Here is something short and sweet. Still feeling rusty. Enjoy!
The man sat furious but resolute.
He imagined himself implacable, immovable in the face of his plight. Surely under the grime, coarse scarf and dark great coat, his foes will see the light of his resolve. He flexed his shoulders, noting the coils of tension.
Ohhhh, it felt so good.
“Okay. Ten minute break!”
The man blinked as the dark seventeenth century gaol disappeared, replaced by the glaring hot lights of the photographer’s studio. Hands tugged at the coat. Smiling sheepishly at the assistant, he stood. As the garment fell from his arms, he realized how hot and heavy it was actually. In his mind, it had been a cold brutal winter. He’d even shivered.
He accepted the offered bottle of water and idly walked over to the refreshment table filled with the usual fare: bagels, doughnuts, containers of juice, coffee. Ugh. Too bad he couldn’t have any of it – needed to watch his weight and all that. Oh, and chocolate doughnuts – his favorite – large, freshly baked, lots of delicious gooey chocolaty frosting. The tip of his tongue poked out as he leaned over in concentration.
He stood up. Wait a minute. He didn’t have to obsess about his weight any more. He snorted. His “sex symbol” days were behind him. He no longer had to ripple his abs in order to get attention at auditions. In fact, his career had taken just the artistic turn he craved with serious meaty role and no skin in sight. While filming the trilogy, he’d been more covered up than anything. The next film left his shirts soaked to the skin but hardly sexy. He performed a staging and managed to be the only one to keep all his clothes during a racy scene, to his delight. The last project had him deliciously mangy with long stringy hair, shapeless ragged clothes, and unkempt scruff. Now he would play a seventeenth century Puritan onstage. Not a milieu for any nudity. Come to think of it, he’d not gotten his kit off in years. Just as well – he was getting to old for that kind of thing. Not that he’d struggled to be an “artiste” as they say, but it worked out nicely. No more bum shots. No more gratuitous half nude scenes. No more need for chiseled abs. Bring on the pizza and beer. His fans might be disappointed, but that was the way it would be now.
He picked up the chocolate doughnut. His stomach rumbled at the warm yeasty aroma. Ah, come here my sweet.
“Your shirt, sir?”
The man blinked at the assistant. “What?”
“I need your shirt.”
Would this require a wardrobe change? Who knew Puritans were so stylish? Sadly relinquishing the doughnut and licking his fingers, he fumbled with the buttons and handed over the garment, awaiting the next change. Instead she produced a bottle, poured a bit of viscous liquid into her hands, and looked up with a faint smile.
“Boss says the next set will be shirtless.” She broke into a full grin. “I’ll oil you up a bit and add some smudges to match the face.”
He knew it was useless as soon as the words left his mouth. “But what does this have to do with-”
The photographer breezed by. “Ah yes marvelous. This part will focus on the characters vulnerability and defenselessness. Take your place in two minutes.”
The man stood morose and not so resolute as hands rubbed him down – was she humming? He doubted vulnerability and defenselessness would first cross fans’ minds. His frowned. He was pretty sure he had no half nude scenes on stage. Didn’t he? He glanced down at his abs.