Narrator: Sometimes you wind up searching for the thing you want least to
Macy: Tasha! Tasha, stop! Wait!
Narr: Macy Hayes found herself running as fast as her skirt allowed after
Tasha, her lover’s ex with whom Macy had never seen eye to eye. Tasha
had been running a whoring operation that Stella Decker, Macy’s partner
in the Decker & Hayes detective agency, had been left in a friend’s "will".
Macy didn’t like Tasha, and she liked Stella running a crime syndicate
even less. Nevertheless, when Father Bly told the girls that Tasha just might
be the mayor’s daughter, the mayor who had hired them to investigate
the existence of said daughter, Macy had to beat feet after the fleeing mademoiselle.
Stella certainly couldn’t; not in her wheelchair.
Macy: I just need to talk to you! Stop!
Tasha: Get stuffed!
Narr: Tasha knew the South Tip streets like the inside of her eyelids, and
quickly gave Macy the slip. Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to tell where
she was headed. Poplar Street was only six blocks from Mama Wang’s house.
As Macy rounded the corner onto the block the brothel sat on, she saw the
bulky form of Bennie the bouncer filling the entryway. On seeing Macy approach,
the bouncer firmed up his stance and made himself ready.
Bennie: Don’t come any closer, bitch.
Macy: I believe Stella had words with you about talking to me that way.
Bennie: Yeah, well, Stella’s not here, and Miss Tasha says you don’t
get inside, no way, no how.
Macy: "Miss Tasha" isn’t here either, and you’re certainly
not going to stop me.
Bennie: Oh really?
Bennie: You going to go right through me?
Macy: If you’re smart, I won’t have to.
Bennie: (thinks she’s full of it) Yeah, then I guess I’m not
Macy: No argument here.
Narr: Macy’s hand leapt towards the Bouncer’s ribs with panther
speed, causing a loud crack as it broke under the blow. The bouncer let out
a yelp and doubled over in pain. Macy interlaced her fingers and slammed her
fists down on the back of the large man’s head, knocking him out, and
to the ground.
Macy: Sleep well, bright-boy.
Narr: Up the stairs the detective ran, taking the steps two in a stride,
and burst into the main lobby. Smoke was clouding the air of the lobby, pouring
from both the "Mama’s" office as well as the hallway of the ‘working’ rooms.
Macy: Tasha? (cough, cough) Tasha, what are you doing? Where are you?
Narr: Covering her mouth, Macy ran towards the heaviest source of the smoke.
The thick, sooty air rampaged out of each of the "bedrooms". Ducking
down low and moving along the hall, Macy soon came to Tasha, lying unconscious
on the floor, matches and gas can by her side.
Macy: What did you do, girl?
Narr: Macy stuffed her hands under Tasha’s arms and dragged her back
down the hallway and down the stairs. She lay the girl down on the ground
next to Bennie and checked her for breath. She gripped the girl’s nose,
pressed her mouth to Tasha’s, and blew into her lungs. She then pressed
on Tasha’s chest and repeated until the girl coughed back to life.
Tasha: (coughs) … what… what happened?
Macy: You tell me. It looks an awful lot like you torched Mama’s place.
Tasha: Why… (coughs more)
Macy: I have no idea! My guess is you finally flipped your lid.
Tasha: No… why… did you save me?
Stella: Jesus Christ! What happened?
Narr: Stella had just rounded the corner, spinning her wheels as fast as
her arms could carry her.
Stella: Is that smoke? Is she all right?
Macy: Barely- and if we want to keep her out of jail, we’d better get
the hell out of here. She set fire to Mama’s. I think… I think
she wanted to die there.
Stella: What happened to Bennie?
Macy: I did.
Stella: Well, wake him up. We’re gonna need him to carry Tasha if we’re
going to get out of here before the fire department gets here.
Macy: (slapping his face) Hey. Hey, lug! Wake up!
Bennie: Wha… what’s… What the hell is- Miss Tasha! What
the hell did you do to her, bitch?
Macy: Save her life- no thanks to you.
Stella: She did it to herself. By the way, nice job protecting my place.
Bennie: Jesus Christ, somebody torched-
Tasha: I’m (coff) I’m sorry, Bennie… I got you into some… trouble…
Bennie: It was nothing, Ma’am. I’ll be fine. Just a broken rib.
Stella: Good. Pick up your former boss. We’re taking the both of you
to the hospital.
Narr: The whole group of them made their way from the scene of the arson,
sirens already beginning to echo through the South Tip streets. In the pickup,
Stella and Macy rode in the cab, while Bennie rode in the back, holding Tasha
in his heavy arms. Typically, Stella would never allow someone she cared about
to be caught dead at Cherry Street General Hospital, but it would be a long
ride to Saint Margaret’s for those riding in the rear. As Bennie helped
Tasha to the emergency room, Macy pulled Stella aside.
Macy: Stella… you’re not going to like this idea, but-
Stella: Forget it, Macy. Blades take care of our own.
Macy: You don’t even know what I was-
Stella: I’m not putting her in the psych ward.
Macy: Be reasonable! She just tried to kill herself! You think you can take
care of her, stop her from going through with it? What are you going to do,
tie her to our bed?
Stella: If necessary, yeah. She’s a blade. We’re a family. More
than that. I don’t expect you to understand.
Macy: I’ve had my share of partners-
Stella: And you betrayed them all, if I remember correctly.
Macy: If you really care about her, you should get her the proper help, and
a killer cripple falls short of a trained medical staff.
Stella: If she’s the mayor’s daughter, somebody has to protect
her from the widow.
Macy: That’s a big if. She definitely wasn’t the woman in the
Stella: So they wanted to throw us off the trail. Bly knows this place. If
he says it, I’ll buy it.
Macy: I think we’ll need a little more proof to bring this to the mayor.
How about the mother?
Stella: Tasha never knew her. Died in childbirth. The only firm records on
it would have been in Mama’s office, and I expect they’re cinders
Macy: But even if she is the daughter- she’s still better off here.
We can focus on getting this Widow and let the professionals work on helping
her brain. Besides- she has no Social Security number, no driver’s license… so
why would we register her under her real name?
Stella: Yeah… but even so- I think I should-
Macy: You don’t even understand how normal girls think. Now you’re
going to help someone who’s sick? She needs real help Stella. Doctor
Stella: (sigh)… Fine. I don’t like it, but- (Macy’s
cell phone rings)
Macy: Whoops… (she checks it, but does not answer)
Stella: Who is it?
Macy: Nobody. Dry cleaner, your suits are-
Stella: (snatching the phone) Give me that. "Cohn, Court". Did
Mr. Chan change his name?
Macy: No, it’s just-
Stella: Save it. I’ve got to go help someone who cares about me.
Macy: Stella- wait. Damn it!
Narr: Stella rolled into the ER and met up with Bennie and Tasha. She took
their admittance forms and filled them both out, neither patient actually
able to read. Macy rejoined the group, but remained silent. The docs checked
Tasha out for smoke inhalation, and then Stella took him aside to discuss
Tasha’s… other problems. A few more forms, a slightly altered
version of Tasha’s backstory, and an expert evaluation later, Tasha
was relocated to the psych floor. She wasn’t thrilled. She had to be
tranquilized after she gave the first orderly a black eye. Eventually, Stella
was allowed into her new room to see her. Macy waited down in the ER. Tasha
looked out of it, and her arms and legs had been strapped to the bed.
Tasha: (groggy, out of it) What the hell do you want?
Stella: Tasha… don’t make this any harder than it’s gotta
Tasha: Shut up… how could you do this to me?
Stella: Me? Me? How could you do this to me? How could you do this to Mama?
She was practically a mother to us, and this is how you honor her memory?
Tasha: (beginning to cry) I was supposed to die! I was supposed to be gone…
Stella: Oh, much better.
Tasha: I was supposed to die, and then you’d see…
Stella: See what?
Tasha: That you’ve been wasting your time with that bitch, when you’re
in love with me! You’re supposed to love me! I need you to love me!
Stella: I… I love you, Tash…
Tasha: But not like I love you.
Stella: … No. Not like that.
Tasha: She should have let me die.
Stella: You’re going to get better, Tasha. It’s going to be good
for you, here.
Narr: A knock at the door turned the two ladies’ heads. It was Bennie,
creeping in cautiously. His chest bulged a little extra from bandages. He
carried a bouquet of yellow tulips. He smiled, sheepishly.
Bennie: Hey, I… I got these for you, Miss Tasha.
Tasha: >sniff< Bennie. Thank you, Bennie, they’re… they’re
Bennie: I saw ‘em, and I didn’t have the money, but I picked
a guy’s pocket to get ‘em for ya. Pretty, like you always been.
Stella: Look, Tash… I’ve got to be going. This is going to be… good.
It’ll be good for you.
Tasha: Whatever you say, Mama…
Stella: (sigh) Bennie? (meaning: you coming?)
Bennie: I… I’d like to stay with Miss Tasha for a little more,
if that’s ok with her.
Narr: And Stella rolled herself out, leaving the burly man and the broken
woman alone with the tulips. Meanwhile, Macy had been pacing the downstairs
hallways when she’d been surprised to see a familiar face within a room
she was passing by. Unfortunately, he saw her as well.
Bopko: You bitch!
Bopko: You come to gloat, bitch? Come to see your friend’s handiwork?
Narr: Macy closed her eyes, steeled herself, and turned around to enter Bopko’s
room. His face was red with anger, as if he’d summoned all the blood
in his body into his head. The cop held up the bandaged stump where his right
hand used to be.
Bopko: You see this? This is gonna ruin me! I’m gonna be off the force!
Macy: Stella and I had nothing to do with that.
Bopko: Yeah, except the stupid bitch saying "This is for Stella" while
she cut me, you dumb broad! God damn it, I didn’t think there’d
ever be one of you type I’d hate more than Decker… but I am going
to kill that Tasha bitch, I swear it.
Macy: I’ve got to get going, Sergeant…
Bopko: You’re not done with this- hear me? I’m going to have
the boys lean on your ass until you give over that slut! You hear me?
Macy: Knowing you like I do, Bopko… I doubt any of the boys will miss
you much. And considering that I have a job now, and you don’t… I
don’t think you could outbid me for their loyalty.
Bopko: It’s not finished! I’ll get you- all three of you!
Narr: The threats faded into the distance as Macy made her way back towards
the entrance of the hospital. As she neared it, her phone rang. (her phone
Courtney: Macy. Hey.
Courtney: You never called me back the other day. I’ve been worried.
You’re in a dangerous business.
Macy: I thought you said you lost my cell number?
Courtney: Oh I did, but your secretary gave it to me. Helpful girl.
Macy: When it suits her. Listen we really need to talk…
Narr: One of the nearby elevators opened and Stella wheeled her way out.
She and Macy made eye contact.
Macy: … but not right now. I have to go.
Courtney: Oh. Call me soon?
Courtney: I… I love you.
Macy: … (sigh) Goodbye.
Stella: How’s your girlfriend?
Stella: Shut up. I don’t want to do this. We were happy.
Macy: Stella, we’re-
Stella: Just take me back to the office.
Macy: … (cold) Fine.
Narr: Not a single word was spoken over the next twenty minutes riding back
to their building. The pair didn’t even look one another in the face
the entire time. Both spent the ride rehearsing in their mind the fight they
would have once they’d arrived, both thinking they certainly had the
most defensible position. The tension continued to mount as they approached
the building, and as they rolled into the lobby, it was practically choking
Jane: Welcome back, Miss Decker. Miss Hayes.
Stella: Didn’t I fire you?
Jane: I assumed you’d reconsidered.
Stella: I haven’t. You’re still fired.
Jane: Here’s your coffee.
Jane: There’s a woman in your office, waiting. Said she wants to hire
Stella: Yeah, just what we need. I’ll let her down easy. What’s
Jane: She called herself "the Widow". Said you’d know what
Narr: With personal matters clouding the air, the duo’s nemesis appears
to have waltzed into their lair. What does the widow want? Is Tasha the mayor’s
daughter? Who is this Courtney Cohn? Come back next time for a little more
truth, and a lot more lies in "Unreasonable Doubt".