She once had an eagle eye for film continuity. Now she can’t see the real from unreal. 2,755 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.
Blake slumped back behind the steering wheel in the dim light of the carport. She needed to gather her strength before unloading the grocery bags. While she rested, a text came in on her phone. She could see it was from Grace whose casita Blake was housesitting in Santa Fe while Grace attended a yoga retreat at an eco resort in Belize.
Blake had hoped to prepare a gourmet meal for the two of them, on this her final night at her friend’s mountain hideaway, before handing over the keys and heading back home to L.A. She had gone grocery shopping to gather all the ingredients for their farewell dinner. Grace’s text said she was delayed. So Blake would dine alone and catch her flight out in the morning without getting a chance to thank her host in person and say goodbye.
The two old friends were weathered beauties, getting on past middle age. They had remained in touch over the years ever since they were both young actresses in Hollywood, going out on casting calls and auditions. Dreaming of stardom. They landed bit parts in movies and occasional guest roles on TV. But neither had succeeded. Grace gave up and moved away to New Mexico.
Blake stuck it out, eventually finding work behind the camera as a script supervisor. Her life consisted of shuttling from set to set on more locations than she cared to remember. She was trained to flag even the most minute continuity flub for the camera. It nagged her when anything at all, however slight, didn’t match up. It could be something in the background or on the edge of the frame. An actor with his sleeves rolled up wrong. Or the way he held a cigarette that didn’t match the action from a previous take. The smallest mistake irked her. Blake’s compulsive attention to detail helped her gain a reputation with some of the top film directors. They said she had an eagle eye. But she had retired years ago. Her days had become solitary. And now she was beginning to question her sanity.