Narr: Stella Decker and Macy Hayes took a collective deep breath and entered
their private office.
Widow: Good of you to join us, ladies.
Narr: Behind Macy’s desk sat Father Bly. He was Parlortown’s
oldest, most observant priest. He had been around since long before The Blades,
and had watched them join up with Mama’s Girls. He had taken confession
from everyone in Parlortown, and led Macy and Stella to the Mayor’s
daughter, who had turned out to be none other than Stella’s ex-girlfriend
Tasha. But before the girls could get a word out of Tasha, she had set Mama’s
place ablaze in an attempt to win Stella’s heart postmortem.
Widow: (cold, a total bitch) Do sit down, Miss Hayes. I have a job for you
Narr: The girls’ conversation with Father Bly had been cut short because
the girls had wanted to pursue a fleeing Tasha. Just after they left, he had
been paid a visit by the elusive Madame who had been harassing the Mayor and
the South Tip. She had brought him at gunpoint to the agency. Now this statuesque,
redheaded woman of about fifty sat casually on Macy’s desk, pistol in
Macy: Is that popgun supposed to threaten us?
Widow: It’s not for you, Miss Hayes. Heaven forbid I send a bullet
the way of a former CIA agent who so recently escaped being sliced to pieces
by a flying machete. But while you may be young and vivacious and fit as a
fiddle, your good friend here –
Narr: The Widow waved the pistol behind her in Father Bly’s direction.
Widow: -- is not.
Stella: Did she hurt you, Father?
Narr: Father Bly was sitting as straight as possible, and looking as gentle
and honorable as ever.
Bly: She couldn’t possibly, Stella.
Widow: You girls ran off in such a hurry, you didn’t give the good
Father a chance to finish his story.
Bly: There’s not much more I can tell them.
Widow: Why don’t you tell them what you can, mm?
Bly: Mayor Glass had a…weak moment with a lady from Maison X back in
the seventies. That house was run by a woman known as Miss Vera, and it was
one of the more respectable places. The lady just went by Decadence. She wasn't
particularly popular among the men, but I guess the Mayor took a shine to
Stella: I remember Miss Vera. She and Mama Wang were friends.
Widow: She and Mama Wang were idiots.
Stella: Don’t you ever talk that way about Mama!
Narr: Stella went to lunge out of her chair but Macy caught her and threw
Widow: Don’t make me kill your friend before he’s finished. Continue,
Bly: Decadence could not let anyone know that she’d had a baby by the
Mayor. That would have led to scandal for him, and it might have put her out
Macy: I don’t understand.
Stella: Being a mother takes most of the fantasy out of hooking. Most Johns
won’t touch you, and a lot of Madames won’t employ you. But Father,
Miss Vera was good to her girls, surely Decadence could have told her.
Bly: You remember well, Stella. That’s what she did. To avoid trouble
in her own house, Miss Vera turned Baby Tasha over to Mama Wang, who raised
her as her own. A few years later Decadence disappeared, and that’s
truly the extent of my knowledge on the subject.
Macy: Why would Mama Wang tell Tasha that her mother died in childbirth?
Stella: What other choice did she have? If Tasha knew her mother was alive,
she would have tried to find her. That would have defeated the purpose of
giving her away in the first place.
Widow: The body may be broken, but the mind is still sharp as a tack.
Stella: What does all this have to do with you, Miss…?
Macy: (somewhat amused) Miss Widow?
Widow: You didn’t really expect me to give you my name, did you?
Macy: I suppose that’s asking too much?
Stella: (impatiently repeating herself) What does all this have to do with
Narr: The Widow reached into a small pocket of her fashionable black blazer
and produced a photo – the same photo she had sent to Mayor Glass.
Macy: You’ve got to be kidding. We already know this isn’t the
Mayor’s daughter. You just told us so yourself!
Widow: Ah, but that's where you're wrong. As Father Bly mentioned, the Mayor
took a liking to Decadence. She called on him quite often, and it got her
into more trouble than she could handle. Having one child was bad enough,
but two? She couldn’t bear to give another child away. She married Miss
Vera’s bouncer, who’d had eyes for her for years, and they moved
to the suburbs so they could raise Decadence’s child properly. Which
is why I need you.
Stella: (this BITCH is asking for our help?!) I’m sorry?
Narr: The widow leaned over and handed Stella the photo.
Widow: I need you to find this woman.
Macy: But you’ve already found her.
Widow: Found, and lost.
Stella: (relieved) So you’re not after Tasha?
Widow: Oh, Tasha still interests me. But I know where she is, and I don’t
think she’s going anywhere in the near future.
Stella: What on Earth makes you think we’ll help you?
Widow: You don’t have much of a choice. Until I am satisfied with your
work, Father Bly will be staying with me. Don’t think for a second that
I don’t have connections at Cherry Street, on the police force, and
in the Mayor’s Office. See how many lives you want in your hands.
Stella: What are these women to you? Why do you want us to find the other
Widow: I have my reasons. This should more than cover your fee and expenses.
Narr: The steely-eyed redhead slapped a wad of cash down beside her on Macy’s
Stella: We don’t want your filthy money.
Widow: Once again, Miss Decker, you don’t have much of a choice. Buy
yourself something nice. A new pair of shoes, perhaps?
Narr: The Widow slid off of Macy’s desk and beckoned Father Bly. She
positioned the butt of her gun against his back and huddled close behind him.
They headed for the door.
Widow: Don’t worry about contacting me. Clearly, I can find you.
Macy: How do you know all of this?
Narr: The Widow turned and flashed an arrogant smile at Stella.
Widow: Miss Vera’s girls always stick together.
Narr: The Widow prodded Father Bly out the door. Macy and Stella listened
in shock for a few moments while they heard the outer door open and close.
Under normal circumstances, this is when the detectives would had expressed
their disbelief and tried to put these pieces of the case together. But the
tension between them had been thick when they walked into the office, and
this bizarre interlude proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s
Macy: Like family, huh?
Stella: What’s that supposed to mean?
Macy: Come on, Stella, it turns out you hardly knew your beloved Tasha.
Stella: Lay off, Macy. Tasha didn’t even know about her mother. Besides,
who’s to say that The Widow is telling the truth? Who’s to say
that’s even The Widow?
Macy: That’s The Widow and you know it. Don’t get conveniently
skeptical on me now just because the truth hurts. I could see on your face
you believed her.
Stella: Well it’s no reason to pick on Tasha. Besides, you hardly know
Macy: She’s not my girlfriend, Stella! She’s obsessed with me
or something, but there’s nothing going on between us other than that!
Stella: Don’t flatter yourself, Macy.
Macy: You were obsessed with me at one point.
Stella: I don’t get obsessed with anything.
Macy: What do you call Tasha?
Stella: Someone who never cheated on me.
Macy: I WAS BRAINWASHED!
Stella: It’s a pretty weak excuse for a well-trained Agent.
Macy: I can’t believe we’re going through this again. Do you
deny that Lansberg had my mind in his clutches?
Stella: No, I just noticed that Lexi had something else in her clutches as
Macy: These are pretty risky accusations, Stella. I had no idea what I was
doing. And you were running around seeking revenge for your precious ex while
I was being brutally tortured, and YOU WERE CONSCIOUS.
Stella: You weren’t communicating with me! You were lying to me! Had
you told me you were out of prison and working for Lansberg, I would have
come to your defense!
Macy: Would you?! Would you, Stella? Or would Tasha have been more important
Stella: That’s ridiculous Macy, they’re two different things,
you’re two different people!
Macy: (breaking into sobs now) You’ve been saying that long enough.
I want to know who is more important to you, Stella. Me or Tasha. Do you want
me, the woman who has loved you and cared for you and helped you through thick
and thin, or do you want the woman you don’t really love who is holed
up in the psych ward of the hospital because she torched your beloved Mama’s
house and tried to kill herself to prove her love?!
Stella: I never asked you to take care of me.
Macy: (annoyed) You’re not answering the question.
Stella: I don’t need to be taken care of.
Macy: (yells) Answer the question!
Stella: (yells back) Just because I’m crippled doesn’t mean I
can’t take care of myself!
Macy: (final straw) Yes it does, Stella! That’s exactly what being
a cripple means! It means you can’t get around by yourself, you can’t
run after people, and you can’t make love. Just stop denying it Stella,
you are a cripple!
Narr: Before Macy realized what was happening, Stella launched a powerful
blow with her right fist. Sitting as she was, this planted it right into Macy’s
gut. Macy let out a low grunt as the air was pushed out of her, and stumbled
back onto her desk. She’d barely gotten to catch her breath when their
office door opened.
Jane: Excuse me, Miss Decker, Miss Hayes.
Narr: Jane, the girls’ secretary, got no response from either of them.
Jane: I’m not interrupting anything, am I?
Narr: Still not a word, as Macy leaned against her desk trying to catch her
breath and comprehend what had just happened. Stella sat in her wheelchair,
eyes on Macy, silent.
Jane: Well, Miss Hayes, there’s a call for you. It’s that nurse
again. (pause) Says she can’t find your number again. (pause) All right,
well, she’s holding for you.
Narr: Jane turned to leave the office, but caught herself and returned, this
time coming into the center of the room, facing somewhere in between the two
Jane: You know, Miss Hayes, it’s pretty unfair for you to continue
to receive these kinds of calls at the office when you’ve asked me to
withhold Miss Decker’s personal calls.
Narr: Stella took her eyes off Macy and looked at Jane for a moment. Then
she wheeled out of the office and the two remaining women heard the outer
door open and close. Macy was breathing now, though shallowly, and she steadied
her gaze on Jane, who had an annoying grin on her face.
Macy: (it’s a little difficult to breathe) What exactly are you doing?
Jane: What I think is best.
Macy: Let’s rewind. I’m going to ask you the question again,
and you’re going to give me a straight answer. What exactly are you
Jane: I’m looking out for my employer.
Macy: You’re doing a pretty shoddy job.
Jane: I don’t understand.
Macy: I never asked you to withhold phone messages from Stella. I would never
Jane: That’s not how I see it.
Macy: You’re on dangerous ground, Jane.
Jane: What are you doing to do, fire me?
Macy: Keep talking like that, and yes.
Jane: (amused) You can’t fire me.
Macy: Of course I can.
Jane: Stella Decker employs me.
Macy: For Decker and Hayes. I’m Hayes.
Jane: Seeing as they don’t let cons keep licenses to investigate, I
don’t think you’re qualified to fire me.
Macy: (pause) Just what are you trying to accomplish, Jane?
Jane: Oh, mission accomplished. Now Stella can stop wasting her time on you
and appreciate me. Speaking of wasting time, I sure can’t do my job
from in here, can I? I’ll be at my desk if you need me.
Narr: Jane flounced out of Macy’s office door, and Macy collapsed into
her chair, lost in thought. She sat for a minute, and decided she may as well
deal with Courtney before going home and losing her mind completely. She picked
up the phone but no one was there. None of the buttons on her phone were flashing,
so she didn’t know which line to pick up. She sighed and reluctantly
pressed the buzzer on her intercom.
Macy: Jane, what line is Courtney on?
Jane: (as though she doesn’t know what Macy’s talking about) She’s not on any line, Miss Hayes.
Narr: What will become of the girls now that this wrench has been thrown
into the works? What does The Widow want with the Mayor’s daughters?
Tune in next week for "Out of Mind."