Surreptitiously Supercilious

"As I sat on my chair that Tuesday, a book in one hand, tea in the other, desperately hoping that no one would come in and begin the awkward eye contact thing, I expected another perfectly normal day. A day when nothing unexpected would happen at all. That’s when the assassin dashed into my store, clapped a hand across my mouth, and crawled under my desk to huddle near my feet, gun pressing against my ankle."


21. Of Jackson

    While Jackson was an amiable person, he did have his faults.

    These faults manifested themselves in the form of partying late at night, drinking far too much, and owning simply too many turtles. Last time he’d counted, he’d had thirty three.

    Jackson had decided there and then that he needed to do something with his life. And what was a man to do when he had too much energy to be siphoned away into an innocuous job such as turtle washing?

    Go into the film industry, of course.

    Jackson arrived at his first interview spick and span, wobbling cheerfully and balancing a turtle on his head because he thought it was artistic—it was obviously a meditation on transgender politics of the 19th century, not just a turtle on his head.

    He was arrested and restrained in a holding cell for a fortnight. 

    During his fortnight—he’d asked his elderly, near-dead neighbour to look after his turtles, so he wasn’t worried about that—Jackson decided that the world simply wasn’t ready to accept someone as artistic, creative, and genius as he was, so the only course of action open to him was to go to Hollywood and start a film company of his own.

    He nodded when that occurred to him, rather pleased with himself.

    It would be genius. It would be glorious, wonderful, a veritable thesaurus of creativity. 

    So, upon being released and warned never to balance turtles on his head again, Jackson packed his pets off to a pet shop (metaphorically and creatively severing ties with his old, dull life, representing the multicoloured spring into his new one) and set off for Hollywood. 

    Unfortunately, since he didn’t have any money—or, really, anything at all— to his name, he had to take a bus.

    Approaching said bus, Jackson began to worry. He didn’t usually worry about his size—being twenty stone meant that there was more of him to go around, which was wonderful— but those bus doors looked rather small. In fact, they looked very small indeed.

    Jackson approached them slowly, turned sideways, and proceeded to squeeze himself through—well, he tried, anyway. Halfway through, his belt buckle got caught on the side of the door and his brilliant plan came to an abrupt end.

    The passengers already on the bus began to snicker. Jackson gulped and looked imploringly at the driver.

    He took out a cigarette and sat back to watch the show. 

    Jackson decided politeness was his best option. “Excuse me, fellow bus passengers. You wouldn’t mind lending me a hand, would you?”

    “Oh, just get off will ya, fatty? You ain’t gonna fit.”

    Jackson felt salty tears burn his eyes. This was not how his amazing mission was supposed to go. He was supposed to get on this bus and start a new and amazing life and—

    “Look, just get off dude. We need to go and you’re holding us up.”

    Jackson slowly squeezes himself off the bus and watched as it drove away towards the distant Hollywood sign, leaving him in a cloud of dust. Dramatic and mournful music played in a corner of his mind. 

    This would go wonderfully with a long shot, low camera angle, wide shot as well, giving the impression of me being lonely and alone. Ooh, that would be a good film title. Yes, I like—


    Jackson turned and came face-to-face—well, face-to-sunglasses— with an exceptionally beautiful blond man leaning out of a slick black car. Said blond man grinned. 

    “Need a ride? I’m heading to Hollywood, if that’s on your way.”

    Jackson felt as though the deity of the film industry had thrown gold at his feet. “Well, now that you say it, I am. I’m a director.”

    Blond man leaned over and opened the passenger door. “Well I guess that’s pretty great, ‘cuz I’m an actor.” 

    Jackson climbed in to the cool, comfortable car and extended his hand. “Jackson.”

    “Oliver Smith. Now let’s go to Hollywood.”

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