"I think that we're all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better."
- Quote by Stephen King
It was a dark night on Drury Lane. Most of the street lights had be smashed by juvenile boys playing in the streets. Just one or two of the eerie vapor lights were left on along the block.
Jonathan Hargrove carries a single bag of groceries, listening and watching carefully as he negotiates the darkness between the few pools of light on the street.
Moving down the block, all the shops are abandoned with broken windows. He stops in one of the pools of light listening. From behind him he hears a low wheezy sound, like some huge panting dog.
He walks on and it follows. As he hurries to the next pool of light and safety, his ears strain for the nearly silent panting and wheezing steadily following.
Suddenly, he hears that panting closer and closer until it's nearly right behind him. He starts running through the streets and alleys, terrified.
Winded, he eventually stops, his hand trembling, listening. Now he can almost feel the dog's breath on the back of his neck.
He eyes the old Claymore mansion across the street, quickly turning and making a sprint towards the front door. He takes his key, hands shaking, turning the old rusted lock. The door opens.
Inside, safe. Catching his breath, he starts running up the stairs to a room on the third floor.
He scans out his window down towards the dark street. Suddenly, something moving on the empty street catches his eye. He slams the window down and turns the lock, backing up into a corner.
The room is filled with shadows crawling across the floor and ceiling. He waits listening to his own heavy breathing.
Instantly, the glass window shatters into pieces as a large growling animal lunges towards Hargrove landing in front of him. It's long black head seems almost demonic beneath the black fur.
It's glaring eyes stares at Hargrove, as his long clawed paws dig into the floor holding it's position, it's razor sharp teeth and drooling tongue waiting.
"Cut! That's a wrap," film director Anthony Riggs yells moving from his chair. "We'll take it up from here tomorrow.
Jim!" Looking over at the character playing Jonathan Hargrove, "I want you to stick around and go over that sequence in the street again. Too many stops and pauses...
run it smooth through the sequence. And Bill," turning towards the dog trainer, "work on that jump through the window. The dog stopped and shook off the fake glass.
Get him to jump right into the room crawling over to Hargrove, no stopping." "Ok people, we'll pick it up tomorrow at 6am."
"Excuse me Mr. Riggs," catching the director packing up his briefcase, "You said you wanted me to stay here and work on the street scene?"
Mr. Riggs pauses, then closes his briefcase. "What's the matter, afraid of ghosts," starting to laugh.
"No, it's just I have things to do at home."
"Let me tell you something Jim, I gave you a chance on this film because I trusted you to do a good job. All I'm asking you is to take a few hours and get the scene right."
"But it's after 10pm."
"So use the old mansion over there we rented for the indoor shots. Plenty of beds if ya get tired.
As a matter of fact, you might even work on that scene upstairs where the dog jumps through the window. See ya tomorrow Jim," walking towards his car.
"Mr. Riggs!" Yelling towards the car. "Wait!" The car disappears into the darkness. "Asshole.
" He turns towards the old mansion; walks across the street through the darkness until he reaches the front door. He cracks the lock open.
It was dark except for a few dim lights hanging on the walls wrapping shadows around the furnishings.
He turns towards the staircase stepping up to the third floor where the dog scene was filmed. The air smells rancid like a morgue.
He drops his backpack on the hallway floor, leans against the cracked plastered wall, then slowly slides down the wall to the floor. "Practice the upstairs scene huh...," thinking to himself.
"Anything you want Mr. Riggs...sure, why not, but I got a better idea," smiling.
Next Day 6am.
"Alright people!" Mr. Riggs calling through a microphone. "We'll start with the dog jumping through the window scene. I'm losing my patience on this one," glancing over at the dog trainer.
"Better get it right this time Bill," then waves over Jim.
"Yes Mr. Riggs?"
'Did you practice those scenes last night?"
"Yes sir, got them all done. I think you'll be surprised."
"Well if I don't like it you're out. Can't waste any more of my time on piss poor talent," moving towards the main camera.
"Mr. Riggs?" Following him.
"What now?" Turning around.
"I'm just not quite sure about my reactions to the dog once he confronts me. Would you mind showing me...I mean taking the part upstairs?"
Riggs shakes his head, then picks up the microphone. "Change of plans people. I gotta show what's his name here how to do a scene. Get the dog ready for the window jump.
I'll play the guy inside," looking over at Bill. "You ready with the dog?"
"All ready boss."
Okay, let's do this people. When I get upstairs I'll call out action when I'm in position."
The scene is ready to be shot. Mr. Riggs is in position. He yells action!
Instantly, the glass window shatters into pieces as a large growling animal lunges towards Riggs landing in front of him. It's long black head seems almost demonic beneath the black fur.
It's glaring eyes stares at Riggs as his long clawed paws dig into the floor holding it's position, it's mouth drooling as it growls showing it's razor sharp teeth.
The dog jumps on Riggs knocking him to the floor slashing his skin with it's claws. The camera keeps rolling. The dog lunges over Riggs' face, gnashing a deep hole in his neck.
Blood flows across the floor. The dog moves over Riggs' body ripping pieces of skin off in shreds, then stops, looks up and begins to howl."
"Cut!" Yells Jim. "That's a wrap." The crew stands in silence, then turns to see Jim, the one who plays the character Jonathan Hargrove sitting in the director's chair.
The dog trainer approaches Jim. "What the hell just happened?"
"Just finishing up the scene."
"Finishing up the scene? My dog just ripped Riggs to pieces."
"Ya, well I rewrote part of the script for your dog."
"What are you talking about? My dog can't read."
"Really? Why don't you ask him," smiling.
- Story by Abbie Stewart
© 2018 ABBIE STEWART ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ON WRITTEN MATERIAL