Authors: Ted Staunton
Tags: #General Fiction, #JUV019000, #JUV013000, #JUV030030
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ORCA BOOK PUBLISHER
Copyright Â© 2012 Ted Staunton
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Staunton, Ted, 1956-
Jump cut [electronic resource]/Ted Stuanton
Seven (the series)
Issued also in print format.
I. Title. II. Series: Seven the series (Online)
PS8587.T334J86 2012 jc813'.54 C2012-902622-0
First published in the United States, 2012
Library of Congress Control Number:
Spencer, an aspiring filmmaker, takes a trip to Buffalo to get a kiss from an aging movie star.
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Design by Teresa Bubela
Cover photography by Getty Images
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15Â Â 14Â 13Â Â 12Â Â â¢Â Â 4Â Â 3Â Â 2Â Â 1
In loving memory of my father,
Frederick William Staunton, and my grandfather,
William James Stewart; and for my son, Will Staunton.
BY SPENCER O'TOOLE
EXT.âA COUNTRY ROADâLONG SHOT, FROM ABOVEâDAY
A red Miata, top down, zooms along.
SPENCER (Colin Farrell?) is behind the wheel. His hair blows in the wind. He's all in black with cool black shades. His chiseled face has a three-day beard.
EXT.âGATES OF HUGE MANSIONâLONG SHOT, FROM ABOVEâDAY
Miata turns in at gates of a huge mansion.
EXT.âSTEPS OF MANSIONâTRACKING SHOT FOLLOWS FROM BEHIND SPENCERâDAY
SPENCER strides up steps to mansion. Door opens. BUTLER nods.
SPENCER walks down elegant hallway to giant doors.
He opens them.
INT.âMANSION LIBRARYâWIDE SHOT (SPENCER'S POINT OF VIEW)âDAY
Two of Spencer's cousins, COUSIN DJ and COUSIN STEVE, are arm wrestling while playing chess. COUSIN ADAM flicks knives into a target across the room. COUSIN WEBB hangs upside down, texting. Spencer's brother BUNNY is on the couch, playing with a tiger. BUNNY looks at SPENCER and nods. The LAWYER sits at a big desk.
MEDIUM SHOTâLAWYER AT DESK
Spencer. Good, we can get started. Gentlemenâ¦
WIDE SHOTâGROUP AROUND DESK
All sit around desk in leather chairs.
Sorry I'm late.
(putting knives in pockets)
They always call me when I'm making dinner.
It's nice to be wanted.
Ahem. Now then. Gentlemen, your grandfather's will is a curious affair. But then, he was a curious man.
All look up at painting of Grandpa in a massive, ornate gold frame.
CLOSE-UPâPAINTING OF GRANDPA
GRANDPA is wearing a cool leather flying jacket and a black beret. He's holding a Colt .45 and a compass.
LAWYER (OFF SCREEN)
Perhaps I should let him explainâ¦
Picture turns misty and swirls into a hologram. Pixels resolve into a 3-D GRANDPA. He's dressed all in black and now he's got a glass of whiskey and a cigar.
Boysâsorry, men. I have a final mission for each of you.
Just kidding. I wish though. Really, we take the 501 Queen streetcar to the lawyer's office: Deb, Jerry, Bunny and me. Deb and Jer are my mom and dad. B-Man Bunny is my baby brother. His real name is Bernard. He's twice as thick as me and maybe forty-three times stronger. Bunster is your go-to guy for jars that need opening or cars that need to be lifted with one finger.
The lawyer's office is downtown. Don't ask me where; all the way there I was streaming
on my cell phone. I've seen it fourteen times, but I like it. And I'm starting film studies in the fall at Humber College, so it's important that I study the fine pointsâlike Kiddo.
Also, it's better than listening to Deb and Jer. Deb is still uptight because Grandpa D was her dad and now he's dead. That's why we're going to see the lawyer. Deb insisted we dress up. Naturally that got Jer uptight too. Jer gets cranky when he has to take the bandanna off his head. Even Bunny knows that. Who knows why? It's not as if he doesn't have any hair. It's just that the front is creeping back toward his ponytail, which is something he really should lose, if you ask me. He hasn't asked.
Anyway, as we ride up in the elevator, Deb says to Jer, “You know how I feel about cowboy boots,” and Bun tugs at his collar and says, “This scratches,” and Jer hums “Ripple.” I keep my earbuds in and turn up the volume.
All my cousins and aunts and one uncle are in the office. We find seats and the lawyer comes in and starts talking. I'm not paying much attention because Kiddo is really swinging her swords now. Next thing I know, everyone starts jabbering and the lawyer is yelling “Just stop!” or something, and a minute later all the parents get up and leave the room.
What's up? I don't know. I shut down my phone. Bunny moves over and sits beside me. “We're okay, right?” he says.
“We're cool, Bun. Whatever's going on can't be that big a deal. I mean, we're not the grown-ups, right?” I tuck my phone in my pocket.
It turns out there's something to watch anyway. It also turns out that I'm wrong about it not being a big deal. The lawyer messes with the remote for a flat-screen
, and all of a sudden Grandpa D pops up on the screen, wearing his black beret.
The lighting is too bright. The colors are wild. Grandpa looks a little orange, as if he has makeup on. That alone would be pretty crazy. Grandpa D was not exactly what you'd call a makeup kind of guy. Jer always said he chewed rivets from his airplanes for mineral supplements. On the
, Grandpa starts blabbing away about loving us all. It's kind of weird, seeing as how he's dead.
Bunny shakes my arm. “What's going on?”
“Ssh. We'll find out.”
“What's Grandpa saying?”
“He loves you.”
“I know that,” Bunny says. “So?”
Actually, it's a good question. No matter what Grandpa is saying in his video, I'm pretty sure he liked Bunny a lot more than he liked me. He'd start glowing anytime Bun wanted to wrestle or when he crushed a baseball out of the park. Comics and gaming? Nah, not so much. And Jer's “Front Porch Farmer” column for the
? I don't think so.
Grandpa D was always after me to do manly stuff, although once he gave me a list of old movies he thought I should watch. That was nice, even though I'm not much of a black-and-white guy. I decide to look up the list when I get home, maybe watch a couple as my tribute to Grandpa.
Except now it sounds as if Grandpa has other plans for us. I listen more closely. Bunny is hissing at me again. “What's happening?”
“He wants us to do something.”
“We have to wait and see, Bun.”
I shoot a quick look at my cousins. Bunny is a loud whisperer. They're cool with it though. They usually are. I don't have a lot in common with these guys, but they're good about Bun.
Video Grandpa tells us he has a task for each of us and then the movie is over. The lawyer is handing out large sealed brown envelopes to all us cousins. Now Bunny isn't the only one who's confused. We're all looking around, wondering, Whaaat? Do we open these now?
In a movie, this is where you'd cut to black.
In real life, Deb makes us wait until we get home to open the envelopes.
Sorry I'm not there in person, but if you're reading this, I'm airborne, as it were. Now Spence, I know there have been times when we couldn't figure each other out. I like to do things. You like to watch things. That doesn't mean we can't meet in the middle. It's a big place.
The middle has your brother in it. Watch out for him always, Spence. Bernard thinks you're the bee's knees, as we used to say, and he needs a co-pilot. I know you won't let him down.
The middle also, believe it or not, has movies. I like movies too. My all-time favorite movie star was Gloria Lorraine. Ask your mom if my liking Gloria L wasn't a family joke. Gloria Lorraine is older than me, Spence, but as I write this, she's still alive and kicking. I want you to go and see herâI know you can find her with the Internet and allâand get her to give you a kiss on the cheek. Tell her it's for me, a sentimental favor.
Film that kiss for me, Spence. Someone's got to make movies and this one only you can make. If Gloria Lorraine has passed or is incapacitated, look in the smaller envelope with this letter for your alternate movie mission.
The lawyer will have money for you to buy a good video camera and for travel and any other expenses you might have.
Make your first movie one that the family can watch and think of me.
Do these things for me. Do them with me. I know you can. Remember that list of movies I made for you? I hope you watched Casablanca. Remember what Rick says to Louis at the end? “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Sometimes I'm a little too late to the station, but really, it's never too late.
Jer starts making pie dough while Bunny and I read our letters; he always bakes when he's bugged. At first, all the talk is about Bunny's task. Bun is supposed to get a tattoo of Grandpa's old fighter squadron logo from World War II. Deb is not big on tattoos, even if they are of Grandpa's squadron logo. “Oh please,” she sighs. “The Marauding Mosquitoes? Their insignia was a mosquito with a cigar and a machine gun.”