6, Issue 1
By Warren Chan
INT. TIGHT SUBURBAN HOUSE – BATHROOM - AFTERNOON
SARAH reclines nervously in her mold-sealed tub. She cups
murky water over her shoulders with her hand. All the while, she monitors
the disposable razor in the soap tray. She elevates her right leg over
the shallow pool and rests that foot on the tub rim. She strokes the prickles
in her skin. Reaching over the side, Sarah seizes a can of shaving gel.
She rattles the can quickly and spreads some gel over her leg. She sets
the can back down. Sarah contemplates the razor in the soap tray for a
second before securing a grasp on it. She brings it slowly to the base
of her shin and draws the blades to her knee. She pauses, examining the
shave, then repeats the motion around her calf.
KITCHEN – EVENING
There are many vegetable peels and cores in the sink, and wet peppers,
carrots, onions and broccoli dry on a paper towel. Next to the sink is
a wire dish drainer with a ratty towel draped over the edge. On the other
side of the room, two beat up old chairs sit by a small table. Sarah arranges
her ingredients on the countertop and takes a plastic cutting board from
a nearby cupboard. She sets the board down and opens a cutlery drawer.
After surveying the lot, she chooses a medium knife in a sheath. As she
sets the knife, in its case, on the countertop, a LOUD KNOCK fills the
house. A LOW SNIFFLE reprises the knock before a pathetic voice begs –
Sarah strides out of the room
Kat is letting herself into the house as Sarah enters the room.
Sarah! (Sniff) Hey. How are you?
Sarah rushes up to her.
I’m okay, but you’re not. Honey - what’s the matter?
Sarah caresses Kat’s shoulder. Kat hangs her head.
Kat forces eye contact with Sarah. Her shuddering face is blotchy red.
Sarah clutches Kat in her arms. Kat bawls, gasping, her face buried in
Who did this, Kat? Shawn? Your father? Who did this to you?
Kat surfaces for a huff of air.
It’s not what you think.
Kat’s breathing evens out and she snorts her nose clear. Sarah pulls
back to look at Kat.
What is it?
I just missed my second period.
Oh God... Why didn’t you tell me you skipped the first?
I didn’t know what to think then. Sometimes I don’t get ‘em
on time; sometimes I get two in one month. I don’t know.
Aren’t you on the pill?
Yeah. I don’t know how it happened.
Kat sobs lightly. Sarah strokes Kat’s hair and nudges her face up.
Come on, come sit down.
Sarah leads Kat by the arm into the
Sarah ushers Kat into a chair by the table. Her neck is limp and can’t
support her head; she rests it facedown on her folded arms on the table.
Sarah walks to the other end of the kitchen and opens the cutlery drawer.
The noise rouses Kat, and she rolls her head to face Sarah. Sarah picks
up the sheathed knife and places it into the drawer. Kat sits straight
Oh, I interrupted your dinner.
She starts toward Kat.
Talk to me.
I can talk and cook. It’s the least I could do. Kat jumps up industriously
and marches to the counter. She passes Sarah.
No - look at you. Just sit down for a minute. Kat examines Sarah’s
You’re hungry, I can tell. Let me earn the time I’m taking.
You’re my best friend, Kat. Kat opens the cutlery drawer and digs
out the largest knife.
If I don’t keep myself distracted I’ll be a wreck.
Kat removes the sheath haphazardly and tosses it aside.
Just – be careful, all right?
I’m fine to chop veggies. I do it all the time. How do you want
Sarah leans back against her stove, hands on the metal rim. Kat swiftly
chops the carrots, her back to Sarah.
So... Shawn not wanna to use a condom or what?
Kat slices through her thumb and halts chopping.
Oh, shit. Kat turns her thumb and blood runs out. The carrots turn red
in the mess.
Kat turns around, grasping her wounded hand. Blood jettisons onto the
stove and Sarah. Sarah digs her fingers into the stove, her whole body
tensing. She hardly breathes.
Fuck, Sarah, I’m sorry! Oh! What do I do? Sarah turns her back to
the mess, edging away.
Oh... my God... Kat.
Kat squeezes her thumb and pushes her hands into her stomach as her eyes
dart around the room. She grabs the ratty towel from the dish drainer
and wraps her thumb tightly. It turns red. She grips it fiercely and turns
to Sarah, who is drifting to the other side of the room.
Sarah – Oh! I got blood everywhere... I’m so sorry, I –
Call an ambulance. No, I’ll call. It’s okay. I’m calling.
Kat examines her hand while Sarah leans into the wall by the telephone.
You know, it slowed down. I’ll probably be okay. Do you have some
gauze, some tape?
Sarah forces herself to look at Kat.
Yeah. No. You need to go to the hospital.
I’m sorry. I should have been more careful. Sarah pivots her pale
face until she finds Kat.
’S okay; if you’re okay, it’s okay. I’m calling
an ambulance. She feebly lifts the receiver.
I can’t afford that, not now. If we have to go, you have to drive.
I can’t drive. Why can’t you afford it? (Pause) No, I can’t
I need an abortion. Sarah’s head perks up.
You can’t do that!
I’m still bleeding – I need a bandage at least.
They exit the room together.
INT. CRAMPED EXAMINATION ROOM – LATER
Kat sits on the green patient’s table in a white gown. She pets
the bandaged thumb with her index finger. Sarah leans forward in a chair
in the corner, quiet and holding her hands. Kat looks at her and looks
away twice, then stares at the wall.
Steve did it.
Sarah faces Kat, aghast. Kat looks at Sarah and whips back
to the wall.
Steve, like Steve from work, or your…
Kat sniffs back tears and touches her face.
Thanksgiving. I was tired. Ate too much turkey. I went upstairs to take
a quick nap, and – shit.
Kat grabs up her gown to blow her nose. Sarah hands over a small box of
tissue from the counter in time. Kat takes the box, wipes her face, and
snots into the tissue heavily.
Oh, God, Kat.
Sarah rises to sit next to Kat. She puts her arm low around Kat’s
That’s why I can’t keep it. What if something’s wrong
with it - I mean, already.
Sarah rubs Kat’s shoulder.
But this isn’t the nineteen hundreds anymore. You can’t get
one, anywhere. It’s illegal.
I have to find someone. I can’t keep it. You have to know how fucked
up, and mean, I feel even thinking –
I didn’t mean –
I know you didn’t. But I don’t want to be responsible for
getting rid of it any more than I want to be responsible for it having
a horrible life.
Have you thought about adoption?
I can’t do it. I can’t have this thing live in me, and come
out of me.
There is a long pause. Sarah lowers her arm to Kat’s waist. Kat
continues to look down and caress her thumb.
I’ll help you find one. You’re right; there has to be someone.
(Pause) We’ll take care of it.
Kat turns up to Sarah, her face blotchy again. She nuzzles her face into
Sarah’s shoulder and draws a long, full breath.
Kat and Sarah sit in silence for a few seconds, looking at the ground.
Three KNOCKS at the door, and it opens. A physician in a white overcoat,
JENNY, strides in with a file in hand. With only a quick glance at them,
How are we feeling now?
Kat fingers her bandage.
It’s still numb. It doesn’t really hurt.
Jenny makes a note in her file.
Yes. Well the anesthesia will only last another hour or so.
She grabs a pad from her overcoat and scribbles onto it.
I’m writing you a prescription for some mild pain relievers. Take
one three times a day, and stop when you feel better. Jenny rips the sheet
off of the pad and pushes it toward Kat.
Okay. I... had another problem I wanted to, uh...
Kat searches Sarah for help.
I’m sorry - I’ve got another appointment, right now. You’ll
have to come back. We’ll need to see you again in two weeks to check
on that cut. Kat eyes Sarah desperately; Sarah shrugs and rises and Kat
follows. Jenny rushes out of the room before they are assembled.
I don’t know what to say.
There’s gotta be someone else.
Sarah peeks out into the HALLWAY and A MALE DOCTOR dashes
from one door to another. One side of the hall is a row of open doors,
leading to offices. Sarah pulls Kat into the hallway and leads her toward
The first office is empty. They creep forward. A short,
older woman, DR. RUSSELL bursts out of the next office as they near it.
She exclaims loudly.
Hi. We, uh...
I have a problem that I need to talk to someone about.
Do you have an appointment?
Well, no, but...
Well I’m sorry, but I’m very busy
Kat motions with her hand over her stomach.
I have something that I need to... take care of.
Dr. Russell coolly and quickly scans the hallway. She raises a hand to
Woo, girl, you got quite a fever. Come in here and we’ll have a
look at that.
Dr. Russell motions them into her OFFICE
Have a seat.
Kat and Sarah sink into the two chairs opposite the desk. The doctor shuts
the door behind them and meanders to her side of the desk. Studying them,
she plops into her chair and leans into her desk.
Now – what are you telling me?
Kat glances from Dr. Russell to the ground. Sarah keeps to herself.
I can’t have a kid.
Kat’s face reddens.
And how am I supposed to help you?
I need to know where I can get a (Pause, wipe a tear.) abortion.
Dr. Russell reclines from the desk and exhales.
I’m sorry. We don’t know where to go.
Okay. Just realize what you’re asking me to do.
Can I get one?
No. (Pause) Not safely.
Kat buries her gaze in the floor. Dr. Russell, after a sustained silence,
concedes. She readies a prescription pad, but reconsiders and grabs a
This is the address of a man who used to work here. He helped a girl before,
but I don’t know how. You can try, but he might not wanna do anything.
She hands the note over to Kat, who conceals it promptly.
Well... I do have to work. Good luck to you. And, don’t tell anyone
that we talked.
Kat and Sarah rise.
EXT. DR. WILSON’S HOME – EVENING
Kat stands on the stoop by the screen door, which a stern DR. WILSON props.
He is medium tall, balding, and leans to one side. Sarah shadows Kat.
Accessory to homicide is 20 years, you know?
I just need help.
Sarah peeks her head around Kat.
But it’s so early; it’s not even a whole... thing yet.
Kat fidgets with her hands, bending her fingers around. She shuffles her
In your eyes.
Well do you know someone else?
Dr. Wilson drops his vision and sighs.
It’s a harsh process, you know. You’re not gonna come out
the other side unscathed.
Dr. Wilson eyes them both before extending the door a few inches.
Come in and we’ll talk.
The two girls say nothing and look at him guiltily as they enter.
INT. DR. WILSON’S HOME – FRONT ROOM - LATER
Kat and Sarah occupy a small couch across from the doctor, who is contemplating.
So your boyfriend ran off?
Yeah, I guess.
Dr. Wilson reclines and exhales loudly.
And there’s no way you can just put the kid up for adoption?
Kat shakes her head sullenly. Sarah sits huddled together beside her,
studying the room, occasionally stealing glances at the doctor.
So do you perform them?
Kat and Sarah both shift eyes to him, nearly aghast.
I performed one and it was the most... awful thing I have ever done.
How...? But, what –
So you can’t help us?
I’ll help you, but you take it into your own hands.
No – I can’t do that. No.
Kat looks pleadingly at her.
Oh, I’m not going to give you tools. (Pause) Have you ever heard
I read about that stuff in an old book. Isn’t it dangerous?
It can be if you take too much. But it’s safer than a coat hanger.
Sarah cringes and drops her gaze.
Wait here a minute.
He rises and hobbles out of the room with a hand on his hip.
Sarah confronts Kat.
Should we try someone else?
Kat stares blankly.
How dangerous is it?
A cabinet CREAKS in the background.
I don’t know, really. This girl died in the book.
A GRUNT sounds from the next room and Dr. Wilson returns with three small
bottles in his hands.
I grow the Pennyroyal in my basement. Since the ban, they’ve made
it illegal, too.
He walks in front of the couch, towering over them.
This one (Presents glass dropper) has only a few drops of essential oil
in it. You only use two drops, on your skin. It may cause some irritation,
but only minor. You can put it on inner thigh, your wrist, or your forehead.
This bottle (Presents plastic bottle) contains one pill of Blue Cohosh.
It helps your cervix dilate and promotes uterine contractions.
He hands the glass vial and plastic bottle to Kat and presents the last
This other bottle has one pill in it, N-acetylcysteine.
He looks at Sarah.
You make sure she takes this if it seems like she’s overdosed. It’ll
help, but you’ll still need to go to a hospital immediately. And
if you do, my name doesn’t get mentioned. You got it on the street,
The girls nod.
He makes his way to the door. Kat blindly searches for her purse.
How much is this?
It’s not. Just be careful. If it doesn’t work, come back and
we’ll talk some more.
Kat and Sarah stand and adjust their clothing.
How will I know if she’s overdosing?
Dr. Wilson inches the door open.
Some cramps and nausea should be expected, but if she’s feverish,
trembling, vomiting blood, then she needs help, quickly.
INT. SARAH’S HOUSE – BATHROOM – LATER
Sarah leans against the wall by her sink, arms folded. Kat perches on
the closed lid of the neighboring toilet, head down and stroking her bandage.
The three bottles are lined up on the sink.
I guess I don’t have a choice.
It’s up to you, honey.
Kat looks up to the opposite wall before facing Sarah.
Okay. I’ll take the blue stuff first.
Sarah rinses a glass from the sink and refills it with water from the
tap. She passes it to Kat, who accepts it with uncertainty.
Kat uncaps the appropriate bottle and dumps the pill into her palm. She
examines the pill, sniffs at it, and rolls it between her fingers.
You can do it in the morning if you want.
Kat makes eye contact with her.
No, I’ll do it now.
She returns her gaze to the pill for a few more seconds, and then suddenly
pops it into her mouth. She has a moment of coherence before drinking
She replaces the half-drunk glass by the sink.
Where do you think I should put the drops?
I don’t know. I wouldn’t put them on my forehead, if I were
you... ya know, just so you don’t have to answer questions about
it, which I guess rules out the wrist, too.
Kat rises and removes her pants. She’s wearing white panties with
a light, faded pattern. She sits back on the toilet and rests one foot
on the edge of the bathtub, sighing.
Here, gimme the bottle.
Are you ready?
Sarah hands the dropper to Kat. Kat twists her leg so that the inner part
faces upward. She breathes deeply and unscrews the dropper. She squeezes
the bulb and draws the liquid. Kat poises the dropper over the tendon
near her pelvis and pushes out two drops. They sit in bubbles on her skin.
She stares at them for a second and her breathing rate increases. Kat,
trembling, drops the bottle and wipes the drops away.
I can’t do this! What, what if something goes wrong? Sarah! I can’t
do anything. I’m not gonna die for him, but I’m not gonna
bring this thing into the world. I – I don’t know –
what to do!
Sarah rushes to Kat and squats to embrace her. Kat clamps her arms around
Sarah and bawls. She shoves her face into Sarah’s shoulder, rising
after a few seconds for air. She wipes tears from her eyes with her hand.
She continues to cry limply on Sarah for a few more seconds, but then
tenses up and pulls away.
Oh. Ow. What’s going on?
My eye burns really bad.
Sarah holds Kat by the shoulders at a distance.
The left one?
Yeah. Is it bad?
Yeah, it’s really red.
Oh! Shit! I got the drops in my eyes, from my hand! What am I going to
do?Kat stands up and shifts in place hysterically and Sarah stands instinctively.
Do you think you need a doctor?
Oh! I don’t know... I’m getting dizzy. Am I supposed to get
Sarah’s eyebrows dance in anxiety and hopeless concern.
Maybe, it’s a mild symptom. Tell ya what –
Sarah braces Kat.
Hey – tell you what. Sit back down and try to be calm. You’re
freaking out and that’s not gonna help. Just sit.
Sarah guides her back to the toilet. Kat puts a death grip on the kitchen
sink. Sarah touches her arm.
Hey – loosen up. You’re too tense to think right.
Sarah grabs the last bottle from the sink and sits on the rim of the bathtub
with a hand on Kat’s knee.
Do you wanna take the other pill? Would that make you feel better?
Kat trembles fiercely and pulls in shallow, quick breaths.
Yeah. Yeah, I think so.
Sarah unscrews the bottle and dumps the pill into her own hand. She gets
up and unclamps Kat’s hand to put the glass of water in it. Kat
grabs it semiconsciously.
Sarah walks in front of her and squats. She takes Kat’s other hand
and puts the pill in it. Kat stares off.
Go on; take it.
Kat pops the pill into her mouth and swigs the water. She continues to
stare off, wild-eyed. Sarah studies her face.
I wanna lie down for a bit.
I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I wanna be able to keep an
eye on you.
Kat searches the room with darting eyes.
I’ll just, uh – I’m gonna lie in the tub, okay?
Sarah rises and takes Kat’s hands, pulling her up and supporting
her. She pivots her body in the tight space to aid Kat into the bathtub.
Kat lies on her back, pulls up her knees and leans to the side in a skewed
fetal position. She continues to take quick breaths, but less violently.
Her eyes perceive nothing in particular.
Are you going to be okay?
I, yeah, guess so. Don’t know. I just need to stay right here.
I’m going to run downstairs and grab the phone, just in case. I’ll
be back in just a sec, but if you need anything, just call my name, kay?
Several FOOTSTEPS and BUMPS are heard as Sarah crashes around off screen.
She returns quickly, bursting into the bathroom. She ogles Kat as she
You’re all right, right?
Kat looks at Sarah this time.
Yeah, I’m all right.
Kat is sitting upright in the bathtub, facing the toilet. She has composed
herself considerably. Sarah is slumped against the opposing wall, her
Kat leans forward and looks at the fallen dropper. She picks it up, places
another drop on her thigh, and leans back.
Sarah is suddenly torn from sleep by Kat, who is vomiting in the toilet.
With one arm, Kat clutches her abdomen. She bridges the toilet bowl with
her other arm and rests her forehead there.
Kat! Oh my God, are you okay? Should I call the doctor?
Kat GROANS and turns her face.
No. I think that’s all that’s coming.
Kat reaches up to flush the toilet. Sarah tries to peek over the rim.
Was there blood?
Kat pulls her head up.
No. But my stomach really hurts – not like tummy hurt, but like
period hurt... but so much worse.
Sarah cocks her head and reaches up to feel Kat’s forehead.
Oh... you’re burning up.
I don’t want to go to the hospital, not yet.
Are you sure?
I just – oh!
Kat buckles in pain and jumps up onto the toilet, pulling her panties
down on the way. There is a spot of blood in the middle. Sarah pulls near
Kat, who MOANS desperately.
Oh Sarah, oh it fucking –
She moans more and Sarah grasps her hand.
Is it coming?
God, I hope so. I think –
Kat crushes Sarah’s fingers and Sarah winces silently. She loosens
her grip for a second and peeks between her legs, immediately averting
her face from the sight.
She reaches around and flushes again. She clenches her eyes and squeezes
Sarah’s hand again, GROANING. This lasts a few seconds and then
she loosens up.
That’s all. I guess that’s it.
Do you feel better?
The two share a short silence in which Kat lets go of Sarah’s hand
and leans forward. She then tears off a handful of toilet paper and carefully
cleans herself. She peeks at it.
It’s just what was supposed to come out, right?
I think so.
She finishes wiping and stands up, pulling her panties up. She shifts
in them with a look of discomfort for just a moment before she wavers.
Whoa. Oh – hold on.
I’m really dizzy and there’s spots. Oh.
Sarah holds her up and Kat falls into her.
Sarah leads her back into the bathtub. Kat curls up inside it. Kat looks
over to the toilet.
Don’t worry about it. I got it; just lay down.
Kat crumbles into a heap at the bottom of the tub. Sarah pulls back, studying
her friend. She looks at the toilet hesitantly. Sarah crawls over to the
toilet and peeks inside. Some blood has turned the water a sick pink and
a few dark clumps float around. Some blood is spattered on the walls of
Sarah takes a deep breath and continues to look at the mess inside. There
are a couple drops on the inside rim of the bowl. Sarah rips off a few
squares of toilet paper and wipes them away, tossing the wad into the
She flushes without looking away.
Kat GROANS from the bathtub and VOMITS.
Yeah? You okay?
There’s blood in this.
Sarah breathes deeply.
What do you want to do?
I think I should go to the hospital.
Okay. Can you stand?
Sarah leans into the tub and puts her arms under Kat’s, hoisting
Don’t worry; we’ll get you there. Come on.