the other. Jennie, Faith, and the screaming kid fly through the intersection in the red Cavalier, narrowly missing cars on the crossstreet who don’t have any time to react to the surprise of the red Cavalier zooming across the intersection and onto the ramp. The Cavalier merges into highway traffic.
Jennie swerves across all lanes into the far left lane, between late afternoon traffic, traffic approaching rush hour. Faith holds her baby tightly. Jennie comes close to hitting a truck in front of them as she changes lanes.
FAITH Watch it!
Jennie enters into a series of passes. She switches to the right one lane, zips around a car blocking her in the fast lane, then switches left into the fast lane. The girls do not speak. They both check the rear mirrors for the cop.
JENNIE I think we lost him.
FAITH I doubt it.
JENNIE You think they can keep up with me?
Jennie speeds up.
FAITH Slow down!
JENNIE You want em to catch us?
FAITH We’re gonna wreck.
Jennie sees the fear in Faith’s eyes. Danny is crying.
JENNIE Hang in there, Danny boy, Aunt Jennie’s just gotta outrun one little coppertop, then we’re gonna park this horsey back at the stables.
Jennie zips between two cars.
FAITH Fuck! You’re going too fast!
JENNIE We’re getting off at the next exit, chill.
A different cop car comes into view from around the truck behind them. Its sirens are audible. Jennie lowers her head to get a better view of them in the side mirror. Faith leans forward in her seat to do the same. The original cop car comes into view in a different lane. Jennie tightens her grip on the steering wheel. Faith glares expectantly at Jennie. Jennie presses the gas pedal all the way in..her piece of crap car will not go any faster. She swerves maniacally across the highway, across all lanes, entering the rightmost lane, then crossing over it onto the shoulder so she can pass everyone. Shredded tires and other debris slams into the bottom of the chassis. Jennie’s jaw is clenched. Faith’s arms are tight around her crying baby. They come around a string of several cars blocking their entrance back into the rightmost lane. Jennie starts changing lanes immediately in front of the first car of the string. She is halfway through the lane change when they hear a gunshot. Their front left tire has been popped by a bullet from a third cop car that is now visible on the highway, even with them, a couple lanes to the left. One cop drives; the other COP steadies his hand, his pistol aimed at the Cavalier. He puts down the gun, picks up a megaphone and aims that at the girls as they all speed along the road. Jennie is mad. Faith is shocked quiet.
COP Stop the car. Pull over now.
Jennie struggles to maintain control of the Cavalier. Most of the cars they now approach have pulled over to the side lanes. Jennie and the cops maintain the middle of the road.
COP I’m warning you.
Jennie maintains her course. Looking forward, she casually rests her left arm on the window opening, sticking her middle finger up at the megaphone cop. A cop in a cruiser behind them leans out the window and steadies his arm, pistol in hand. He takes aim at the rear right tire of the Cavalier. The bullet hits. It blows out the tire, throwing Jennie’s car into a chaotic trajectory. During the realization of this trajectory, Jennie reaches a new level of wack. It is clear by the look on her face, as the tries to control the car, still tries to further their escape, that she is truly enjoying this moment in a transcendent, here-now sort of way. Faith braces herself as best she can in her seat. Against her best efforts, Danny slips out of Faith’s protective hold. The rims of the wheels with busted tires skid and spark against the surface of the road. The car comes griding to a halt. The cop cars rapidly slow and then screech to a halt not far from the grounded Cavalier. Civilian vehicles behind this mess slow and stop further back. The cops jump out of their cars and squat in protective positions on the far sides of their long hoods, arms extended, pistols in hand and trained on Jennie’s car. The megaphone cop has his megaphone laid on the ground beside him. His gun is pointed at the car. Inside the car, Danny gives a cry. Its volume is low relative to the sirens and all the noise of the previous moments. Faith looks him over and is glad that he is not hurt. Jennie shakes her head, regaining her sense of place. Faith unbuckles her seatbelt. The girls both look around. They see the cop cars stopped in an arc, visible through their front windshield. The megaphone COP’s voice comes over among the sirens.
COP Get out of the car, slowly, with your hands above your head.
Faith stares down at the door of the car. Jennie’s head is raised. She is gazing at nothing in particular. They both sit still for a moment. Then Faith makes the first move to get out. Jennie reaches out a hand and puts it on Faith’s body, stopping her. Faith sees Jennie is looking her in the eyes. Jennie voice is solemn, an order, but more an order in that it is unusual to hear sincere pleading coming from Jennie.
JENNIE Don’t you say a word about Franklin and Germane. That’s my problem, not yours.
The look in Faith’s eyes is her acknowledgement and her agreement. They turn away from each other and slowly get out of the car. Jennie puts her hands over her head. Faith keeps both of hers on her baby. Cars on the other side of the highway have slowed to look at the drama unfolding here. There is no movement on the side with the red Cavalier, except for two girls walking slowly away from their car toward the arc of cops.
80—EXT JENNIE’S HOUSE—DAY
It is still summer. Faith walks up a residential street, stepping around children playing on the sidewalk. She veers into the lawn of Jennie’s house, where an old-fashioned car is parked. She goes up the steps to the front porch, opens the screen door, and goes inside.
81—INT JENNIE’S HOUSE—DAY
There is no one in the living room. The television is off. Faith carries Danny into the kitchen, glancing at the dining room. There is a glass pitcher of lemonade sitting on the kitchen counter, moisture beads clinging to its surface. A keyring holding a single key is sitting on the counter. Faith goes through the kitchen and out to the back yard.
82—EXT JENNIE’S HOUSE: BACKYARD—DAY
Jennie’s grandfather is sitting in a lawnchair, head down, with a forgotten cup of lemonade in his hand. He looks up when he sees Faith. He smiles a forced smile. Faith walks until she is standing in front of his chair, facing him. Jennie’s grandfather takes a good look at Faith. Faith is wearing a sun dress and sandals, both purchases from the mall store. The daylight on her skin, the virility of the pose of one holding a baby, and a geniunely positive outlook on Faith’s visage all work together toward stirring some optimism in the old man.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Well, don’t you just look fine.
FAITH You’re sure you don’t mind watching him?
Jennie’s grandfather stands up, motioning for her to hand him the baby.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Don’t be silly. Let me see him. Might have to get him something to eat, he looks too thin—
FAITH There are bottles in his bag, I left it in the kitchen. He’s not eating solid food yet—
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER I’m just teasing.
He holds Danny up for demonstration.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER I’ve raised a few of these myself you know.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER I want you to drive our car.
FAITH ..That’s okay—
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER I’m not going to have you ride the bus when that thing’s just sitting there doing nobody any good.
Faith kisses Jennie’s grandfather on the cheek and turns to go.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Keys are on the table.
FAITH I’ll be back in two hours.
She takes a last glance at Danny and heads toward the kitchen door while Jennie’s grandfather looks at the baby in his hands. Danny looks around alertly. The old man says, without looking away from the boy:
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Say hi to Jennie for me.
Faith slows a bit in her approach of the door, but doesn’t stop or look back. She goes into the house and the screen door shuts behind her. The old man and the baby stand in the back yard.
83—EXT JENNIE’S HOUSE—DAY
Out front, Faith goes up to the old-fashioned car. It has been kept in good condition. It is a convertible. The top is down. Faith looks around, as if afraid someone will think she’s stealing it, then unlocks the door and gets in. She starts the car, and, with some difficulty, puts it in gear and drives down the road.
84—INT PRISON: VISITING ROOM—DAY
A prison visiting room. Plexiglass. Desks and telephones. Faith is waiting on one side. A female guard brings Jennie into the other side of the room and leads her to the chair opposite Faith. Jennie is wearing prison clothing. Her hands are cuffed in front of her. Her orange hair is frizzy as ever. She sits down sloppily in the chair. Faith sits straight in hers. The guard unlocks Jennie’s handcuffs. Jennie wrings out her wrists, then picks up the phone. Faith picks up the phone on her end. They sit for a beat before Jennie blurts out.
JENNIE Where’s the kid?
FAITH I left him at your grandfather’s.
JENNIE What!? You know that man don’t know what to do with a child! You better hope you get him back in one piece.
Jennie is quiet. Faith is uncomfortable. She doesn’t know what to say.
FAITH You doing okay?
Jennie looks back at the guard.
JENNIE These motherfuckers don’t know what hit em.
Faith chuckles. Another uncomfortable silence.
FAITH Are you sure you’re okay?
It sounds like Jennie’s going to yell at her, but then she just shakes her head, laughs into her lap, then says gently:
JENNIE Faith, you better be glad you’re prettier than me cause you sure as hell ain’t any smarter. You don’t have anything to worry about in this thing, okay? If it was you then it would be you but it was me so now it’s me. That’s all it is. Hit on seventeen. Bust. Gotta cash in the chips for a while, so just shut the fuck up about it for five seconds, alright, I’m sick of thinking about this place and I wanna think about you right now.
They are quiet for a while.
FAITH I broke up with Mike.
JENNIE It’s about fucking time.. You still living with him?
Faith doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t nod or shake her head.
JENNIE It ain’t breaking up with the guy if you still live with him. Faith..
Faith doesn’t say anything. In response to that nothing, Jennie says:
JENNIE And don’t say you don’t have no place to go because there’s always someplace to go. You just gotta decide to go..
Faith is again quiet. Jennie continues.
JENNIE Deciding..that’s the hardest part of anything, really. Once you decide something, it’s practically done. All you gotta do then is sit back, put your cards on the table, and see how things play out.. Some motherfuckers be runnin around, waiting to see what you’re gonna do, worrying about what they’re gonna do..those the ones haven’t decided yet..once you decide..ain’t nothin else left to do.
They’re both quiet for a while. Then Faith gets up. The guard comes over and re-cuffs Jennie. Jennie stares up at Faith through the plexiglass, and Faith stares back at Jennie, looking down.
Faith drives the old-fashioned car along the highway listening to oldies on the radio.
86—INT JENNIE’S HOUSE—DAY
Faith comes in through the screen door into the living room of Jennie’s grandfather’s house.
FAITH Hello..! How was he? Did he behave?
She goes through the living room and the kitchen and out the back door.
87—EXT JENNIE’S HOUSE: BACKYARD—DAY
Faith is startled, in horror, at what she sees, and at what she does not see. She rushes to the middle of the yard where the lawnchair has been overturned. It lays flat in the grass. Jennie’s grandfather lies face down in the grass. He is wearing one of Mike’s neoprene spook masks. His hands have been bound together behind his back with a plastic zip-tie; his feet have been bound together similarly. Danny is not around. Faith rushes over to him.
FAITH Oh my god! Are you okay?
She pulls off the mask. He is alive.
FAITH Where’s Danny? Where’s Danny!?
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER He took him! He said he was—
FAITH How long ago?
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Right after you left.
FAITH Where did he go?
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER I don’t know!
Faith runs into the house. She fumbles around in the kitchen for scissors or a knife. She runs back to the old man in the grass and is sobbing sporadic, hysteric sobs as she cuts his hands and legs free.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Go. Go see if you can find him. I’ll call the police.
She has cut his hands free. He takes the knife from her.
JENNIE’S GRANDFATHER Go! Go now!
Faith runs through the yard and into the house.
88—EXT MIKE’S HOUSE: FRONT—DAY
*Faith pulls up in front of Mike’s house driving Jennie’s grandather’s old-fashioned car. There is POLICE LINE—DO NOT CROSS tape all over the front yard and the porch. Faith gets out of the car and goes past all the tape in the yard. She comes to the porch. She can hear Danny crying. She goes up the steps. Tape has been pulled away from the entrance. She opens the screen. The inside door is ajar. She pushes it open all the way.
89—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: LIVING ROOM—DAY
Danny is laying on the floor by himself, crying. Faith rushes over to him, kneels beside him, and starts to pick him up.
FAITH Oh, baby! Baby! Are you okay?
She sees Mike’s boots coming to a stop. Mike towers over her. Faith looks up to see his hand coming down in a sweep to hit her on the head. The blow knocks her out. She crumples on the floor beside Danny. Mike rolls Faith over. He pulls out a zip-tie and fastens her hands together. Then he grabs her by her bound wrists and drags her unconscious body across the living room. Mike drags Faith into the bedroom and shuts the door. Danny lies crying near the couch.
90—INT MIKE’S HOUSE: MIKE’S BEDROOM—DAY
When Faith returns to consciousness, she is lying naked on Mike’s bed. Her dress has been cut off with a knife. It lies on the floor in shreds. Faith can hear Danny crying outside the room. Her hands are bound together, she is gagged, but she is otherwise free. Mike is sitting on a chair beside the bed looking at her.
MIKE I wanted to wait till you were awake. If I wanted to fuck a corpse I would just go ahead and kill you. Which, honestly, I might do later. Right after this.
Mike unzips his pants and climbs on top of Faith. Faith is horrified. Mike holds her legs apart and starts to fuck her. Faith screams at him and hits him with her bound hands. Her sounds are unintelligable. Mike puts his hands around her neck.
MIKE If you hit me again I will choke you.
Faith hits him and he hits her back. The blow dazes her, even though it doesn’t break her skin. Mike holds her head and hands against the bed so that she can’t hit him. Faith is, among other things, frustrated that because of their relative body sizes she cannot do much but endure. Then he lays on top of her, breathing heavily, otherwise still. Quietly, he says:
MIKE Pain. Honor. Command. Resolve.
Faith closes her eyes and turns her head to the side so that his face isn’t right in hers. When she opens her eyes, she sees that on the table beside the bed is Jennie’s grandfather’s old fashioned pistol. There is no hesitation. In the next two seconds she has reached with her bound hands across the bed, grabbed the gun, brought it back to herself, pointed it at Mike’s head, he has looked at her, and she has shot him in the face.
91—INT PRISON: CELL BLOCK—DAY
The sound of a prison guard’s hard-soled shoes on a stone floor. We see the guard’s feet as he walks around a corner, through a series of doors. Then he goes down a long cell block. All we see is the guard’s feet, the floor, and glimpses of the barred cells he passes. He arrives at a particular cell, and stops walking. Jennie is inside, sitting on the floor by the bars. She looks up at the guard when he stops, her eyes wide in receipt of the delivery. Through the bars, the guard hands Jennie a single red carnation.
92—INT GAS STATION: BATHROOM—DAY
*Fluorescent light. Grimy walls. Toilet paper fragments littering the floor. A condom machine bolted to the wall. Faith is sitting on the toilet, doubled over, leaning forward, her head down. She is wearing a different sun dress from the mall trip. She sits still for a moment, then wipes herself and gets up. The toilet water is red; a bloody tampon floats on its surface. Faith kicks the handle of the toilet to flush it. Clean water rushes into the bowl. Faith opens the bathroom door and squints reflexively as sunlight floods her eyes.**
93—EXT GAS STATION—DAY
Faith walks out of the bathroom into the sand of a desert somewhere in Texas or the southwest States. The only structure visible is a gas station, the side of which Faith has just exited. A two-lane road stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions. Faith walks away from the gas station toward a black Jeep, Mike’s Jeep, that is parked in front of an ancient gasoline pump. Danny is buckled securely in a baby seat in the front of the Jeep. Faith gets in and leans over to check on him. Danny blinks. He is alert and quiet, his eyes open wide to take in his new world.
FAITH You hangin in there? I hope you’re not tired of being on the road with momma, because we got a lot of driving left to do. We’re not gonna stop now. No-oh. Ewwwk. Danny! You’ve got sand everywhere, you know that? Stop eating it! I know you like how it tastes but it’s not healthy…We’re gonna have to see a lot more sand before we’re through, though. This road goes on forever.
Faith is done fussing with her child. She settles into her own seat and stares at the dusty horizon.
FAITH Would you believe that after all this desert, and after all those mountains, that this whole place is gonna turn right back into green?
She looks at her baby. He has turned away from the scenery to stare at the seat back.
FAITH Keep looking, you don’t want to miss it.
Faith settles in a bit more. She psyches herself up to continue the journey. Right before she starts the car she says:
FAITH And tell me if you see any snakes.
As she talks to her child, Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly starts playing. On the guitar/banjo? at 0:46 into the song, Faith starts the engine, pulls out of the gas station, and drives off toward the horizon. The text “THE END” fades onto the screen in old western lettering as the black Jeep throws a trail of dust into the air. On the hit at 1:15 into the song, the screen goes black and the credits roll.