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Annabelle

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1930 Fairhope...

 

“... 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 Theater.

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 cigarette.

“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 more stimulating?”

“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, Gerrard?”

“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 frame.”

“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.”

“Poppy-cock!”

“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 that?”

“Shhhhh!  Our relationship is supposed to be discreet. Remember?”

“Oh, those Sunday school women do all the things that I do. They just don’t speak about it, Ger.

“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 social environment.”

“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 silly man.”

“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 manhood quiver.

“Stop it... Stop it, Annie. You’re taunting me.”

“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 here.”

“We have in the past.  Have I lost my ‘touch,’ sweet one?”

“Annie!”

“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 matters...” 

<Curtain falls.>

About the Author
Roger 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.

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