Amazing Grace – A Pale Horse



In the bathroom BATHROOM GUY, think Sam Rockwell or Bill Hader, is standing in front of the mirror giving himself a pep talk.


Tonight’s the night man.


Your night!  You’re going to score and score bigtime!  Take it to the hole like Ron Jeremy man!  Who’s the man?  You the man!

(awkwardly shadow boxes)

You’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, you’ve got the moves!

(dances even more awkwardly)

You’re coming for them and they don’t even know it!  They’re gonna get it!  Wham!  Right in the ass!

(talks to crotch)

This is it bud, you’re going to come out and punish some bad bitches tonight, you’re gonna . . .

Behind him there’s a small flash of light in one of the stalls and then Amazing Grace walks out, Bathroom Guy shrieks and jumps forward in surprise, smacking his head on the mirror so hard that it cracks.  He falls to a sitting position on the floor holding his bloody head.


Oh shit, sorry man, I didn’t think anyone was in here.  You’re very insignificant, I mean cosmically on that level, that could really come in handy.


(trying to stanch the blood from his head)

What are you doing in here?  This is the MEN’S room!


(looks him over)

You sure about that briz?

(she starts to walk out but then turns back)

You know what bruh?  I want to apologize for that last remark.  Just because you’re small and weak and based on stink of Axe body spray coming off you a douchebag doesn’t mean that I should imply that you’re not a man.  I shouldn’t have said that.  That wasn’t cool.  I don’t want to contribute to the culture of toxic masculinity by being one of those woman who cuts down a man for not conforming to a certain body type for way of dressing or whatever.  That’s not what I’m about.  I’m sorry.

(helps Bathroom Guy to his feet)


(straightens clothes)

You know the best apologies come from the mouth but not like that.

(reaches for fly)

You want to apologize apologize to the Punisher.


(moves forward slightly and crushes Bathroom Guy with a punch to the liver, leaving him twitching on the floor)

You know what man?  I don’t feel great about what I just did there either.  I come from a world that preaches ‘talk shit, get hit’ but that doesn’t make it right.  We all learned that from Chris Rock and Big Willy right?  You were being gross but responding to words with violence is just the kind of childish nonsense I was just talking about not being in favor of.  I am sorry that I bought into chauvinist stereotypes and I am supes sorry that I blasted your liver, and I think made you crap your pants based on the new stink that your Axe body spray can’t even cover up.  Also I’m sorry because I don’t think a liver punch can kill someone but you kind of look like you’re dying.  So, uh, I’m gonna go now then.

(she turns to leave and sees the bathroom attendant)

Have you been there the entire time?


Yes ma’am.


(shakes head)

I am off my game tonight.  You’re not a shadowman are you?


I don’t think so ma’am.


Huh.  Well, have a good one man.

Club Obsidian is not a pulse-thumping dance club.  It’s a low-key upscale domicile for the rich and unfamous.  It’s a place for rich people who want to go out and make bad decisions without being hassled.  It has an air of decadence and quiet desperation.  Grace exits the bathroom.  She looks around and  spots RANNI sitting at one of the smaller bars.  Think Nicole Scherzinger.  Grace takes a seat next to her.   


(eyes Grace coldly) 

I’m waiting for someone 


(peeks behind the bar) 

Good new, I am someone.  Bad news, you’re waiting for Dash and he isn’t coming.  Do they have beer in this place or just like bathtub gin in a jelly jar or some shit?


(getting up to leave) 

If Dash isn’t coming then I guess I don’t have anything to wait for here. 


(sits back down) 

Can you just give me two seconds here?   


(rolls her eyes) 

Let me guess, you’ll make it worth my while? 


(shakes her head) 

What?  Like with money?  Hell no, I’m flat ass broke.  Nah, I’d like you to just tell me what you were up going to tell Dash.  

(looks towards the end of the bar) 

Do they have nuts or pretzels here or something?  I got stood up for lunch and I’m starving. 


Why would I tell you anything? 


Well I’ll tell you why, because Dash is dead.  And I have to assume that it’s because of a case he was working on.  And because you’re the only person I know he was working with.  So what’s it going to be?  How about you tell me whatever you were going to tell him and I’ll get out of your hair.  Speaking of that’s a very flattering haircut.  I’m not much of one for hair usually, you can probably tell that from looking at my haircut, but what you have going there?  That’s stylish.  I like it.



Who even are you? 


A friend of Dash’s 


(shaking her head) 

Dash didn’t have any friends. 


Oh sure he did, Dash and I were thick as thieves we were.  You don’t have like an energy bar or something in that tiny little purse do you?  Or a Snickers maybe.  I mean, you don’t look like you eat candy bars, just something like that you know. 



Is Dash really dead? 



I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a person who was deader.  Maybe once in Tuscon.  Maybe.  I don’t think he had a single solitary drop of blood left in his body.  You weren’t going to tell him something about vampire were you?  I hate vampires.  They’re not like in the movies you know.  They’re gross trash monsters like raccoons.   I just had a vampire deal a few months ago, I’m not ready for another.  They’re awful.

Vampires are not like what you see in the movies.  They don’t have super strength, they can’t turn into bats, they don’t have mystical powers, they’re very sick people who are forced to feed on the blood of others to survive.  They need to be put out of their misery.  One thing they got right in movies is that turning someone into a vampire is a curse, and curses don’t make you cool sexy immortals who own nightclubs and ride motorcycles.



Vampires? What are you talking about?


(stifling a sigh) 

Look, you don’t have to trust me, can you just give me a hint about that you were helping Dash with?  He’s dead, nothing you tell me can hurt him now and I’d like to know what happened to him.  We were friends.  Plus there’s a missing woman.  A missing woman with a very rich relative, sort of, who wants her back if that’s the kind of thing that motivates you.


I don’t feel safe talking here.


Alright then, s’go, I can stop somewhere on the way and grab some Twin Bings, I’m starving.  I missed lunch.



Ranni and Grace exit through a staff door, immediately a man in a dark hoodie with a face covering slams the door into them.  Ranni is sent sprawling, Grace is unmoved and unharmed.  Grace knocks the attacker back with a front kick and slams her forearms together like she’s clapping.  Blue energy bursts into life from her fingers down to her elbows.  Think Godzilla powering up for atomic breath. 

Another man in the same fake ninja get up charges at her from the other end of the alley.  A short but brutal fight takes Grace and the two men.  Grace leaves traces of blue magic “electricity” as she strikes and sometimes red light on her feet as she leaps and sidesteps.  She knocks one man out by windmill slamming him on the ground.  The other she chokes unconscious.   

Ranni sits on the ground dazed with a bloody welt on her forehead.  Grace kneels in front of her, taps her fist on the ground twice, whistles a short tune and then runs her finger over Ranni’s forehead.  The wound closes up like a zipper shutting.  Grace tears a piece of her ratty Wal-Mart t-shirt off and hands it to her.   


There you go, good as new.  Unless you have a concussion.  Nothing I can do about that. Concussions are tricky.  I met a witch once who could deal with them but she lives up in the mountains.  It’s a real pain in the ass to find her let alone actually get there.


(wiping the blood off her face) 

What was that? 


(glances at the fallen attackers) 

Probably the guys that killed Dash.  They must have been waiting for you.  Or maybe they followed me from his apartment?  Whoever killed him is magic too so maybe they’re scrying on us right now.  Mostly they might be scrying on you because I’m protected from scrying.  It’s tough to pull off but people can do it.

(flipping the bird in random directions)

Fuck you whoever you are if you’re watching us right now!


(waving her free hand) 

Not that, YOU!  What were all those lights?  You lifted that guy off the ground with one hand! 


Oh shit, did you not know about magic?  Magic is real and I have it.  Pretty cool right? 


    1. Hopefully I’ve made screenplay Grace a little less of a sourpuss than “real” Grace and Johnny C both. Some variation of “Bigger magic, same shit” would look good on a poster.

      1. I think Constantine is maybe manic depressive, even if they tend to harp more on the depressive.

        My personal reader perspective (having not read the full backlog) is that this almost feels like a flash-forward to a Grace that is more powerful, but also more comfortable with herself.

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