Posted by Barbanne on December 09, 2003 at 23:03:24:
PART ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY
I looked at Cass as she slowly stripped.
I didn't know quite what to make of her and decided to reserve my judgement until I knew her better. I had experienced mixed emotions when Jade bought her in and introduced her. On the one hand I had an instant rush of sympathy, after all who better than I knew and understood that look of haunted, hunted self doubt that I saw in her eyes. But then when I looked closely at her young face and saw the dark circles under her eyes and the pasty skin and the bruised defeated look I felt revulsion that she could so obviously have given in to her addiction.
In other circumstances she could have looked pretty.
She was short and slight and had an underlying wide eyed innocence that could have been appealing. Her hair was shoulder length and looked like she cut it herself. (with an axe) It had a home made blonde rinse that made it look like it was nicotine stained. There was definite room for improvement.
She wasn't beautiful but she had nice features and if she'd only looked as young and fresh as she should have she'd have been cute. Sort of like I look cute but tend to fade when placed alongside drop dead gorgeous girls.
We exchanged small talk and I asked her about doing playing dead stuff.
"Yeah I'm alright with that," she mumbled.
"I always ask new girls to pose for a few shots so we can see how they relate to the camera."
"What will I do?"
"I'll just get a couple of close in portrait shots and then I want you to take your clothes off."
So here we were with Cass getting out of her clothes and carefully placing them to one side.
I was grimacing as she got more and more naked. Her clothes were well worn and anything but clean but what had caught my eyes was the bruising all over her body.
"Cass, its none of my business I know but I recognise the bruising. I used to have them myself. Is someone abusing you?"
"Like you say Barbanne it's none of your business."
"OK, OK sorry I asked."
I shot some photos and she was good. Something of a natural actress and she photographed well, the camera liked her.
"Cass, no bull shitting you, you are quite good for what we want and I'd be happy for you to work here at Playdead."
"Good." Flat, emotionless, "when do you want me to start?"
I called Jade in as Cass got dressed again.
"Cass is good Jade and I'll put something together for us to do in a day or two, get you to work the camera, make Cass feel comfortable."
"But, before we go any further lets talk about Cass's difficulties."
Cass stopped what she was doing and stood there like a rabbit in a spotlight.
Jade sort of twitched her mouth.
"Cass has a problem with drinking but she fully understands it and wants to beat it."
"Well Cass?" I looked at her.
"Just give me a go eh. You said I was good at this, well, give me a chance, if I stuff up or anything you can get rid of me."
"Sure I'm OK with giving you a chance but let me just say this, and I know what I'm talking about OK. Unless you solve the underlying cause of your problems and get your own self confidence going then beating the grog is going to be hard."
"Just give me a go."
"Right," she looked surly.
"I'll say this though," (had to have the last word) "I hate alchohol and what it does to people and so if you truly want to get rid of it I'll help anyway I can, but if you're just fooling us you're dead meat girl."
"OK, OK, give it a break will you."
Two days later Cass did her first set for us.
She was the victim in this set and when the camera first clicked she was slumped against a lounge in a living room, her lacy panties rolled down around her knees and her matching bra wrapped around her throat and tied off extremely tightly. Her eyes were mere slits and her tongue had poked out between her lips (she did a good tongue poke) and her breasts were crumpled on her chest. Her compact little body and its many bruises gave her playing at being beaten and then killed a look of realism that I deplored but felt we might as well use.
She had been strangled.
Her killers, Damon and me, stood looking down at her as she lay dead before us.
"Bitch," said Damon, "stupid bitch she would have given us up to the cops."
"She was greedy," I said.
"Way too greedy and would have sold us out."
"Just because she wanted too much."
"She had to die."
"Yeah well now she's dead alright."
I gently kicked Cass's bum.
"No more demands, no more I want this, I want that hey babe, no way."
"Nothing to say for herself now."
"Nah quite agreeable now that she's dead and all."
"She asked for it."
"She sure did, hey you're strong lover, she only lasted about thirty seconds."
"Not so tough when I had her neck in my hands."
"You can say that again."
"We gotta get rid of her."
"Yeah I'll give you a hand."
Damon dragged Cass clear of the lounge and got his hands under her armpits and heaved her up. I grasped her ankles and lifted her clear of the floor.
Cass did a perfect slump and we carried her out.
Filming outside with the boot of our car open and Damon and I worked Cass's corpse into the carpeted space beside the spare tyre. I got hold of her shoulder and rolled her so that she faced in toward the back seat of the car. Her panties had slipped down to her ankles although her bra was still tightly tied around her blackened throat.
We slammed the boot lid down. It was over.
I congratulated Cass and welcomed her into the Playdead family.
We scheduled Cass for another session on the Friday.
Friday morning and Cass was late. Jade and I set everything up and I made coffee (and tea) while we waited.
Cass breezed in an hour and a half late.
She stumbled and grinned and giggled.
She was drunk!
I saw red and although Jade grabbed for my arm I erupted and, standing only centimetres from Cass, screamed at her.
"You dumbassed bitch. You stupid, dopey, dirty lush. I warned you, fuck it I warned you. Jeezus its only your second time and you're pissed. Christ it isn't even lunch time and you're drunk, you fucking little shit, I had such hopes, such hopes and you can do this you're good, really good, but no, that's not enough. Had to have a drinkie, had to turn to the bottle, damn you, damn you, you slut!!"
Cass shrank back before my tirade.
"You're out, I fucking warned you, well you're out so piss off, get the hell out of here."
I had raised my hand and was going to slap her when Jade grabbed my wrist.
"No Barb no."
"Oh shit what am I doing?" I wailed, "I was about to hit her. I was about to do what is the whole problem, oh shit Jade."
I was so upset, so disappointed, I felt so let down that tears were squeezing out between my lids.
Cass said, "Awwww............." and her eyes rolled and she went down so hard her head cracked into the floor and I thought she was really dead. I dived down beside her and pulled at her top dragging it free and loosening it and that's when I saw them and that's when I knew what was wrong with her.