Brilliant movie idea (Part 10 of 10)
(A few years back I started to write an odd/comedic movie idea down. Every day I would add a small scene and see where it went. It went nowhere. Now it is going nowhere again because I’m on vacation this week and need to fill up the days. Plus, there has been an uptick of Hollywood-types nosing around the website and I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I’m NOT blockbuster material. This is the last installment. It wasn’t supposed to be but after realizing that website traffic was starting to go down, apparently people prefer their bad writing in small, easy to digest chunks, I decided to wrap it up quickly. Enjoy.)
It had taken a couple of days but eventually there were certain realities that hit home almost simultaneously. The survivors, which sounds much more dramatic than they felt, all awoke with almost identical thoughts; the ones they’d loved were gone.
Fathers and mothers. Sisters and brothers. Life-long friends. They were all gone.
When they finally assembled they were quiet. Gone was the talk of electricity and repopulating the planet. They took turns crying to themselves. Running through everyone that was ever important to them and mourning them.
Each tear was a domino that seemed to set off the next person.
Each person with a different set of dominos. Clay’s started small and then every domino knocked over a larger one in front of it. Soon enormous dominos were falling.
Patti had a series of dominos that were set up to do tricks, except some of the dominos never connected with others and landed without hitting the next. An arial view would reveal that half of the trails ended abruptly.
Denise’s dominos fell gracefully and formed circles and patterns.
Samantha’s mixed metaphors. She let the cards fall where they may except instead of cards they were dominos.
Tina accepted that’s the way the cookie crumbled except her cookies were dominos.
Donna kicked the bucket, if buckets were dominos.
Cindi felt it was time to spill the beans. I think you understand what her beans are.
Dominos were falling all morning and early afternoon and the complete lack of their clicking and clacking, being the metaphors they were, was driving people nuts. They were falling in frontal lobes so not only did they lead to selfishly missing individuals but to empathetic feelings seeing others missing people and nothing stirs things up like empathy.
This domino effect has nothing to do with the game. In the game they are only placed next to each other when their numbers align but this wasn’t a game. They were all connected and it was only coincidence that every one that fell ended up next to a domino of the same number. The ‘they’ in the last sentence meaning the people whose dominos were falling and the ‘every one that fell’ meant the survivors and people they were missing and the metaphorical dominos.
If you can figure that out in one pass you’re not paying much attention. I won’t hold it against you.
As long as I’m losing you I might as well add that the tiles were named dominos due to a resemblance to a kind of carnival costume worn during the Venetian Carnival consisting of a black-hooded robe and a white mask. Put two of the together and they look strikingly like the masks that adorn every high school theater department; comedy and tragedy. Thalia and Melpomene, for those of you looking to be mused.
The day was definitely being monopolized by Mel. Ironic in a story that aspired to be Thalia-heavy.
So they huddled and grieved and retreated to be alone and grieved and played music that tortured them and helped them grieve.
If you think the domino thing was hard to get through then you’ll thank me for summing up the day as briefly as I have.
In fact the only thing that happened that could be accused of moving the story forward was this; at some point Samantha and Jennifer decided to take a drive to the mall. Donna asked to join them and they seemed only too happy to add a third wheel so off they went.
Moments after they left Clay retreated upstairs.
Moments after that Cindi got a text.
Click. Clack. Click. Clack.
The sound of claws on a tile floor.
With everything going on it’s easy to forget about Bruce. If you remember I told you he was a dog but didn’t even tell you what breed or anything physically distinguishing about him. Typical human writer.
Well, to catch you up … he is fine. Truth is that as long as there is someone to feed him and pat his head now and then he’ll continue to be fine. He couldn’t identify his former owner if he was looking at a sketch of him done by a police artist.
Especially if that sketch artist was a dog. The lack of opposable thumbs is a real detriment in that line of work. I don’t want to exhibit bias towards humans but there is a reason you don’t see many canine sketch artists in law enforcement.
Bruce was pacing back and forth, eagerly anticipating the return of Samantha and Jennifer. He associated their return with getting fed.
You can see why the less said about Bruce the better.
I was disappointed to see Abby get eaten because there were some really funny things that could have happened with her desire to set animals free. A whole book could no doubt be written about nothing more than the hijinks that would ensue trying to take care of a giraffe. The male giraffe sports a 40 inch penis. You think I wanted to just walk away from that?
The point being, not all animals make for dull reading. Just Bruce.
The question that Abby would have ignored would have been what would have happened a few months after she released hundreds of dogs and cats and ferrets into the wild. Nobody is going to worry about packs of feral turtles crashing around neighborhoods hell bent for lettuce but a dozen hungry dogs, or even wolves or bears, would be an entirely different matter. One could even argue that it was for the best that she got eaten so early in the story… as long as the ‘one’ isn’t one of the countless animals doomed to starve to death inside houses and apartments and zoo cages.
On the positive side, at least if you’re a member of the family Cervidae, the number of deer that were hit by cars in the United States that day will tie the all-time record low, which was set the previous two days beforehand and, of course, before the invention of the automobile.
As the early evening began to sink into mid evening Denise cornered Clay in the kitchen.
I described the evening as sinking to bring you back to the fact that the mood all day had been grim. Evenings don’t necessarily have to sink, they can meander or even barrel from early to mid depending on the company.
This one sank.
“I want to get a monkey” she said flatly.
“I see” he replied. “By any chance do you have plans to name it Abby?”
“I hadn’t thought about it” said even more flatly.
Now some of you will jump to the hurtful conclusion that this is just my way of trying to inject more animals into this story, having worked myself up with descriptions of giraffe penes, but I swear I didn’t see the monkey thing coming.
“I thought about it and the keys to the cages have to be somewhere. I’d like to try again.”
Clay was about to respond when a commotion at the front door interrupted.
“Oh my god!” Donna shrieked as you came crashing into the house. It took a second for Clay to identify it as a shriek of joy as opposed to the other shrieking that had been going on as of late.
That shriek was topped by Samantha, hot on the heels of Donna; “You’re not the only man still alive Clay!”
Clay finally made his way into the hallway to see what the fuss was all about. Although he knew exactly what said fuss was about.
“Jennifer led Cindi into the house like she’d won her at the fair. Assuming, of course, that there were fairs where you could win people. Probably frowned on I realize but it’s too late to change it now.
“Clay” his name said as if there were eight or more syllables, held out for a long time, dripping with some hidden news she couldn’t wait to impart, by Jennifer “You’re no longer the only male de jour.”
We both know that makes no sense but it’s what she said.
This last comment had Clay a bit puzzled. Another man? This was outside the script.
“Her name is Cindi. Her ex boyfriend is still alive as well. It’s not just us” said Donna.
“So where is he?” inquired Patti, the only one not jumping up and down the way girls do when a second man is added to a planet’s population.
The next morning Clay and Patti were awaken by a phone call. Samantha and Jennifer needed to be bailed out. Apparently their neighbors weren’t amused that the two of them had broken into their house and crawled into bed with them. While getting dressed they turned on the TV to see a report about a bunch of animals being set free at a zoo in Columbus. The footage of an elephant wandering down a highway was particularly amusing to the hosts.
Tina, Donna and Cindi all heard the news that life had suddenly returned as Clay and Patti were rushing out to spring S and J. The idea that it was all over was a bit overwhelming. The idea that they were all going to be tremendously late for work was sobering.
In Atlantic City a little boy was all but smothered by hugs from his mother. Eve woke up from the worst dream she could ever remember having and made a beeline for Trevor’s room.
Passengers on their way to Newark were awakened by a girl screaming about a plane crash.
And yes, Abby woke up wondering why she had dreamt about being eaten by a tiger. And why some her clothes were missing. She wondered who Denise was in her dream. She fought the urge to Clay, he might think she’d gone loopy.
Cindi never did get a hold of her phantom boyfriend Dan the previous night, but Patti chose to believe her. The alternative was too depressing and after everything that happened she hoped that everyone could just put those three weird days behind them.
Bruce was eventually returned to his owner. I know you were worried sick about the dog.
If you’re waiting for some grand explanation of the events as I’ve described them you’re out of luck. I can’t even explain why I had a banana for breakfast instead of eggs. I really wanted eggs.