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Call a dog and they come, call
a cat and they take a message
and get back to you later.
Oldwrench, chat 13th Apr


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Of Tomorrow's Hope

by mriq

Chapter 1

Darkness... Let Darkness engulf them.

Sounds like something you'd find a religious text or something. Hey, maybe that's what this will turn out to be. The feel of pain will reside as a phantom at my side. And yet remorse, I feel none. It was necessary, so I did it. No remorse, not a second of doubt. I've never been so single-minded in the entire span of my previously hollow existence. No doubt. One might say I'm trying to convince only me, but isn't that a worthy person of convincing? The rest will understand, sooner or later, probably later...

I won't bother backtracking. There's just no point in doing so. A fact remains, one fact alone, they didn't arrive. They were already here.


"AND ... ACTION !!!"

As the bike went hurling towards the far left wall in between the explosions, Colt was all professional. Anything else could get you killed in this line of work. But he was the star and this is what he's getting paid to do. The jerk from the rope attached to his back, the rope that threw him out of harm's way, he used to jokingly call it his lifeline. But now it's just the harbinger of pain. As the pain stopped and he felt the welcome cold of the plastic substance that was used to create his safety net, he though to himself: "I am getting old!"

The door of his trailer slammed shut as Colt put himself in front of his makeup mirror. Every fibre of his body was reminded of sensations not long gone as he stretched his arms upward. Damn, that was you get for electing yet another actor as your president. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his second term now in the oval room, but the law dated from his first years. The law that dictated all actors in any movie must perform their own stunts. Well, at least he shouldn't complain. It's what had made him the superstar he is today. Colt Ardente, action hero extraordinaire. Used to be plain Chad Allen, until my agent thought up an improved name. A name with a nice ring to it.

Ah well, it's not so bad. You get the fame, the money, the girls. It should have stopped there. But then I got the dreams. At first I thought them to be a side effect from one of those designer drugs they serve at the parties. An old man, sitting in a room barely lit by a single candle, writing. Always writing, and mumbling. Mumbling words too silent to hear, too jumbled to understand. I don't want to sleep, for in that blissful state they come to you. Tried a shrink at first, but she didn't understand. The psychic gave me a bullshit line like "You will find your destiny". Might as well have said I was about to meet the love of my life. I can't even believe I ever went there. The C.A.T. scans, the new age crap, the acupuncture, none of them worked. It was driving me to the brink of madness, and not only me.

Margaret Ellen Parsings, the woman I married. The only girl in between all the showbiz dames I always return to. She knows of the dreams, how could I not tell her? But she doesn't judge, she never has in the past. Ah, sweet Maggie, my salvation, a bright spot in my dull life of shallowness and hypocrisy. Were I the ruler of a universe, she would be my queen. She always seems so much more aware than me, more alert. Not to mention way more disturbed by these weird dreams than I am. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear she was having them to, but repressing her own discomfort to nurture my wounds. She doesn't like the fact though that I'm going to see this dream prophetess after today's shoot.

Ehlana, this dream prophetess, supposedly lives all the way up in Chicago. A full ten hours worth of a drive. She's supposed to be all that in the field of dreams. Never heard of her, but a friend of mine recommended her when he got wind of my insomnia. Phoned her up to make an appointment, only to get what appeared to be her secretary, some woman who told me to come today. Like I, THE CUSTOMER, had to make due with the time she would afford me. This better be good, or I'm gonna blow a fuse. Ah man, the attitude some people will give you when they don't know who you are, can be so annoying, not to mention trying at times. And although I'm usually not a violent man, restless nights will change a man's composure, his mental framework so to speak.

Man, it really ticks me off, you know. The incompetence, the helplessness to do something about any situation. I'm smart, I'm physically strong, handsome, successful. The list is impressive. And then to be grounded again by something so menial as you own sub conscience. My head is supposed to be in the clouds, I'm a movie star. I should be able to follow the hype religion of the moment, and lose my subconscious worries by the magic wave of a bank roll. I...

Three hard knocks bring me back to reality as a well-known voice speaks out to me from behind the trailer door: "Mister Ardente, it's time for your next scene." As I get out of my chair, I shout some words of acknowledgement to the studio's gopher boy. Lunch break's over, back to work.

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