“... a chilling, blood curdling scream then
total silence. The only source of light goes
dark.” The audience applauds; the silence is
broken by immediate conversation of the patrons
as they stroll out of the six year old Magnet
In the projection room, there is an anomaly
that the movie-goers are unaware exits. The
projectionist is a woman of independent candor
and dress. Her name? Annabelle McSharry.
Annabelle is 34 years of age. She has auburn
red hair, milky white, flawless skin. Her eyes
are a dark, emerald green. She is dressed in
her tan pants, white laced-collared blouse with
a dark green tie filled with a painted scene of
the Fairhope Pier loosely tied below the lace.
Her feet adorn brown leather sandals with
soft-rope cord ties. She wears a dark brown
beret and smokes a filter-less Picayune
“Why do we have to watch film from Hollywood?
Can’t we order film from France, England,
Germany? People want to know the world, not
just some corner of the United States, Gerrard.”
Gerrard George, 42 aged years, son of one of
the city’s founders and owner of the Magnet,
wears his dark blue trousers, white cotton,
heavily starched shirt and a silver and blue
striped tie with a black Fedora felt hat. He’s
wearing black Italian leather shoes.
“Annie, there are not enough whimsies to
placate your fantasies, are there?”
“Give me a break, Ger. Aren’t you tired of
watching these old story lines? Wouldn’t some
erotic film art, like Pirou and Kirshner, be
“Stimulating? Yes. Acceptable? I doubt it.
“Maybe your peers at the School of
Individualism or the socialists at the Organic
School of Education might find them interesting
and acceptable; but society in general
will never allow it. Never!”
“Aw, Ger, you’re such a traditionalist...
“Have you ever thought of making your own film,
“Making my own? Are you kidding? The cost of
camera equipment, lighting, film, and other
necessities, let alone the payroll for the crew
to operate them, would be crippling to me and
other independents. Why do you think today’s
talkies are produced by wealthy conglomerates?”
“Where’s your fun, Ger? We could use still
cameras with many shots, one shot for each
“That would be even more costly -- thousands of
stills to simulate a motion picture. And,
think of the boredom and exhaustion for the
actors. It would take tens to a hundreds the
amount of time to produce.
“No. I do not think so. Forget it, Annie.”
“Hey, watch your language, young lady.”
“I’m not a lady. I could portray the golden
girl in the erotic shots, Ger. Can’t you see
“Shhhhh! Our relationship is supposed to be
“Oh, those Sunday school women do all the
things that I do. They just don’t speak about
“They’re such hypocrites. They hold their
Bibles and their beads and wear their best on
Sundays. Show their smiles and speak kindly
with such flourishment.
“But, on weekdays, they bring forth the deadly
daggers of discontent, the axes that hack their
enemies in their daydreams. They curse like
sailors in the backrooms of the corner markets
then smile to their customers’ faces in the
light of day.
“They’re no different from me, except that I
don’t change from lighted rooms and the dark
corners. You get what you see. That’s me!”
“Yeah. That’s what I like about you, Annie. You
are a straight-arrow in this double-faced
“Oh, how you thrilllll me, sir!” Annie, in a
gilded southern accent, mocks the acceptable
norm of the day.
“Hush, now. Someone might hear you!”
“Let them, Gerrard. Don’t be such a prude, you
“See here, Annabelle Leigh McSharry. You have
the lovely face of a movie star, like Lauren
Bacall or Audrey Hepburn; but you do not have
their finesse. You are too unpredictable!”
“Yeah, I know. I’m bad. That’s what you love
about me, Ger... I’m bad.” she says with an
evil, girlish grin that she knows will make his
“Stop it... Stop it, Annie. You’re taunting
“No, Gerrard. I’m tempting you. Come on, now.
The theater is hot from these projectors. Hot
enough to make the film melt.
“You and me. We could melt, too, Ger. Let’s
put the film aside and prance on the stage.”
“Shame is not within you, Annabelle. There are
workers sweeping the floors and cleaning the
seats and stage. You know we can’t do that
“We have in the past. Have I lost my ‘touch,’
“Ger...” she smiles while brushing her right
index finger across her lips then plunging it
into her mouth and slowly withdrawing it.
“How you implore me to do such things,” Gerrard
says while showing his growing interest.
“No, it’s how I’m going to explore you that
About the Author
C. Bull is a veteran sergeant with nine years experience in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (metropolitan New Orleans).
He attended three colleges: Southeastern Louisiana University (biology, chemistry and physics), Louisiana State University
Law Enforcement Institute (advanced police studies), and Holy Cross College via a grant from the Jefferson Parish District
Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Assistance Program (criminology, psychology, sociology). Roger
Bull is the author of Within the Heart and Soul, Legalized Crime
and El Rey del Tiempo: It's Not What You Think.