Transcript for Chapter 6A
Title page features Amber dressed in her usual style, with a light-colored long-sleeved top and a pleated skirt. She's striking a pose with a hand on one hip and the other hand behind her head, and she's grinning like a movie star. The chapter begins at the bottom of the title page.
Chapter 6 - Corpse
Opens with Justice hurrying down a dark hall. In the background we can see a crowd of Bouquet contestants hanging around in a brightly lit room. Justice is leaving them behind. He reaches a door temporarily labeled "Recording Room B." He glances behind himself, checking to make sure no one's looking, before letting himself into the room.
The room is a temporary recording set-up; large partitions separate it away from the rest of a much larger area. Inside is quite dark; most of the light comes from several monitors through which the contestants can be viewed while they perform. A female sound engineer, CANDACE, sits at a table and mans the controls. Harrison sits on a chair behind her; he smiles at Justice as Justice comes into the room.
Justice: Dad, what are you doing here?
Harrison studies a file of one of the contestants.
Harrison: Same thing as you, I'm sure.
He holds out a plateful of sushi toward Justice, offering him a piece.
Justice, instead of taking one piece, grabs the entire plate along with his dad's chopsticks.
Justice proceeds to scarf down the sushi while Harrison looks on in frustration. He sighs.
Harrison: So, where were you all afternoon?
Justice freezes in surprise, his cheeks full of sushi.
We're in Harrison's office at the studio. The office is dark, but some light is coming from an open door in the back. Voices come from the other room.
Voice 1: We can do this if you want, but if anyone ever finds out it'll be a breach of your non-disclosure.
Voice 2: Don't worry.
The next image is a selfie Amber took of herself and Justice. We see that the room they were in was actually Harrison's private bathroom at the studio. They're grinning and holding a lot of Harrison's personal toiletries and items, like his monogrammed electric toothbrush, his toothpaste, and his shaver. In the background of the picture we can see Harrison's toilet.
Justice grins, embarrassed and nervous.
Justice: You don't want to know.
Harrison keeps reading the file he's holding, unflappable.
Harrison: Just don't do something that's going to make me have to assign you a handler.
In the background, Candace is at work. We can see on several of her monitors that a girl has stepped in front of the microphone and is now being recorded.
Voice from monitors: Hi, I'm Amber Smith.
Justice: Hey, Amber's up.
Justice and Harrison give their attention to the monitors.
Amber stands at the microphone, smiling cutely. She's still wearing her idol babydoll and the white gerbera daisy in her hair. We're watching the whole thing through a monitor.
Amber: I'm fifteen years old, and my life-long dream is to join Bouquet.
Justice: [She really is too cute for her own good.]
He gets thoughtful.
Justice: [And she doesn't look like she's had any bombs dropped on her recently. I wonder how Jade managed to hide from her while they were waiting to sing.]
Music begins to play in the speakers that are in the room where Amber is performing. Amber dances and starts to sing her solo, smiling hugely and sincerely the entire time.
Amber: The world is watching while my dreams are coming true. I'm preparing for my destiny...
In a close-up shot, Amber points right at us and winks.
Amber: with you.
Justice: Just what I expected. Her voice is so clear and uncomplicated it should blend right in with our other voices. And it's sweet enough to carry a ballad on its own, assuming we can impress the emotion onto her.
Harrison: That's the problem though, isn't it? The young ones don't have the life experience that translates into a powerful ballad.
Justice is facing his dad while he talks, but Harrison's attention is mostly on the file he holds.
Justice: Yeah, but acting training should help with that.
Amber finishes her song with both hands held out in front of her in a welcoming pose.
Amber: ...and I'll be your flirty flower!
The photographer, Evan, stands behind the cameras and lights and holds a clipboard with a list on it.
Evan: Okay, thanks for your performance. Jut leave through that door on your left and there will be a member of staff to do an interview with you.
Amber: Thank you!
Amber leaves through the indicated door; there's a sign on it that says "Interviews" with an arrow pointing out. Evan goes to a different door and opens it. He calls the next contestant.
Evan: Jade Smith!
Justice is relaxed back in a chair with a leg crossed over the other at the knee. His arms are crossed and he's smiling, a bit amused.
Justice: [Cool, it's Jade's turn. I winder if Ilsa was really able to get her into some-]
A girl walks into the performance room; all we see is the lower part of her legs. She's wearing black high heels and patterned tights. Justice suddenly sits up straight in amazement.
Page six is a one-panel, full shot of Jade after her makeover. Her hair is styled in a messy ponytail, similar to the one she was wearing on the previous day. But the ponytail is much more beautiful, with soft curls. Instead of the dull black color, her hair is medium-toned and glossy. It's tied with a white ribbon. She's wearing a tank top with pinstriped shorts, and over that she has on a flowy translucent top that shows the clothes she's wearing underneath it and leaves her shoulders bare. She's also wearing thigh-high stockings with a large, high-contrast geometric pattern; they leave about four inches of her thighs bare. Jade's face is wary but not terrified.
Justice looks quite impressed with the improvement in Jade's style. He's leaning forward in the chair and his eyes are wide.
Justice: Whoa, nice!
Harrison's expression is a little more dubious.
Harrison: Who made the call to change her hair?
Justice: Me. That black was washing her out.
Back in the performance room, Evan gestures to one of the cameras.
Evan: Go ahead and introduce yourself to the camera.
Jade stands in front of the microphone.
Jade: Jade Smith, fifteen.
EVan makes a note on his clipboard.
Evan: And which song are you going to sing?
Jade looks away, angry and disgusted.
Jade: Flirty Flower.