Archive for June 6, 2013

Air rouge! (8)

Posted: June 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

“Look,” Chris pointed at the map on the wall. “See all this? This is how we’ve gotten everyone sorted out. Network here. Cable here. Reality show — uh, right… here. NBC, CBS, PBS, MTV… everyone has their own HQ. Everyone has special needs, but they’re all television! You movie guys… sorry, you’re way out of my league. You’ve gotten way too complicated for FEMA to help; that’s why we keep you on the mainland.”

Paul stared agape at Doc. “So you’re audience? I’ve never met real audience before. Wow. I thought you were, like, a TV movie or something. I dont much about Canadian production, so I just figured you were a MOW or something, maybe an indie film of some kind.”

“Well, it’s slightly more complicated than that,” Doc said. “But no, I’m not… an indie film.”

“Wow.”

“Look, kids,” Chris said with a slight edge of frustration, “this is all sweet and everything, but I’m on hold here, and I also gotta arrange transport for you two off this place. And I got a whole bunch of Broadway theatre people showing up in a few hours, and that’s a mess that’s gonna need everything we can do for it. So do you mind? You leave tomorrow. In the interim, dont get into trouble.”

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They watched the waves in silence. “What’s it like?” Paul finally asked.

“What’s what like?”

“Being, you know, audience. Just sitting there… watching us.”

“You make it sound kinda creepy,” Doc laughed. “I guess it kinda is, isnt it. Probably just as unsettling for me right now as it must be for you. Somehow I dont think I”m gonna be watching TV or movies in quite the same way anymore.”

“We dont think about it, y’know? I mean, we just sorta expect you to be there. And you usually are. But we dont really notice you that much. You’re sorta like, you know, part of the scenery. So what’s it like?”

Doc shrugged. “I dunno. I mean, I watch TV more than Ray does. And sometimes Ray tells me I’m getting too involved in the lives of the characters. Especially soap operas. I admit it: big soap opera junkie here.”

“I know some soap opera people,” Paul said brightly. “They kinda keep to themselves. Probably just as well, because they’re such high drama most times. If they’re not plotting each other’s murders, they’re getting abducted by aliens. Nah, not my kind of crowd.”

“I bet. So all those actors…”

“They’re not actors, Doc. They’re characters. Big difference.”

“I”m sorry. I just dont quite understand.”

“Well, it’s simple, when you think about it. I mean, look at it this way: an actor creates a character, right? Well, once the production is over, the character doesnt exactly go away. They all live on, one way or another. Sometimes for a long time, sometimes not so long. But they do.”

“So there’s a chance that maybe someday I’ll meet Tyler Durden?”

“Tyler?” Paul mock-fainted. “You have no idea how hot that guy is.”

“Believe me, Ray and I’ve worn out enough DVDs of that movie to know.”

“Everyone asks when they’re gonna make a sequel. But Tyler’s made it clear he aint interested.” Paul looked out at the horizon. “Y’know, I wonder what would happen if I didnt go back, just stayed here, on the Island. Maybe I’d get picked up for something else… anything to get off that damn Concorde,” Paul added with a laugh. “Hey, look out there. See it?” A large, white cruise ship had suddenly appeared in the bay. “Recognize it? The Pacific Princess.”

Doc sat up. “Wait. The Love Boat?

Paul nodded. “I heard from someone back in the village that it puts in here at least once every five years for a refit. But it’s one of those properties that FEMA just cant help. I wonder what else is around this place.” He stood up and brushed the sand from his pants. “So when do we leave?”

“Tomorrow.”

“Fine. C’mon. Let’s go exploring.” He was already deep in the brush by the time Doc had a chance to get up. They walked through the jungle, then suddenly found themselves on a paved road. “I dont remember a road leading into the village. Do you?”

Doc shook his head. “Let’s see where it goes. Not like this place is so big that we’re gonna get lost, right?” They hadnt gone more than a score or so steps when a bright red Ferrari roared into view and screeched to a stop. The driver’s window rolled down, and a dark haired man with a thick moustache winked at Paul, then smiled broadly at both of them. “You guys need a lift somewhere?”