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Larry Brooks stood in front of the bathroom mirror staring at the hideous image looking back at him. His reflection hadn’t changed in the past 30 years but it still brought him great sadness every time he saw it. He wanted nothing more than to love and be loved, but the large scar on the left side of his face, which ran from his forehead to his jawline seemed to be an insurmountable barrier between him and true happiness.
His morning routine was like most everyone’s except on days he needed to shave. A quarter Native American from his mother’s side, he never could grow facial hair or even sideburns, and only needed to shave every other day. But clearing the sparse whiskers around his prominent scar without nicking himself was always a chore and one that he hated.
“FUCK!” he yelled in the empty efficiency as the red streak dripped from his cheek and blended with the white foam around his mouth. He quickly cleared the rest of the whiskers and shaving cream from his face and placed a scrap of toilet paper over the small cut, once it stopped bleeding like he had hit a major artery.
Today they were shooting scene 48 and Larry wanted to look his best. Sure nobody would notice him tucked behind his huge Panavision Genesis camera system, but it was scene 48. This meant it would be her, Lorraine Marie, the hottest young starlet in Hollywood, professing her undying love, while stripping out of her cheerleading uniform and offering him her virginity.
Well, not offering it to him, per se, but when he looked through the viewfinder, it always felt like she was talking directly to him. And Larry would have liked nothing more than to provide the love and security that the nubile young redhead’s character so desperately longed for against the backdrop of the cliche one-horse bible-belt town.
Miss Lorraine Marie grew up in front of the country as the lovable imp on the long-running Disney channel family comedy series. Only 11 when the show debuted, she embodied the smart-mouthed tomboy character and quickly became the star of the show. In the seventh season, after her young body had fully developed, she had a racy cameo in her then boyfriend’s rap video. The skimpy costume implied sex acts and apparent drug use triggered Disney to put an end to her contract citing their standard morals and family-values clauses.
America’s sweetheart was now onto the Second Act of her young career. Rumors that her first feature film would contain a full-frontal nude scene were rampant, and the anticipation was sure to make this movie the next summer blockbuster. Larry had been looking forward to shooting scene 48 since he read the script and signed on to be the principal cinematographer, despite the fact that Sanchez had already been chosen to direct.
Hector Sanchez, or as he would prefer to be addressed, “Oscar Winning Director Hector Sanchez.” Previously an unknown, Hector Sanchez grabbed the coveted gold statue for his documentary about Latino gangs in South Central Los Angeles. A child of privilege born to a Westchester neurosurgeon and his attorney wife, Hector was as authentic a Mexican as a Taco Bell Chalupa. His “minority” background and Oscar win had fast-tracked him to the Hollywood A-List, and he quickly developed the pompous attitude to go with it.
Larry glanced at the reflection of his bed-side alarm and took notice of the time. He wiped the remnants of the blood and shaving cream from his face and threw on his Tommy Bahama shirt, not bothering to tuck it into his jeans. He slung his camera bag over his shoulder and bolted from his 3rd-floor apartment as if it were on fire. If Larry were late he’d have to bear the wrath of “Dirty Sanchez,” the nickname the crew secretly bestowed upon the diva director in reference to his foul mouth and the thin brown mustache below his nose.
The elevator of his shitty apartment building had been out of service for over a month so he bounded down the stairwell taking the steps two-at-a-time. As he turned the corner to descend the last flight, he nearly ran over poor old lady McIntosh.
“Good morning Marge,” he greeted his down-the-hall neighbor while skillfully maneuvering around her and the two large grocery bags she was carrying. Larry checked his watch, then glanced impatiently out the front door of the apartment building, where he could see his bus already waiting at the stop. Then he looked back at the 82-year-old woman and he swore under his breath. He took the bags from her just as the bus pulled away, and helped her up to her apartment.
Larry’s phone buzzed as he stepped off the later bus a block away from the studio, already a half an hour tardy for the day’s shoot.
‘WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU…HE’S IN A MOOD’ read the text from his assistant.
He flashed his ID as he jogged past the security booth and arrived on the sound stage sweating, out of breath, and unaware that he still had the blood-stained piece of toilet paper stuck to his left cheek.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Tony Montana ayaş escort has decided to grace us with his presence!” Hector Sanchez sarcastically announced while pointing over toward Larry. He then broke into a thick accent and added the signature line from the classic movie, “Say ‘ello to my l’il friend.”
Larry opened his mouth to apologize, but Sanchez turned away from him and yelled, “NOW THAT THE TRAINED MONKEY HAS ARRIVED TO RUN THE CAMERA, LET’S MAKE A FUCKING MOVIE PEOPLE!”
Larry settled in behind the Panavision camera, still seething from being publicly embarrassed and called the nickname he hated. He glared down at Sanchez and tried to work up the courage to stand up for himself, something he never learned to do despite his large frame. Over the left shoulder of the director, Larry saw his assistant who was eyeing him and rubbing her cheek in an exaggerated motion. Further embarrassed, he peeled the pink scrap of toilet paper off his cheek and set his focus and frame on the interior bedroom set.
“When No Means Yes, Scene 48, Take 1!” shouted the flunky before clicking the wooden hinge at the top of the sign he held in front of the camera.
Sanchez yelled, “ACTION!” and Larry lost himself in the whir of the big camera as the actors recited the cheesy dialogue which preceded the long-anticipated unveiling of the newest star of his late night fantasies.
Larry held the frame and fought the urge to zoom in on her heaving breasts encased in the overly tight cheerleading sweater as she perfectly delivered her lines. The handsome young actor in the role of the star quarterback stepped toward her on cue and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Larry subconsciously licked his lips as he felt his dick harden in his jeans.
The actor broke the kiss and began peeling the orange and black sweater off the young starlet. This was the time for the close-up and Larry expertly panned in on the white cotton bra and her ample cleavage.
“OUCH!” cried out Lorraine from under the material of the sweater which still covered her face.
“CUT!” yelled Sanchez at the off-script remark as he bounded from his director’s chair toward the pair who were frantically trying to disengage the sweater from Lorraine’s earring.
Sanchez launched into a loud diatribe at the young actors about professionalism and ad-libbing. Larry could see the look of fear on their faces and wished he could do something to spare them this undeserved tongue-lashing. Just as it appeared the tantrum was over, Sanchez turned back toward Lorraine and said, “I’m sure this isn’t the FIRST time you’ve had to take a sweater off to further your career, honey, so just do what comes naturally.”
With his camera’s focus still zoomed in on the young actress, Larry saw the brief look of pain on her face at that unnecessary insult, before she shook her head and got back into character.
The kid with the sign reappeared and said, “When No Means Yes, Scene 48, Take 2!”
“ACTION!” yelled Sanchez.
This time Lorraine stumbled over her lines, undoubtedly still flustered from the director’s earlier comment, and Sanchez stopped the scene and launched into another tirade. Unfortunately for Larry, this was nothing like the idyllic love scene he had so looked forward to shooting, and the only emotion he felt was unbridled anger toward the diminutive director. By Take 12, Sanchez said something about her growing up as trailer trash in Ravena, New York, and the young starlet stormed off the set in tears and locked herself in her trailer.
Larry felt something dripping down his cheek. His blood pressure was at such a level that he thought his cut had started bleeding again. But when he wiped it with the back of his hand, he realized it was a tear.
“THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY PEOPLE!” shouted Sanchez as the crew silently started to pack up. “Except for YOU!” he added, and once again singled out Larry in front of the group.
Larry folded his arms and braced himself for an ass-chewing, enjoying the six-inch advantage he had over the younger man. Instead, Sanchez lowered his voice and admitted, “I kinda fucked up back there.”
Before Larry could agree with the obvious, Sanchez explained that he was giving the cast and crew the long weekend, but he wanted Larry to leave immediately to re-scout the location and make sure everything was set for the following Monday.
The film was supposed to be set in the Midwest, but they had found a town about 45 minutes from the studio that was passable as middle America. The producers were thrilled not to have to fly the cast and crew halfway across the country since there were only three days of exterior scenes to be shot, and a deal was quickly struck with the Heatherington Common Council.
Larry arrived in Heatherington by late afternoon. He got himself checked into the Strathmore Arms, the only hotel in town. He threw his camera bag over his shoulder and walked down to the river where many of the exterior scenes would bağlıca escort be shot. He was happy to see that the construction of the new boat launch had been completed as promised by the town, and he took several pictures of the area to send back to the studio.
He attached his long lens to the camera body and slowly panned from the river through the town, following the planned shoot for the opening sequence of the movie. The rustic building that held City Hall, the quaint post office, and the large white Methodist Church were the main reasons they selected this location. He continued to pan, pleased that the conversion of the old shoe factory into apartments had also been completed, which meant the planned shot could continue full circle back to the river.
As the camera swept past the four-story red brick building, a movement on the top floor caught his eye. He panned back and with a press of his finger, zoomed in on the illuminated figure that gracefully danced between the floor to ceiling windows. The raven-haired woman was dressed in black leotards and struck quite a contrast against the backdrop of the stark white walls in the well-lit apartment. Larry’s finger remained pressed on the shutter button as the woman pirouetted, leaped, and glided to unheard music, her elegant form digitally captured in staccato stills on the internal SIM card. The screech of a gull startled Larry and he realized he was invading this beautiful woman’s privacy from over 500 yards away thanks to his Canon 1200 mm zoom lens.
He looked around nervously, happy to find there was nobody else in the area, then broke down his camera and returned it to his bag. Larry shook his head and thought to himself, “It’s hard enough walking around a small town with a prominent scar on your face without getting caught peeping into the windows of a woman clearly half my age.”
Larry walked back to the hotel and tried not to notice the stares from the few people he passed along the way. He was happy the lobby was relatively empty and headed straight for the elevators without making eye contact with the desk clerk or the young couple checking in. The doors opened almost immediately after he punched the up button, and he breathed a sigh of relief to find the car empty.
Just as the doors were closing, he heard someone yell “HOLD THE DOOR!” and against his better judgment, he stuck his arm between the silver panels to prevent the door from closing. The young couple thanked him as they stepped into the car, and Larry pretended not to notice their brief look of shock when they saw his face.
Larry never blamed strangers for being startled. He often had the same reaction to his own reflection. But he never understood their defensiveness. As the man said, “Three please,” the woman took a small step behind him and more tightly clutched her purse.
When he got to his room, he tossed his camera bag on the bed and called for room service. Larry hated room service. The food was overpriced and usually arrived cold, but it was better than trying to ignore the looks and whispers of the other diners in the hotel restaurant.
After dinner, he placed his tray in the hallway and stripped down to his boxers. Larry hopped on the bed, opened his laptop and signed onto the complimentary hotel WiFi. Like most nights at home, his social circle included Penny Pax, Reilly Reid, and Kimmy Granger. He logged into his PornHub account and fished his semi-hard cock out of his boxers.
As a filmmaker, it was really hard for him to watch porn. The sound and lighting were usually bad, but what he found really distracting was the horrendous camera work. Most nights he could overlook it long enough to rub one out, but after his totally frustrating day, he found he could barely maintain his erection.
He reached over to grab another pillow to prop behind his back when he spied his camera bag still lying at the foot of the bed. Larry removed the SIM card from his camera and plugged it into the auxiliary slot on his laptop. He opened the folder and started reviewing the day’s pictures.
When the first picture of the dancing woman appeared on the screen, Larry had almost forgotten about shooting her. He also noticed that his cock began to harden. As he clicked through to the next picture, he grabbed his hard-on and started to stroke it again, studying each frame for any little detail that could provide more information on this mysterious woman. He zoomed in and marveled at how the leotard hugged her body like a second skin and the tiny bumps of her nipples could be seen. “For what the lens cost,” Larry said to the unnamed woman on his screen, “I should be able to count the hairs on your pussy!” He zoomed in on the picture of her leaping and tried to determine if her cunt was clean-shaven or not, just as his cum shot out of the end of his dick.
Larry awoke the next morning beside his laptop with his cock still hanging out of his boxers. He downloaded the pictures bala escort off of the SIM card and returned it to his camera, just as room service arrived with his breakfast. He needed to go back to the river location and check out the effects of the early day lighting. Glare is a cinematographer’s worst enemy.
He walked through all the shooting locations, taking light readings and making note of the position of the sun, repeating the process every hour. With his black baseball hat and upturned collar, the walkers and joggers on the riverside bike path seemed oblivious to his prominent scar.
He got hungry around noon and settled on a park bench with a couple of hot dogs bought from one of the vendor carts, watching people pass by. Larry liked to play the “when did they last?” game as he focused on each person, guessing in his head when was the last time they got fucked. He wondered if anyone looking at him could correctly guess “two years.”
He looked down the path and saw a slender woman with dark glasses walking toward him and thought “If not last night or this morning, her man must be insane.” There was something about the woman that caught and kept his attention, apart from her slightly unsteady gait, and he raised his camera and started shooting pictures of her.
With his focus on the woman, he didn’t see the two bicyclists speeding up behind her until they were almost on top of her. “On your left!” one of the Spandex-covered yuppies yelled, which startled the woman, as they zoomed past her. She took an awkward step and caught the edge of the paved path tumbling to the ground about 20 feet from where Larry was sitting.
Without a second thought, Larry rushed to her to see if she was okay.
“Are you hurt?” he asked as he knelt beside the woman who was feeling around to locate her glasses.
When she heard his voice she turned and looked at him directly, without a hint of shock or fear showing in her saucer-sized blue eyes. “Can you help me find my glasses?” she asked, in a voice as angelic as her appearance.
“It’s you!…the dancer!” Larry said and then wished he hadn’t vocalized the thought that ran through his head upon recognizing her face.
“I’m sorry, have we met?” she asked somewhat confused, “I don’t recognize your voice.”
Larry blushed crimson red as thoughts of what he did while looking at her pictures flashed through his brain. “I’m Larry, Larry Brooks,” he stammered as he extended his hand to give her the glasses. Then added, in an attempt to change the subject, “I’m part of the crew that will be filming here next week.”
“I haven’t been to a movie in years,” she replied, making no attempt to take the glasses from Larry. “Not since the accident anyway.”
At that moment, things clicked in his brain, but not being well-schooled in social graces, his thoughts once again spilled out of his mouth. “You’re blind!” Larry exclaimed as if figuring out the sub-plot to a movie.
He noticed a blush rise in her pale complexion. “Well legally so,” she replied, “but I can still make out blurry shapes and some colors, which is why I thought I could take this walk without my cane.”
“I found your glasses,” Larry responded and held them out closer to her.
She reached out and clasped her hands around his arm. When he felt her fingers on his skin it sent bolts of electricity through his body as he had just touched a live wire. She retrieved her glasses from him and slipped them on her cherub-like face.
“Are you going to help me up, or are we going to sit here in the grass all day?” she asked sarcastically with a slight grin.
Larry put his arm around her small frame and resisted the urge to pull her slender body into a tight embrace. When he got her back on her feet he looked back to the park bench where he had left his camera and saw two squirrels helping themselves to his lunch.
“Get away from there you bushy-tailed rats!” Larry yelled and tried to scare the squirrels away from his food.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, still clutching Larry’s left arm for support.
“A couple of squirrels just stole my lunch.”
“I’m so sorry,” she apologized, “it’s all my fault, let me make it up to you.”
“It’s no problem,” he assured, “I’ll just grab a couple more dogs from the vendor cart.”
“Nonsense!” she admonished, “I was just heading to the Panera near my building for lunch, and if you wouldn’t mind escorting me there, I’d be delighted if you would join me.”
“Do you make a habit of inviting strange men to lunch?” Larry asked concerned for the young woman’s safety, and then mentally called himself an idiot for asking such a stupid question.
“Only those who selflessly come to my rescue,” she replied, and once again flashed her dazzling smile. “Kassandra,” she announced, extending her hand toward him, “Kassandra Dollowski.” They shook hands and she said, “There now Larry Brooks, you’re no longer a strange man!”
Larry held out his forearm and the two continued down the path together. Kassandra wrapped her arm around him and explained how she was a competitive figure skater with sights on the Olympics, but she hit her head on the ice in a nasty fall and wound up in a coma when she was sixteen. When she woke up two weeks later, she could not see.
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