Saturday, June 04, 2005
"Courtney!" Mother Jamie called out, much like Aunt Em in The Wizard of Oz, imploring Dorothy to come inside during the cyclone, with the difference that Courtney usually was the cyclone.
It had been a quiet evening at home, the family in the living room, Daughter Courtney in her bedroom showing her screenplay to a producer she'd picked up somewhere, when a sudden hush magnified the silence. Knowing the ways of slimy, male producers, or at least, suspecting them, Mother Jamie barged into the bedroom to offer marzipan donuts, which Grandma had just made. Grandma had been trying for years to get rid of her attic full of almonds, an E-Bay acquisition that had puzzled them all. "They're worth money!" she'd insisted.
"Courtney's gone! Her monkey, too!" Jamie shouted, expecting the entire company to erupt into a spontaneous posse. Everyone except Grandpa fell asleep.
"Let her go," the elder Quincy offered, looking up from his Illustrated History of Erotic Art, "It was gettin' mighty crowded here, anyways. And please stop hollerin' while I'm a tryin' to concentrate!"
Jamie organized hubby and son into a search party using the horsewhip she carried for disciplinary emergencies. The three of them took off in the family jeep faster than you could say "Autobahn." After cruising up and down the entire state of California Son Taylor wondered why they didn't just call Courtney on her cell phone to find out where she was.
Courtney's recorded voice greeted them: "I'm at the Grand Canyon with a Hollywood producer and can't be disturbed." Jamie's eyes flashed a bright red, the kind in photos without red eye reduction. They lightninged across Death Valley faster than you could shoot a porno film, and careened over to Arizona, braking just in time to prevent the motor from melting.
Once arrived, they glanced about in some confusion before their calls of "Courtney!" were met. They heard a moan. "That was passion!" screamed Jamie. They charged forward and found Courtney, in a lotus position, near the edge, typing away contently on her laptop. "Oh hi," she said, Zen look on her face, serene in the eye of her storm, "I was just adding some scenes to my screenplay." Another moan drew them to the traumatized producer, hanging from the brink of the four thousand foot drop, by one hand, Courtney's pet monkey dancing from side to side, tormenting him with a stick.
Courtney explained with a devious smile: When the producer offered to work out some new bedroom scenes with her, she had decided instead to bring the cliffhanger aspect into her story. The producer's fear was inspiring. It added just the edge she needed to assure an Academy Award for best screenplay.
Disclaimer: Any similarity between actual persons, living or dead, is their own fault for sending me the photo.
Announcement: The May prizewinner for story contributions is ........ Alix! I'll be in touch with you Alix, about the prize (a black and white print of one of my photos). All the stories have now been reposted at indeterminacies.blogspot.com.