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Birds of Paradise By William Ayre

Writing the Feature Film Walter Klenhard 12/13/12 VM 221-07 30 pages

EXT. BOSTON - NIGHT The dry weight of winter has settled over the city of Boston. DANNY COLE, 35, wearing a winter jacket and a cap walks against the wind. A weather beaten aged homeless man named REGGIE crosses the street towards a woman and her daughter. REGGIE Excuse me miss, mind helping a brother out? As he steps up from the gutter he slips on a patch of ice and falls on his back. REGGIE GAHHH. The daughter glances back but the family keeps walking. DANNY COLE Here. Danny extends his hand to the man and then reaches down when he doesnt move. REGGIE Ahhh. They limp to a stoop sheltered from the wind. REGGIE Gahh damn. Backs out, fucked my ankle too. Danny reaches towards Reggies ankle. REGGIE Just leave it. Winter, now this... Im not going anywhere. DANNY COLE Come on, theres a shelter a few blocks down. REGGIE Nahh, theres no point. Danny stands up and tries to help Reggie up but he waves him away.

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REGGIE Leave it, okay? Appreciate what youre trying to do and all, but why bother? I got nothing to keep me goin. DANNY COLE Well, you can have a swig of this at least. Danny takes out a flask and hands it to Reggie. Reggie takes a few swigs, and then puts the flask inside his jacket. DANNY COLE Seems like youve found something to live for. REGGIE Ehh, makes freezing to death a whole lot warmer. DANNY COLE Not like you have to die just yet. REGGIE Ehh, its on the horizon. Why wait? Danny sits down and lights two cigarettes. He passes one to Reggie. REGGIE Thanks, names Reggie. DANNY COLE Danny. Well, has it at least been a memorable life? REGGIE Hmm too memorable. Spent most of it trying to forget. DANNY COLE Like youre the only one. Danny opens up a pill bottle, dry swallows a pill and then hands one to Reggie. Reggie washes the pill down with the whiskey and Danny stands back up. DANNY COLE Something for the back. Now come on my ass is a lot thinner than yours, (MORE) (CONTINUED)

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DANNY COLE (contd) and Im not looking to freeze to death just yet. REGGIE They got food at this shelter? DANNY COLE Yeah, now come on. Its late already, dont want to miss dinner. Reggie stands slowly by himself, back hunched. The two walk off side by side. EXT. SOUTH END BOSTON - NIGHT DANNY COLE walks out of a shelter alone. He looks back once before continuing to walk. EXT. DINER - NIGHT Danny walks into an old Diner that has neon lights on the roof reading "Phillies". INT. DINER - NIGHT A bell chimes as Danny enters the old greasy diner. A small juke box is playing ONLY THE LONELY by Roy Orbinson. A middle aged bald cook with grease can be seen working in the kitchen. A few regulars are still there but otherwise its deserted. A waitress wearing a powder blue uniform can be seen reading a magazine behind the counter. Shes in her early forties with big died red hair, nail extensions, clinging to her former youth. She turns a page and talks to Danny. In the background a young waitress named JIA is clearing up a table. She has a pretty face but her hair is a mess and her uniform has ketchup stain. WAITRESS Sit wherever you like shuga, new girl will help you in a sec. Danny turns to see the back of a young waitress busy wiping down a table.

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DANNY COLE Ill have the standard. WAITRESS Coffee? DANNY COLE Yeah, like always. The waitress looks up irritated and then keeps reading. WAITRESS Shell help you in a sec hun. Danny sits down at a table facing the entrance, he pulls out a cheap wrinkled old notepad. Suddenly, a loud CRACK echoes through diner. WAITRESS Thats the third time this week and its sure not coming outa my tips. The last two customers leave. WAITRESS Have a good night yall. JIA Ill clean it up, its no problem. WAITRESS (sighing) Ahhh. Brooms that way. I can do your job just fine. The older waitress walks towards Danny with a false smile and a pot full of coffee. WAITRESS Hi Dahling. She fills up his cup. WAITRESS Heres some coffee to get you started. Sorry about the wait. Standard, right? DANNY COLE Yeah, eggs up.

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WAITRESS Be out in five. She walks away humming, and the click of her heels resonates in sync with the music. Danny opens the notebook and starts to flip the pages. An animated childs drawing of a flower coming out from the ground can be seen. We see a flash of the name Alice on the last page. DANNY COLE (V.O.) She use to love breakfast at dives like this. Said they put more chocolate chips in the pancakes, or something like that. Danny puts the notepad in his inside jacket pocket before pulling out a pill bottle. He taps two into his hand before putting it back. DANNY COLE (V.O.) She looked like a little angel, just like her mother. I was late from work the last time I saw her. DISSOLVES TO: INT. CHILDS BEDROOM - NIGHT The room is light purple, a young girl around eight is sleeping in a small bed with a flower covered duvet. A creek is heard before Danny steps into frame. He bends down and kisses her on the forehead. DISSOLVES TO: INT. DINER - NIGHT DANNY COLE (V.O.) I had to come in early too, they were both use to that. The younger waitress walks towards Danny carrying a plate and coffee. JIA Here you go sir, is there anything else you need?

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DANNY COLE Huh? Um no... thanks. The girl walks away, puzzled. DANNY COLE (V.O.) God. I cant even talk to a waitress without scaring her. Im a hermit-- surrounded by people but with no one to talk to. Danny cuts into the yoke of his egg violently. DANNY COLE (V.O.) Six god damn years since my life went to shit, not that it wasnt already in swift decline. He takes a long gulp of black coffee. DANNY COLE (V.O.) Reggies the first time Ive even had a real conversation in years. The door opens and a bell chimes. A young twenty something man, QIU is standing in the door way wearing a suit and overcoat. He looks at Danny and nods. Danny nods back automatically, and continues to eat. QIU Glad you decided to come. Danny takes a large bite of bacon and answers with food in his mouth. DANNY COLE Good to see you made it. Qiu sits down. QIU Enough pleasantries, lets talk. Danny doesnt say anything he just keeps eating. QIU Listen, this has to happen tonight. Ill pay you the full dime.

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DANNY COLE (jokingly) Ha. So whose the target? QIU See the waitress over there, "Alice"? DANNY COLE Yeah. QIU Real names Jia. Qiang wants her back, and he gets what he wants. Sounds good. DANNY COLE Whatd she do? QIU Shes been running for the past two weeks and its time to bring her in. DANNY COLE Running from what? Qiu pauses and looks at Danny carefully. QIU Come on, its better if we wait outside. Qiu takes out a cell phone and starts texting as he walks out of the diner. Danny throws down some cash and then follows him. We hear the chime of the bell and see Jia collecting her tip. EXT. SOUTHIE BOSTON - NIGHT The only noise heard in the dark snowy night is the crunch of footsteps on snow and the wind howling around the corner. Two figures are seen heading towards a black range rover. Qiu pulls out his keys and we hear the beep of the car unlocking. Qiu gets into the drivers seat and Danny pauses before getting inside.

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INT. BLACK RANGE ROVER - NIGHT Danny and Qiu sit in prolonged silence until Qiu reaches across Dannys lap and opens the glove box. He pulls out a bottle of whiskey and plastic zip ties spill out. DANNY COLE We gonna need all those? QIU Ehhh. DANNY COLE What about that? Danny points to the gun in the glovebox. QIU Might help, but boss says not to hurt her. Thats why I have this. Qiu reaches under his seat and takes out an electric tazer. He pulls the trigger twice and the tazer flashes. QIU It wont hurt.. just sting. Qiu laughs as he takes anough swig. After taking a few sips he hands the bottle to Danny. DANNY COLE Thanks. QIU Dont talk much, huh? Danny shrugs and passes the bottle back. QIU Fair enough. Qiu takes a swig. QIU Girls shift should be ending soon, along with the rest of the staff. Were gonna wait and see if she gets a ride or walks alone. DANNY COLE Then what?

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QIU Then we do what needs to be done. Qiu pulls out the pistol from the glove box and cocks it. DANNY COLE I thought you said we were bringing her back alive? QIU We are. This is just in case she needs persuading. DANNY COLE So whatd this girl really do? QIU Dont worry about it. Youll get paid as long as you do as I say. Across the street Jia and the other waitress exit the back entrance of the diner.The older woman stops to talk to the new girls coming in for the morning rush, while Jia walks off alone. QIU Here, take the tazer and the binds. DANNY COLE That her? QIU Cant tell. Qiu turns the key and puts the car in gear. QIU Well just drive by real casual. The car turns right and for a second Jias powder blue uniform is illuminated by the highbeams of the rangerover. QIU Thats her alright. Qiu steps on the pedal and blows past Jia. He stops a block down and backs into a dark alley. DANNY COLE What are you gonna do?

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QIU Im gonna stay in the car, while you tail her. DANNY COLE Im alone on this? QIU Shes just a girl. If you get close enough to use the tazer, do it. Qiu tries to hand Danny the tazer. QIU For ten fucking grand you should do as your told. Danny takes the tazer and gets out of the car. QIU Ill be right behind you. Danny walks out of the alley and turns back towards Jia. Shes walking towards him on the sidewalk. Danny picks up his pace. DANNY COLE Jesus, this is what I get for trying to have a little conversation. The wind is whipping the snow in Jias face, she still hasnt noticed Danny. She looks up when she hears the range rover pulling out. Danny tucks into arch way. Jia walks past him without seeing him. Qiu drives by staring at Danny, he does a quick U turn, and his wheels slide in the snow. DANNY COLE Jia! Jia bolts across the street, and the range rover accelerates towards her. She makes it into a small side alley. Qiu backs off the side walk and yells at Danny before gunning it around the block. QIU Get after her! Ill get to the other side. Qiu plunges into the darkness and Danny follows.

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EXT. ALLEYWAY - NIGHT Danny runs into the pitch black alley-- sliding in the grimy slush of city snow. DANNY COLE Jia! Wait! Suddenly, the range rover enters from the other end of the alley. The car picks up speed. DANNY COLE Get out of the way! Danny lunges at Jia and manages to push her out of the way as the car screeches to a halt-- too late. DANNY COLE I thought you said to bring her in alive! Qiu opens his door violently, slamming it on the brick wall. QIU Fuck. Jia picks herself up and limps down a small side alley-- a dead end. Danny lies winded on the ground. QIU Its a dead end, shes not going anywhere. DANNY COLE (spitting blood) You almost killed me. QIU But I didnt. Come on. QIU I said, lets go! Qiu kicks Danny in the gut before taking his gun out. QIU Piece of shit hired help. You get in my way again I kill you. Qiu spits next to Danny before walking into the dead end...

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EXT. DEAD END- NIGHT Qiu stands alone, gun in hand. The dead end is illuminated by a blinking safety light revealing mountains of junk piled next to an industrial trash can. QIU Jia... oh Jia... Qiu moves the pistol behind his back. QIU Come out, come out wherever you are... Qiu kicks aside a piece of cardboard-- a colony of rats erupt from the debris--Qiu raises his gun startled. QIU Jia... Im not one to play games... Qiu takes out his phone and uses the light to search the junk. QIU especially not hide and seek... A noise is heard from the other end of the alley. Qiu shines his light and finds Jia crouched in a ball. QIU Because its no fun when you always win. JIA (sobbing loudly) Cant you just.. just leave me alone. QIU But wheres the fun in that? Qiu points with his gun. QIU Game over. Move. Jia steps into the open. QIU Well.. I can see why youre the bosss little girl.

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Qiu walks closer. Jia takes a few steps back, before hitting the chain link fence. QIU Now I swore to him I wouldnt touch you... but how bout a little show? Qiu cocks his gun. Danny enters behind him with a tazer in his hand. QIU A little touch cant hurt. Qiu pins Jia against the fence with his body. His free hand around her neck-- forcing her to look into his eyes. QIU Thisll just be our little secret. Jia glances at Danny. Qiu turns, one hand on Jias neck and the other on his gun. Danny fires the tazer causing both Qiu and Jia to convulse. Before collapsing, Qiu fires a single shot that rebounds off the ground and wings Dannys left leg. DANNY COLE GAHHH! Christ that hurts. The shot fades as Danny limps over and picks Jia up. INT. BEDROOM - DAY Jia wakes up-- its early morning and shes in an unfamiliar bed. Danny is slumped over, dozing in a chair in the corner. Half way to the door Jia steps on a loud floorboard. DANNY COLE (eyes still closed) Where yah going? Jia tries to the door--locked-- she bolts at Danny screaming. JIA Ahhhh! Danny jumps out of the way and Jia slams hard against the drywall.

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DANNY COLE The fuck. JIA Uhhh... Danny bends down. DANNY COLE Shit. You beat yourself up bad. JIA Ahhh. DANNY COLE Look at me. Follow my finger. Danny checks to see if shes concussed. DANNY COLE Youll be alright. Just sit up, we need to talk. Jia sits crunched in a ball, hands protecting her head. DANNY COLE Listen, Im not going to hurt you. JIA Thats what they all say. DANNY COLE Well, youre safe now. JIA No. Its just a matter of time... DANNY COLE Until what? JIA Till I cant keep running. DANNY COLE From what? Jia looks into Dannys eyes for the first time. Shes bruised up in a bad way. JIA Its a long story.

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DANNY COLE Ive got no where to go. JIA Water first, then story. Danny unlocks the door and walks to the kitchen for a glass. Jia stands in the door way. DANNY COLE Here. Jia takes several quick gulps. JIA From the beginning? DANNY COLE Its normally where people start. Jia walks over to the couch, sits down and takes a breath. INT. ORPHANAGE - DAY Its a large room thats filled beyond capacity. Children lie everyone, ages ranging from mere toddlers to young adults. The room is mainly female, and the few boys that are there seem to be in charge of the others. All of them look malnourished and are wearing tattered clothes. JIA (OS) No ones born an orphan but I might as well have been. The moment my parents saw I was a girl, I was gone. Imprisoned with about four hundred other kids of all different ages, most of them girls, we were just left there. Left to die or grow up and become someone elses problem. In the corner three children, all girls can be seen crowding around a boy. We hear him moaning in pain. MING AHH my side. Make it stop. I.. ah... YU Its going to be okay Ming.

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CONTINUED: HUA We need to get help. YU Its just a stomach ache. What help are they gonna be anyways? JIA Heres some food and water. MING Ughh. No, I cant. JIA Come on Ming, just open your mouth. You need to eat something. MING AHH please Jia, make it stop. JIA Hua hold him down. Jia try to keep his mouth open. HUA Ming stop struggling, were trying to help you. JIA He hasnt eaten anything in days. MING Just leave me alone, its too late. YU God he feels like hes on fire. JIA Keep his mouth open he needs to eat.

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Jia scrunches up the rice in her hand into tiny clumps for Ming. She tries to feed him one but he starts to gag and dry vomits. HUA Gah! Im getting help, we cant do anything. JIA You know theyre not going to help him!

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YU What else can we do Jia? Hes on fire and in so much pain. Maybe this is for the best. HUA walks back on screen with two female caregivers. NURSE 1 Get away from him! NOW! YU He just needs to eat something. NURSE 2 Back away he might be contagious. JIA Please dont take him away, hes all I have. Please. NURSE 1 I said get away from him! The first nurse grabs Jia who desperately tries to hold on to Mings hand. JIA Get away! The nurse starts to hit Jia until she lets go. NURSE 2 We need to bring him to the isolation room immediately. JIA Youre going to kill him. I know it. No one ever comes back from those killing rooms. NURSE 1 Stay against the wall, or else. NURSE 2 Bring in the gurney, quickly! Two men enter with masks on and start to carry Ming away. MING Jia! Jia where are you?

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JIA Ming Ill find you. MING Just get away Jia, get away. Jia is left alone, crying on her knees. Children playing in the background. EXT. RURAL CHINA - DAY Jia, weak from hunger can be seen begging on the steps of a small shrine. JIA Please sir... anything you can spare... just something so I can eat... The couple looks away disgusted. STRANGER Beg somewhere else. JIA Miss please I havent eaten in days... The woman looks back at Jia and pauses but her husband grabs her arm and keeps moving. JIA (OS) I felt like I was going to die, and when I look back on the day I met him, I wish I had. Jia manages to pick herself up from the ground. JIA Please. Help me... Jia topples to the ground due to exhaustion, the last thing she sees is fancy pair of leather wingtip shoes rushing towards her. INT. SMALL INN - DAY Jia is lying in bed, delirious from fatigue and hunger. A well dressed man TORIO, 28, is sitting by her side.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: JIA Whats going.. Who are you? Where am I? TORIO Shhh you need to rest. Youre very weak but everything is going to be okay. Here try this.

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Torio holds a wooden bowl in front of Jias mouth. She starts to slurp down the broth too quickly and begins to cough. TORIO Slowly, there thats better. Your system has taken quite a shock. My names Torio and Im going to help you, whats your name? JIA Jia. TORIO Jia, how long have you been living on the streets? JIA Months, maybe a year. Ever since I... TORIO What? You can tell me. JIA Its just... please dont send me back to the orphanage, Id die rather than go back there. TORIO Shh Jia, calm down. I already told you, Im here to help. Youll never have to go back there. Now drink some more, youre still weak. Jia eagerly slurps from the bowl, always keeping her eyes on Torio. TORIO I work with a Non Profit Organization that helps find orphans a home. We work across the world in various countries, trying to find people who need help. People like you Jia.

20. INT. AIRPLANE - DAY Jia and Torio sit side by side on a large continental flight. Many passengers are asleep. Torio sits typing on a laptop while Jias eyes remain fixed outside the window, on the murky darkness below. JIA (OS) Torio nursed me back to health over two and a half weeks. He told me that as soon as I could walk Id be able to fly to America and meet my new family. JIA Are they down there? TORIO Who? JIA My new family, are they down there? TORIO Not yet Jia, nothing down there but the Pacific. We still have a long flight ahead of us. JIA Will they be at the airport waiting? When can I meet them? Is my new mom pretty? TORIO Shhh Jia, try to sleep its a long flight. All your questions will be answered when we land, just go to sleep. Jia falls asleep to the noise of Torio typing. INT. AIRPORT CUSTOMS - DAY JIA (OS) We landed at Logan Airport in the middle of the night. I had never seen something as beautiful as the twinkling lights of the city bathed in an orange glow. I didnt sense anything was wrong until... customs. It was something about the way the customs official looked at me. He looked like he knew.

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INT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT Torio holds Jias hand tightly as they walk threw the parking garage. Torio looks left and right, and then pauses waiting for something. JIA Torio wheres... TORIO Shut up. Theyll be here, they have to be. High beams flash three times in quick succession. TORIO Jesus christ, about fucking time. Come on, theyre here. JIA Oww Torio, youre hurting me. Torio quickens his pace. TORIO Come on were almost there. A black van with tinted windows comes to a screeching halt in front of Torio and Jia. A side door slides open revealing two men in dark clothes with hoods. JIA Whats going on? Torio grabs Jia and shoves her towards the door, where the men quickly restrain and blindfold her. JIA Help! Someone help! KIDNAPPER 1 Shut that bitch up or were all done for. Jia is hit roughly in the gut. JIA Ughh.. Why? Torio .. please, someone help me. TORIO Hit her again.

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Jia is hit in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground unconscious. KIDNAPPER 1 Jesus, you better not have killed her. The second kidnapper bends down to take her pulse. KIDNAPPER 2 Shell be fine, just out cold. INT WAREHOUSE - DAY Jia is brought bound with a hood on by two men into a concrete room where another girl sits with a hood on, ALMA. Jia hears Almas voice speaking in a different language before she cries out in pain and is silenced. One of the men drops a six pack of beer and a loaf of wonderbread. KIDNAPPER 1 Here, theres an opener for the beer. Bread. Make it last, because its all youre gonna get. Once the kidnapper opens the door Alma bolts for the opening. The kidnapper hits her with the back of his hand and she falls to the floor. He pins her to the ground and takes out a large knife. Holding it against her neck he stares into her eyes. She looks back at him determined not to break eye contact. He presses the blade deeper and as the first pinprick of blood begins to form, she looks away eyes closed. He stands up. KIDNAPPER 1 You better remember that, because its the last warning you or her are going to get. The kidnapper bends down and cleans his blade on whats left of Almas dress. He smiles sinisterly before sheathing the knife. KIDNAPPER 1 Yah know just because I cant kill you, doesnt mean this has to hurt. (CONTINUED)

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Once the kidnapper leaves the other girl she dives for the bread and protectively pulls it back into her corner. Jia begins to sob while rocking back and forth with her head in between her knees. INT WAREHOUSE - NIGHT Time has passed. Jia lies on her side with her back facing the other girl. In the background we can hear the other girl peeing in a corner. JIA (OS) It felt like I was caged with a wild animal. I spent those days watching my cellmate. The only communication that took place in those first few days was which corner to shit in. Surrounded in fear, I feigned sleep and grew weaker. I tried to stay on alert, always on guard. The clink of the metal bolt on the heavy door disrupted the silence of the room. The other girl runs at the door just in time to be grabbed at the throat by an obese Asian man of enormous girth. JIA (OS) He almost killed her right then. I thought of pleading with the man to stop, but I knew it wouldnt make any difference. She clawed at his eyes but he just kept squeezing. Until it was almost too late... The gigantic man carries the girl out of the room by her neck, the noise of something heavy being dropped followed by a loud exhale followed and rapid deep breathes can be heard before the door closes. JIA At first I was relieved to hear that she was still breathing, but then she started to scream and I knew that she would have been better off dead.

24. INT WAREHOUSE - DAY Its early morning when Jia wakes to find the girl crying. Next to the girl is a bucket of water and a sponge. Shes Half naked, the tattered remains of the her shirt is wedged in between her legs. Dried blood can be seen on her sleeve. JIA Hey. The girl doesnt respond. JIA You okay? Jia tentatively touches her shoulder. The girl flinches and withdraws from her touch-- curling into the fetal position. Jia leaves her hand on the girls shoulder. JIA Its over now. The girl begins to rock backwards and forwards. JIA Shhh. Its okay. The girl raises her head, her long dark hair covers most of her face but she still manages to make eye contact. Jia reaches up and brushes the girls hair behind her ear. JIA (OS) Thats when I saw what they did to her. A heavy bruise can be seen on her left eye and she has a fat lip. JIA Ouch. Jia takes the sponge, dunks it in the water and then reaches up. JIA Here. Slowly, she clears the blood away. ALMA AHH. Alma looks up into Jias eyes. (CONTINUED)

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JIA Jia. ALMA Alma. INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY Jia and Alma are sitting together sharing the last beer when the door opens and two of the kidnappes enter with masks on. JIA (OS) This time we didnt try to run. We just accepted the hoods and followed them. The girls are led through the giant warehouse. They were kept in the only room inside an otherwise abandoned factory. JIA (OS) We looked for an opportunity to escape but never got one. EXT. INDUSTRIAL AREA - DAY A non descript white van is idling next to the door of the warehouse. Each man exits holding onto a girl. The first man knocks on the side of the van, and the door slides open. They load the girls in. INT. MOVING VAN - DAY The girls are seen kneeling on the floor. Hoods on, their hands are ziptied behind their backs. KIDNAPPER 1 About time we brought these two in, any longer and you would have broken them both in. KIDNAPPER 2 Hey, keep it down. Boss doesnt like anyone sampling the goods.

26. EXT. BACK ALLEY The van is seen pulling into the alley. The door slides open and the girls are unloaded. The backdoor to the kitchen opens and a boy is seen throwing out the trash. He doesnt look at the bound girls, he just leaves the door open. Jia and Alma are led into the kitchen. INT. KITCHEN - DAY Its a large kitchen filled with six cooks working quickly. They yell at eachother in chinese, and laugh as the girls are led past them into a backroom. INT. BACKROOM RESTAURANT. Inside the room stands QIANG, 35, a well dressed, neatly groomed Asian man. Torio stands next to him looking bored. Jia and alma stand in front of the men, hoods still on until two wooden chairs are brought in. QIANG Sit. The girls are forced. Hoods are pulled off. QIANG Welcome to America girls, this is your new family. Youre welcome additions to my restuarant, Birds Of Paradise. ALMA Please sir, I miss my... Alma tries to say something but Torio shushes her. TORIO Shh. She speaks again, hit her. QIANG Now Torio, theres no need for that. Poor girl just looks like shes tired. He bends down to look at her. QIANG But you musnt speak when Im speaking. A woman should always be listening, not talking. (CONTINUED)

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Qiang stands up straight and smiles at both of them. He circles them as he talks. QIANG Now, let me explain the situation were in. Ive spent thousands of dollars, and my mans time here helping you come to this great country. Your life before doesnt matter, and Im sure things are going to be a lot better off here, with me. Qiang pauses next to Jia to stroke her cheek before he continues to walk. QIANG That being said, you owe me something which can be re-payed surely in time. You see we can always accommodate new girls here at Birds of Paradise. Youll live here, in this room and work in the kitchen until the debt is re-payed. Qiang waits for them to nod, but they remain emotionless. QIANG Is that understood? Jia nods, and Alma looks at her before nodding as well. QIANG Im glad to hear we have an understanding. Torio remove their binds. Torio whips out a boxcutter and cuts the plastic zip ties around their wrists. QIANG Now rest up girls, you have a long day in the morning. Jia and Alma are left alone. They curl up together sobbing on the one mattress left in the room. JIA (OS) I thought that first year of work was hell.

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INT. KITCHEN - DAY The kitchen is busy-- its the dinner rush. Waiters are running in and out, yelling at the cooks. An old radio is blaring some korean pop song. Jia and Alma are cleaning dishes. JIA (OS) In the beginning we cleaned dishes and bussed tables. Then we cleaned the floor above the restaurant. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Jia and Alma are cleaning in one of the girls rooms. The room is jungle themed, with large plants and fake rocks. On the ground can be seen a jungle patterned thong. Jia picks up the soiled undergarments while Alma changes the sheets. JIA (OS) Normally we didnt even see the girls. They kept to themselves, or were made to do so. Jia picks up a bra thats been torn. JIA We still knew We just hoped were told, it us. (OS) what went on there. that if we did as we would never happen to

After changing the sheets, Alma pauses by the window. She looks up at the small patch of visible sky. A few stars can be seen through the smog. JIA (OS) Unfortunately Alma was older than me. INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT Jia and Alma are standing next to Torio in the elevator. They look afraid because this is the first time theyre being brought to third floor. TORIO You girls are in for a surprise, a little treat from the boss.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: JIA (OS) We didnt what was in store for us, but we knew it wasnt good. INT. QIANGS OFFICE - NIGHT

29.

Qiangs office is far nicer than the rest of the building. A giant room painted dark red. Its extravagantly decorated in faux Ming Dynasty fashion. Jia and Alma are led by Torio to sit at the end of the table opposite Qiang. Qiang sits in front of them in what can only be described as a throne. A high backed mahogany chair with dragon heads for armrests. QIANG Girls come in. The work youve been doing has been adequate. Its been a year since you first came here, and I thought a little celebration was in order. Torio. Torio exits through a door and returns with two cupcakes, candles lit. QIANG Happy Birthday girls. Its the first day of the rest of your life. Torio puts the cupcakes on the table in front of Jia and Alma. QIANG Blow out your candles. Jia and Alma blow out the candles, and start to eat with their eyes down. QIANG I hope theyre good. You know it costs a lot to feed you two. Qiang stands up and starts to walk towards them. QIANG With the cost of living expenses, it doesnt seem like you two are going anywhere soon. You have an obligation, a debt that must be payed. Qiang walks towards Alma, who glances upwards.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

30.

QIANG Alma, youre becoming a woman. Must be at least sixteen, maybe seventeen? Qiang pets her head for a few seconds. QIANG Now Torio we cant have such a beautiful girl dressed in rags. Can we? TORIO Of course not Boss, Ill bring the new dress in right away. Torio walks back into the room where he got the cupcakes from. QIANG Alma, take that off. No need to wear it anymore. Alma doesnt move so Qiang puts his hand on her shoulder and starts to squeeze until she cries out. QIANG Now Alma, let me give you your birthday gift. Torio enters with a skimpy red cocktail dress. He walks over to Alma and rips the front of her dress off. Her hands come up to cover her body, and Qiang starts to walk away. QIANG If she doesnt want to change in front of Jia, bring her and the dress to my room. Zorn throws Alma into the room with the dress and closes the door. QIANG Take Jia back down. Shes still just a girl. Zorn grabs Jia by the arm and pulls her to the elevator. She struggles against his grip but theres nothing she can do. Qiang walks towards the room with Alma, and Jia hears the door slam shut as the elevators doors close as well.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

31.

JIA (OS) That was the first night she was put to work on the third floor. I saw her in secret after that, but she was never the same and neither was I.