Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: The Bigger They Come

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,553
    Blog Entries
    15

    The Bigger They Come

    The Bigger They Come-

    On the other side of the island was its true harbor, named after Arthur’s kingdom, but not nearly as peaceful or serene. On the surface it looked bucolic, even pristine, but beneath that boiled twin cauldrons of jealously and avarice. The harbor was visited by stylish yachts, piloted by the rich and famous trying in vain to escape notoriety on the mainland, just twenty-three miles away. Like plague, it followed them everywhere, and was enough to drive them to drink. The harbor was dominated by an over-sized casino, a sure sign of decadence, resembling a corpulent Medici tower complete with red tile roof, a dungeon or a debtor's prison, built expressly for unlucky patrons.

    The Marguerita pitcher made a triumphant tinkle when Little Miss Perfect stirred it just right. And she kept it up, and kept it up, while humming a tune from a TV pilot she was supposed to approve called Malcolm in the Middle. Along with the tinkle tinkle tinkle she’d rhythmically wiggle her bottom.

    Across the galley, sitting at a table with Chris, Bob saw the fringe move seductively on the hem of his wife’s little black Dior spaghetti-strap dress. It unnerved him.

    “Why do you suppose,” he mused to Chris, “only petite women look good in so-called little black dresses?”

    Chris was on his third Manhattan, but as observant and philosophical in a way only drunks can be.

    “Because petite women do their best to help define the tradition.”

    “You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now, and you’re not so big.”

    Little Miss Perfect stopped rubbing the lyrics in Bob’s face, looked up and smiled. The petite firecracker was about to go off.

    “Nat, hold on there. We can get back together, I know it,” he pleaded, and loosened his tie.

    “After I’ve found these letters?”

    There was a stack of letters on the granite bar, drenched in perfume, and one held a lock of red hair bound with scarlet ribbon. The notes were XXX rated in content, dotted with lipstick prints and signed Jill in such a young hand it was like a grammar school girl was the authoress.

    “You may be my husband, but you’re not my director, and certainly not my boss. How many budding starlets has it been? How many stand-ins? How many bit players? How many notches have you carved on your gun handle at my expense?”

    She took a sip and put the glass down on the counter. A yacht with bright lights motored past having a party, you could hear the revelers making merry, and for a second light streamed through the brass porthole, illuminating her face while sweeping left to right. Her hazel eyes were downcast and only dimly reflected in the cold polished granite. She wondered, while absently wiping salt from the glass’s edge with her finger,

    “How many more times?”

    Bob had no idea, not even a clue. It’s easy for a man to divorce his intentions from his actions, especially for actors. They lead two lives anyway, and understand intrinsically the roles of both Jekyll and Hyde. As if their thoughts were connected, she looked up.

    “You know I’m going to leave you, don’t you?”

    “What?”

    “I’m filing papers tomorrow with the clerk.”

    Bob was up like lightning. Chris passed out next to him, unconscious, like he’d shot himself in the head. Bob blew up like a rubber Superman inflatable dummy and expanded his chest.

    “No. No. No way. You can’t. You won’t. I won’t have it!”

    “Oh, but you will have it, Jr. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    She lit a Marlboro and tossed a gold Calibri lighter into the crystal ashtray.

    Oh, he couldn’t stand it when she was severe. The coquette was alright. The sexy seductive mistress was his favorite flavor. But he didn’t care for her severe aspect when it growled at him directly. He feared it.

    “You wouldn’t dare. What about our marriage? What will the public think?”

    “I’m sick of the public. I’m up to here with the public. I’ve been working ever since I was four, and I’m tired. Tired of paparazzi, intrusions, interviews, I’m up to here.” She motioned to her throat.

    “I’d rather live in a little grass shack eating fish tacos than in a mansion in Beverly Hills eating Kobe beef. You’re the new comer; the Johnny Come Lately. You’re the fresh beefcake. You knock ‘em dead in the isles for a few more reels. I’ve had it.”

    “But what about me? My career? It’ll tank without you and your long-time studio connections, it will wither like stagnant grapes on a vine.”

    “Junior,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t care less.”

    She snapped the end of her cigarette and the cherry flew off like a red-glowing comet and nose-dived for safety into the ashtray.

    “It’s not my problem. As Hardy pointed out in Mayor of Casterbridge, life is unfair.”

    She took off her Prada high-heels and strode up the stairway to the deck. It was an Academy award winning performance complete with dramatic irony, but only because it was true.

    Bob sat and stared vacantly at the table top. One by one, various emotions passed like cinematic shadows over his face. One of hopelessness, where he directed his eyes upwards as if to petition heaven, one of despair, where he nervously looked right and left to no avail. There were only two expressions left in his limited repertoire. There was one where his eyes became fixed, just a few inches in front of his face, the sign of fathomless thought. This was followed by setting his mouth rigidly, in firm lines of determination, and followed by a whispered secret soliloquy.

    “If a star can rise, then a star can fall.”

    Bob got up, straightened his tie, and climbed the stairs. There was a scream and a kerplunk, and it was over.


    ©StevenHunley 2013

    https://youtu.be/qJi8z4qTmIo The Bigger They Come The Harder They Fall -- Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 06-07-2017 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,553
    Blog Entries
    15
    Ok, folks, I learned my lesson. I'd pried this story out of the center of another one, to see if it could stand by itself. One of our readers doesn't care much for this stuff. And I can see their point. I've been getting much too NOIR lately. Too many NOIR movies lately!

    But this isn't REALLY NOIR. No, it's not. And here's the entire story to prove it.

    Natalia Floats


    Silvestre and Natalia lived their married life on an island on a narrow beach tucked away in a hidden cove. It was a good spot, unknown by the island’s inhabitants and sheltered from wind. They worked as a pair, which is say like typical shrimp fisher folk do. Silvestre was ugly but strong, both in muscle and character, and never gambled.

    Natalia was quite light-skinned for a Mexicana, but with traditional dark hair. She was pretty, with well-formed features and a tiny nose. She could seem glamorous, if not because of her features, because of her imperious attitude. She was vocal and outspoken, ‘a diva’, said the ladies who gossiped on the corner by the church, or at the brass pump with its head like a fish, a Dolphin with a blue patina.

    When Silvestre and Natalia became engaged, there was quite a wedding fiesta planned. The villagers couldn’t wait to get rid of them, women because of the competition her beauty engendered, and men because his moral and physical strength made them look like weaklings in comparison.

    Everyone expected them to go away, if not forever, at least for the honeymoon. Lanterns were hung over the square in the limbs of jacaranda trees. The beaming couple was pelted with rice as they ran out the church door to the sound of bells imported from Madrid over three centuries ago, their brass melted down from fittings of defeated Saracen shields by El Cid himself.

    North by northwest their tiny boat sailed, onward past Baja and over the United States border near San Diego.

    “Where is the border, anyway, Silvestre?” she said, seeing nothing but rolling blue waves.

    “It doesn’t matter. What is a border anyway, but squid ink on a map?”

    “You have captured the truth. Besides, love knows no borders,” she replied, and gave him a hug.

    “And we can catch shrimp and fish wherever we want,” he said with great conviction. “The corrupt officials will not be hanging around the dock to take a share for themselves.”

    “No more will we tolerate the mordida and feel its bite. That’s over for us,” she said with finality.

    “My Darling, the only kind of bite you’ll know from now on will be this.”

    Silvestre threw his arms around Natalia and drew her close. She knew what was coming and threw her head back and closed her eyes in reckless abandon. Drawing a strand of hair away from her ear, he pulled on her earlobe gently with his teeth. It drove her mad, then crazy, until he changed tack and kissed her throat while preparing to negotiate the smooth curves of her shoulders with nothing but the friction of his tender kisses. With much reverence and with only the tip of her nail, she pushed her gold crucifix aside, a gift from her grandmother on her quinceanera. When they both took their hands off the wheel, the restless current spun the Sirocco’s bow north east.

    It was a good day for sailing, and anything in the wind subject to nature. Nature’s law is the law of mutual attraction. Say what you will, argue the point if you must, quote precedents until both poles melt, nothing will ever change the law. It’s useless to petition heaven.

    Just before dark a fog stole in. They didn’t care and pretended to ignore its effects, the worst part was when she started to cough, but before long they recognized the sounds of ominous waves breaking against rocky cliffs. The sound grew louder and in time resembled thunder. Silvestre dropped anchor until they could see where they were. All night the boat tossed to and fro. The newlyweds cuddled together in their marital bunk in the snug cabin with a single candle until a breeze snuck around the cabin door and guttered it. By then they were fast asleep.

    When a grey cold dawn broke a few hours later they came back up on deck and gazed at what they’d feared in the night.

    “To see the monster first hand,” Silvestre boldly suggested.

    A sandstone cliff rose up. At its base waves crashed fountains of spray in watery curved columns that fell down on the rocky outcrops, shattering in radiant bursts of liquid silver. Sooty terns and gulls nested like hundreds of restless pockmarks perched upon the rugged cliff, a cliff they fondly named, ‘Burton’s Face’.

    “It isn’t so bad, now we can see,” measured Silvestre, with his cool mariner’s eye.

    “Not bad? I think it’s elegant!”

    One hundred yards south a small stream sprung from the rock face, and cascaded down, splashing over a pile of boulders and running in a narrow stream to the sea. Silvestre could have jumped over it. Close by were two coconut palms, and at these he scratched his head.

    “That’s odd; there aren’t usually palm trees on the Pacific coast.”

    “Never look a gift horse in the mouth,” she replied. “Let’s take the skiff and go ashore for a few minutes.”

    The few minutes turned into forever.

    On the other side of the island was its true harbor, named after Arthur’s kingdom, but not nearly as peaceful or serene. On the surface it looked bucolic, even pristine, but beneath that boiled twin caldrons of jealously and avarice. The harbor was visited by stylish yachts, piloted by the rich and famous trying in vain to escape notoriety on the mainland, just twenty-three miles away. Like plague, it followed them everywhere, and was enough to drive them to drink. The harbor was dominated by an oversized casino, a sure sign of decadence, resembling a corpulent Medici tower complete with red tile roof, a debtor’s prison for a dungeon, built expressly for unlucky patrons.

    The marguerite pitcher made a triumphant tinkle when Little Miss Perfect stirred it just right. And she kept it up, and kept it up, while humming a tune from a TV pilot she was supposed to approve called Malcolm in the Middle. Along with the tinkle tinkle tinkle she’d rhythmically wiggle her bottom.

    Across the galley, sitting at a table with Chris, Bob saw the fringe move seductively on the hem of his wife’s little black Dior spaghetti-strap dress. It unnerved him.

    “Why do you suppose,” he mused to Chris, “only petite women look good in so-called little black dresses?”

    Chris was on his third Manhattan, but as observant and philosophical in a way only drunks can be.

    “Because petite women do their best to help define the definition.”

    “You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now, and you’re not so big.”
    Little Miss Perfect stopped rubbing the lyrics in Bob’s face, looked up and smiled. The petite firecracker was about to go off.

    “Nat, hold on there. We can get back together, I know it,” he pleaded, and loosened his tie.

    “After I’ve found these letters?”

    There was a stack of letters on the granite bar, drenched in perfume, and one held a lock of red hair bound with scarlet ribbon. The notes were XXX rated in content, dotted with lipstick prints and signed Jill in such a young hand it was like a grammar school girl was the authoress.

    “You may be my husband, but you’re not my director, and certainly not my boss. How many budding starlets has it been? How many stand-ins? How many bit players? How many notches have you carved on your gun handle at my expense?”

    She took a sip and put the glass down on the counter. A yacht with its bright lights motored past having a party, you could hear the revelers making merry, and for a second light streamed through the brass porthole, illuminating her face while sweeping left to right. Her hazel eyes were downcast and only dimly reflected in the cold polished granite. She wondered, while absently wiping salt from the glass’s edge with her finger,

    “How many more times?”

    Bob had no idea, not even a clue. It’s easy for a man to divorce his intentions from his actions, especially for actors. They lead two lives anyway, and understand intrinsically the roles of both Jekyll and Hyde. As if their thoughts were connected, she looked up.

    “You know I’m going to leave you, don’t you?”

    “What?”

    “I’m filing papers tomorrow with the clerk.”

    Bob was up like lightning. Chris passed out next to him, unconscious, like he’d shot himself in the head. Bob blew up like a rubber Superman inflatable dummy and expanded his chest.

    “No. No. No way. You can’t. You won’t. I won’t have it!”

    “Oh, but you will have it, Jr. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    She lit a Marlboro and tossed a gold Calibri lighter into the crystal ashtray.

    Oh, he couldn’t stand it when she was severe. The coquette was alright. The sexy seductive mistress was fine. But he didn’t care for her severe aspect when it growled at him directly. He feared it.

    “You wouldn’t dare. What about our marriage? What will the public think?”

    “I’m sick of the public. I’m up to here with the public. I’ve been working ever since I was four, and I’m tired. Tired of paparazzi, intrusions, interviews, I’m up to here.” She motioned to her throat.

    “I’d rather live in a little grass shack eating fish tacos than in a mansion in Beverly Hills eating Kobe beef. You’re the new comer; the Johnny Come Lately. You’re the fresh beefcake. You knock ‘em dead in the isles for a few more reels. I’ve had it.”

    “But what about me? My career? It’ll tank without you and your long-time studio connections, it will wither like stagnant grapes on a vine.”

    “Junior,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t care less.”

    She snapped the end of her cigarette and the cherry flew off like a red-glowing comet and nose-dived for safety into the ashtray.

    “It’s not my problem. As Hardy pointed out in Mayor of Casterbridge, life is unfair.”

    She took off her Prada high-heels and strode up the stairway to the deck. It was an Academy award winning performance complete with dramatic irony, but only because it was true.

    Bob sat and stared vacantly at the table top. One by one, various emotions passed like cinematic shadows over his face. One of hopelessness, where he directed his eyes upwards as if to petition heaven, one of despair, where he nervously looked right and left to no avail. There were only two expressions left in his limited repertoire. There was one where his eyes became fixed, just a few inches in front of his face, the sign of fathomless thought. This was followed by setting his mouth rigidly, in firm lines of determination, and followed by a whispered secret soliloquy.

    “If a star can rise, then a star can fall.”

    Bob got up, straightened his tie, and climbed the stairs. There was a scream and a kerplunk, and it was over.

    On the other side of the island in the hidden cove, another drama was playing out. Natalia had for some days suffered with fever. He cough had grown worse over the years, then she started spitting blood, and she now lay dying of tuberculosis. Silvestre could do nothing. After she had passed, he dutifully followed her wishes, wrapped her in a white sheet and placed her in the skiff. He rowed far out into the current, and around the point. Natalia firmly believed that if the sea could transport her to Eden, that when her time came, it would transport her immortal soul to God in much the same fashion.

    After he said a prayer, he slipped her body overboard and took the anchor chain and wrapped it around his neck. Then he climbed up and balanced on the gunwale He was about to jump when he heard a voice cry out from the dark water.

    A woman caught up in seaweed was drowning. He pulled her in, covered her in a blanket and took her home. A day later authorities found a woman’s body while dredging the channel, swollen with seawater and bruised. During the identification Bob was sober, and so filled with guilt he was too quick to identify it.

    He only uncovered a corner of the cloth and averting his eyes said, “That’s her.”

    On a relatively small channel island, in a hidden cove, a couple live to this day. They fish for shrimp and seafood at night. Their boat is so small and wooden it’s never detected on the Coast Guard’s radar, besides, it’s not often they look only twenty-three miles from the coast.

    They live a simple life and are never bothered with tourists, eat fish tacos, lobster, anything but Kobe beef. The old man is about seventy now, and as ugly and honest as ever. The woman is about seventy-five and hasn’t lost on speck of her beauty.

    Age has no claim against beauty; it only refines and adds to its value. Actors, fisher folk, and lovers understand this, and work on the stage, or with their nets, or with their hearts, until the end of their lives.

    And Burton’s Face looks down and laughs like happy thunder.


    ©StevenHunley 2013

    See? That wasn't so Noir was it?
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 06-14-2017 at 11:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,553
    Blog Entries
    15
    Duplicate Post
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 06-14-2017 at 11:33 PM. Reason: duplicate post

Similar Threads

  1. Something bigger...
    By surfacetoday in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 01:29 AM
  2. The Bigger Bang!
    By PrinceMyshkin in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-29-2008, 04:03 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •