While Tessa Laughed

  • k-avatar— those Unicorn things you know, without horns —
  • at the sight of the nude young man
  • Because it’s the latter.
  • coquelicot malice in his face
  • very nervous about his voice being taped

Tune In Next Time Part 19                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

While Tessa laughed like a warped violin played by a demented jackrabbit and John checked the regulator on his diving suit, I started paddling toward shore, careful to keep the box out of sight beneath the surface of the water. The sharks might get me, but John and Tessa damn well weren’t getting the treasure. If the chum-vortex that attracted the sharks in the first place kept them distracted, I would be ashore and long gone before my former partner and my former paramour found the empty hole on the seabed. When the sandy bottom came up to meet my exhausted strokes, I knew my troubles were all behind me.

“Cut!” a shrill voice bellowed. I looked up from where I had crawled onto the beach and discovered a film crew in front of me. I stifled a laugh at the sight of the nude young man jogging in place. The director stormed down on me, coquelicot malice in his face and a piece of driftwood in his hand. I stood, tucking the metal box under my arm and scowling to match the director’s vicious mood.

“What are you doing here!” he screamed. “Can’t you see we’re filming! Beach closed!”

“I’m here to inspect the set,” I improvised. “Your permits better all be in proper order, too!”

The director dropped his driftwood club. “Oh, of course. It’ll only take a moment. Help yourself to some hot coffee.” And he scurried off.

I glanced back out over the water to see Tessa alone in the zodiac, eyeing the circling fins uneasily. I tried not to laugh, in case the film crew started doubting my story. Never wonder if it’s a good or bad idea to laugh out loud among your enemies. Because it’s the latter.

At the craft services table, I got a hot beverage. The nude young man jogged up to me and said, “In my scene, in the finished movie, I’ll be riding animals — those Unicorn things you know, without horns — but it’s all digital. So I have to move like I’m riding.” His eyes fell on the corroded metal box I still carried. “You’re not recording this are you?” And he ran away.

The caterer shrugged. After I stared openmouthed for a few seconds, she said, “Tyler’s going to do fine in this business. He’s very nervous about his voice being taped, but he’s okay going full-frontal.”

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