Because I missed yesterday’s TTT (by the way, really nice quotes everyone!), I am going to share another chapter from my NaNo-novel Dreamer again. I know that my logic doesn’t exactly make sense, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. (Read Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and/or Chapter 3 by clicking on them!)
I’m not really all too happy about this one, but editing comes later … We get to see a little of Clara’s life for a change, since we already know a bit about Wick and his friends now. I don’t think I need to tell you much more than that. I am still 10K or so behind on my word count and I doubt it will get much better with the Comic Con coming up this weekend. Well, I can still do it. Positive thoughts everyone!
“Here’s your Chai Tea Latte.
“Thank you, B. Chai Latte is the only thing that keeps me going through long days like today.” Gratefully Clara took a sip from the steaming cup and smiled at her assistant.
“You know that it doesn’t actually contain caffeine, right? You shouldn’t need it in order to function.”
“Tea has caffeine, just a little less than coffee.”
“This isn’t tea, this is some kind of syrup with hot milk and foam. That’s all.”
“It still works.”
“Probably only because of all the sugar …” Bianca said with a grin on her face.
“Well, if it’s sugar, we better get going. Sugar highs never last long.”
After Clara’s dramatic call in the middle of the night, Bianca couldn’t recall all too much the next morning. They talked again in the early hours and Bianca did her best to prepare as much as possible for the upcoming photo shoot. The magazine that hired them loved the idea, but weren’t too happy about the short notice. Clara was lucky that her dream image came so close to current fashion trends in the industry.
“Seriously Clara, you have to give them more time to prepare for this sort of stuff.”
“I work best under pressure and it looks like you made it work.”
“Barely! Do you know how early I had to get up in order to get the set ready?”
“Everything before noon is early for you.”
“That’s not the point!”
“It kind of is …”
“Nevermind, there’s no use in arguing with you. They’ve sent some clothes for you to choose from. I’ve pretty much prepared the light and the background, it only needs approving, and here’s a shot of the model.”
She handed her a headshot of a brown-haired guy with grey eyes and Clara’s face turned into a scowl.
“What’s wrong now? I don’t know much about these things, but he’s pretty hot for a guy, right?”
“Yeah, I guess he’s handsome.”
“Then what on earth is the problem? You never care about which models to shoot and he was the first choice of the magazine. They specifically booked him because it’s a cover shoot.”
“The eyes are alright I guess, a little flat maybe. It’s just … the hair. The guy I met …” Clara stopped dead in her tracks. What had she just said? And why had she said it?
“You met a guy!? And you are just now telling me about it!?” Clara could feel herself blush and struggled to find the words to rationally explain herself.
“No, what I was trying to say is, the guy I imagined, meaning the one before my inner eye, he looked different.”
“But you said met. I definitely heard you saying ‘the guy I met’. I don’t think that’s ever happened. Not since I know you at least.” Clara was getting frustrated with her friend. She knew that her dating life was non-existent, Bianca didn’t have to make such a big deal out of it.
“So what? I misspoke, it happens.”
“Okay, whatever. Maybe they can tweak what is wrong with him in hair & make-up?”
“I doubt that they will want to dye his hair a dirty blond.”
“Nope, that’s definitely not going to happen. You’ll have to live with what you’ve got.”
Clara shrugged, but somehow it bothered her that her vision wouldn’t be a 100% accurate to what she pictured last night. She saw it as clear as daylight in front of her eyes: a guy with animated grey-eyes and messed-up dirty blond hair leaning against a wall in a dark alley. He didn’t quite look like he belonged there. He looked too polished and sharp in his clothes, like someone dropped him from an office into a sketchy neighbourhood without proper warning. His clothes had a gleam to them, as if they were a little metallic. When you looked at him, your vision focused on him and him alone, everything else became blurry and not worth exploring in detail. Shadows were dancing on his face with only the moon and some lampposts as source of light. That’s what she wanted to recreate for the magazine. That’s what would have convinced everyone to open the pages, eager to find out more inside.
As soon as Clara entered the set, she knew that her assistant had truly done her best though. She had no idea how Bianca worked her magic and produced something like this in such short time, but at least the backdrop for the shoot looked almost identical to what she had had in mind. A grey brick wall with sloppy, colourless graffiti sprayed on it definitely did the trick. She turned on the power to see how Bianca had arranged the lights and they cast shadows in just the right way, making the scene look a little haunted.
“It’s perfect, B!”
There wasn’t much that made Bianca blush, but commending her on her work always did. Clara had mostly given her free reign lately, but it seemed to her that Bianca still had trouble believing in herself, even though she was more than capable and had a great eye for detail.
“Oh stop it. I know a girl who works as a set designer in film and she owed me.” Bianca always knew some guy or girl who owed her a favour. Clara often wondered how she did it, because she never seemed to run out of connections who were pretty much willing to do anything for her. Even after all the years they’ve known each other now, Bianca mostly seemed like some sort of magical unicorn to her that never ceased to produce miracles out of nothing.
They continued their prep until the model arrived and Clara instructed him on what she had in mind for the shoot. Bianca had been right, he was really good-looking, but something in his energy was lacking. As she placed him on set and adjusted the light, the spark just wouldn’t come.
“Okay, what was your name again?”
“Max Cooper.” He answered annoyed at her for forgetting.
“Sorry, I am not good with names,” Clara retorted, not really meaning it because she didn’t like his attitude. She had a difficult time establishing herself in the industry and making a name for herself. Not a lot of people took her serious at first. When her career suddenly sky-rocketed she definitely wasn’t the only person surprised, but she got to a point in her life where she could deal with those people. She didn’t have to let them talk down to her, in most situations she was the one with the power in her hands now. “Could you jump up and down a little?”
“You know,” Clara jumped up and down on the same spot a couple of times to show him what she meant. “It’s really not that difficult.”
“But why?” She was really close to answering “because I said so”, but stopped herself just in time.
“You look too tense, I’m hoping it will relax you a little.”
“But I thought you wanted me to look fierce!”
“Fierce yes, stoic in the process no.”
Max started jumping up and down, but not without sighing loudly first. Just then Bianca came up to her and told her that Gabe, Clara’s brother, was on the phone for her.
“Do you want me to tell him that you are busy?” Clara risked a quick glance at Max, who was still bouncing but somehow looked less animated than before and shook her head.
“No, I’ll take it.”
She grabbed the phone and rushed into her nearby office.
“You are the best brother in the whole wide world!”
“I already knew that, but thanks anyway. What happened?”
“I was so close to strangling the model we are working with today, but unfortunately we still need him. The magazine is really keen on getting him on the cover.”
“It does indeed. But what’s up? I assume you didn’t just call because of an overwhelming longing to talk to your sister.”
“Not this time I’m afraid. I just wanted to make sure you didn’t forget about tonight.”
“I told you she would forget.” A third voice suddenly joined the conversation.
“Am I on speaker phone?” Clara asked in fake exasperation. She knew her brother and sister-in-law way too well to be expect anything different.
“She made me do it, Clare-bear, I swear.”
“Oh shut up Gabe, as if I could make you do anything. If I could, you would have fixed the kitchen sink weeks ago. Hi Clara!”
“You never told me to fix the kitchen sink!”
“It’s obviously broken, do I really have to tell you that it needs fixing?”
“I’m not the one using it!”
“Neither am I!”
Clara listened to their friendly banter for a while, but at some point she got too impatient. “Let’s just face it guys, neither one of you really uses anything in the kitchen.” Ever since Gabe had met Mel, they either went out for dinner with other couples or were too tired from their busy day and simply ordered in. “Can we get back on topic now? What’s tonight?”
“It’s date night!” Mel and Gabe said in annoying unison and Clara’s face fell.
“Noooo. You promised you wouldn’t set me up again.”
“Technically we promised not to set you up again after your date with Lenny.”
“Because you won’t need to meet anyone else after Lenny. He’s perfect for you!” Gabe clearly wanted to defend himself, but it was a poor argument and Mel didn’t really make it better by trying to help out. Clara dreaded these so called “date nights”, nothing good ever came from them. The last guys Melinda had tried to force on her were absolutely terrible and incompatible with her.
“Wait, so his name is Lenny? Really?” She tried to combine his name with her own, like people did for their favourite OTPs and ships, but couldn’t come up with anything good.
“Don’t judge him before you’ve even met him.”
“Alright, alright. See you tonight then, I have to get back to work now.” She hung up before the others could say anything else. She inhaled deeply and then peeked out the door at the set. Bianca was trying to position Max in a way so that the light would hit him in just the right angle, but he kept making over the top gestures that always ruined the frame. She knew it was going to be a long day.
So, any remarks? I am happy about every little comment!! How is the rest of NaNoWriMo-dom doing? Everything going good on your front?