Publish Novellas 11 December 2022
EPISODE 3 – PIER
As an unexpected outcome faces Luna, she must now focus her adrenaline on assessing a potential con artist.
Did you skip prior episode?
After pulling herself from the water at the pier, Luna takes deep breaths, hoping she doesn’t trigger an asthma attack. Then a muscular assailant confronts her. She prepares to do battle when Luna hears a loud shout…. “Cut!”
The assailant relaxes and a crew of six emerge from the shadows. One man steps into the foreground to congratulate Luna. “My name is Rex Lewis. We had high hopes for you… and you exceeded our expectations!”
Barely clothed and puzzled, Luna replies, “I don’t understand…. Who are you?”
“I’m a talent scout for the network who has been looking for a female action hero. Your improvised defensive driving, martial arts, and… your well-toned body—we were careful not to bruise—check all the boxes.”
Still confused, Luna protests, “This is not a good time…. I need to get away.”
“Luna, you are in no danger. This was an audition. You passed with flying colors—without a script! Don’t worry. I won’t press charges for nearly setting a car on fire at the gas station.”
“So the men… in the booth… to my right… in the restaurant…?”
“They are actors. You have many questions. Before we bring you some dry clothes, can I get you on film walking down the pier with this man you were about to pummel. This is unscripted. It just sells your romance potential.”
“Have you been filming me all along?” Luna asks, still trying to process the surrealism.
“Well, yes…. I’m known for clandestine camerawork. There’s a script for you to read. If you agree that you are perfect for the lead role, I’d like to negotiate your contract.
“Before you begin shivering, can we get the shot of you two walking down the peer like lovers? Just give us a posterior sexy sway while gazing in his eyes.”
“I’m not an actress and I don’t know him… or any of you. This doesn’t feel comfortable…. But I’ll give it a shot, I guess.”
“Come Danny. Join her. I’m hoping to get him a part in the movie too.”
“I’m sorry. This is all happening so fast…. Pose like this…?” Luna asks while walking down the pier, timid with everyone watching.
“Stop. Let me explain something. I want to make you a Hollywood star. To grow your fanbase, you need to become a sex symbol. Right now you’re just walking like you want to get to the end of the pier.
“I’m sorry. Are you embarrassed that everyone is looking at your backside? Stripping down to your undies was unscripted.
“No. I’m proud of my body. I put much time into keeping it toned. But you have cameras and I don’t know anyone….
“Then act like you’re proud of it. You’re dripping wet in bikini underwear. To many guys that would be something hot to watch. Remember the scene of Bo Derek when she came from the water? It defined her career! Give me a walk that would generate at least 10 thousand new social media followers.
“Either imagine it’s just you and Daniel on the pier or try to excite all men in my crew.Work your body like your career depends on it…. Action!”
Luna includes enough hip action to satisfy Rex. He then asks her to turn around for some solo sexy poses. “I’m not really groomed for bikini shots, so keep the photos above my waist,” Luna suggests.
“That’s a wrap, everybody! Get Luna some clothes.” Rex shouts to an assistant. Now addressing Luna, he says, “I have already paid for a room in the same resort hotel as everyone here. You’ve had an exhausting day. Enjoy any of the hotel amenities on the house.
“We will have brunch in the resort restaurant at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Bring your list of questions. Here’s my card. Gabriela will drive you to the Coastal Beach Luxury Resort and get you groomed for tomorrow’s photoshoots.”
Still in shock from the events, Luna replies, “Everything is so surreal. I have too many questions to ask right now. Thank you for giving me time to organize my thoughts. But all the footage of me…, I never signed a release. It’s not going to show up on the internet, is it?”
“You’re right. I don’t have your signature on anything. You will need to sign an agreement authorizing me to be your agent. Then another authorizing your agent to promote your brand.
“I can tell you now that you photograph well. There aren’t any movies in your résumé, so need to build out your own website with photos and videos.”
“Wow, a website about me! That sounds good. But I need to approve the photos.”
“Of course! First you’ll establish the limits of what we shoot. Then you will be the one posing. That’s implied approval. Get some rest. Tomorrow we can talk about the millions of dollars you can make.”
In the hotel room, Luna strips below the waist so Gabriela can shave her pubic hairs for photography in bikinis. “I’ve never had a personal groomer before…. My gynecologist is usually the only woman with this view…. But I trust you’re going to keep things professional.”
Luna cannot get any rest. Luna stays up building her list of questions and enjoying room service in her plush suite.
The next morning, Luna meets Rex in the restaurant according to schedule.
Rex stands to welcome her. “Please have a seat. You’re as prompt as you are beautiful. I like it.”
“Thank you again…, for everything. I’m not used to having a personal assistant shave my private area for me. Hopefully, that’s not TMI,” Luna responds while sitting down and pulling out the questions she compiled on her phone.
“Yes, Gabriela is quite versatile. Before we get down to business, let me order something for you. How about a feta-spinach omelet… or a waffle? Both are amazing.”
“Thank you. I’ll splurge on the waffle, but don’t expect me to finish it.”
“With my business card, perhaps you visited the website last night. So you know I’ve been in this industry for 20 years. I’ve lasted so long because I can spot stars. I was tasked to locate fresh talent for a blockbuster action flick. That’s where you come in.”
“The information on your site was very impressive. But what made you pick me? I mean, without being an actress, how did you find me?”
“Don’t expect me to reveal all my methods. It’s a combination of social media research, referrals, and investigation. We had eyes on you for some time.
“But your impressive skills at the karate dojo against Sarah heightened interest in your potential. I planted the seed in the restaurant. Then you sprang into action, creating a suspenseful drama!”
“It sounds like you were stalking me.”
“I call it… investigation or scouting. Due diligence is necessary before I negotiate lucrative contracts for a client in the big studios.”
“I may be an avid reader of mystery novels, but I’m not an actress.”
“You improvised surprisingly well. I can get you an acting coach. If hired, production would not begin for a few months. But you are right. I can’t walk in and represent you as an Academy Award winning actress.
“Ability to do some of your own stunts is a plus. But sell producers on your face and sexy body. If you are prudish about that, let me know up front and I will focus resources on my number-two prospect.”