Bones roams the halls, checking the flags outside the doors, and listening for trouble. She approaches Bubbles's room.
Bubbles Bubbles is behind closed doors, the sound of screaming can be heard through the walls
Bones quickens her stride and does her best to distinguish between bad screaming and good screaming. She pops open the secret peephole and checks for trouble.
Bubbles does not seem to be enjoying herself at all. The client is roughing her up far more than the rules (posted on the wall) allow. "STOP!" she screams, trying to protect herself.
Bones kicks the door open without a moment's pause and grabs the guy by some very vulnerable parts.
Bones "Time to go, cowboy."
Bubbles "Bones! Thank god!"
Bones "Bubbles, you gotta use the flags when something happens, so I can come running."
Bubbles "Well I tried, but he had my wrists."
Bones "Sorry, honey. Let me get rid of this guy, and we'll get you a steak to put on that."
Bones begins to drag the guy out painfully.
Jenny meets them in the corridor.
Jenny "What the fuck's going on?"
Bones "Another satisfied customer." Bones squeezes.
Jenny "Oh shit... I'll get his stuff."
Jenny Jenny walks into the room.
Bubbles "I thought you were supposed to make sure they weren't violent when you let em in." She rolls on her side, away from the other two, and rubs her new bruises.
Bones is out of earshot, but soon returns, dusting her hands irritatedly.
Jenny "Oh it's you again", to Bubbles.
Jenny "I'm beginning to think you like that shit."
Bubbles glares up at Jenny as well as she can through her black eye. "Well I don't."
Jenny "No day off for you."
Bubbles "WHAT?! I didn't do anything wrong!"
Jenny "I ain't falling for this shit."
Jenny "Second time this week."
Jenny "You think I'm stupid?"
Bones "Hold on a second, Jenny."
Bubbles stares at her, dumbfounded. "You think I made this up?" She points to the black eye, and the jagged red lines on her arm where his fingernails scratched her
Bones "Don't play games. I know you're giving her all the bad customers because she's the new girl. You did this to Shelley, too."
Jenny "Hey you mind your own business Bones!"
Jenny points her finger
Bones "These girls are my business, Jenny."
Bones "What I want to know is, where's the front desk when these fuckers come calling?"
Bubbles wipes her eyes, trying not to cry aloud. This wasn't how she'd planned her move to the big city going at all.
Bones looks at Bubbles, then looks away, and walks back out of the room.
Jenny starts grabbing the guy's stuff, mumbling
Jenny "Cut that shit out", to Bubbles
Jenny goes through the guy's wallet as she walks out.
Bones comes back with a steak and tosses it to Bubbles.
Bubbles holds the crumpled newspaper clipping in her hand then looks up at the building. "Help wanted, The Crossroads Massage Parlor. Multiple positions available." She straightens her dress and walks in, up to the front desk.
Bubbles "Excuse me, is there a..." she looks down at the paper "Ms. Jenny here?"
Jenny looks her up and down.
Bubbles shifts from one foot to the other. She's quite pretty, if a little rumpled.
Jenny smiles an ugly smile.
Jenny "Hello there honey. I'm Jenny."
Jenny holds out her hand.
Bubbles smiles nervously. "Hello, my name is Emily." She shakes Jenny's hand.
Jenny "Emily huh? That'll never do... You looking for work?"
Bubbles "Yes, ma'am. I'm a very hard worker, and I give excellent backrubs."
Bubbles holds out a carefully tended resume
Jenny "Heh... it's X bucks an hour... I see you're 17?"
Bubbles "Yes Ma'am. I'm hoping to earn money to go to college part time. What are the hours like here?"
Jenny "Oh it's all very flexible." Waves hand. "We'll give you a place to stay, here, free of charge, which we will need you to accept. Oh and we've had plenty of girls go to college afterwards." Ugly smile.
Bubbles "Oh..." she ponders. "I was hoping for part time, but having a place to stay does sound awfully nice."
Bubbles "And then I can go to college full time with the money I save..."
Jenny "Sure! But hold on there just a second... 17... we'd have to expose ourselves to heaps of trouble if we put you on the pay-roll officially."
Jenny shakes her head.
Bubbles "I'll be 18 in two months..."
Jenny "Well, we could risk it, but you'd have to do your part..."
Bubbles "What do you mean?"
Jenny "You know, work extra hard to make the customers feel at home..."
Jenny motions her to come closer.
Bubbles "Oh, um I think I can do that." She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and leans in closer.
Jenny "I'm willing to stick my neck out for you, but you better not make me look bad." (very serious look)
Bubbles "Oh, of course not Ma'am. I won't cause any trouble, I promise. Just let me know what I need to do."
Jenny "Well first of all you can't go working like that. Give me that sweater."
Jenny "And what is that you're wearing for shoes?!"
Bubbles looks dubious, but struggles out of her sweater, she's wearing a tank top underneath. "Walking shoes?"
Jenny "Honey, if you're going to make a client feel good about being here, you better look like you're making some kind of effort."
Jenny "Gimme those."
Bubbles "But these are my only shoes!"
Jenny "I'll find you some, don't worry." Smile.
Jenny "Now, you need yourself a sexy name."
Jenny "A name's very important in this line of business."
Bubbles kicks her shoes off and stands next to them. "It...is?"
Jenny "Honey, who wants to spend some time with someone called Emily?"
Jenny "Oh and you'll have to make a little investment at the start to acquire the mandatory equipment." (holds up a nice-looking necklace)
Bubbles "Wow, that's really pretty... I don't know if I can afford it though."
Jenny "It's nice, isn't it? Of course, it's a little pricey, but I can arrange some kind of loan... if you're willing to do something special for me."
Jenny "You wouldn't let me down now, would you, now that I stuck out my neck for you?"
Bubbles starts to say no, but then... she can't really afford an apartment here, and the other jobs had turned her down. And it IS awfully pretty. "A loan? Well.. I guess if I don't have to pay for an apartment.."
Jenny "How much have you got on you?"
Bubbles digs in her pockets and counts it out carefully. "I have... $55.73."
Jenny "50 bucks?! Oh, well, that'll never do!" Looks angry. "I suppose you have no problem with wasting my time like this..;"
Jenny knows this girl ain't going anywhere...
Bubbles "I'm sorry! I didn't know I would have to ..buy equipment!"
Jenny looks annoyed. "Oh come on, don't start crying."
Jenny "Just hand me the 50... Here, try it on, see if you like it."
Bubbles looks down. "I'm sorry."
Jenny "But you owe me, big time!"
Jenny hands over the necklace.
Bubbles tries on the necklace, looking down at herself in the small mirror on the desk. "It does look pretty on me, doesn't it...." No other necklace has ever made her look this good, or feel... a little odd? Drawn to the door behind the counter. She looks down at the money in her hands, then hands it over. "Okay. When do I start?"
Jenny "Well, seein' as I'm putting my livelyhood at risk for you and all, I'll need you to start tonight. There's a bit of a rush... And here, take these. Remember to swallow them on your way over. They'll help you relax."
Bubbles finds it slightly odd that she doesn't hesitate to take the pills from Jenny. "Thank you, for everything. I'll do my best!"
Nina Bubbles is sitting in kitchen, by herself. She's staring at her plate. When she looks up, Nina's there, holding on to the doorframe like it's the only thing that's holding her up.
Bubbles "Nina... are you okay?" She gets up and walks quickly to the door, hesitating before touching her
Nina "B... Bubbles... I need to... talk to you..."
Nina doesn't look so good.
Bubbles "Come in, honey, sit down. Here, have something to drink."
Nina You practically have to carry her to a stool.
Nina is weakly clutching a badly worn notebook.
Bubbles does so, waiting til she's drank something before asking, "What's wrong?"
Nina "You gotta help me", she whispers. "I gotta get out of here!" (more urgently)
Bubbles "we all do, Nina sweetie... we just... have to pay off our loans first."
Nina You spot deep red marks where she's been pulling at her necklace.
Nina "Emily, I can't stand it anymore... I'm going out of my mind... I..." She drops the notebook.
Bubbles "Sweetie, calm down." She picks up the notebook and hands it back to her. "Don't worry, we'll be fine."
Nina "No!... you keep it... I can't look at it any more." She pushes the notebook away feebly.
Bubbles looks down at it, then takes it. "Okay, whatever you say." She pushes the necklace away from the red marks with concern. "Did your necklace catch on something?"
Nina "Hmmm," she moans. Her skin is burning hot to the touch.
Bubbles "We need to get you to the first aid room
Nina coughs when she sips at the water.
Bubbles more or less drags her to the room with all the medicines, and finds a topical anaesthetic and some advil. "Here, take these."
Nina 's situation is worsening visible by the minute. She's now delirious.
Nina "Bubbles I'm going to die if you don't help me to get out of here you always help me please help me..."
Bubbles looks worried, "How can I help you?"
Nina passes out.
Bones walks in, noticed Bubbles and Nina and immediately gets grim.
Bones "What's going on here?"
Bubbles "Nina... she came in here, looking terrible and said she was going to die if she couldn't get out of here...."
Bones "Get to your room. Now."
Bones "I'll deal with this."
Bubbles "But I'm really worried about her!"
Bones "There's nothing you can do for her now."
Bubbles "...what do you mean? Are you going to take her to the hospital?
Bones "I'm going to take care of her."
Bones "Don't worry. Just get to your room."
Bubbles gives Nina one last look, then heads for her room, clutching the notebook.
Bones stalks into Jenny's office. "We lost another one."
Jenny "Shit. Is it Nina?"
Jenny is biting her lip nervously.
Bones "YES, it's Nina."
Bones "I told you not to give her that shit."
Jenny "Hey I was just helping her to make it through the grind."
Jenny throws up her hands.
Jenny Some lousy radio music is playing in the background.
Jenny "You sure she's finished?"
Bones "Jenny, she's dead."
Jenny "...Fuck! You know what this means. He's going to be pissed."
Bones "That's what you're worried about?"
Chimes walks in, preceding by the gentle chiming of her bells
Chimes What is happening?
Jenny "Hey don't look at me like that! You know what... Hey girl don't you know how to ring?"
Jenny looks like she's just seen a ghost.
Chimes stops and looks at Jenny, then around
Chimes "I'm sorry; did I interrupt something?"
Bones "Hey, Chimes, what's up?"
Chimes "I believe there is someone at the door"
Jenny 's hands start to shake a little.
Bones gestures eloquently to Jenny.
Jenny gets up slowly, staring at the door.
Jenny walks out of the grimy little office, shaking visibly.
Chimes looks after her, worried
Bones sighs heavily and drops into a chair.
Chimes saunters over to sit in another chair, her relaxed movements a stark contrast to the look worry in her face
Bones "How's tricks, Chimes?"
Chimes "Has .. something happened to Nina?"
Chimes "Oh, I know how to handle them. Bubbles doesn't look so happy though."
Bones "Nina's been having some trouble recently, that's all."
Bones "What's up with Bubbles? Just cause she's new?"
Chimes "I saw her just now; she's still in tears after the last guy she saw. She looked terrible!"
Bones "She'll be all right. Just needs to get used to it." She doesn't look too confident.
Chimes looks unhappy. "Where did this Jenny come from anyway? How are we supposed to work if we can't feel safe?"
Bones "Don't you worry, Chimes. I'll keep you safe. You just let me know when you have a problem, okay?"
Chimes smiles - "I know"
Chimes "But please talk to her"
Bones "Jenny, or Bubbles?"
Chimes "Jenny, of course!"
Chimes "I'm just worried that if things get out of hand, He'll come down Himself"
Bones looks at Chimes. "Who?"
Chimes "Oh, you know; The Man Upstairs"
Bones shakes her head slowly, and walks out of the room.
Chimes frowns annoyedly. Then looks at a clock and goes to get ready for an appointment
Jenny Jenny storms into the room where Chimes was working, after another customer had to be thrown out for roughing her up. Bubbles is siiting on her bed in the room across the hall.
Chimes looks up and glares angrily at Jenny
Chimes "What the hell are you doing! Do you WANT us to get killed?"
Jenny "You're supposed to know how to handle yourself! Not like that lazy bitch over there!"
Chimes "If I hadn't seen through that guy and gotten out in time, I'd..."
Bubbles overhears Chimes and moves to her door, peering out across the hall.
Chimes I DO know how to take care of myself!"
Chimes "But that doesn't help if you send me complete psychos!"
Jenny "I can't believe you bitch like that! This is nothing compared to what I have to face!"
Jenny is losing it completely.
Chimes laughs mockingly
Chimes "Do tell"
Jenny "WHAT?! You laughing at me?!" I spit.
Chimes "Whatever have you done here except laying about and pretending to run this place?"
Chimes "And into the ground too, it seems"
Jenny points menacingly.
Jenny "Shut your bitch-ass mouth right now! If it wasn't for me, you'd have gone like Nina long ago!"
Chimes "How dare you!! Nina's dead BECAUSE of you!"
Bubbles "Nina's DEAD?"
Chimes "I read her diary, you evil hag!"
Bubbles "Bones said she ws going to take care of her!"
Jenny "What the fuck you looking at?!" (at Bubbles)
Bubbles "You killed Nina?"
Jenny "Oh come on! She was dead when she walked in! I was only trying to help."
Chimes "You bloody well helped her on down, that's for sure"
Jenny "Why wouldn't she just leave her necklace alone?!" (at no one in particular)
Jenny is going really crazy now.
Chimes grabs Jenny and pulls out her necklace
Chimes "like this? what do you know about this?"
Jenny "... gasp... NOOOO!!"
Jenny tries to claw it back.
Chimes Want to go up and ask Him?
Jenny "... You bitch!..."
Jenny turns towards Bubbles.
Jenny "Help me!!"
Jenny "Emily... please!!"
Jenny staggers towards Bubbles.
Chimes "This is new..."
Bubbles "What are you, crazy? It's your fault I'm here!"
Jenny is clearly freaking out from something... probably drugs.
Jenny is nodding now.
Jenny "Is that so?"
Jenny "After everything I did for you?"
Bubbles ducks back into her room and comes back with a gun in her shaking hands. "You almost got me killed, Jenny! That guy brought this with him!" She points it at Jenny's chest.
Jenny "Bubbles honey..."
Bubbles "Tell me what's going on! What happened to Nina?"
Jenny "You poor little baby..."
Jenny 's stoned eyes are crying now.
Jenny "Baby, you're going to die... just like Nina."
Bubbles "Don't call me a baby! What happened to her? What's happening to me?"
Jenny "You're never leaving this place... ever."
Chimes "No! Don't listen to her!"
Chimes "I'll tell you what happened to Nina"
Jenny "Bye bye college... hihi."
Bubbles "I don't care how much money I owe you, I'm not staying any longer!"
Bubbles looks from Jenny to Chimes
Chimes goes over to Bubbles and places a hand on her shoulder
Chimes "I'm afraid it's not that easy, sweetie"
Jenny "Yeah, see what Bones has to say about that."
Bubbles "What do you mean it's not that easy?"
Jenny "Ask him what he did with the body."
Chimes "It's not that you're not _allowed_ to leave"
Chimes "You just can't"
Jenny "You think you're the first "Bubbles""?
Chimes "and as for Nina; she couldn't deal with staying, and Jenny "helped" her cope"
Chimes "By feeding her drugs"
Jenny "That's right."
Jenny "You'll be begging me for some, soon."
Chimes glares at Jenny "Never mind that it's you're fault it's come to this state"
Bubbles reaches for her necklace with one hand and tries to tug it off. It burns her skin when she does, and she screams. "Leave me alone! You can keep your stupid necklace, I'm leaving!" She points the gun at Chimes, and back at Jenny, then stumbles down the hall towards the front door.
Chimes "This was a good place before you came!"
Jenny smiles through her tears.
Chimes "Maybe not a paradise, but we didn't need drugs to live through insane psycho-customers"
Chimes "Because they WEREN'T ALLOWED IN!"
Jenny "I should have finished you off a long time ago."
Jenny pulls out some kind of wicked little kitchen knife.
Jenny "Die bitch!"
Jenny jumps at Chimes, swinging drunkenly.
Bubbles wrenches the back door room open and steps through to the front room. She sways, feeling the compulsion to return to the back, but pushes forward.
Chimes jumps back and throws a big vase at Jenny
Chimes runs out of the room and slams the door
Jenny runs wildly after Chimes into the hall.
Jenny "YOU BITCH BITCH BITCH!!!"
Chimes spots the gun Bubbles left in her flight and dives for it
Chimes "STAY BACK!!!"
Jenny "GIVE ME THAT!!!"
Jenny lunges forward.
Jenny "oh... no..."
Jenny "honey... what have you done?"
Jenny is dripping blood from her guts.
Bubbles As she reaches the door to the outside, and pushes it open there is a flash of light in her head that blinds her, and she finds herself back in the hallway of the back room, the necklace like a ring of fire, burning. She screams, the first thing she sees as her sight returns, Jenny, bleeding.
Chimes "I didn't want to..."
Jenny "I don't want to go to hell...", weakly.
Jenny "please help me..."
Chimes drops the gun and runs over to Jenny
Jenny is dying.
Jenny is dead.
Chimes , to Bubbles: "Get Bones!"
Bubbles "You... you shot her!"
Chimes "I didn't want to..."
Chimes "She wanted to kill ME"
Bubbles "She killed Nina!"
Chimes shakes her head and pulls her self together
Chimes "We have to go upstairs"
Bubbles clutches her necklace and tries to pull it off, tears running down her face. "What's happening? I don't even know how I got here!"