The Film Set - A Short Story
Here's my entry to my writers groups most recent short story competition. The theme was "Schadenfreude" - and the competition was judged by all the members in our most recent meet up. Very pleased that out of the 12 entries, I came second! Which is amazing - given I'm not sure that I'm very good at fiction writing!! Anyway, without further ado, I present "The Film Set".
Annie sighed. It was only 6am and she was questioning how she’d managed to find herself at the coffee van, ordering a ridiculous drink for an overbearing wannabe. A venti, extra hot, no whip, half-caf, skinny, extra wet, double pump whatever it was. As she scooped up some extra sugars, she wondered why she hadn’t said no – after all she wasn’t on set to be a runner, chivvying around after demanding actors.
But this request had been different – she didn’t feel right saying no to her roommate, no matter how annoying she was. Though Annie had started to have second thoughts about agreeing to secure a role for Verity on this film.
“About time”, Verity snarled at her, snatching the coffee out of Annie’s hand. “I’m due to be on set this morning, and I can’t possibly function without caffeine. You have no idea how much stress it’s caused, having to wait around for you”.
Annie smiled meekly at Verity, “Sorry Vee, the queue was a nightmare. Maybe next time grab a runner and tell them what time you want your drink, rather than trying to find me”. It wasn’t much of a reprimand, but it was the most Annie felt capable of.
“I don’t have time to argue now Annie”, Verity turned on her heel and headed to the door yelling over her shoulder, “I’m going to my trailer, I expect the make-up artist is waiting for me. I can’t be late for my first day on set”.
60 minutes later Verity screeched her way back on to the set, trailing behind a wide-eyed runner, taking her to the director and Annie, who were pouring over a myriad of reference photos. “Where is my makeup artist?” she demanded, “It’s totally unacceptable to leave me waiting around for so long”.
The director rolled his eyes. “Verity, if you had bothered to look at the script that was sent to you, you’d know that there is no need for a make up artist”. Verity pouted.
“I didn’t have time to read it, my influencing work has kept me too busy.”
The director held up his hand to silence her. “Yes, yes. And that’s why we were keen to have you join us – we know that your audience will come out in droves to see this film. However, I had called you here as I wanted to talk about your characters motivations, but we don’t have time for that now – instead, I’ll come and find you in 3 hours’ time, when our Prosthetics Artist, Annie, should have finished with you”. Turning away, he left Verity gawping like a fish out of water.
Looking confused, she sullenly followed Annie to her workstation and sat herself down, whilst Annie started to unveil the bottles and accessories that were laid out on the desk. “Now don’t worry Vee, the first time we apply the prosthetics always takes the longest. We’ve got to take photos of each step to make sure we get it exactly right every day for the next, well gosh, probably 3 months…”
“What do you mean Annie? Why am I here with you? I’m the lead actress - why am I not being seen to by the make up artist?” Verity interjected.
Annie stifled a giggle. She’d known full well that Verity wouldn’t have read the script when Annie secured the role for her, assuming automatically that due to her internet fame and large following, she was going to be the films leading lady. “Oh Vee, didn’t I make it clear when I mentioned we were looking for someone? You’re going to be the ape lady – you know, half woman, half ape – one of the inventor’s terrible creations gone wrong. I’m going to be turning you into a hairy ape today”.
Verity turned several shades of red, as she started to burble incoherently. “But my audience, they think I’m going to be the star – they’re expecting to see me in my first film looking like a spy’s glamourous girlfriend, not some filthy primate,” she finally managed to spit out.
Annie gently patted her on the shoulder, “Oh I really wouldn’t worry Vee, by the time I’m finished, no one is going to recognise you”. She turned away from the mirror, so that Verity couldn’t see the smile creeping across her face. “Especially once the animal handler has taught you how to move like an ape as well”. Annie could almost feel the apoplectic rage spewing from Verity behind her, as she mischievously thought how this all couldn’t be happening to a nicer person.