Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 * Chapter 4
Chapter 5 * Chapter 6 * Chapter 7 * Chapter 8 * Chapter 9
Chapter Ten by Margaret Hedderman
The silhouette of the small Cessna swept across the fleeing vehicle. From below, Gray could make out the unmistakable visage of Nicolas Cage. It couldn’t be. Gray had seen the movie star explode.
Gray shouted, “What is this? Terminator?”
“It’s from the producers of,” Eve added in helpfully.
“I don’t understand!”
“Did you see Drive Angry?” Joe asked.
“Hell no. No one saw that.”
In front of them, the Cessna was preparing to land on the highway.
“What does a shitty hack job of a movie have to do with anything?”
“Everything, Gray,” Joe explained. “The action adventure as we know it is dead. Even superhero films are old hat. The genre’s had it. They don’t even use real explosives anymore. It’s’ all CGI. Any precocious USC film student can make a car burst into flames.”
Gray slammed on the brakes. Ahead, the Cessna was turning on the highway to face them. Slowly, the door opened and Nicolas Cage stepped out onto the pavement with a sawed off shotgun hanging at his side.
“Where did he get that?”
“The prop master,” Eve chimed in.
Gray threw the car into reverse and floored it.
“Stop, stop! You’ll hit the cameramen!”
“Cameramen? You’re all insane!”
“It’s the next generation.”
“Yeah? So where’s Spock? I’m getting out of here.”
“Stop! Stop! Stop!”
CRASH! A tripod flew through the back window, barely missing Eve’s head.
Before Eve or Joe could stop him, Gray was out of the car and running across the desert. As he looked back, Gray could see a cameraman’s crumpled up flannel shirt and faded blue jeans underneath his back wheels.
On his right, Nicolas Cage raced at a diagonal to intersect him. Gray veered away and sped across the desert. He couldn’t outrun the movie star who seemed to possess an unnatural ability to run with 3rd degree burns covering the majority of his body.
“Move over! You’re blocking my close-up!”
Gray swung his head around, looking for the cameras. All of a sudden, he tripped on an XLR cable. A sound guy screeched as his mixer went flying into the sand. Gray rolled to a stop in a pile of cables.
“What is going on?”
Joe and Eve approached him. Eve stopped next to Nicolas Cage and gently took the gun away from him. “They’ll still pay you,” she whispered.
“Who are you?” Gray asked Joe. “For real. Are you Canadian? Are you aliens? What?”
“Technically both. I’m also an actor. Ever since the Canadian Dollar caught up with the US, Hollywood’s been shooting less and less in BC. Had to get work somehow.”
“I’m so confused.”
Joe put his arm around Gray’s shoulder. “The execs had hoped to avoid a stereotypical ending where all the loose ends get tied up in a few clever lines of dialogue, but c’est la vie. Eve and I were employed by the producers of Terminator to work on the new Untitled Nicolas Cage Project.”
“It’s the next generation in filmmaking. It’s the merging of reality television and the action film. Next to no writing is done before hand. They just shoot and fix everything in post.”
“How is that any different than what they do now?”
Eve shrugged. She glanced up at the sound of footsteps approaching.
“We’ve eliminated the pretext of paying writers at all now.” It was the old man who had jumped from the car in the first act. He waved at the camouflaged DP slowly emerging from an arroyo. “Go ahead and CUT! We’ll catch up with Nick for some ADR in about a month. That’s a wrap!”