Monday September 19th, 2011

The exercise:

Today we write about: the director.

This is a scheduled post - I'll be back Sunday evening, with a story or two to tell I'm sure.

Mine:

Filming began eight months ago,
When it will stop, nobody knows.
The star is an extortionist,
Director's a perfectionist,
And we keep running out of film.

I would quit if I thought I could,
And yes, of course, I know I should.
But the armed guards are only here
To make the workers stay in fear,
So he calls for action again.

4 Comments:

Greg said...

I think I've worked with directors like that back in University.... The rhythm's good, it suits the hectic, headachy nature of the poem and you get a feel for how the narrator must be doing. The very last line seems short to me though, I think because it's shorter than the last line of the previous stanza and I was expecting more symmetry. Maybe?

The director
"Miss Snippet?" The speaker was a tall man with dark brown hair cut in an elegant, timeless fashion. He was wearing a naval uniform of some kind, yet had taken his hat off to speak to her and tucked it under his arm. His posture, she noted approvingly, was excellent.
"Yes?" She giggled, simultaneously appalled with herself for acting like a schoolgirl and thrilled to be able to act like a schoolgirl.
If you were really a schoolgirl, whispered the voice in the back of her head, you'd wet your knickers right about now.
"Miss Snippet, my name is Charles Asciugimento, the Second. I am Cruise Director for this liner, and, naturally, Head of Ship Security."
"That sounds so important! And you look far too young to hold so many job titles! How do you ever find time to sleep?"
Still wetting those knickers, then. whispered the tiny voice, but its tone had changed a lot and was far slyer and somehow leering.
"I rarely sleep. My father felt that there would be time to sleep when we die, and I find myself in agreement with him." His voice was as deep and rich as a vat of dark chocolate. "Miss Snippet, I am told by the Captain–" Did he really just make it sound like the Captain was an irritating subordinate? "–that you have recently lost a small child to a predatory albatross."
"Oh, it's nothing really," said Miss Snippet dismissively. There was a moment's silence, then her hand flew to her mouth in horror, unable to believe that she spoken that aloud. The Cruise Director smiled.
"I was hoping you'd be a reasonable woman," he said offering her his arm and starting to escort her along the deck. "It was, after all, such a small child, and rather messy too. Perhaps we could discuss how best to resolve this situation over dinner tonight? At my table."
"At your table?"
"Oh, how careless of me. I mean, of course, the Captain's table."
Miss Snippet giggled again and tried to curtsey. "I'd love to!"

Heather said...

Marc- Your little scene reminds me of a kids book. I wish I could remember the name of it. Up In the Clouds maybe? I'm not sure.

Greg- So your seemingly separate characters meet. I am excited to watch this little... uh, love? hate? relationship grow.

Obviously its been a while since I've been around. I promise I didn't abandon you for another site. I've just been on an extended break.

Anyway, I am back and terribly out of practice. I must be in the right place then!
-------
"Apply In Person" the last line of the ad read. Cheng folded the small piece of paper and put it back in his pocket. Adjusting the straps on his shoulder, he took a deep breath and blew it out as if through a straw. It was the only trick that his counselor had taught him that ever worked. His palms sweaty and nerves a little less janglly, he walked to the low dusty brown building with the faded green door.

Inside, it sounded like a war had erupted. He hesitated, his hand hovering over the worn door knob. "It's just a test to see if I'm ready for this," he muttered under his breath before gripping the knob and turning it over. Pulling up the rest of his resolve, he yanked the door open before he could change his mind. His gaping mouth showed his astonishment. Men in mail shirts and metal hats chased one another, swords clashing inches from their bodies. He knew he should turn and leave, but he was awestruck and unable to move his body.

"Hey! You here for an acting role or for the assistant director position?" The man was tall, remarkably thin, and probably in his 50's. A tangled mesh of long hair hung behind his shoulders, a touch of grey coloring his uneven beard and his temples. His eyes danced in a yellow mist which sat too close together on his dark weathered face.

"Ye-ye-yes sir," Cheng stammered. His heart thumped against his ribs and echoed in his ears.

"Yeah?" The man laughed a shrill choked laugh that didn't fit with the sounds of war. "So you want to be an actor and director just like all those other fools. Well, you can only be one right now, so which is it? Actor or director?"

Cheng closed his eyes to the confusion. He wondered if any of this was real. Maybe he was in a dream or had opened a portal to another time and place. He sucked on his lips for the thinnest of moments. "No," he thought. "This is all just part of some test." He looked the man in the chin, his eyes out of his reach and culturally inappropriate to look directly into. "I want to be more direct-er," he said with little confidence, but great ferocity.

Greg said...

@Heather: that's a fantastic story, the detail is great and the last line caught me off guard and made me laugh! I really felt like I was standing just behind poor Cheng.
As for my characters meeting... well, they seem to have lives of their own that they don't tell me much about.

Marc said...

Greg - I got a bit lazy with this one, so I'm not surprised it doesn't read as well as others I've written.

What a fantastic introduction to Charles the Second :D

Heather - definitely in the right place :)

I'm with Greg, that was good stuff. Doesn't look like there's much rust to shake off.