Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Cinema Files s1 p16

The Cinema Files
page 16, chapter 16

Gumshoe Intermission

"Mons get ready all your vids wit' the words shoes and feet in ther' title. I just delivered a few vases to a podiatry convention." Blake's voice cut through the length of the video store as the bell jangled.

"What is wrong with you?" I stomped through the store from the far left side, having just restocked the horror and sci-fi dvds. I moved back towards the check out counter, angrily opening dvd after dvd not paying any attention to it; as I attempted to make sure the right ones were in the cases.

"What 'ya mean? What's wrong wi't me? What ya talk'n about?" he replied his face ducked down as he began to shuffle through the pile.

"This morning. Your behaviour. What was that?" I picked up the already checked pile and started to shelve them.

"What?" Blake's voice trailed behind me as I slammed the cases onto the shelf.

"Uh how you reacted to both Ryan and Rudolph."

"Oh I'm sorry Mons if I ruined your little attempt at a scooby gang there." He said sarcastically. I made a face as I moved around him watching him duck his one shoulder to keep me from slamming into him, as I hit the play button on the answering machine. A female's voice came through the little speaker asking for a copy of  In Her Shoes, followed by a man looking for the movie Red Shoe Diaries. "See warned ya."  I didn't get a chance to argue as the bell over the door chimed announcing the arrival of a customer.

"Do you have a copy of the Man with One Red Shoe?"  the drag queen asked as he stood towering over us at nearly seven feet.  I pointed towards the comedies as I stared watching him touching the beehive wig making sure it hadn't been damaged on the top of the doorway, desperately wanting to ask him where he found the black pumps he was wearing.

It was after 9:30pm, and I decided closing the store half hour early would be fine. The winds began to bit a little as they picked up  forcing me to tug my coat closed. The fancy grey trenchcoat I was wearing wasn't actually designed for real weather. Turning the corner, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by ducking into the grocery store. I'd be able to pick up something for dinner, and steal a few moments of weatherless warmth. I found myself without thinking standing then in the frozen food section as a hand tapped my shoulder. I looked up to see Rudolph, a sad distracted look in his beautiful grey eyes.

"Hello you."

"Rudolph hey." I sighed as I grabbed a frozen pizza from the freezer. He took it from my hand, tossing it back in. "I wanted that."

"I've been thinking about the video store this morning."

"So you felt the need to deny me dinner?"

"No. I'm going to make you dinner."  I still couldn't figure out his accent.

"Are you making pizza for dinner?" 

"No." he shrugged as he tilted his head to the side licking his lips. I waited for him to say something else but he just stood there for a long moment ping ponging between duck faces and furrowed brows. I grabbed the frozen pizza again holding it tight to me like a shield. "You didn't come home last night."  he repeated this information from this morning.

"Were you spying on me?" I wasn't sure if I should be flattered or freaked out?

"Not spying no." his reply was staggered through his teeth that distant look in his eyes. "There was a fire alarm just after midnight. I didn't see you in the crowd of people the parking lot." his voice became soft. "When the fire department let us back in, I tried knocking but...the guy with the small dog in the apartment at the end of the hall said he saw you leave hours before with someone."  Shoppers were starting to bump into us, reaching around my shoulders for the freezer doors. We moved onward then towards the check out. "Then I got your text and at lest I knew you were safe."

"Uhm yeah. I was out with Ryan...er Detective Whitechapel. He was working a case needed some help."

Nothing seemed real. I stood about an hour later in my bathroom fresh form a long over due shower as the steam escaped through the not completely closed door. Rudolph's behaviour I wanted desperately to say was caused at lest in part by jealously, but his body language suggested otherwise. He had seemed genuinely worried, lost in his own memories of the night before. My gut was telling me his motives were pure even if they weren't transparent. Blake on the other hand, he was a pickle. Blake just hated loosing. Hated the idea he couldn't charm his way out of or into a situation. Crossing into my bedroom, I slithered into a fresh pair of underwear, some comfy yoga pants and an over sized t-shirt. And then I took a look at myself in the mirror, sighed removed the shirt and declared to the reflection that a bra was needed. Then scolded myself for my lack of enthusiasm. Whatever Rudolph was wanting over dinner, seduction wasn't part of it.  I barely got my apartment door locked when Rudolph had popped his torso out the door of his own place as quick as a rabbit; the click of his own door echoing in the too empty hallway. I jumped dropping my keys.

"Finally all my furniture has arrived."

Letting out a short sigh, I closed my eyes telling myself it was exactly what I knew it was. Not a date. He was excited for a housewarming party and there were most likely already people from the newspaper waiting. It had been a week since he'd moved in and by now with his looks I was more than sure he'd enchanted half his co-workers. I crossed the threshold to an empty apartment. Crickets empty. There were no other guests, no friendly drunk co-workers or anything of the party sort. His apartment mirrored mine in the lay out, as well as the fact he brought his case files home. Boxes of them. The only difference here was his version of the crime board was front and center in the living room taking up half the wall over his desk.

Tune in again for another installment of the Cinema Files starring your heroine...me(straight up story.  He's up to something...)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Feb 24th Night Bleeds Bookclub

This month's selection was the 1989 novel The Dark Half by Stephen King.

plot: Thad Beaumont is a successful writer, only most of his fans had no idea who he was as he wrote under the name George Stark. That is until he decides to do a tell all in a national magazine. Before long, Beaumont finds himself not just the center of attention but the center of a series of brutal murders. The local police attempt to arrest him after the first death occurs, but find he was nowhere near the actual crime scene when it happened. Before long, it's revealed that someone believing themselves to be the alter ego Stark, is in fact committing the murders and framing Beaumont. While this is happening, Beaumont starts to experience headaches and black outs that he had thought were long buried in his past. As the local police begin to investigate, the sheriff uncovers more that a few linking factors to Beaumont's current situation and his past. The key elements being a strange swarm of sparrows that only seem to have appeared in Beaumont's life at the time of his brain surgery. The sheriff has to then disregard his own belief system if he's to get to the bottom of the mystery that is Stark.

I have to admit, I'm not too sure where to start with this one given there have been actual classes taught on the themes and subject matter in every inch of King's works.

The topic of twins comes up -pardon the pun- more than once. We have the characters of Beaumont and Stark having been twins who come from a long family that's had twins in multiple generations. Beaumont admits that his wife had miscarried twins at the start of their marriage before finally having a second set of twin children.
The idea of an alter ego is brought up commenting on the Jekyll and Hyde aspect nearly all writers carry in them in order to work. As well as the comparison to Frankenstein; with a mention of the fact if the Stark character can't create he will uncreate, much like the comments made in the novel Frankenstein.
The Stark character because it is a "twin", is a Doppelganger. He calls himself a vampire more than once, reveling in the idea that his capacity to take "life" in order to create it in story form makes him a psychic vampire. This lends itself to the deep rooted psychic link the two "writers" have. This also leads him to being the best version of a Tulpa you can come up with. A thoughtform believed in so strongly it manifests in the physical.
The character of Beaumont at one point calls Stark a ghost, leading to the fact he's not suppose to be a physical reality. I find it interesting that the character of Stark only manifests in the beginning as a result of grief and addiction.
And then of course we have the addiction theme running strong here. Like any vampire in mythology, Stark is addicted to his violent nature and Beaumont is addicted to the freedom Stark allows him to have. Stark is the freedom of desire that Beaumont would otherwise be denied. He's the permission slip of bad behaviour.

The addiction leads to the doubt of sanity in what clearly is a fractured reality. The imagery of windows and mirrors are used when the character of Stark's existence is threatened, like when he's examining himself while layering make-up to hide his flaws, or when the two are finally sitting side by side in the windowless room with the mirrored door.

The bulk of the story takes place in a 2 week timeframe, with flashbacks to Beaumont's childhood. I loved the weaknesses that the main character of Beaumont had with his addiction and self doubt. There is a complete scene where he's actually comparing himself to a character in a story, talking about how in a perfectly pictured novel the heroes and villains never need a bathroom break or a moment to rethink their last decision.
One of my favourite elements of this story, is the other professor. The character of  Rawlie DeLesseps, who ends up being the token supernatural expert and I'm assuming based a bit on Hunter S. Thompson. It's the first time we are given an real explanation to what the sparrows might mean.

There is this nearly delicious moment of pure uncertainty near the end of the novel where you start to see the two halves blending into each other, and you're left thinking the Stark side is about to come out on top. You soon realize that as the character of Stark relaxes into his personal victory, the character of Beaumont has sacrificed his own version of reality in order to end the addiction. He gives up so much in order to just hang on to what he's currently got.

Okay, and I think I'll end it here. I will be back later in the week with the official announcement for next month's book selection.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Night Bleeds 2019 book 2

Spudguns!, it's that time again. The selection for this month is The Dark Half by Stephen King.

Rules- Read the book (watching the movie version as well is optional) and if inspired to cook/bake/craft something add that.  You must have a blog to participate. The blog post must be current (in this case Feb 2019)

Datedue- Last Sunday of month. Which for this month is Sunday Feb 24th 2019.

If you do join in, please link it to either this post, the Night Bleeds page or on the day of, the actual post. And leave me a comment with the link so I know and can do a round up later on.

And as always, if you're in the Thunder Bay area and would like to take part in the physical book club, let me know.