Showing posts with label #writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #writing. Show all posts

Saturday, May 7, 2016

That thing about race from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

They had actually spent most of the drive quiet.  Commenting on music and scenery.  Nothing truly substantial just comforting small talk to pass the time.  He would make a catty remark about a movie billboard. She would berate the art.  It was rather amusing how comfortable, how quickly each got at their end of it.  They were seated at one of the back tables in the restaurant and poor Colan was confused.
“I always get front and center.”
Fiona was looking at her menu. “You’re always with people they want you to be seen with,” she said without really thinking about it.
“If you knew the company I kept you wouldn’t say that.” He argued gravely thinking about his rendezvous with his Columbian backers. “Not everyone I’m here with is white.”
Fiona dropped the menu and looked at him dead on. “I told you it’s not just about that; it’s about class.” She gave him an odd look. “How much is everything you’re wearing?”
He looked down at himself. “Maybe a grand most likely 2.”
“Just in clothes?”
“Just in clothes.”
“This whole outfit cost $20 at the local mall.  I got the dress on clearance for $10, the shoes were on sale for $3 and the purse I got at a 75% discount for 8 bucks.” She showed him her wrists and gestured towards her neck.  “I don’t wear jewelry.”
“You don’t wear makeup. Your hair is as it grows out of your head and not coiffed into oblivion,” he finished.
She tilted her head at him. “Aw honey, you finally noticed.”
He smiled at her despite himself. “It was one of the first things I noticed,” he admitted.
“I’m not one of you guys.  I don’t have the finance. And,” she emphasized. “I’m the wrong color.”
He winced. “I’m really starting to not like it when you refer to color.”
She shook her head at him. “Why does it piss you off?” she said in a way that completely said that he had no right to be pissed off about it.
He picked up his menu. “Because I’d punch someone that said that to me about you.” He paused a slight sharp smile dancing on his lips. “I don’t hit women.”
She stared at him sideways, literally tilting her head the other way. “I don’t understand you,” she said softly.
He looked up at her. “Then we have more in common than I thought.”
The waitress came over finally. “Mr. Abrams, how can I help you?” She said tensely.
Without looking at the girl he said swiftly. “Ask the lady what she would like.”
The girl next door brunette plastered on a fake smile and looked over at Fiona. “Ma’am, what can I get you?”
Fiona returned the smile dripping with every ounce of fakeness the girl had given her. “Well,” she started in her most country accent forcing Colan to slowly pan his head up at her. “Ah think Ah migh’ star’ with a Pabst Light.”
The girl’s face dropped. “I ..” she stammered. “I don’t think. . . we carry that brand of,” she gestured loosely. “Beer?”
“Well Damn,” Fiona stopped. “How bout some OE.”
Colan was biting his lower lip watching the display as the waitress looked at the woman helplessly. “I don’t think we have that either.” She supplied.
“What the ell kinda bar’s this, awright, awright.” In perfect English she requested. “Actually I’d like a vodka dry martini Grey Goose, very very dirty. Please lace the rim with lemon.”
The girl stared and then finding a solution quickly said, “Method actress; I totally get it.” She turned to Colan.
“The same.” He barely got out.
The girl nodded and quickly ran away. Colan followed by bursting out in immediate loud arborous laughter. After about 30 seconds of this he used the napkin to wipe his eyes and just kept muttering, “Well played, Ms. Canters, well played.”
A mischevious light danced in his eyes as he looked at her and started, “You know I have this role—“
“Forget about it mister.”
Colan smiled at the immediate setdown. “What made you . . .”
Fiona shrugged. “Terrible habit I developed years ago.  Can’t make myself stop.  As soon as someone starts treating me a certain way I like to give it to them, and then show them how I really am.” She shook her head smiling to herself. “Man has it gotten me into trouble over the years.”
“In Texas. I’m sure it has.”
She looked at him in an accusing fashion. “You know a lot about the South, and when you got pissed at me earlier your accent got going.”
“Oklahoma,” he supplied. “Born and raised.”
She nodded. “Makes sense.” Then smirkingly asked. “Why doesn’t Texas fall into the ocean?”
Colan rolled his eyes. “Here we go. Cause Oklahoma sucks.” He fixed her with a look. “Why is Oklahoma so windy?”
Fiona laughed. “Cause Texas sucks and Kansas blows.”
She looked around the room. People were either in various stages of disgust, wonder, or overt self-involvement. “How in the hell did you end up here?” she wondered openly.
“Foolishly,” he supplied. “But I’ve made it work for me?”
Fiona picked up her menu. “Well I think we should be ready when she comes back.”
“I’d rather you take your time.”
“Well Cody and I have a flight to catch—“
“I’d be highly offended if you didn’t let me treat you to at least one night in Hollywood.”
“Really, we haven’t booked a room—“
“There is room at my place.”
“But the plane tickets—“
“I’ll refund, have Mic book you a new flight when we get back.”
“I don’t think—“
“Would you refuse my hospitality?” he let his accent slip as he said it.
Fiona opened her mouth, and her southern breeding took over closing it instantly.  “No sir, I wouldn’t dream of it.  One night.”
“Unless more is required.” He hinted.
“One night.” Fiona insisted.
He smiled, “I’ll try not to push my luck.”
“Ready.” The waitress returned with a much more genuine smile on her face as she placed the martinis on the table.  Colan looked over at Fiona to see if she noticed.  She still had her head buried in her menu.  This probably happened all over the place, and she just never paid attention; still trapped in her sea of distain.
“Fiona.”

She still didn’t see it because she looked at him.  He said her name like a caress, like he cared for her.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tripping the Light Fantastic an excerpt from Shuttered Vision

Fiona was running, the earth was moving fast beneath her feet. She was laughing and playing.  The sun was bright and florid. The air rich with the scent of poppies.  She stopped running and started twirling in circles, just like she had when she was little.  The man that stared down at her was her favorite man in the world. She stopped spinning and threw herself into his waiting arms.

“Fee-Fee.” He said like he always had softly, quickly and yet insistently giving it all the French inclinations it desired. “What are you doing here?” he asked in his odd Spanish, Texan, French accent.

“I wanted to see you.”

He gave her that chiding look that only an overindulging father gives his child. “Petite, you have other things to do besides obsess over me.  How is your mother?”

“She misses you.”

He shielded his dark eyes. “And I her.  We will meet again she and I.”

“Soon?”

He gave her a firm look. “What have I told you about asking about the future?”

“Don’t do it.”

“You have something to do.” He stated as he gave her a final hug and then put her down.  He looked into the horizon of the grassy area that they were on.  It was like a still set almost.  Wind blew and there was grass and the smell of poppies but it was static, none moving giving cry to the illusion of the place.  With firm steps he walked to the edge of her vision and poked the sky.  It rippled from the spot.

“He’s eavesdropping.” He stated.

Fiona felt shock and surprise. “No one comes here but me, not even Momma. How--”

“He’s searching for you cherie. And he has found you.”

He moved now to stand behind Fiona, slowly he took her hand and moved it across the sky.  It felt like satin under her fingertips and like water the fabric of the sky parted and fell away to reveal her field and there was a tall blonde man standing in the middle of it.  Fiona turned to go back but it was too late, she was now in her field.

Instantly Fiona was enraged with the man. “What are you doing here and who in the hell are you?”

He stood there staring at her. “You can see me.” He said softly.

“Of course I can see you.”

He shrugged. “You were running and twirling, it looked like you were talking to someone but I didn’t see anyone else.”

Fiona felt herself take a deep breath. “What are you doing here?”

“Hiding.” He smiled back at her.

“Should I bother asking who you are?”

“I’m nobody darling.”

Fiona felt herself start to move towards him, but she didn’t walk.  It was almost as if he willed her to him and she merely floated over. She looked down and saw her field moving beneath her feet.  She tried a few times to stop the motion and was unsuccessful.

“What are you?” she asked in a ragged fashion.

“Just a man.” He said evenly.

“No way, no one does –“

“I know, no one controls this but you.”

She was right in front of him now. She was elevated so that she could look him in the eye.  His sea green eyes searched her face. “My those are amazing eyes you’re got.  With the right light, they’d film like a dream.  People would think they’re CGI’d.”

“I doubt I’m the filming type.”

“You’re right. You’re gorgeous but you’re built too much like a real woman for Hollywood.  It’s all about the illusion you see, trick the world into believing only filmable things should exist.  Very few men would even see your face with the rest of that displayed.”
Fiona felt herself blush.

“Beautiful lips.” And then he leaned into her.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Colan Abrams from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

“Mr. Abrams.”

A pause.

“Mr. Abrams.”

Longer pause.

“Colan.”  From a different voice.

He jerked awake. “Yeah, yeah what is it.”

“I can’t even describe how rude what you’re doing is.”

Colan wiped his face and resettled himself in his chair. “It wasn’t intentional I had a rough night last night.  I apologize.”

The four people at the table stared at him.

“Please continue.” He gestured loosely at the man speaking.

“So here is where the film actually moves . . “

What movement Colan thought to himself.  Another horror film where people disembody each other in horrific ways.  There is no movement in a film about brutal death.  There is brutal death, a half to fully naked chick and oh yeah a glorified psychopath.  Alfred Hitchcock knew what horror was.  It was an element of the mind.  He understood that what the human mind could imagine was much more horrific and gruesome than what he could ever show on a screen.  Even with today’s technology he would only redefine darkness, horror, true terror.  He would create art.  Film making was an art.  True film making, movie making however was a tired racket.  He could always tell within the first 30 seconds of a pitch if he was talking to an artist or a hack.

The horror flick being pitched, “Until Dawn” was a movie, not a film.  The screenwriter had cobbled together the shock value factors of the last 4 years of highest grossing horror movies and was selling them like they were fresh stock. And because Colan was in the business he was in, he would have to underwrite it and start production as soon as the hack was ready.  Because he was not a film producer, he was a movie producer and never should the two actually met.

If he had known that a Bachelor’s from Berkeley and a Master’s from NYU would’ve gotten him here, he would’ve saved the money.  That way at least he’d be like Paul sitting next to him, none wiser about the difference between art and crap.

“You hear that Col, the ending, it’s totally unique.”

“No it was done in 1976.  It’s a variation on the original ending of Carrie, the one they didn’t have the funds to do during that time period, the one Stephen King actually wrote.” Colan corrected without really thinking about it.  He sat up straight.

“Bottom line, it’ll easily be the Halloween blockbuster the year its’ released.”  He paused as the pasty man’s excitement started to fill the room. His partner nodding in agreement.  It was always like this when he talked to these guys.  Had to be how music producers felt about most rap styles that had nothing to do with the original slam poetry and hip hop styles they so carelessly discarded yet have to thank for their future success.

“Any plans for sequels?” He asked carelessly.

The man grinned from ear to ear. “Well I was trying to produce a stand alone but if the studio would like a franchise I am more than willing to negotiate those terms.”

Colan stood. “Wonderful, you and Paul here can hack it out. I mean hash it out.”  He fixed Paul with a blank look. “In the current media market we can shoot for 3 total, with a possible 4th upon villain restructuring.  Get me 2 in the can in 28 months.”

Paul was taking notes and nodding.  Colan stared down at his pristine bottle platinum blond locks carefully and artfully moussed and gelled into hip spikes. Reflexively he ran his hand through his own shoulder length blonde mane trying to remember the last time he’d even washed it with shampoo and conditioned it.  Felt pretty rough to the touch.

“Done.” Paul confirmed and looked suspiciously up at him with his dark brown eyes.

Colan smiled at the look of suspicion.  He was always wondering what he was up to.  What angle he was playing.  Wouldn’t he be surprised the day he told him there never had been one. He turned and left the room. 

Couldn’t blame Paul.  That was the life.  Movies made a lot of money, they also spent a lot of money.  Those two factors together drew a certain kind of person.  A land shark.  But there were levels of shark and cannibalism was not only tolerated it was often encouraged.  To reach the level and status that Colan had reached required a lot of guilty memories.  Paul was just being careful because you never knew when one of those beasts was going to turn on you.

Colan would’ve had a guy like Paul for lunch eight years ago.  He had been without remorse when it came to getting to the top and being able to call the shots.  He had been a fool to believe that being at the top of this industry would do anything but change his priorities. People have this fantasy that once they get to the top of something, they can just instantly change the entire institution and structure.  They think they have a noble cause and noble goals. 

Colan had been no different. For most of his 36 years of life, films had sustained and carried him.  He would never forget his first drive thru experience.  His mother and father had taken them to see something he thought he really wanted to see until he turned around to look at another screen in the tri screen theatre.  There he watched, without sound, Superman. Shortly there after his father had left and he fell completely into the world of moving pictures as his mother had to leave him to fend for himself as she had to work more.  So he watched movies, every kind he could watch.

He was raised in a back water Oklahoma town called Chandler right outside of Oklahoma City.  When he had become high school age he had talked his mother into letting him go to the best high school in the state located in Norman Oklahoma near Oklahoma State University.  There he had started the process to get into the University of California Berkeley. From there he had gone to Tisch with New York University with a 4.0.

Colan had graduated full of zest, zeal and an appropriate amount of artistic angst and he had hit the independent film scene a blaze.  His first three movies had been shot down instantly.  The people he pitched to insisting that America didn’t want to think, they wanted blood guts and senseless violence. He had been unconvinced.  The public took what they could get. He was going to make films again. 
All of his professors had seen the idealist in him and knew what that meant.  One by one over the years they had warned him away from Hollywood.  Make films overseas first, he had been advised. But he had been a patriot.  He had only wanted to give his creations to American audiences first. 

With the choices being Disney and Hollywood, he had chosen the later.

So there he had gone.  Hollywood was everything he thought it would be and a slew of other things he hadn’t expected.  He had expected to be disgusted to be insulted as the art he loved was being canonized and mass produced without thought or originality.  What he hadn’t expected was to be lured in by the potential of ultimate power. To be held enwrapt by the bright lights the lifestyle, the parties, the drugs, the sex.  Some of those women he had met along the way had been willing to do anything.  Anything at all for a shot. It isn’t until it’s much too late do you realize what you had to become to get there.

But the most seductive lure of it had been the competition.  Being better, doing better hopefully in a way that shows everyone how bad someone else is at this job. Colan had started as a rigging grip. After 5 years of wheeling and dealing, flaunting his degree, his good looks, and southern charm, Colan Abrams from bumfuck Oklahoma and a broken home was the most sought after movie producer in Hollywood.  He had gotten to be an assistant of a producer within a year and half of being in the company.  Produced his first film within the next six months as the man he was working for cracked under the pressure.  Pressure Colan had eagerly and liberally applied. That year he had turned a summer blockbuster that would’ve fallen on its ass with the previous producer into a multi-billion dollar worldwide hit.

The rules are simple for success in Hollywood.  Money is the name of the game and the only resume item that’s respected. Rule one summer, you got lucky, rule two summers, you might just have what it takes.  Three summers followed by a killer Halloween and an amazing Christmas showing, baby you’re a star.

Colan was a country boy at the core of his being.  And like any boy not used to women that looked like Hollywood wanna be starlets did or men willing to prostitute like Hollywood wanna be leading men did, he had lost his way. He had been exposed to it during school, but it wasn’t the same.  In the end, the purity of the art always held him first and kept him focused.  But with the purity of the art gone, all that was left was this sickening people pulsing floor show.  When the lifestyle had started not to be enough he was a little worried.  When the drugs had started to not be enough, his worry escalated.  When the sex became practically another form of currency he had started having full blown panic attacks.

Two years ago Colan Abrams, multi billion dollar movie producer, film company executive, and all around Hollywood behind the scenes badass, had a nervous breakdown.  And his perception of the world had never been the same since.  


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fiona Canters excerpt from Shuttered Vision

She liberally applied the paint to the brush and dabbed the canvas at the right spots.  It gave the flower she was working on texture and depth.  It almost felt like the vivid shade she had seen in her dreams.  But there still wasn’t any amount or type of paint that could fully capture the texture of her dreams.  She placed the shades on her brush in the sky now and dotted the horizon.  The music playing in the background only made her hum slightly to herself following the rhythm and cadence.  She always painted to classic rock.  There was something primal about the way it moved and the way it was played that connected her with her dreamscapes almost seamlessly.  She imagined that bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple conducted their music in that same place.  That was why it drew her there so completely.

Most people discounted dreams as merely unrealized desires, hopes and ambitions.  Small confessions from a person’s subconscious mind to their conscious.  These are the explanations given to them by the practitioners of psychology.  These ideals and thoughts have helped countless people deal with their neurosis and fears. For that reason, Fiona didn’t necessarily disagree with these thoughts.  She just thought it was rather limited.

Fiona Canters grew up differently than the rest of the free world within the United States of America.  When 5 year old Fiona first told her mother about one of her extraordinary dreams her mother had smiled pleased and asked her daughter to tell her what they meant.  Confused Fiona had not answered.  The very next day she had been privy to the conversations the women in her family had away from husbands, boyfriends, sons and fathers.

“Fiona dreamed last night.” Her mother had told her mother in law excitedly.

“Does she know what it means?” her aunt had asked anxiously.

Her mother proudly shook her head and then recounted the dream for the listening gaggle. With gasps of delight and praises to the Almighty they had all regarded Fiona differently. 

The Canters were a French Creole line originally that intermixed with a line that had roots in Native America, Africa and Ireland. Now they were a rainbow people where the shade of relatives spanned the realm of possibility. 

Fiona’s mother was Salvadorian, her skin the color of burnished copper, her hair fell blue black tightly curled and silky across her shoulders.  Her light brown eyes always alight with seemingly forbidden knowledge. A Canters man, her father was tan skinned by nature, dark eyed and hard to place into a particular ethnic set.  From that Fiona had emerged a shade lighter than mahogany, eyes an almost eerie shade of dark grey making them look lit from within as the iris closest to the pupil was a paler grey than the midnight that it changed into as it floated to the rims.

“Witch eyes.” Her grandmother had said that night as the women talked and she took the child’s measure for the first time.

Fiona had starred up innocently into the clear hazel eyes of the paler woman and felt that nagging suspicion of being in the presence of something that was more than it seemed.  Of course as a child she had no true idea of what it was.  Just this sudden unmistakable unshakable awareness as she peered up at the woman waiting for her to change form right before her eyes.

She had always been fearful of her father’s pale, hazel eyed mother. The woman had eyes that saw too much.  They saw everything and communicated with the souls of others without their knowledge.  These were things she had heard whispered growing up among the others.
The others were the ones of her family that had been born without that extra thing that most of the women had.  It was a generation skipping instance.  Every once in a while a woman in their line was born without that extra sense of the world, without the vision to see into others through dreams, premonitions and senses that were a family birthright.

They were raised in a different way than those with sight.  Still loved and shown the same affections and care, but kept away from the ones who bared stunning signs and levels of awareness.  It was a courtesy to both sides.  The children would grow to understand and appreciate each other before they interacted.  Understanding their differences and not treating each other badly over them. 

Before the conception of every child, the women of the family dreamed, during the pregnancy the women dreamed.  They dreamed of the child they would bare, knowing before modern technology whether a boy or a girl would be born.  When the mother conceived her entire existence was enrapt in the being she carried. And through their personal dreamscape they would understand the nature of that child. How it should be raised and what it should be led to do. 

Even those born without the special gifts procured to the blood line were dreamt of.  Regardless of whether it had been given sight or not, it would one day raise a child that most likely would be given sight.  And they needed to be raised in a fashion to be able to deal with their child’s gifts. That was why all dreams and premonitions centered around the child.

Fiona was the exception. Fiona’s mother Alejandra calls that time in her life ‘el negro’.  The dark. For the first time in her life she knew what it was to live as most people do.  She had only common sense, instincts and logic to guide her way through life.  All of her dreams during Fiona’s conception and birth had been shielded from her. All premonition and sensory insight dulled to just instances of déjà vu. Her mother in law said it was because the child she carried was blank. Meaning there was nothing to see. 

For the longest time they thought Fiona was going to be stillborn. Her mother’s gift hiding what was to come to save her enduring the pain more than once. Because of the circumstances of Fiona’s conception and birth she was raised with the children that the family knew possessed none of the gifts.

“At times mi amor, I can see what I must do with you and then I do it and like that its gone.”  Her mother would sometimes whisper at her temple as she put her to bed at night.

It wasn’t until much later at the age of 10 as Fiona started to have actual premonition episodes did she understand what her dreams as a young child meant. Slowly over the years the pieces had started to put themselves together and it implied things about her that was unnatural even for her family.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Falling

Have you ever been here before, has life ever pulled you away from yourself?
How does one walk forward into chaos knowing what it is?
To know your devil and to face it are entirely removed from each other.
I’m falling fast, hard and painfully.
I feel my nails grating against the steel walls
I feel my legs treading as if in water
My arms flinging to either side of me
My head shaking in denial
The question in it impossible but viable
How do you stop the inevitable?
Where does comfort remain in a force like lightning?

Swift, powerful, restrained yet free

What are you doing to me?
Bring me love without a partner
One heart, one soul, no blend, no empathy
He can’t love me, has no desire to do so.
I can’t say I don’t love him, myth and lie in one

Stop falling, I scream to myself
Stop falling, he won’t help you up
Stop falling, let self-preservation kick in at any time
Stop falling, isn’t the nature of falling uncontrollable
Stop falling, I can’t


Those with Sight - Shuttered Vision

Fiona Canters dreams a lot.  Usually her dreams are plain simple and about people she loves and cares for.  All of her life Fiona has listened carefully to her dreams.  As her family knows they tell stories that the world need to pay heed to.  Fiona's art is always a pale shadow of the brilliant color and light that her dreams bring into being.  So when an unknown stranger begins to appear in them, she has no idea what to do with him.  He doesn't fit the mold and worse yet, he doesn't seem to want to be there.  And yet she can't seem to stop dreaming about him.


For Colan Abrams life has seemed to exist in a constant nightmare.  His demons remain with him on waking and seem to only be pushed away by the tide of sleep.  There he gets to see her, and she drives away all the pain and anguish for those brief blessed hours that sleep finds him. Always Colan thought this specter was a figment of his imagination.  A woman created from his dreams to pull him away from his hellish existence.  Until the day he met her.