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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chapter Fourteen

            “Goddamn it,” Al Reindt grunted, rubbing his hands over his face, “All I’m asking for is some professionalism.”

            Doug, the poor intern that was standing in front of him with a camcorder audibly shaking in his hands, muttered, “You didn’t really give me much to go off of…”

            “How hard is it to get some ‘behind the scenes’ footage, Carl? You’re here fifteen hours a day, all you have to do is film whatever it is that you do! How the hell are we supposed to supply people with bonus footage if we never shoot it?”

            “Its…er, my name is Doug,” Doug swallowed hard, “And I’m sorry.”

            “While footage of female employees in the bathroom is interesting, it isn’t exactly what we are going for here,” Reindt continued, “Now get back to work, and do it properly.” the intern started away but Reindt held up his hand, “You’d…uh…better leave what you shot with me.”


            “I may find a use for it.” Doug reluctantly handed him the camcorder and hurried away. Reindt set it tenderly on his chair and stretched.

            The first few days of the Darcy Tucker case had passed and, now that the audience had all of the witness statements, initial forensic evidence and crime scene photos, the official one-week countdown was about to begin. On the set of the One Week Window base of operations, Eddie Glaise adjusted his tie, made obnoxious motions with his jaw in order to loosen his vocal chords, and prepared to hit the exciting red button on his desk that started the huge digital clock above his head. The clock showed the amount of hours left for the case, and even though the red numbers blinked out one hundred and sixty eight, everyone on the show knew that it would seem like only moments before they were down to zero.

            Reindt adjusted his headset and grunted to the cameramen, “Prepare for the opening shot. Alright now…begin opening music!”

            The One Week Window theme blasted across the screens of televisions across the country, and people everywhere inched a little closer to the screens, their eyes illuminated by the montage of gruesome images from previous cases.

Eddie was given the sign that they were counting down to the opening segment, but he was too absorbed with picking invisible lint balls off of his tie to notice. The cameras went live, and the first thing that the home audience saw was Eddie looking bored and distracted.

            The director rolled his eyes and hissed into his microphone, “Eddie! Jesus, look alive!”

            Eddie spun to look at the camera and grinned, “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to One Week Window! Today is the day that everyone has been anticipating: the day when our One Week clock begins the countdown as our case goes live! Now remember viewers, you have just as much of a chance of solving this case as our cops do. Well, knowing them, you probably have an even better chance.” he winked conspiratorially, and Reindt audibly slapped his own forehead.

            “Alright, everyone! Let the countdown begin!” he slapped his palm onto the red button, serenaded by cheers from the applause machine, and the clock let out a loud beep and the seconds began to speed away.

The big red button on Eddie’s desk wasn’t actually connected to anything, since there had been countless mishaps durng the first few episodes, since the anchor couldn’t seem to help hitting it at every chance. The clock had stopped and started no less than fifteen times during the first week, and many of the audience members wrote in to claim that they’d been cheated out of their winnings due to network errors.

            The person who actually controlled the clock was none other than Doug the intern, who had casually flipped the switch to the clock from backstage while attempting to drop the camcorder so that it would film up the skirt of one of the crewmembers who was taking donuts from the cast buffet table.

            Eddie grinned so broadly that the makeup artist made a note off stage to somehow work fixative into his foundation to prevent his mouth from being able to spread so abnormally wide, and he segwayed into an introduction to the random college professor of forensics, not knowing that there had been an error in the information that he’d been given and that the professor was actually an expert in forensic rhetoric and knew not the slightest thing about crime scenes but wasn’t about to give up his fifteen minutes of fame.

            Reindt took of his headset, which was his assistant’s cue to get the director of photography to take over, and he wandered back to the snack buffet, where the woman had noticed Doug’s attempts and had just left to tell HR about it. Once he reached the table, he found Kreigel staring contemplatively at a cruller.

            “Hey, doctor death. How’s it hanging?” Reindt asked with a grin, ignoring the artist’s wince at  the use of his nickname.

            “Fine, I guess. Do you need any more sketches for this case?”

            Reindt shrugged, “Why not? Maybe we can get the Tuckers to cough up some pictures of Darcy that you can draw form. You know, add some blood and semen to any childhood photo, and you’ve got instant gold on our show.”

            Kreigel nodded, “Um yes…I’ll see what I can do.”

            “I’ve always liked you, Doctor. You have a way of seeing through the top layer of happy bullshit that’s been frosted over everyday life and cutting right to the gritty, fluid-covered underbelly. It really is a gift, you know?”

            Kreigel inched away and muttered, “I…er…I have to go now….”

            “Oh yes, of course. Don’t let me keep you.” he waited a moment before Kreigel was far enough away to warrant yelling and called after him, “Remember, we need MORE semen!”
Next Chapter

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