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Posts Tagged ‘third person’

Walt Rorschach surpassed Brice Wickes by $4.5 million for Salesperson of the Year, yet was only in second place. Renee Frazier dwarfed all: $285.7 million in new sales for the fiscal year. After 3 outsized belts of 50-year-old Glenfiddich, Brice approached her with a smile, pumped her hand vigorously and whispered, “You rancid cunt.” Renee had blinked twice and turned away on her heel.

But that was last night.

Casey, Brice’s mistress (and Walt’s secretary), had gone flying through the window of his room on the highest floor of the lodge, her body pierced through by massive shards of breaking glass. A thunderous crack had interrupted them, the building groaned as it was thrown down the hill, and the screams of the trapped went silent as their rooms were either crushed or had filled with black, clinging mud. Brice’s grip on a sturdy wall fixture saved him.

The sky was faintly grey when, though a gaping hole in one wall, Renee found him naked and in shock. Her hands were dotted with tiny cuts and she wore mismatched shoes. Her filthy cotton nightgown was torn.

“Are you hurt? Can you move? We have to look for people!”

Uninjured, he crawled out shortly thereafter in what he could find; a pair of boxers, a tee, trainers.  On seeing her, shame overwhelmed him.

Brice climbed over broken planks to where Renee was kneeling.

“Renee, I…”

“No! Just dig!”

Brice caught sight of a motionless hand grasping at nothing through the muck and shut his eyes.

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Despite the odds, we’ve made it. It wasn’t exactly a shotgun wedding, but we decided for the sake of the baby, we’d get married. I know my friends thought I was stupid, but I was already 21, Evie was 18 and Max was almost a year old, and, it just wasn’t right to me and Evie that we weren’t a family. So we became one. Our parents were relieved. They couldn’t hide that.

Then a year later we had Jess, so we were in it to win it. For a while we struggled, sure. Though the only time I ever seriously considered cheating was when I lost my job 10 years ago; the kids were almost out the door and my ego wanted massaging. One of the managers at the old office wanted to massage it, but I passed before things got to the point of no return. I also wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror.

Max? He’s 27, a carpenter. Jess is 25 and a stand-up. She’s pretty good, once I got over hearing her swear. You never want to think of your little girl swearing. Our friends have little kids and teens, and you can feel the envy when they’re at the house, except for Trina; Trina met a friend of Max’s at our house and they’re together now. Trina’s 42. Will’s 30. They really hit it off.

I look strange? Yeah, well… Evie told me yesterday we’re pregnant. Jesus. Pregnant. I’m 47. Evie’s 44. I’ll be 65 with an 18 year old kid. 65!

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Raine knew the girls applying the makeup and fixing her hair didn’t know who she was from Eve. Maybe their parents did, if they cared. She sat in the chair wondering if appearing on this show was a good idea, irritated at the horrid itch and imprinting of the fabric weave into the back of her thighs. Cheap chair. I would wear a miniskirt.

All around was a buzz of activity she didn’t feel remotely connected to. She was a prop. She wished there was a studio audience, but alas; she’d be an insect under the pin. If only she could be as dead to it all as a bug would be. 6 minutes of relentless scrutiny by some plastic kid who’d gently condescend to her simultaneously. I should never have let Dave hear a note! Dammit.

Years ago, at 18, she thrilled at being called “precocious” and “extraordinarily talented”. She hadn’t thought what she was going to do once all the hard work had yielded its fruits, however, and drinking and screwing away the anxiety of always having to top herself followed. After awhile, every moment of life felt perfunctory, including the debauchery. Somehow, she’d managed to escape with her talent intact and turned it on scrutinizing her own clichéd trajectory. What am I trying to prove now? To whom?

“I grew up loving your music, Ms. Talley.”

“Thank you, Sasha.”

“Thank you for being here. You ready?”

Two cameras bore down.

“I’m always ready, Sasha.”

Raine smiled. She had to.

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It was the briefest glance, but they looked each other dead in the eye. Almost at once, he looked down at his trainers. She jerked her head leftward towards the craft services table, but it was too late. Oh, I’m pathetic. The butterflies had stirred again.

How embarrassing was this? Or was she only imagining that it was embarrassing? She had every right to look at him. She wasn’t some star-struck fan; they were both on staff, both union, for goodness sake; theoretically, they were equals. Anyway, it wasn’t as if he didn’t have people gape at him every day. He probably had a steady rotation of lovers. Don’t they all?

Why did her knees feel like gelatin? They’d never spoken, for all their putative equality. Her mother had warned her that actors were narcissistic, flighty and not to be trusted for longer than the time it took to show them the door afterward. Mother had been adamant on the point.

She sensed his gaze. Great. You’re just another nitwit now. Wait a second, he’s not… Don’t turn don’t turn don’t turn! She was suddenly extremely interested in the fine print of the deal memo she was supposed to bring the director of this week’s episode.

Now he stood before her. He raked his dark hair as she looked up. Did he seem… nervous?

“You worked on Swann’s Way, right? You’re Adriana.”

I can’t run!

::sigh::

OK, I’m just gonna go with it. You only live once.

“Yes, I am.”

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As Marnie approached the heavy revolving doors of the BluCorp headquarters, she forced herself to ignore the all too familiar tightening of her stomach. Every approach to these doors during her three years, eight months, and twenty-two days of work as an analyst, she entered the Le Corbusier-inspired behemoth, say “Good morning” to Rudy the guard, flick a card in front of the gate, ride the express elevator to the thirty-fifth floor and zip from there past the new receptionist (who was always “new”) to her cubicle outside the CFOs office. This had been nearly every weekday for three years, eight months and twenty two days, save ten days a year for vacation.

Three years, nine months and fifteen days earlier, Marnie’s father had demanded she stop it with the stand-up comedy. “Dammit, it’s time you got a real job and a husband! Quit f$^#ing around! You’re twenty-four already. If you were going to make it, you’d’ve done it by now! Christ!” Her mother had said nothing at the time, but walked out of the room. Well, Marnie inwardly conceded, I am broke and living in an apartment with four people. The lack of comforts, such as a car and food not made from white flour wrapped in a plastic bag, were beginning to bother her. She allowed her father to call a friend.

Marnie looked up and out the window onto the roofs of similarly grey and monotonous buildings outside. And no husband yet, either.

Whose fault was this?

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Her secret nickname in the advanced drawing class at the institute was “H” by the middle of the semester, no one daring to use the full surname of one whose own art career famously crashed and burned.  But since, obviously, she wasn’t going to take over the world, the nickname evolved to “Pinky”. At least that could be said aloud.

They discussed their disdain for her work under the willow tree near the lake. She was sure to be dismissed from the program at the end of the semester, right? Right. No subtlety in shading, colouring, line, they judged. Her figures were tortured, unrealistic. In their humble opinions, her work appeared as if an infant had tried to trace from a book. Where was her eye? How had she even gotten in? They titillated themselves during lunches with lurid imaginings of her interview; the seamier, the better.

What they didn’t know… The admissions committee realized she was well beyond the basics, and keen to take up the course to prove to her family that there was something of substance to her art, thus she was in. Making contacts wouldn’t hurt, either. She followed her instincts with their full permission, and a stunned professor had made a few calls…

She loped past the lunch gang with her pad and pencils, smiling. They saw and laughed: “What’s that’s grin for? Idiot!”  She paid them no mind, as always.

My god, me? On the cover of next month’s ArtNews? I’ve gotta call Mom!

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INT.  LIVING ROOM – DAY

MRS. JOHNSON (80s) and LUCIA (30s) are seated drinking tea in an almost-Victorian living room. Sunlight streams through open floor-to-ceiling windows.

MRS.  JOHNSON
So kind of you to visit me, my dear… Lucia, is it?

LUCIA
Yes, ma’am. It’s my pleasure, Mrs. Johnson, really!
The two single ladies of the block! This won’t be my only visit!

MRS. JOHNSON
No?

LUCIA
Next time, I’ll bring scones and cream!

MRS. JOHNSON
Ah.

LUCIA
Then it’s settled. You have a lovely home.

MRS. JOHNSON
Thank you.  I was raised here, married
here. I raised my own children here.
Everyone’s gone now. But I’ll never leave.

LUCIA
It must be hard to keep up such a large… gorgeous… house.
I haven’t lived in the neighbourhood for very long, but I couldn’t
help but notice that no one comes over. Aren’t you lonely?

MRS. JOHNSON
Not at all.
(calling)
Bailey!

A large white dog with fluffy fur gambols up from seemingly out of nowhere. Lucia sets down her cup, Bailey playfully jumps on her.

LUCIA
He’s… friendly!

MRS. JOHNSON
Quite the funster. Like his siblings.

Six similar dogs appear and swarm Lucia, pulling her to the floor and covering her.

LUCIA
URF! ACK! BLARGH!

MRS. JOHNSON
What? Sorry, a bit hard of hearing!

Lucia soon goes limp. Mrs. Johnson goes to take Lucia’s pulse as the dogs trot away.

MRS. JOHNSON
Of course, they left a mess. Tea should
have been outside. I really must think
these things through.

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