Jenn Clark Creative Comp
October 6, 2004 ARGUMENT DIALOGUE
Jezalyne flung her emerald satin gown back onto the bed. She would be
dead before she'd go to that important political dinner as the senator's
whore. She sighed as she remembered the icy looks she'd received from
friends of the senator's soon to be ex-wife, and thought that many would
prefer her dead. Jez sat on the bed and let her head fall into her hands.
Her dark red hair spilled over her shoulders, forming a curtain to hide her
face. A dull ache throbbed in her skull, most likely left over from the
drinking binge last night. Jez heard a gentle knock on the door and
groaned. She flopped on the bed abstractedly, shielding her eyes from the
harsh fluorescent ceiling lights. "Enter," she called, wincing at the
loudness of her own voice. She didn't care that she was in dressed in a
tank top and pajama pants. She was dressed before five-o'clock. That
should count for something, at least.
The door slowly swung open, and a tall man tying his tie walked in.
"Jesus," he said when he saw her. "Come on, Jez. The party starts in half
an hour. Get your dress on and let's go!" He looked impatiently at his
watch. Senior Senator Christopher Marcasi was never known among the inner
circles to be an especially patient man.
"No." Jez rolled her head to look at him. "Chris, there is no way I'm
going to this party. Remember what happened at the last one you dragged me
to?" She shuddered at the memory of the blazing looks of jealousy from the
younger secretaries, the whispers along the tables, the questioning look of
the other politicians, and the fury with which Chris's wife directed at Jez
when her husband and his girlfriend were allowed to enter but she was
denied. Jez also plainly remembered the President, whose wine glass had
been refilled countless times, leaning over and winking suggestively at her
while he offered to give her a private tour of the White House.
"Yes, I remember. But we have to show them that this isn't a
temporary thing, and that Mary isn't coming back. The only way to win this
one, Jez, is to keep at it. Things will cool down after a while. I
She sat up and glared at him. "You mean you have to show them," she
spat. "No one's dared comment on any of this to you. They don't blame you
for your failed marriage or call you a whore. Go by yourself, if you want
to beat them so badly. I've had it."
He stepped back. "Oh, really?" he said softly, a dangerous edge to
his voice. "And if you had no choice?"
Jez rose from the bed. She walked toward him and put her hands on her
hips. "But I have a choice," she said, "and until you are single again
there will be no more parties, no more dates, and no more late-night
meetings in your office." She crossed her arms in front of her chest and
shifted her weight to the back.
The senator stood silently for a moment, but his posture indicated he
was not at a loss of words, nor was he in any way backing down. At long
last he met her eyes and said, "Then so be it."
She turned her head arrogantly in assent. "Now get out of my
apartment," she said coldly. "And don't come back as long as you wear a
He said nothing and just turned his back. She followed him out into
the entryway, where he paused with his hand on the door handle. "You always
were a whore," he retorted. "And everyone knows it, so start acting like
one." He partially opened the door, and when she relaxed he slammed it
shut and loosened his tie. Chris unbuckled his belt and advanced toward
her. Jez stood stupidly for a moment, rooted to the spot before she
sprinted away down the hall. After a few terse moments of silence, in
which she thought her heart would stop from fear, the heavy thuds of a
larger person running after her shook the hallway. She bolted into the
kitchen and slid the bolt to lock the door. Desperately, she scanned the
room, looking for anything to use as a weapon. Her eyes locked on the
display of knives as the harsh pounding on the door increased. She heard
grunts and shouts from the hallway and yelled back. "Go away, you bastard,
or I'm telling your wife everything! Does she know you've cheated on her
with me for four years now but couldn't tell her to her face until six
She slid the largest out from the holder and kept it brandished in her
right hand as she dialed 911. Jez never glanced away from the door even as
she talked to the operator. Chris's voice cursed her from outside the
"You little slut, I'll kill you for what you've done to me! How dare
you humiliate me this way?"
"Hello? Yes, someone is threatening me in my home," she said. "I
think-" her voice cracked. "I think he wants to rape me. If he doesn't kill
me first." She shook with fear for a moment before her mind was calmer
once more. "I live at 2112 West Pa-" She stared in disbelief at the
receiver as the phone went dead. Not bothering to hang up the phone, she
left it lying on the counter as something banged against the locked door
handle on the other side. Anxiously, she scanned the room for means of
escape. Her only hope was the large glass windows from floor to ceiling and
a sliding glass door which led to the fire escape outside.
A scrabbling noise came from the door as the lock was forced open.
Jez stifled a scream and raced to the sliding door. It was raining
outside, and heavy, wet drops spattered on the metal fire escape. The rain
was coming down so hard that visibility was almost impossible beyond ten
feet. She juggled the knife awkwardly as she attempted to open the door.
The ornate lock was hard to unlock, and she swore desperately as tears ran
down her face. She had never been so afraid before now, - had never
experienced the complete loss of control which total fear brings. Jez
didn't know if she would win tonight, but with sudden courage she resolved
that if she lost, she would take him with her all the way. She tightened
her grip on the knife as the door swung open.
Jez whirled around to face the doorway, but no one entered. The
apartment was totally silent, and her heart pounded inside her chest as her
brain screamed only one thing. RUN! Jez blinked and locked her eyes on the
doorway, fighting her instinctive urge to flee. She knew he was out there
in her now-dark apartment somewhere, watching and waiting. Jez also knew
as well as he did that if she turned her back on that door that she was
dead. The only light on in the entire apartment was a small nightlight
plugged into an outlet on the kitchen counter. Eerie shadows were cast
around the kitchen, and they danced slyly around the room. Jez jumped and
screamed as her arm accidentally touched the glass panes. She cursed her
own stupidity as she studied the doorway once more.
He knew she was afraid, and she could feel the weight of the air and
the tense silence pressing on her body. Her headache had worsened, and she
steadied herself against the blinding rush of pain that came in spells.
She forced a wave of nausea back down her throat, and gulped at the air
greedily in a feeble attempt to strengthen herself. A low shifting noise
came from the doorway. A strange metallic glint reflected the pale light
of the nightlight. It was impossible for her to know in the darkness, but
her every instinct screamed at her that he had a gun; he was going to shoot
her dead in her own apartment with her own pistol.
She cursed herself again for her stupidity. Of course he had known
where she hid her weapon. The drawer of her nightstand, in her bedroom.
She had given him plenty of time to get it after she ran the other way,
deeper into the interior of her apartment. Any human with a trace of logic
would go search her nightstand after she had barricaded herself in the
kitchen. She cursed herself again, then stopped herself. Blaming herself
now would only waste time, time she needed.
As a figure draped in the cloaks of shadows slowly appeared, his
steps making no sound upon the tile floor, she readied herself for the
inevitable. The moment he began to raise the weapon, she stepped forward
and threw the knife.
She had never thrown anything in her life as forcibly or as strongly
as she flung that knife. She didn't stop to see whether the resulting thud
meant the weapon had found its mark or not, and didn't care. Jez was too
frightened to train her ears to listen for a grunt of pain at that
particular time, and concentrated all her strength on unlocking the door.
Her fingers were clumsy and trembling from fright, and she swore as she
failed to undo the complicated lock.
A heavy arm landed on her shoulder, and her heart leaped into her
throat. She clutched the door handle desperately as he dragged her away.
Screams flew from her throat as she resisted with every bone in her body.
Gasps replaced the shrill screams as her voice died. Her eyes widened with
shock as he tried to bodily force her to the floor. The hand on her
shoulder pressed her down, but with new strength she shied away and twisted
under his grasp. He staggered forward and she scooted backwards on her
hands, kicking him as he went down. She rose and ran to the door. He
lunged and grabbed her ankles her before she had reached the glass, and Jez
tripped. She hit the floor hard, and the wind was knocked out of her as
she kicked wildly with her legs, feeling her right foot contact with
something soft and squishy. The hands released her with a yelp as she
scrambled to her feet. Jez ran to the fire escape once more, but braced
herself as she threw her shoulders into the glass.
The windows shattered, raining shards of glass onto the fire escape
and the city streets below. Jez was thrown into the metal railing from the
momentum, and the hard surface cut into her stomach. She clung to it as
she regained her balance. A scream escaped from her throat as an arm
hooked around her neck and dragged her backwards. She elbowed him in the
stomach with her free arm and grappled to relieve the pressure on her neck
with her other hand. Jez felt him give as she thrust her arm backwards
again. She saw a silver gleam out of the corner of her eye as she
struggled for breath. The knife she had dropped in the kitchen was in his
free hand. He drew it closer to her and she gasped as the blade cut into
her neck, close to her jaw. She knocked his arm aside and smashed his hand
against the brick building. He howled and dropped the knife. Chris
maintained his hold on her, and she writhed, trying to throw him off of
her. He dragged her backwards until her spine was almost bent in half.
The senator had dragged her to the edge of the fire escape. He clutched
her hair and held the back of her neck as he knelt and bashed her face
against the metal steps, forcing her to kneel. She moaned in pain as she
crumpled in his grasp and feebly tried to grab him. He ignored her and
prepared to strike her again. Suddenly she kicked her leg upwards into his
stomach as she reached around and grabbed his wrist. She twisted it hard,
and heard it crack. His hand slid from her hair, and she kicked him in the
face. He staggered but stayed on his feet. She attempted to kick him
again but he caught her leg and twisted it underneath her, causing her to
cry out in pain and lean her weight on him. He shrugged her off forcefully
so that she fell onto her side. The hard, cold feel of the metal slammed
into her skin. Tears sprang to her eyes as she tried to move her left leg
to kick out, but couldn't. He hauled her upright roughly by the shoulders.
Jez cursed him in Spanish, the foreign phrases flowing easily over her
"Shut up, you little whore. And speak English, for Christ's sake,
woman." He was dragging her down to the steps again when she suddenly
twisted sideways and broke free. She stumbled and fell, crashing onto her
paralyzed leg. He slipped on the wet metal and crashed to the floor of the
fire escape, his chin slamming into the unforgiving surface. Chris slid
down the steps, his head thumping sickeningly on half a dozen steps.
Finally, he came to a stop, and Jez couldn't see if he was still breathing
or not. And frankly, she didn't care. He could lie out in the rain there
for all she cared. Or he could die. Really, it made no difference to her.
The cops should be there soon, for on all the television programs, the 911
operators traced disconnected calls. She leaned toward the body, pins and
needles prickling as feeling returned to her leg.
"Quizás estoy una ramera," she said softly. "Pero nunca estuve tu
ramera." She turned away from the body. As she headed back inside to her
apartment, merely stepping over the carpet of glass on the fire escape,
something nagged at her insides. The 911 operator was taking quite a long
time tracing the call and securing help. She dismissed the thought as
paranoia. The moment had probably seemed long because she had been
fighting for her life. That must be it. Jez released a breath she hadn't
realized she'd been holding as she ran one hand through her drenched hair.
On impulse, she moved to the counter where the phone lay. How had he cut
her phone lines in the short instant before he followed her? She replaced
the receiver on the hook and immediately snatched it off the cradle and
raised it to her ear. The faint sound of a dial tone buzzed in her
eardrums. She dropped the phone, and it crashed to the floor, where it
cracked. Jez gazed into space in shock as she mechanically moved out to
the glass windows. She peered out through the rain, and thought she could
make out a car parked in the street below. In this weather it was
impossible to be sure. Suddenly, pain tore through her throat as she
staggered backwards. The harsh rapport of a rifle shot slapped the air.
Jez clutched her throat with both hands as she watched her skin redden with
her own blood. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell onto the
floor, where she did not move ever again.
In the car across the street, Mary Marcasi removed a scope from her
rifle and secured it in its proper case. She pressed her foot to the gas
pedal and the car squealed as it lurched forward. Mary glanced repeatedly
in the rearview mirror as if she were afraid of being followed, and caught
herself smiling; her eyes alight with evil fire. She drove down the
streets of Washington, D.C. carefully, neither driving too fast nor too
slowly, and parked her car. She drew her hood cautiously over her hair and
placed the rifle case in the trunk of her car. She trotted to a large,
stately building, with many cars being parked by valets and people in fine
dress milling about by the entrance, careful to stay under the domed roof
by the stairs. Once she reached the shelter of the building, she removed
her fine coat and handed it to a boy standing next to a pile of coats. She
was dressed in a gown of crimson velvet and wore stunning diamonds. The
only competition for her radiant jewels was her generous smile. No gem
could ever outshine her smile that night.
In the black Mercedes she had arrived in, among the assorted papers
and files scattered in the interior, a cell phone lay on the passenger
seat, along with a Spanish dictionary and an interceptor similar to the
ones used by the FBI when tapping into a phone line.