Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fade To Black - 08 April 2014

Back for more?  Good.  I'm delighted you're enjoying the story.

I wanted to make some specific notes about Act Five (and the upcoming finale, Act Six). The first part of the story (what you've read so far) has moved pretty quickly through the lives of our lovers. You read of an event, then when the new section begins, we've skipped ahead months, or even years. The beginning of the story is basically the backdrop to Acts Five and Six.

So now, as Act Five begins, you're going to notice the time-span slow down quite a bit. No more leaps through time. "Real-Time" is going to start to appear more frequently.

Also, there are a couple of original poems in Act Five - mine, of course. The first one you'll come across is a song I wrote. I tentatively called in "The Jumper" - it's about a tortured mind contemplating suicide. There's music for it too, somewhere in my collection. The poem doesn't necessarily represent ME during a bad phase of life, but it could. It could represent anybody. I composed it while putting myself into the mindset of someone suffering through a severe emotional downturn.

At this point in the writing of FTB, I was exhausting myself psychologically to make sure the story would go where it needed to go. Any one of you who enjoys writing will understand how really, REALLY immersed you must become.

Read on.





Fade to Black

© 2008 CL Seamus




But our love it was stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we, of many far wiser than we And neither the angels in heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee

     Dan gave everybody a week off. This was more serious than previous scraps. Should they bring in some kind of relationship counselor? Not likely India would participate in such a thing. Would they just let it go for the week, then see how the two were doing after a break from each other? What if nothing changed? She’d moved out as planned, taken up residence in a high-rise apartment. Not much motivation to find a new house. Dan knew it all hinged on getting India to soften. Allan was already eager to see her.

My Darling India,

     I would trade my life to take back what I said when I found out what happened. I can’t believe I never thought about the pain you've been carrying. I wish you’d been strong enough to have told me. Is there anything I can do to convince you to talk to me again? Even if just for the chance to apologise in person?

Love always, Allan


     Remember how we stood under the stars and pledged love? I’ve only recently come to realise that you did that even after the pain of your decision. Don’t forgive me - just understand that I’m not perfect. I fucked up.

Love, Allan

Ms. Bowman,

     My lip is healing from where you bashed me in the face. I have a black eye, too, but don’t worry - I didn’t call the cops or anything. I’m staying with Rennie. He’s a good lay and knows how to treat me. I have to go. He’s feeling romantic.

Allan Baird

Dear India Bowman,

     I wanted to write and tell you how much I admire your work. You’re so beautiful and mysterious, I can’t control myself from beating off each time I see you. Your eyes make me come all over myself. Did I mention I look good in a thong and lace bra? How about a date, sugar? I’ll make it worth your while.Love, ardent admirer

E A Baird


     It’s not always about you, bitch.

Fuck off - Allan

     It went on like that for more than ten days. Dan played messenger and slid Allan’s envelopes in her mail slot. She never responded, answered neither door nor phone. No movie, no relationship. She pained dark storm clouds and stayed stoned most of the time. She went to the drive-in, the beach. She slept in the car.

She penned toxic verse:

There was a life before me,
when things were as they should have been.
It’s only a shadowed memory
of the days when there was a future for me.

I had a heart with no pain,
and from the sky came only warm rain.
I had eyes of hope then,
and I remember her gentle hand.

Now something lies before me,
as pages turn and I must now see.
Everything’s so strange here,
and all I have is deepening fear.

The eyes that do not know me,
the hurt of being oh so lonely.
Where’s the loving family
I thought would be here waiting for me?

Night’s eternal hissing voices
pounding in my brain, again.
I always hear them day and night;
they come to bring me pain.

And when the lights go out
and I am lying shaking in my bed,
I dread that something bad is waiting
and I hear it in my head.

All those years I’ve spent
reliving every other life;
a wife,a mother, then a daughter,
I know it isn't right.

At night, I’m everything I ever was
in every other way.
Today, I’ve had enough of all of this;
make it go away!

I stand upon a balcony
and look down at the ground around me.
The rain no longer washing clean;
the dream is never to be.
One last look around me,
I hear the whispers from the wet trees.
Like a bird that’s flying,
I jump toward the heavens, crying.

     Allan paid to have the house fixed and refurnished. Not a single disturbance ever again woke a neighbour in anger. He holed up in sad seclusion, wasn’t eating or sleeping. All he did was cry and hate himself. Rennie took one of the spare rooms. No way in hell he was going to leave Allan alone.

     Sometime after the two-week mark came a phone call to Allan’s bedroom at one in the morning.

     “Yes,” he answered in the dark. A long, heavy silence. He sat up. “Indie?”

     Sniffs of restrained crying. “Nice letters, dumbass.”

     The response was a half-laugh, half-cry. “Sorry,” he shrugged. “Too much weed.”

     “Um, can you come here?”

     “Yes. Let me get dressed.”

     Allan in her doorway stood thin and pale, his eyes rimmed in an almost permanent redness. In he stepped, feet of caution. Strangers to each other, they’d have to start again. Not a touch or a kiss.

     India blew her nose for the hundredth time that day, then invited him to the living room. “I don’t have anything for you to drink,” she sniffed.

     He just lowered to the couch and shook his head. “I’m fine.” Good thing there was a box of tissues on the coffee table. He pulled up five of them.

     She sat beside him. “You wrote that scene, Allan. Coat hangers...”

     His eyes were pain and regret.

     She blew again. “I think I could have taken any other reaction. If you’d been angry. Sad. But I couldn’t take what you wrote.” She pushed strands of unwashed hair from his eyes. “I’m sorry I punched you.”

     He nodded. There was nothing else. Tonight would not be the healing. Tonight was only the open door. Raw nerves and hurt feelings would make for a bad fight. Let it be. They both knew how they felt. They knew it had been a horrible thing. Neither one wanted to rehash it. Too tired. Enough words. Enough.

     She stood and took his hand. He followed her into the bedroom. They clung to each other in exhaustion. And slept.

     At eight a.m., her bedside phone rang. Still fully dressed, India woke as if hung over. She’d slept hard and it left her heavy and dead. She lay on her side, spooned up behind Allan who tucked back against her and snored.

     She fumbled for the phone. “...hello,” she answered for the first time in two weeks.

     Rennie seemed surprised to hear her. “India? It’s me.”

     She peeled back from Allan - uncomfortable and too warm with sweat. They could both use a shower. “Hi,” she mumbled in groggy fog.

     “Is Allan with you?”

     “He’s here, Rennie.”

     “Is he safe? Is everything all right?”

     “He’s sleeping. He’s fine.”

     Allan began to stir. “Who is it?” he grunted.

     She held the phone to his ear. “It’s Boomer.”

     He relaxed in his lady’s warmth. “Rennie?” There was a pause.

     “What are you doing, Allan?”

     “It’s all right. We’re okay.”

     “She’s dangerous. She’s just going to do it again. I mean, maybe not for a while, but--”

     “It’s fine. I told you I was going to come here.”

     “And I’m supposed to just sit here? Ready to pick up the pieces when she hits you again?”

     Allan sat up and palmed his face. “I have to shower. Call Dan and tell him I want to set up a meeting this afternoon.”

     “So this picture’s back on then?”

     “I don’t know. We’re going to get some food.” He looked at the clock radio. “Tell Dan something around noon.” He exhaled patiently. “Don’t think I don’t appreciate you.”

     “I’ll talk to you later.”

     Allan hung up and stripped naked. “I am so dirty.”

     She turned to her back. “You have hair on your legs.”

     “I haven’t shaved. I’m too upset.”

     “Are we going to talk?”

     “Yes. Shower. Shave. Food. Talk. In that order. Do you have anything I can wear?”


     Dan and Ted waited outside the conference room. They spoke quietly until the loud metallic clang of boots on the soundstage bridge announced the arrival of Allan Baird. He was the only one who used the vintage catwalks above the stages. Because there was no soundproofing, they were off-limits during any shooting activity. He would always check the bulletin boards for schedules. He’d use the elevator if something was being filmed, but loved any chance to fly across the open expanse during down times.

     Something positive must have happened because he swept into the Box in full peacock fashion - make-up to cover the swollen cry-eyes, fresh haircut, and crisp clean clothes. Allan rubbed his palms together. “Grumpy faces? I feel reborn. Nobody else catching the wave?”

     It wasn’t a secret what had happened. Rennie’s anger meant he hadn't been kind to India when explaining the delays in the picture’s scheduling. Most seemed of the mindset that work would begin again once the couple kissed and made up. They always fought in the same passionate fever with which they expressed love, and as often as the hallway filled with poems and romantic waltzes, so it also exploded in combat.

     Ted motioned and into the conference room they marched. At the table sat the department heads and several faces Allan didn’t recognise. Faces of impatience, faces of anger.

     The glint in his eyes dwindled when he saw his attorney, Heather Oldman. He decided it might be best to sit near her. “Why are you here?” he whispered.

     “I’ve been calling for days. You don’t answer your phone. Neither does India. No e-mail replies. Nothing.”

     “Why are you here?” he repeated impatiently.

     She slid across a plain white folder - he flipped the cover and took quick inventory of the documents within. “This is bullshit,” came his disbelieving grouch.

Businessmen suck shit

     Marcie Elliott had become somewhat of a commodity to Allan. On Dan’s advice, she’d taken over all administrative functions to the director’s interests. As his personal life rocked and rolled with tension and discord, Marcie kept his professional doings in perfect order. She’d even been working with Lucy to organise India’s affairs as well.

     From the financial point of view, Allan’s entire situation had always been under the care of the Baird family lawyer, a razor sharp man named Benjamin Irvine, who’d been on the job since Daniel Baird’s heyday. When Allan first mentioned to Ben that he was going to sell screenplays to Coleman-Kopanski, the man knew he’d be out of his element, and so had assigned Entertainment Lawyer, Heather Oldman. Marcie introduced Heather to India and had a contract drawn to manage her money as well. Even if the rest of their world went straight to hell, the couple’s financial situation seemed in good hands. Though Marcie and Allan remained at continuous logger-heads over her intrusions in his life, he knew enough to stand back while she did her job. Ben oversaw Heather, who oversaw Marcie, who oversaw Lucy. Every T was crossed, every I dotted, so assuming nobody was stealing from Daniel’s grandson, all seemed stable and trustworthy.

     Inside the conference room, the discussion swirled around how things were going to continue from that moment. The phone calls Heather had been trying to make were to tell Allan that Ted’s investment partners were trying to have the director and his volatile lady kicked out. Drugs, temper tantrums, head bashings and broken arms, strap-on dildo threats to personal assistants, police reports, furniture thrown from windows to neighbours’ yards, vampires spilling blood all over the place - was this a business or some kind of cult fraternity house?

     Though happy India had opened her door to him again, Allan was weak and unprepared for this meeting. Yes, he’d gotten sleep. Yes, he’d enjoyed a nice bath and a hot breakfast, but he’d been high for days and wasn’t fit to fight.

     Heather fought for him. They scrapped about lawsuits, breach of contract, disappointing both fans and investors who expected Night’s Lesson inside of a year. It was now well into 2004, and all these delays were costing big money.

     Allan sat quietly and drifted.  He wondered what Indie was up to. If she felt half as sluggish as he, the picture would have to have a real fire lit under it to make it work. Once these loudmouths worked it out, he’d have to get the hook going. Some kind of publicity stunt.

     What if they had specially marked panties? If you could show you were wearing them, you’d get movie passes. Not the whole view - just a hip tag or something. Maybe like in the film. Show the monogrammed day of the week. They could have bar codes on them or something. No, wait. You mail in a request and get back a pair of the specially tagged pink panties. Then we hire vans to drive around to find them. The vans will say something like “Show Us Your Pink Panties” on the side. Like noir ice cream trucks - they park and ring a bell, and have a loudspeaker advertising the film. You run home - like a kid to get money from Mum - and then return to flash the bloomers for prizes.

     Allan blinked from the daydream - it seemed something had been asked of him and an answer was required. He tapped his pencil to the table. “I have a great idea for a publicity stunt for the picture. We need Bill Korman to set this up. It’s a pink panty stunt.”

     One of the grouchy suits waved frustrated arms. “This is exactly what I’m talking about. He’s off in his own little world and has no respect for our investment.”

     Allan grit his teeth. “What? What was the question?”

     Ted massaged his thumping temples. “We want you and India in rehab. We want this place drug-free. We agree not to involve the police if the two of you go for drug therapy.”

     Allan sat back. “The police? What are you talking about?”

     Ted, usually so even of voice, shouted at him. “Would you pay attention? Goddammit, Allan!”

     Heather held up a calming hand. “We’ll do all that’s required. It’s his first day back. They’re coming off a rough spell and you can see he’s not quite ready yet. But he’ll cooperate with your requests.”

     The angry suit spoke. “And India Bowman?”

     “She’ll be on board, too,” Heather nodded.

     Allan frowned at the man. “Who are you, anyway?”

     Ted spoke. “This is Alfred Laine. He’s one of my investment partners.”

     “Well he’s a prick. Look at him. Do you even go to the movies, Alfred? Have you ever seen one of my pictures?”

     “Your pictures are my pictures, son.”

     Allan opened his mouth to speak - Dan intercepted the blow and doused the fight with cold water. “I think the most important thing is to get ‘Night’s Lesson’ started. Allan? You and India are going to disappear for a real cleaning of bodies and minds, and we’re going to come back and get this done. There aren't going to be any more illegal drugs on the premises. No vampire rituals, no fighting or punching. We’re just going to go back to when we were all on the same page. We wanted to make movies, remember?”

     If people thought the excitement had settled down when India and Allan went on holidays, they knew not the meaning of the word quiet. The grouch-meeting had ended with lawyers and investors hashing through the details of how the schedules would be handled while the Lord and Lady were off getting clean.

     The picture should have folded under its own weight, but they managed to keep most of the crew happy by offering work on other Conversion projects to keep food in mouths while it was all sorted out. They didn’t keep everybody - the make-up lady walked. She’d come as a kit contract, which meant not only did they lose the artist, but her entire package of supplies as well. Either they’d have to hire another person as a kit, or they’d be shelling out for some serious period supplies.

     Allan and India in rehab cooled others from drug use as well. The policy became that anybody found with illegal substances on the premises would not only be fired, but more than likely reported to the police. With the discipline came the grouch, the cold shoulders, and the divisions into cliques. The air of camaraderie was gone. Goths and vampires kept completely to themselves, grumbled quietly in their lair.

     VL did two articles on the unrest and dished dirt on Conversion’s crackdown of "behavioural problems." Tim Wallace knew better than to speak of rampant drug abuse. It might have been fun to watch Allan and India being arrested, but if that happened, Allan would surely point his long painted finger directly at his biggest coke source, which was the man himself.

     Though back together, Allan and India hadn't had time alone since the reconciliation, and definitely hadn't been physical with each other yet. There weren't many hardons in Allan’s polluted system, and even if there were, it was likely India would have fallen asleep during the proceedings. Rehab separated them again as each went to private facilities. At night, they spoke secretly on the phone and used the quiet time to apologise and heal, and get out of their systems all that had gone wrong. Drugs weren't missed in the air of their own therapy. Any sessions held in their respective programs couldn’t match the big soul-fests that were their late night talks with each other.

     Nobody heard it when each confirmed a commitment to suicide should anything happen to the other. Nobody heard them threaten to quit the picture if one more goddamned thing interfered with their lives. And nobody heard when they talked about whether or not they should have a baby. India wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being a parent, but for the first time considered doing something because it was what her lover wanted. To make Allan happy would be her redemption.

     Condoms had always been a hit and miss thing with them. Sometimes they cared, sometimes they didn’t. It waved in and out depending on Allan’s level of promiscuity and when he was last tested. What India did, however, was get off birth control - something she’d been on since the abortion. Condoms would remain part of the on-again off-again concerns for safe sex, but if anything happened pregnancy-wise, she promised to let it be, and never again keep it from him as a secret to which he wasn’t entitled.

     He confessed that as what bothered him most - that he never knew his baby. Never got to be at the funeral, so to speak. His little one had simply winked in and out of existence without Daddy ever knowing who she might have been. India had to accept that she’d broken his heart. It would never heal completely, but if it could be forgiven she might be able to live with herself.

     Why wasn’t Allan one of these guys she'd heard so much about? The ones who begged their girlfriends to get abortions because they didn’t want the responsibility. She’d heard that’s what guys did. She’d seen it on TV. Why had it not been so in real life?

     Though they knew not whether a boy or girl, they dubbed her a girl and called her Avalon, the name also given India’s character in Allan's long-ago rewrite of Night’s Lesson, as tribute to her theatre roots. The little flower had a name and was their daughter. It seemed safe to say Allan and India were locked together for life. It became the happiest, saddest thing they ever did together - name their daughter and have for her, when they left their respective clinics, a memorial service. Out on the road where they’d said their vows. Under the stars and with a fresh ceremony of bloodletting.

     Baby Avalon, rest in peace.

     India would not walk the catwalk, so Allan rode with her in the elevator on their first day back to work. It was five in the morning - they decided to get in early to avoid the fuss of being welcomed back by every curious face encountered. At almost thirty-six, Allan looked his age. A few wrinkles, lines around his eyes. But he still wore well his black eyeliner and touch of shadow. He dressed in a black corduroy shirt, pink plastic pants, and matching pink sneakers. India’s choice was a long white gauze dress and bare feet. A round or two had been taken out of her youth over the last few months but she was still an easy go when it came to playing twenty-two-year-old Ava Brace. Tapping into her youth was a cakewalk compared to attempting to make her look older for Detective.

     As the elevator rose to the Box, the couple whiled away the moments. “What do you think of the panty stunt?” he asked through a yawn.

     She seemed unsure. “I hope it doesn't get out of hand. You know it’s not going to be little old ladies who come barreling down the street waving panties. It’s going to be the monsters. And your panty vans will be mobbed.”

     He had but a smile in reaction. “I think that’s what I want. Light the fire.” His fingers fiddled idly with the small packet of blow in his pocket. He hadn't taken any - he just needed it close. Abandoning his old friend would be a real challenge, especially during the shoot.

I’ve never been good at breakups

     “You want to go for dinner tonight?” she asked. India hadn't moved back into the house. She decided she liked her own place, somewhere she could go to be alone. They still hadn't slept together since the fight so Allan found it charming to be asked on a date.

     The elevator doors opened and he took her hand. “I’d like that. We can get Chinese.”

     “Pizza,” she countered.

     They stopped to feel the atmosphere of the reception room and the glass wall that overlooked the soundstage below. In the silence of early morning privacy, he paraphrased an old favourite. “In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed. But a waking dream of life and light has left me broken hearted. And what is not a dream by day to him whose eyes are cast... on things around him with a ray turned back upon the past? A holy dream, that holy dream, while all the world were chiding, has cheered me as a lovely beam, a lonely spirit guiding. What, though that light through storm and night, so trembled from afar... what could there be more purely bright in Truth's day-star?”

     Silence as his gentle voice touched all the walls and filled the air with a new start. He spoke again, his eyes misted over in romantic fancy. “Strange to be here.”

     She squeezed his fingers. “I wrote something.”

     He inhaled. “...yes?”

     A pause of composure before her soft voice awoke. “Take me to the open water, turn me into sand. When we come to open water, you will understand. Sand will wash away in water, mountains from the shore. Rocks will rise from out the water, steady evermore. Tree will grow upon the mountain, flowers in its shade. We return as leaves and branches, life anew, remade.”

Poe has nothing on this raven

     Allan closed his eyes. “You know the dirge Jo Savant reads in Lesson? In the P-Club scene?”


     “I want to ditch that poem and use yours.”

     “Really?” She crinkled up her nose.

     “Absolutely. Think of Jeff reading that instead of the one in the script.”

     “But that’s your poem.”

     “I want yours.”

     “Do I get a writing credit?”

     He considered. “Creative Consultant. Nothing more.”


     “Prima Donna.”

     She hooked her arm behind his neck. “Kiss me, bitch.”

     He obeyed. Then a wink. “You wanna go into the office and get reacquainted with our old purple friend?”

     She laughed. “Oh no, I forgot about that thing.”

     “Fresh start and all?”

     “How ’bout we go into the office and get reacquainted the old fashioned way?” As they started down the hall, she paused and pulled his hand. “No, wait. The men’s room. Kinky makes me crazy.”


     Fan mail. The drill was that Marcie and Lucy opened all that arrived at the studio addressed to Allan or India. If the fan wanted an autograph, they had boxloads of them that the duo prepared on a regular basis. If it was a headshot with a request to be in a picture, it was rerouted to the casting department. It was up to Lucy to sort through and forward letters she thought India might want to read. There existed a standing order from Allan that all foul-mouthed, suggestive, or otherwise lewd letters were forwarded to him. If he wanted India stoked for filming, he’d strategically place dirty letters where she’d find them. It weirded her out and helped the funk she needed for this and that mood. Packages were sent directly through. People knew Allan collected neon coloured plastic belts, so he was inundated with them. India got a lot of stuffed toys and sexy lingerie. Some people sent really out-there gifts: sex toys, sketches of her in the nude or dirty poetry involving one or the other of the couple involved in some sort of fan-based bedroom fiasco. Most of the gifts were appreciated, even if just for the effort or expense, and were answered with pleasant thank you notes.

     Allan planned to retire after the fifth in his series was finished. He’d done his part and fulfilled his inner need for movies. He was very proud of his work, but it was time to try something else. It occurred to him that he was nearing the age his parents were when they’d moved - now he understood what Lisa meant when she’d said they were restless to explore and do new things. It might be nice to pull up stakes and haul his own ass to the fatherland.

I wonder what kind of MacFilms they’re watching these days

     Would India go with him? She’d not expressed any interest in continuing in pictures after Veil of Murder. She might like to disappear into some rustic country scene, where nobody would bother her; a place where something like PROTECTION MODE would have no bearing on her life. All things considered, it was probably a mistake that she’d become an actor. No matter how singular her desire to focus on the art, fame was part of the deal. Too bad she couldn’t handle it.

     Night’s Lesson had been shooting for three weeks. The sets were mostly drug-free, sober places where those not of Allan’s world felt comfortable again. It had gone back to a grassroots level as they all recaptured their ability to make lean films.

     A true sight to be seen was Allan dressed as Lacey Laverne. Being director as well as actor, he often worked both jobs in costume. The new make-up artists had done some job, cleaned his face of its beard shadow - no mean feat, considering how dark his hair was compared to his pale skin. Even when closely shaven, Allan had shadow to his cheeks and chin - an undeniable reminder of his masculinity. His costumes included neck chokers to conceal his Adam’s apple, sculpted eyebrows and nails - the works. He used a gentler, softer version of his own voice, and his feminine mannerisms made him a natural.

     Ah, but what of his acting skills? Since he’d written Lacey himself, he knew her inside and out, so the acting came easily. It wasn’t likely he’d do as well in another role, but for this one, he had it locked down. His real name wouldn’t appear in the credits. It would be a little added mystery for the fans to try and solve. The ultimate in new identity.

     He was so impressed with how truly refined he could look under the supervision of his new make-up artists that he started employing them on his own time. These artists were actually an extremely odd set of twin girls. Twenty-one years old, neither weighed more than ninety pounds. Goth to the extreme, they were tattooed and dyed, pierced and adorned in all manner of chains and steel. Tory and Jory Brussell - Rennie had brought them back with him after his last trip to Germany, where they apparently had quite the reputation in the porn industry. Some said they weren't really girls at all, but actually castrated boys who never quite made it through puberty.

     They avoided almost all contact with outsiders and appeared to be carrying on an incestuous affair with each other. Drug abuse on the set, vampires, Allan and India fighting and making up at breakneck speed, had absolutely nothing on the twins, who could often be found in the make-up office, painting each other’s bodies in exotic swirls between ravenous bouts of groping and grabbing. Individually, they were called Tee or Jay. When together, they were simply referred to as a single entity - ToJo.

     Any photographers or media allowed on the set for interviews during filming had to sign confidentiality agreements not to discuss their knowledge that Allan was playing in his own film. The absolute epitome of freaky was watching Allan and India kissing or being otherwise affectionate while both in costume. Pure lesbian fantasy. In tight slacks, Allan had become master of the tuck and was virtually undetectable as male. He referred to the experience as liberating. India preferred kinky.

88.1 FM radio spot - Night’s Lesson
11 October 2004

VO: It’s 1946, and Arton Park at night
    should be a safe place.
    But not this night.

Audio clip:

“We should walk you the rest of the way.”
“It’s only two blocks.”
“Call when you get home.”
“And stay on the path.”

VO: Opening October 29th at the Seven
    Seas Auditorium is Night’s Lesson,
    the new suspense drama from director
    Allan Baird.

Audio clip:

“Groundskeeper found a woman’s body
in the bushes.”

“You be careful. I don’t want to
find your name in the paper."

VO: This Friday night, Shadows 88.1 FM
    is pleased to bring you an interview
    with director Allan Baird and the
    star of Night’s Lesson - India Bowman.

Audio clip:

“You didn’t walk alone, did you?”
“Julien walked me.”
“While the cat’s away..."

VO: To the women of Arton, the colour
    pink can be a deadly choice.

Audio clip:

“Did she buy anything at Lacey’s?”
“Just a pair of panties.”

“What makes you think he’s cheating?”
“I found something.”
“What was it?”
“Panties. They’re not mine. They’re
all silky and frilly and... pink.”

VO: With police on the trail of a
    vicious killer, young housewife
    Ava Brace has her own mystery
    to solve.

Audio clip:

“...it’s a pink thing?”
“Maybe our guy likes souvenirs.”

"How do you catch a rat?”
“Set a trap?”

VO: In the mind of the killer, there are
    only two types of women: Good. And bad.
    And the bad ones need to be taught
    a lesson. The deadliest lesson of all.

Audio clip:

“Should you be walking alone?”
“I’ll be on the bus in five minutes.”
“A lot can happen in five minutes.”

“Your husband’s a good man. There’s
no proof he’s having an affair.”

VO: Night’s Lesson. Everybody has a
secret. Everybody has something to learn.

Audio clip:

“Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name...”

VO: Join Shadows 88.1 FM this Friday
at midnight when Allan Baird
and India Bowman will be in the
studio to talk about the new film,
and tell you how you can win free
passes to a special advance
screening on Thursday October 28th.

     No fewer than ten security guards were required outside the Shadows FM radio station, Friday 15 October, 2004. Police had erected sawhorse barricades to keep clear the entrance to the building. The long black limo slowed at the curb. Inside, Allan and India checked out the crowd.

     “Told you,” he smiled as he snorted blow from a gold spoon.

So much for rehab

     She took a toot and dabbed a damp finger into the baggie. “At least they have barricades.”

     Coke sure gave a girl strength to face people. Just a little smear under her lip before she turned for a kiss. “God, I could use a good sting right about now.”

     A playful smile as he relaxed in her arms. His hand slid between her thighs and rummaged in the folds of her black gauze dress.

     India picked up the telephone to the driver on the other side of the smoked glass. “Call Sam,” she instructed. “Tell him we’ll be a few minutes.” She hung up and squinted out the windows. “Can they see in here?”

     “I hope so,” he mumbled, his face sniffing between her legs. “Give ’em something to talk about.”

     Sam Boychuk was the Shadows DJ who went by the name Head Banger. He’d gotten the limo call and was on his way outside to witness the crowd and greet the couple. Fans cheered when he emerged to the street. Two cameramen filmed everything.

     A reporter stopped him for an interview. “How many passes are being given away for this stunt?”

     He lit a cigarette. “Ask Baird. As far as I know, he has this thing going on in about ten cities. Hey, why don’t you tune in for the interview and find out?”

     “Are they in the limo?”

     “As far as I know.” He excused himself and thumped a fist on the one-way glass.

     The door opened and out climbed India, freshly stung and plenty wired. She drew a black lace shawl to her shoulders. Smoky eyes turned to face the fans safely contained behind barricades. With tremendous theatric skill, she reached into the car and drew out a silver chain leash, at the end of which cowered Allan, studded dog collar about his neck. Also completely in black, he was finished in a trench coat and fingerless gloves. His long purple streaked hair was pony-tailed on top of his head. The crowd erupted in hysterical applause as he squatted obediently at India’s side.


     She approached the barricades - everyone scrabbled and grabbed through the wall of security. “Paws off,” sniffed the dominatrix as she swatted away the hands.

     Fans thrust T-shirts and magazines at her for signing. Some bent to deal with Allan. He made whimpering doggie noises as he licked fingers and accepted ear scratches.

     Banger, who prided himself on being a showman, stood back and watched with due reverence, the striking presentation.

     Shortly, Allan rose and dug into his coat pockets. Out came fistfuls of pink panties which he tossed with flourish into the crowd.

     That did it. The fans erupted in fevered riot to clamber for the garments. Banger motioned to the guards who opened the building door. After the three ducked away inside, the crowd was left to fight for the underwear.

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