A screenwriter has scripted a war but finds himself battling the producer’s wife for control. 4,197 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.
Roy Baker Kane didn’t think he was going to get the job and he didn’t really want it. So when he finally forced himself to hear his agent tell him live and in person that they had passed on his take and gone with another writer, Roy wasn’t particularly disappointed. But he was annoyed. He had put the time in and had tried. It had been interesting to sketch solutions to the perceived problems they had with the existing script, and going to the studio to meet with all those motion picture-related functionaries — producers and co-producers and story editors — had been stimulating.
But now there would be no summer trip to Spain unless something else materialized quickly. And without “work,” Roy would be forced to actually write something real and meaningful. He thought about diving in and doing some writing on his childhood memoir, that he had interrupted to go after the unspeakably stupid studio train wreck he had just been denied.
He checked the time. Go to the gym, do some hard time on the elliptical trainer, then take an hour and a half with the laptop and a cup of coffee. Get back to work. Real work. On something that meant something to him personally, creatively, if not financially. Fuck all those idiots in the room at the studio. The movie would be bad just like most of the others these days. His destiny would not be tied to some Friday at the Cineplex with that piece of shit. Just fine really. Onward and onward. Downward and upward. Back to his true unconscious, his true self on the page where he belonged, where he ought to be anyway.
“What ever happened to Peloponnesia?” asked Julian Renfield, an infinitely thin, youngish, always fashionably overdressed, shrewd, mean motion picture producer with a sarcastic sense of humor which he was not exercising now. He was deadly serious. But Roy Baker Kane didn’t look up from his noodle bowl to notice.
“It fell to the Athenians in 400 B.C.”
“I mean your screenplay, the masterpiece Paramount wouldn’t let me buy.”