Friday, 22 October 2010

Flattened episode 1. Idiot boy and the Paranoid Persona

Hello everyone again. Here's chapter two of my sitcom Flattened. For those of you who may have missed it, I've attached chapter one as well. 

Hope you enjoy

Chapter one

Rob Saunders looked at himself in the wide mirror and wondered how he got here. How does a man born into a normal working class family in Birmingham find himself in the dressing room at Wembley Arena, about to perform in front of 50,000 adoring fans? It's ridiculous, it's absured, some would say it was unfair and yet, here he was. He was playing out everybodys childhood fantasy. He was a rockstar, he had the entourage, the girls, the drugs, the drink, everything. His album had the highest amount of downloads ever, he was on the front cover of every single magazine in the country, he was on the verge of cracking America and in a few moments time he would be able to utter those immortal words, "Good evening Wembley!"

There was a short knock on the dressing room door and the slim, attractive PA, who still managed to look sexy wearing knockabout clothes and huge headphones round her slim attractive neck simply said, "5 minutes Rob"

Rob didn't look around, he just stared at his face in the mirror. He was searching for something in those eyes. An answer perhaps? An answer to how he made it here but then did he want an answer? Wasn't it better to just accept what life, fate, God, whoever had given you and not ask any questions? Ask no questions, tell no lies. His mind raced, his heart thumped, the pulse in his temple throbbed so hard he thought it would burst out the side of his head and run out the fire escape and through the backstreets of London. This was no time for philosophical questions and soul searching, this was a time for doing what he did best, being a rock god! He pushed back his chair, checked his hair one last time, took a large swig of Jack Daniels straight out the bottle and walked out the dressing room to take hold of his destiny.

As soon as Rob stepped out the door, the 3 huge black security guards flanked him on all sides to shield him from the hangers on the paparazzi. Rob barely the noticed the hustle anymore. When he first encountered it, he had found it terrifying and more than a little bizarre. Why would so many people be interested in him? He wasn't anybody special. Now he was used to it and didn't even hear the questions being fired at him, the screams and pleadings from the nubile young girls who seemed to constantly follow him around. Nor did the constant flash of cameras trouble him. He was in the zone, all he could hear was his own heartbeat and the distant sound of 50,000 people chanting his name.

Rob reached the the edge of the stage. His band were already there, nervously jiggling their legs or just staring into middle distance. There was no need for group hugs, communal prayers, words of encouragement or any of the other crap that seems endemic when you're about to go on stage. They knew they were good, they knew they were tight. Nothing needed to be said.

The lights were beaming down on the stage, catching the dancing dust as they cut there way through the fug of sweat and stale alcohol. Some people had already started throwing the plastic glasses half full of cheap lager around the venue. The moshers down the front were hanging over the metal railings, straining every sinew to get as close to the stage and their idol as possible. Rob's heart started beating even harder. He could taste the aluminum of fear burning at the back of his throat when the lights dimmed. The crowd erupted, then band stepped onto the stage. Mick, the languidly cool guitarist, gently squeezed the back of Robs head in a single gesture that summed up everything and took his place at the front of stage. He strapped on his black and white Rickenbacker and struck the opening chord of "Kick in the teeth". Rob took a deep breath, closed his eyes and stepped out into the wall of screams.

When Rob opened his eyes, the view was somewhat different. Wembley Arena had somehow transformed itself into a public toilet, and his adoring public had shrunk to a toilet attendant and dodgy looking man with a wispy beard and a dirty shell suit. Also neither of them looked particularly adoring. In fact the attendant was growing increasingly hostile. His mouth was moving but nothing was coming out of it. The occasional bit of angry spittle landed on Rob's face as the tirade seemed to grow in intensity. Why couldn't Rob hear him? The music! Of course, the music was drowning out this scary looking man with the wild eyes and nicotine stained fingers. Rob turned round to tell the band to stop playing for a moment, but the band weren't there. Where was the music coming from? His ipod! Of course. Rob pulled the headphones out of his ears.

".........You stupid wanker!". Rob looked confused. The attendant just stared at Rob as if waiting for an answer.
"Pardon?" asked Rob?
"I said what the bloody hell are you doing in here singing that shit into the mirror you stupid wanker?"
Rob just stared at the attendant. "Background music" replied Rob matter of factly

Chapter 2
Bill Turnbull made a lightening quick assessment of the situation and decided that it was now or never. If there was one thing he'd learnt from watching 24 and Spooks it was, if you stand still, you're a dead man. He dashed across the empty road. If anyone had been watching all they would have seen was a flash of khaki, they couldn't have proved who it was except maybe guess that he was a member of the special forces. Bill got to the building on the opposite side of the road and flattened himself against the wall just a black BMW came round the corner. This could be serious he thought. Undercover police often drive around in black Beamers and he was convinced that they were onto him. He pushed himself further into the wall hoping somehow that he might actually come part of the wall and waited for the car to pass. The BMW sped past, it's tinted windows seeming to sneer at the world and the deep bass of the hardcore garage music sticking one finger up at the world whilst rattling the windows of respectable society. Bill remained in the position for a moment longer, then relaxed when he heard the bass fade away. Even the police drew the line at pimping their cars to that extent. He was safe for the time being. However the biggest challenge was still to come. He still had to gain access to the building and not arouse suspicion. What would James Bond do in this situation? Make a witty comment then sleep with the nearest beautiful woman probably. Bill mulled it over for a moment but quickly decided that it probably wasn't the best course of action for this particular situation. Luckily, he'd come prepared. He put his rucksack down beside him and extracted the change of clothes he'd brought with him. Hiding in plain sight, blending in with your surroundings. That was the way forward. He pulled out the sensible chinos, the jumper with the collar and cuffs already attached and started to remove his camouflage fatigues.

Bill strode confidently into the designated room of the building in his new disguise with some books tucked under his arm. His luck was in, not only was it deathly quiet but the woman behind the desk was the lugubrious teenager who wouldn't have noticed you if you'd have been stark naked and came in with Elvis Presley and the Queen Mother in a shopping trolley. He slid the books over the desk to her and walked quickly past and through the barriers. She hadn't bothered looking up, she was too busy reading the autobiography of some WAG to even notice the outside world. Thank god for minor celebrities and their books, thought Bill. It makes my life so much easier sometimes.
He went over to the row of computers and flicked the mouse of the first one he came to. The screen woke up and asked him to type in his password. He moved to the next one and did the same thing. Same response from the computer. He tried each one in turn but it was no good. None of them had been used recently so he was going to have to go and buy some credits which could compromise his identity. He'd ridden his luck so far and got away with it, so he wasn't entirely surprised and there could have been worse places for his luck to run out. He'd have to take a chance with the ghoulish teenager and her literature of doom

When Bill got to the desk, the books he'd slid across on his way in were still at the same slightly skew if angle they'd ended up in and the teenager still seemed to be be in exactly the same position as before. Even more comatose than usual, thought Bill. This is good. Bill coughed lightly to inform the teenager of his presence. She didn't move. Bill coughed again, a little louder this time. Still nothing. Maybe the teenager wasn't real. Maybe she was made of wax and set up here in an attempt to disguise the buildings woeful under staffing. Maybe she'd been drugged by the secret service and this was a trap designed to capture Bill in the act? Time was ticking. Bill would have to go for the direct approach
"Excuse me, could I have the password for the computer please?"

The most remarkable thing then happened. Without taking her eyes off the page and with extraordinary economy of movement, her hand swooped down under the desk and brought out the slip of paper with today's password on it then held it out for Bill to take. Bill had to admire the graceful movement of her action. If she'd have pulled out a gun instead of a harmless piece of paper, he'd have been killed instantly, so mesmerised was he by this balletic performance of sheer lethargy. Bill took the piece of paper and went back to the computer. He didn't even have to give his name to her. The gods were on his side today alright.

He sat down at the computer, opened one of his many email accounts he had under different names and composed what was on his mind

To the editor of Weird Weekly Wonderings, RE Poisonous monkeys. 
Dear sir, in the article last week entitled “Poisonous Monkeys are amongst us” you neglected to tell us how said monkeys became poisonous in the first place and what symptoms we should look out for if we are bitten by one! What with the threat of international terrorism and cancerous sausages looming over us like a circling vulture waiting to pick the bones of humanity, I find it very irresponsible that you should print a story of this magnitude and not tell what poisonous substances these monkeys were subject to in the first place and how we should also avoid the potential threat ourselves. 
Please rectify this in future issues, as I’d hate for an article like this to stir up hysteria unnecessarily. 

Yours, Bill Turnbull

Bill sent the email, deleted the browser history and shut the computer down. Mission accomplished and he hadn't been rumbled!

Bill walked out past the teenager who still hadn't moved, stopped briefly to pick up two leaflets entitled "Should I be afraid of Magpies?" and "Cholesterol- Delicious but Deadly" and went back outside. Today was going to be a good day! 

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