The cinema of my dreams – It all started in Venice – Episode 10

Could Juliet be slightly jealous?

I got back to the hotel just before Cecilia was leaving.  She was wearing what I would call her party clothes, something that left little to the imagination, but not different from the many others trying to be noticed.

I had thought of using the analogy that she was going to be a single tree in a forest of similar trees, but it was probably something she already knew.

And a pity she felt she needed to make such an entrance just to be noticed, and probably to some, for all the wrong reasons.  At least she was gaining experience for what I called her day job.

“I’ll be back to make an impression on your friend,” she said.

She didn’t need to say anymore.  Impression would be an understatement.  But it might, quite literally, shake the trees to see what falls out.

A half-hour later there was a light rapping on my door.  I was not expecting any visitors, so it could be one of three options, Cecilia was back early or changed her mind though I seriously doubted it, or Juliet was being pre emotive, or perhaps it was just one of the hotel staff.

Whomever it was, I made the necessary preparations, just like in the old days, and opened the door.  There was always that moment of unpreparedness, that someone would come crashing through the door and take you by surprise.

Happened once, not again.

“Juliet.”  More a statement than a question, it should not be a surprise but it was.

She had dressed for dinner, not as Cecilia would, but she had made an effort.  Had Cecilia made that happen?

And yet the first question to come to mind is, “How did you know I was here?”

“Simple, I saw you go into this room.  It had to be either you, or the girl, so I made a choice.  I was not sure what I was going to do or say if I was wrong.”

“It wouldn’t bother Cecilia.  She and I, were just old friends.”

“Like us?”

“Are we old friends.  It seems to me that we had something else back then, for a brief time, until I had to go back.”

“You never did explain what happened to you.”

“No, and the less said about it the better.  I was young and stupid, like all men of that age, and I cheated death.  I was lucky, very lucky, and, I might add, very lucky too that you were my doctor.”

“May I come in?”

Standing in the passage discussing personal matters might have been more embarrassing for her than for me.  I stood to one side and let her pass.  There was no fount in my mind she had a device that was sending our conversation back to Larry.

There would be questions, probing for the truth.  Who I was, what I did, where I’d been.  Now, or over dinner, it was her task

I closed the door and leaned against it.

I had to ask, “What are you doing here?”

A puzzled look came over her face, surprised perhaps I’d be that direct in asking.

“I thought you asked me to dinner.”

“I did.”

“We’re you just asking for the sake of asking?”  There was a tinge of disappointment in her tone.

“No.  I thought dinner would be good since Cecilia is out there promoting herself. She asked me to come along and see what it is like, but it’s too near the limelight for me.”

“Do you and her have a thing?”

I’m not sure what ‘a thing’ meant.  “If you mean, a romantic attachment, no.  It’s too soon after Angelina’s death.  I may never get over it, but Cecilia popped up and said she was coming and she’s good fun.  And being seen with her makes me look good for an over-the-hill retiree.”

That might make it reasonably clear if she wanted to push this to another level it wasn’t going ti work.  Larry would be disappointed.  It would be interesting to see what she had as a plan B.

“You’re not that old, just out of practice, but I get it.  That doesn’t mean we can’t have dinner.”

“No, it does not.”

I thought about taking her to the hotel restaurant, but in the end opted for a long walk to St Mark’s square, one where a band was playing Rogers and Hammerstein musical songs.

The distance between us wasn’t physical, she was right beside me, so close I could have reached out and taken her hand in mine, it was the thought of her duplicity.

If she told me what was happening, I would have tried very hard to get her out of the predicament and take away Larry’s perceived advantage.

I hadn’t activated the scrambler, so Larry was no doubt listening in, but the conversation wouldn’t be all that informative.  I spoke about Venice, deliberately, and of Angelina.  Larry could make of that whatever he wanted.

At the restaurant we sat near to the orchestra, to help obfuscate the sound, and opposite each other.  She was drinking champagne; I was having a beer.

“So, what have you been doing with yourself since I last met you?”

It begins.

© Charles Heath 2022

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium

And probably would be, if I was away on holidays in Europe, simply because I’ve always wanted to be in Belgium on a Tuesday just so I could use that line.

By the way, it’s out of a movie, but I’m not sure which one.  Obviously, it wasn’t that great if I can’t remember it.

But…

Searching for locations for my stories takes a lot of time and effort, using Google Earth and other means like street view.  Finding houses, or apartments required a great deal of real estate research, almost to the point of buying a property.

Is there any better way to see the street it’s in, the neighbors, the neighborhood, and inside the house and gardens.  Almost as if you lived there, which of course you do in the story.

In reality, I’m in Canada on the trans-Canada highway heading towards Banff, on icy roads in winter.  Yes, that’s where we were this year in early January, getting a feel for the place, the roads, the weather, the people, and the places.

Cold, yes.  Atmospheric, yes, exciting, double yes.  Sometimes research is really fun, well, I don’t call it that, otherwise everyone else will think it was not the birthday treat that it was meant to be.

And was.

My wife’s 65th birthday will be one she certainly will never forget.

So..,

Writing is proceeding better now that I’ve knuckled down.  The Trans-Canada experience has been translated into a story attached to a photo and will be posted soon

The treasure hunt has taken shape, now that it’s moved beyond the initial two episodes, and we’re digging in for the long haul.  New players, and contingency plans.  Evil will be lurking behind and under every rock.

And as for the helicopter crash and its aftermath, this morning a new idea and direction came to me, and this saw frantic scribble notes before I lost it.  At least, I was not in the shower this time.

It’s going to have three parts, the first is nearly done, the second, clearly formed in my mind, the third, well isn’t that always about retribution or revenge.

We shall see.

And the Being Inspired series just got 39 and 40 written, and ready to be published.

The cinema of my dreams – I never wanted to go to Africa – Episode 10

It’s still a battle of wits, but our hero knows he’s in serious trouble.

The problem is, there are familiar faces and a question of who is a friend and who is foe made all the more difficult because the enemy if it is the enemy, doesn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.

Nor does it help when his old mentor walks through the door.

 

I don’t like surprises.  This dislike had started with a surprise birthday party about 10 years ago and since then I’ve assiduously tried to avoid them.

Of course, there are also surprises you have no control over, and I liked them even less.

Bluff and bravado would only carry me so far.  These people whoever they were would not accept that I knew nothing about what had just happened.

Which I didn’t.

It was not the A interrogation team with a chest full of torture tools and dressed in hazmat suits, but when the harbinger of my fate walked into the room, it was something a lot scarier.

A man I knew well or thought I did until he walked in the door, I had the utmost respected for.

Colonel Bamfield.  My first Commanding Officer, the man who cut me some slack, and made me into a soldier.

Now, all I had was questions, but I was on the wrong side of the table.

The first, what the hell was going on here?

My first inclination was to stand and salute a superior officer, but he was not wearing the uniform, not the proper uniform I was used to seeing him in.  My second inclination was to ask him what he was doing in that room with me, but I didn’t.

Speak when spoken to, and don’t volunteer information.

He too tried the silent treatment, or maybe it was that he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him.

Then, still standing behind the table, looking down on me, he said, “That was some jump you made from a moving helicopter.”  Was there a touch of admiration in his tone?

“Life or death.  Anyone one else is that situation would do the same.”

“Less than you’d think.”

Establishing camaraderie.  Or trying to.  I waited for the next question.

It wasn’t a question but a statement, “We have a problem Alan, and it’s not just with you.”

 

© Charles Heath 2019

Searching for locations: Gollums Pool, New Zealand

Tawhai Falls is a 13-meter high waterfall located in Tongariro National Park.

It is located about 4 km from the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre, on State Highway 48.

An easy walk takes just 10-15 minutes to reach the waterfall’s lookout.

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The top of the falls.  There was not much water coming down the river to feed the falls when we were there in May

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Tawhai Falls is also the filming location of Gollum’s pool where Faramir and his archers are watching Gollum fish.

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It’s a rocky walk once you are down at ground level, and it may be not possible to walk along the side of the stream if the falls have more water coming down the river from the mountain.

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A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 6

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today I’m looking at planning a revolution.

Of course, we all know that it is the military forces of a small country that takes over the democratically elected government, or one that is propped up by a superpower.

This is going to be different, and the people are going to run the revolution.

And like those about to make the attempt, I still have to work out the details, and I have a bit of reading to do.

One thing I do know is that you have to take over the airports, military bases, which might take some doing, and the media outlets like radio and television.

Fortunately, the country does not have a large military force, or at least, those among the military that will back the current government when push comes to shove.

They will also need another country’s backing, like the USA, Britain, or Europe. Will there be the CIA, the Russians and the Chinese there? Quite possibly.

We’ll see how it pans out.

Next, I’ll be looking at the conference, the capital city, the lay of the land, and the people.

Today’s word count: 2,689 words, for the running total of 13,413.

A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 6

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today I’m looking at planning a revolution.

Of course, we all know that it is the military forces of a small country that takes over the democratically elected government, or one that is propped up by a superpower.

This is going to be different, and the people are going to run the revolution.

And like those about to make the attempt, I still have to work out the details, and I have a bit of reading to do.

One thing I do know is that you have to take over the airports, military bases, which might take some doing, and the media outlets like radio and television.

Fortunately, the country does not have a large military force, or at least, those among the military that will back the current government when push comes to shove.

They will also need another country’s backing, like the USA, Britain, or Europe. Will there be the CIA, the Russians and the Chinese there? Quite possibly.

We’ll see how it pans out.

Next, I’ll be looking at the conference, the capital city, the lay of the land, and the people.

Today’s word count: 2,689 words, for the running total of 13,413.

A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 5

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today is another day for character development, and this time it is Inspector Delacrat.

The question is, how do you maintain that air of honesty and integrity in a country that is run by a cruel and murderous military junta.

How do you explain the disappearance of ordinary citizens during the night, when they are reported as missing?

There is, of course, something about the man that makes you think twice about whether he is to be tarred with the same brush as that of the military, or he’s just an Inspector in the police trying to do his job to the best of his ability, without running foul of the junta.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Something else to be aware of, there are rebels, dissidents, and revolutionaries, all lurking in the background, some overt, some invisible, all working towards the removal of the junta.

The conference is a means to get an international eye on the plight of the country, so will something happen?

Will the rebels make their move?

Will Delacrat find out, and will he try to stop it?

Is our main character’s real reason for being in the country to aid the rebels, or just ensure the safety of one of the delegates?

These are all questions that will be looked at as the story progresses.

Today’s word count: 2,829 words, for the running total of 10,724.

A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 5

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today is another day for character development, and this time it is Inspector Delacrat.

The question is, how do you maintain that air of honesty and integrity in a country that is run by a cruel and murderous military junta.

How do you explain the disappearance of ordinary citizens during the night, when they are reported as missing?

There is, of course, something about the man that makes you think twice about whether he is to be tarred with the same brush as that of the military, or he’s just an Inspector in the police trying to do his job to the best of his ability, without running foul of the junta.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Something else to be aware of, there are rebels, dissidents, and revolutionaries, all lurking in the background, some overt, some invisible, all working towards the removal of the junta.

The conference is a means to get an international eye on the plight of the country, so will something happen?

Will the rebels make their move?

Will Delacrat find out, and will he try to stop it?

Is our main character’s real reason for being in the country to aid the rebels, or just ensure the safety of one of the delegates?

These are all questions that will be looked at as the story progresses.

Today’s word count: 2,829 words, for the running total of 10,724.

A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 5

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today is another day for character development, and this time it is Inspector Delacrat.

The question is, how do you maintain that air of honesty and integrity in a country that is run by a cruel and murderous military junta.

How do you explain the disappearance of ordinary citizens during the night, when they are reported as missing?

There is, of course, something about the man that makes you think twice about whether he is to be tarred with the same brush as that of the military, or he’s just an Inspector in the police trying to do his job to the best of his ability, without running foul of the junta.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Something else to be aware of, there are rebels, dissidents, and revolutionaries, all lurking in the background, some overt, some invisible, all working towards the removal of the junta.

The conference is a means to get an international eye on the plight of the country, so will something happen?

Will the rebels make their move?

Will Delacrat find out, and will he try to stop it?

Is our main character’s real reason for being in the country to aid the rebels, or just ensure the safety of one of the delegates?

These are all questions that will be looked at as the story progresses.

Today’s word count: 2,829 words, for the running total of 10,724.

A score to settle – The Editors Draft – Day 4

I have the story, the editor is asking for it, and I’m putting the final touches to it

Today is a day for character development, and especially for Teresa. She is going to be the devil in disguise, or maybe not.

We get to meet her when Quinn picked her out of a list of prospective candidates for partnering our main character, despite the fact he says he prefers to work alone.

Of course, the reason for that is obvious after the last mishap and the fact that the partner was killed. Before that, he didn’t have a problem, but now, the idea of someone getting killed on his watch is not something he wants.

But, he doesn’t know he’s getting a partner. She’ll be turning up on his doorstep, and he will not be in a position to refuse.

She is currently residing in a prison, well, that has something to do with an errant husband who some would say got what he deserved.

Is she innocent? Not everyone in prison is, despite what they say, and she never protested her innocence.

Quinn wants her on the team for two reasons, she is very dangerous, especially skilled in killing, but controllable, and more importantly, to keep our main character guessing why she is there.

Is she a bad girl from the wrong side of the tracks, or labelled such for so-called bad deeds?

It’s time to get on that particular roller coaster.

Today’s word count: 2,144 words, for the running total of 7,895.