My Fair Jacky, Act I: '#BreakingNews'
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
It was like a dream:
To be loved, to be part of something…
For Jaclyn Pierrot, it was like a dream.
The clown-faced woman looked up at the lights that flickered in her rear view mirror. That familiar blue, pulsing strobe. She’d been here before and she knew what to do. Jacky eased the car over to the side of the road and withdrew the gun from between the leather seat and the center console. It felt familiar in her hand. Cold, unforgiving steel: The Aristocrat.
The Joke that Kills.
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
There was something about him, something amazing.
The Spider King. Her King. Something…unforgettable.
Jacky pulled the hammer back on the revolver. The click caused that Pavlov effect in her mind and her golden eyes dilated. It was just one cop after all. One body - one grave, shallow though it may be, and she would be on her way. After all, she’d been here before. She knew exactly what to do.
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
He made her finally feel like she belonged.
Jacky watched the car in her rear view, the scorpion patiently waiting for her prey. Her muscles tensed and relaxed as they readied to strike. It was just one cop after all.
“Jaclyn Pierrot. Step out of the vehicle and put your hands where we can see them.”
She looked again. It was just one cop. She squinted and leaned closer. It was just one cop, but now there were more. More lights, more sirens as dozens of vehicles surrounded the black Escalade with a #3 spray-painted along the side.
The predator becomes the prey.
The corner of her lip curled up in appreciation.
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
Was it worth dying for?
“Put your hands up and step out of the vehicle!”
She looked at the steering wheel. She considered her options. Her hand slid across her neck - his neck. She knew the truth. For her, there was only one option - to get back to him, even if she had to crawl her way back from hell. She squeezed the handle until her palm turned white.
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
It was like a dream.
“Jaclyn Pierrot! Put your hands up and step out of the vehicle or we will open fire!”
The door whipped open and she stepped free of the vehicle. The gun in her hand was raised and aimed directly at the car behind her: it was only one cop after all. She began to depress the trigger, but was interrupted by a hail of gunfire.
Armed and extremely dangerous? Then terminate with extreme prejudice.
They took no chances.
Deja vu - something about that moment felt so familiar. The shock, the impact - it was so much and so sudden, she didn’t even have time to react. Somehow, something about it reminded her of him. Her knees hit the ground only an instant before her face, the painted smile betraying the grimace beneath.
Her vision began to fade.
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
Was he worth it?
Her hand clutched the pistol one final time. Jacky began to raise it from the ground and aims it through the red towards the car behind her. It was just one cop after all…
(VO)Morgan Freeman as Dead Bunny
It was like a dream.
His tongue slides across the remains of his upper lip. A whisper. He wasn’t asleep though, was he? He can hear her giggling, then her hand touches the inside of his leg.
“Jacky…” he groans. It is as much of a question as anything else. The Farm had a way of playing tricks with people - even the Spider King himself. His legs instinctually part. He can feel the heat of her breath as she leans into his ear. The warmth of her hand as it slides closer. And closer.
“Wake up,” she whispers in her high-pitched voice.
“But I’m not asleep…” he mutters, though he would admit, it all did sometimes feel like a dream. She starts to pull away, but his hand catches her wrist. She snorts with laughter.
“Tempest…” she coos, though her voice seems distant.
“I’m not asleep…” he repeats, wearily.
A pounding at the door causes his eyes to shoot open. Tempest looks around. He is alone in his room, except for the clown’s bunny doll. A Spongebob comforter that she bought at first as a joke is draped lazily across his waist. Her scent lingers, the smell of fresh apple pie. He licks his lips
The sun begins to set outside the window, now only a glimmer of light in the otherwise dim room. A blue glow cuts through the creeping dark. There is a buzz on his phone. Then another.
“She must be drunk,” he thinks. He fell asleep just after she left, but judging by the way the sun hung low in the sky, it must have been out longer than he had anticipated. Tempest pulls the cover aside to display his bare torso and calls out towards the door, “It’s unlocked babe!”
The phone continues to rattle and rattle as the door opens wide. It’s Daedalus. His usual smug smirk is replaced with a grim expression that causes Tempest to sit up.
“It’s Jacky,” Daedalus says.
The words echo through Tempest mind. “Jacky…” he whispers and his hand grabs his own phone. Thirteen messages, five missed calls, two voicemails. Only one from her…
“She’s been shot.”
Tempest feels the blood rush from his face. The Doll - his Doll.
“No…” he says quietly. She was just there…she was just…He breathes in deeply: freshly baked pie.
Daedalus holds out his phone.
“Shit…” In a panic, his hand finds the remote. “Jacky?”
A joke. A laugh. He wants that frown on Daedalus face to turn into a smile. He wants to see her pop out from around the corner with a ‘Gotcha’ and they would all laugh. The television flickers to life and he flips through the stations.
“This morning the search for the fugitive known as Ragdoll resulted in a violent cla-”
“No…” She was just here.
He turns the volume up and listens for anything to tell him it’s not true. It’s just a nightmare. He’ll wake up and she’ll be right there again. In his arms and by his side.
“Police say the suspect exited the vehicle with a large revolver in hand. They say she failed to respond to warnings to halt and were forced to open fire with over twenty shots from over a dozen responding officers were used to force the suspect down. In what some are calling a miracle, the clown somehow survived the onslaught-”
She was just here…
“The suspect is currently being held at an undisclosed location. Doctors say she is not expected to make it through the night.“
The remote tumbles from his hand, landing at the feet of the makeshift rabbit doll. He reaches for it and clutches it close to his chest. She was right here…in his arms…
A noise escapes him that causes Daedalus' heart to catch in his throat. It’s not a scream, but a howl so full of raw emotion that it causes the moon itself to retreat and only darkness takes the night.
A buzzer sounds and the door opens.
Jaclyn Pierrot steps into the room. Her usual extraordinary attire has been replaced with the drab, county-appointed, orange jumpsuit with a pair of matching Crocs. A number, emblazoned across her chest replaced her name. Her wrists remain shackled with a chain connecting them down to her feet forcing her to waddle as she walks. The guard points towards the glass partition. She slides into the seat and removes the phone.
Her usual glimmering eyes have been replaced with hollow, dark circles. She finally looks up and squeals.
“Tempest!” Jacky shrieks, popping to her feet. The chair slides back as both of her palms connect with the glass. “Baby!”
Tempest sits next to Daedalus on the other side of the partition. He starts to speak, but the guard approaches the bouncing clown from behind.
“Inmate Number 21250, please remain seated or your privilege will be revoked.”
The hand firmly pulls her backwards, pushing her down roughly into the seat, lingering for a moment. Her eyes drop down to the hand and Tempest follows her gaze. He watches her pupils begin to dilate before she bites her lip and shakes her head over at him. The clown turns and nods up towards the guard.
“Yes. I understand.” she says. He turns and walks away so she pulls the receiver back up to her ear. The smile instantly returns. “Hey babe!”
Tempest forces his eyes away from the back of the man’s skull and towards the clown.
“We are going to break you out,” he says firmly. His eyes dart over and take inventory of the man’s features, determining what’s removable.
And I’m going to kill that guard, slowly.
“No.” she says, much to his surprise. Tempest looks over to Daedalus, unsure of what to say. “Don’t do that.”
“You’re not staying here.”
She nods her finger twisting the phone cord as she continues to gnaw on her lip.
“I know, but…you can’t.” Her head shakes. “I thought about it but...what if you or any of the boys got hurt trying to get me out?”
“You two should really use some sort of code for this…” Daedalus leans back in his chair. He does his best to appear casual as he surveys the room for surveillance. Nobody seems to be heading their way immediately. Tempest presses his hand against the glass.
“I miss you.” She smiles, lifting her hers as well. She presses it lightly against the glass.
“I miss you.” Jacky's voice trembles and her eyes glisten as they fill with tears. Tempest hand begins to curl into a ball. A fist. A weapon. Daedalus reaches out and does his best to help him holster it.
“Let me break you out.” His voice trembles with a different emotion: rage.
“No!” She exclaims. The guard turns his head towards her and she clasps her hand over her mouth. After a moment, he returns to fiddling with his smart watch.
“Well, what are you going to do?” He begins to raise his voice as he speaks. Jaclyn’s shoulders slump and he stops himself. “I’m sorry Jacky…but you can’t just stay in there, I can't allow that to happen.”
“I know…” Jaclyn nods her head slowly, her eyes suddenly avoiding his.
“What is it?” He asks.
“Well,” she hesitates, unsure of how he may react, “I did something. I don’t think you’ll like it…”
“What?” He asks, unsure of what she could possibly have done from her position. His eyes dart over to the guard.
“It’s really bad…”
Daedalus pulls the phone between them, suddenly more intrigued by the possibilities of an impending riot than the chances of a minor arrest.
“What did you do?”
Jacky lets out a deep breath. She closes her eyes for a moment as she considers. How were they going to react? After steadying her nerves, she looks up, her eyes moving between them.
“I hired a lawyer.”
Simultaneously, the two men gasp and lean away from the window.
Outside of the Courthouse
Denzel Porter stands in front of the frame, microphone in hand. He has an overcoat pulled over his two piece Armani suit. His breath can be seen in the fog as he speaks.
“Hello everyone: Denzel on the Scene,” he takes a step back and motions behind him. A large crowd has gathered along the steps leading up to a courtroom.
“You can see here everyone is awaiting what could arguably be considered one of the biggest trials in professional wrestling history! The Unified Global Wrestling Coalitions’ Jaclyn Pierrot, better known as the Ragdoll to the world at large, is set to stand trial here today.”
A police siren goes off and a caravan of vehicles begins to slow in front of the crowd. There is a rumble then a roar from the crowd behind him. Camera bulbs begin to flash and the throng, once complacent, pushes in towards the large unmarked SUV that pulls up to the curb. A half-dozen police push the horde back as another exits the passenger side and pulls the back door open.
“Jacky! Over here!”
The Ragdoll steps from the vehicle. Her hands are in shackles, but they have freed her ankles so she now freely, at least as much as one can walk when bound by the wrists and surrounded by armed men. Denzel motions the camera to follow as he moves in through the masses.
“Jaclyn! Denzel Porter here…” he shouts, reaching his mic high over the shoulder of another similarly dressed gentleman. The police continue to try to push their way through the mob of paparazzi and up the steps.
“Jacky,” He tries once more, “Denzel Porter, can I get a statement?”
She stops and turns in his direction. Her eyes lock with the tall, handsome reporter. The police, already overwhelmed with crowd control, now struggle to pull her forward.
“You!” She exclaims, her pupils becoming lost in a sea of gold. “Yeah I got a statement: I should have been on your list!”
She now begins to push her way towards him, the guards doing their best to hold her back.
“Which one?” He asks, visibly confused.
Jacky gets away from the guard leading her, shouldering her way into the press as she makes a beeline towards Denzel. Despite her size, she is able to get a few feet into the swell of bodies before one of the boys in blue breaks her stride with a football tackle from behind. The cameras flash again and Denzel takes a step back, turning back towards his own
“Wow, that was intense…Ladies and Gentl-”
“Denzel! Look out!” A voice calls out from behind the frame.
There is more screaming and someone shouts, “She’s got a gun!” Denzel is able to turn just in time to see Jaclyn Pierrot somehow scrambling on top of the pile, her hands loose and in front of her. One of the officer’s service revolver is aimed directly at the reporter, mere inches away.
“All of them!” she shrieks. Her eyes narrow and just as she begins to squeeze down on the trigger, she is tackled once more. The reports from the .9mm cause the crowd to disperse as other officers join the fray.
One of the officers steps away from the scramble and puts his hand on the lens. The scene fades to black.
Inside the Courtroom.
The trial is everything that is to be expected. That is to say: it is an absolute shit show. A debacle. Witnesses recanted their statements, suddenly forgetting details they were once so sure about. There would later on be whispers of a large masked man that circulated amongst the tabloids where an unnamed witness swears a monstrous man in a mask came to his house accompanied by a pale, scarred man, but the tabloids always had a way of telling a tale.
Evidence after evidence, witness after witness, the Defense continued to mount a very compelling case towards the innocence of Jaclyn Pierrot. Innocent of an alleged altercation involving attacking an associate and attempted armed robbery. Innocent of bludgeoning the two businessmen back in Baltimore with a brick and leaving them bleeding and unconscious. Innocent of causing multiple chaotic incidents involving celebrities under various circumstances.
From A to Z, the defense has an answer for everything. Everything that is, except Ragdoll.
“Objection your honor!” Jaclyn screams from the stand.
“You can’t say that!” The burly judge growls at her.
She bites her lip and looks across to her lawyer then to Tempest. She winks at him and then puffs out her cheeks, her attorney's face turning pale. His head drops into his hands as she turns back towards the judge and says loudly, doing her best to mimic his voice: “Objection!”
The courtroom erupts and the gavel hammers down with authority. “Order! Order!”
With the masses behind her, she pushes herself to her feet, the bailiff rushing towards her.
“I’ll have a cheeseburger and small fries, extra pickles. And a cherry coke!”
The man’s face turns beet red as he continues to furiously bang the gavel. The officer is able to get her back seated as the Judge restores order in the courtroom.
“I will not have any more of this…circus!”
After a lengthy recess, the trial reconvened. All evidence pointed towards mere circumstance and acute cases of coulrophobia. All evidence, except one thing.
The footage plays to show the actor stepping into the train.
“You can see here where he enters the subway alone…” he waits a moment and then points to the top of the frame, “...followed by that woman.” The video pauses on what is clearly her face, close to the camera. She is pulling the sides of her lips out, tongue out and eyes crossed as she gives the camera a raspberry. He fast forwards to the next stop. The car is empty. He pauses dramatically, setting the remote down slowly. His hands tuck into his pockets and he sways towards the jury box. As he gets near, he withdraws his hands and holds them upside down in front of himself, like a showman on the reveal. Montague rolls his eyes and crosses his arms across his chest. “But you can see here…no Morgan Freeman.”
There is a small unified gasp from the room. The lawyer nods his head, soaking in the drama. He turns towards Jacky, waving his hand in her direction.
“And no clown.”
The sound does not come from the lawyer or the clown, despite the urges boiling deep within her. Instead, it booms forth from the very back of the room, accentuated as the swinging doors collide with the stops. Natural light pours through the door, coating the man in what appears to be an almost angelic back lighting. The judge covers his eyes, unable to see past the glare from the outside sun.
“And just who in the hell are you?” The Justice asks. As the doors swing shut, the man steps forward. He is dressed head-to-toe in an all-white suit with matching loafers. He smiles and winks over to the clown.
“Hey Jacky.” She begins to furiously wave her hand over towards him, but the lawyer swats at her wrist, “Your honor: My name is Morgan Freeman.”
Jacky pushes her finger between the band and her ankle as the Escalade began to cruise down the highway. She has tucked herself into the safety of the Spider King's arms once more in the back seat. Morgan Freeman sits just beside her, his hands resting on a cane which sits between his legs.
“You took a police officer's gun on live television and tried to shoot a sports journalist. I think that's getting off lightly.”
“He should have put me on his list!” She protests. Tempest hand wraps around her waist pulling her closer. She gives up fiddling with the anklet and begins to nuzzle into his neck. The actor looks out his own window. “Why can’t I stay at the farm, again?”
“You have to work.” he answers, “It’s part of the plea bargain.”
“Blowjobs don’t count?”
In the front seat, Daedalus spits his water out across the front windshield. The actor continues. “And you are not allowed to be in possession of your firearms.”
“I can’t even have my gun?” she whines, pulling the pistol free. Morgan pulls it from her hand, slipping it into his coat pocket. She pouts over at him. “I thought I was supposed to work!”
“You’re a wrestler.”
“Right!” She says, confused on how he isn’t following along, “How am I supposed to wrestle without my gun?”
Morgan Freeman looks her over and nods. He’s seen her in the ring. He was there when she went berserk on the one known as Pisces. He knew what she was capable of: raw unbridled fury.
“You can fight,” he says, “I’ll give you that, but what happens when you cross more experienced fighters?”
She shrugs, unsure of where this is headed.
“Centurion? Sloane? Sebastian? You lose focus and then lose matches.”
“What about Hastings and the two low hanging Baals?” she counters.
“You had your friends.” He corrects. Her brow furrows and she crosses her arms across her chest in a huff.
“I still won!” she mutters.
“But did you really do anything?”
Her jaw drops. The SUV pulls to a stop and the doors are all opened from the outside. Morgan unbuckles his seatbelt and turns to step out of the vehicle.
“I matter,” she finally manages to say.
“Yeah?” He stops, turning back towards her. He smiles at her again, that warm inviting smile. He nods his head, truly believing that she does in fact matter and matter quite a lot. “So prove it.”
Her golden eyes watch as he steps down from the vehicle and begins to walk towards the large, unmarked building.
Daedalus makes his way around to the same door the actor just said, leaning down towards the couple. He starts to speak but Tempest waves him away with one hand. He nods, shutting the door.
“I matter…” she whispers, but something about her voice makes Tempest realize that she doesn’t fully believe it. His hand cups her chin and he gently turns her face towards his. The tears he’s only seen a few times before threaten to cascade down her cheeks as they well up once more. “I matter.”
She blinks just as he pulls her into his chest and into the safety of his arms once more.
The camera opens up to the stoop leading up to the back of the unmarked building. Jacky holds what looks like a hand-rolled cigarette in one hand. There is a Happy New Year hat tilted dangerously to the side on top of her the loose, pink space buns that dominate the top of her head. She has on a plain black hoodie and jeans.
She dabs the joint out and lays it on the step beside her before leaning back.
“Well, looks like we’re here again then aren’t we, Travis? Back at the beginning - down here at the fucking bottom. But that’s where you always are, isn’t it? So nothing new for you, right? In life as in the ring, here you are as if this is some sick act of art imitating life.”
She shakes her head, looking less than pleased beneath the painted smile.
“That’s what they all say though, right?”
“Don’t worry about it, Travis, I get it. I’ve heard it all before too,” Jacky counts on her fingers as she speaks, “‘You’re a clown’, ‘You’re a fake’, ‘You lost two high profile matches and a shot at the big one.’, and the one I love most of all, ‘I’m not scared of you’.”
Jaclyn rolls her eyes.
“Year twenty-twenty-one playing on repeat time and time again. The same cafeteria jokes told and retold, but with just a little bit more mustard and a little bit more edge to really make it look like putting Pete on Re-Pete makes a brand new man. Do you know how many times I heard absolutely anyone say anything new about me since the first time I mopped the floor with your little pack of push-arounds?”
She looks between her hands, considering if she has enough fingers. Finally,she holds her hand up in a loose fist.
“Zero. The Coalition: a broken, fucking record. But Travis, you know all about this, though right? Because everyone always says the exact same things about you. ‘He’s nothing without Seb’, ‘Who can’t beat him?’, ‘He doesn’t stand a chance against Jacky’,” she winks into the camera briefly before continuing, “Blah, blah, blah, doesn’t it get tiresome hearing the same things week after week, Pierce? It does to me and you gotta wonder: isn’t it just as tiresome to keep saying them? Well, let’s hit the fucking jukebox this time together, what do you think, Travis? New Year, New Us, right?”
She pulls a streamer that has been tucked into her double beehive and blows hard into it. Despite her efforts, it doesn’t make a sound. She shrugs and tosses it aside.
“Let’s show them that we matter and let's make this one the one that they remember. Today, tomorrow and well into the next year, let’s show them: with our bodies and our blood, let’s show them exactly what we’re both about. After all, we’re in this together, right? You and me, two rats clawing our way out from the bottom of this bucket we find ourselves in. And why are we here? Well, I’ve got some bad news for you: nothing we’ve ever done matters…”
She removes the hat and sets it down beside the joint.
“Not the champions we’ve beaten. Not the events we won. None of it.”
She shakes her head again.
“I guess New Year, New Us, right? Whether we like it or not, we’ve hit the reset button and you just have to think: why is that? Because I am one of them? Because I am a face in a crowd, the back up dancer and jester to the one True King. Or is it because it took three people to prevent my rise only to fall because they themselves never really had the power to do it themselves?”
She begins to nod.
“No. It’s because I’m the joke. “
Beneath the exaggerated smile, her face is stern.
“Well, ha-ha-ha. New Year, New Joke right? So, let’s see what you’re gonna do when the joke’s all over you, Travis. With lefts and rights and kick after kick, let’s see what you can do when this joke is all over you. And while I can’t exactly show you the joke ahead of time, I can at least tell you the Punchline: I’ll prove what I’ve said time and time again. I’m still the baddest bitch from Baltimore. After all, I took a bottle to the face and walked right back down to that ring ten minutes later, why?”
She lifts her arms and flexes, despite underwhelming physique.
“Because I’m the Energizer fucking bunny and I keep going and going and going and I’m going to keep going and going and going through each and every person in this tournament. This time, I’m not here to knock you out or score a roll up pin. I’m going to choke each and every one of you out in the middle of that fucking ring so there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind who the true winner is. By points, victories, and sheer fucking domination - you will all submit. And Pierce, it starts with you. Once again: it starts with you.”
She leans forward, the twisted smile now curling up the corner of her lips, exposing her cruel smile.
“So Travis, let’s leave the past in the past. It doesn’t matter that I’ve beat you before, because I’m here to do it all over again. New Year, New Me, and a new way to take you out and so Monday night, The News won’t only be Broken, but it will also be battered, and bruised, and left gasping for breath in the middle of that ring. I may have taken a bump and a bruise along the way, but I’m still here and unlike your dear friend Sebastian the Third? I won’t go quietly into the night.”
“Travis Piece, it will be so nice to see you again and I look forward to catching up...” She begins to gather her things. “And remember, for your sake and mine: let’s make this thing quick.”
She stands up and points down at the blinking anklet.
“I gotta make curfew.”
Jaclyn turns and walks up the stairs just as the scene fades to black.
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