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I'm An Actress On The Set Of a Low-budget Slasher Film. I Think They're Really Killing Off My Co-sta (by Sparky)

 Sparky (0)  (25 / M-F / Massachusetts)
27-Mar-20 6:30 am
I'm An Actress On The Set Of a Low-budget Slasher Film. I Think They're Really Killing Off My Co-stars PART TWELVE

I came to, groaning. My head hurt. I opened my eyes, then instantly squeezed them shut against the blinding white light that filled them. I opened them again, blinking. I looked up. Ropes had been tied around my wrists. They led up to an overhead support beam above me. I looked down.
I had been stripped down to my underwear. I was hanging from the ceiling, my feet just barely touching the floor. I looked around. Stage lights hooked to portable generators had been erected on either side of me, bathing me in a circle of light. I was still in the basement. I could see Tyrese's body still lying where he had fallen beside the stairway.
Before me stood a camera on a tripod. Its red light was blinking.
Faintly, from somewhere close by, I could hear a steady scrape...scrape...scrape sound.
"Oh, good! You're awake!" a voice said from the blackness beyond the periphery of light. Tim stepped into view, grinning. He no longer resembled the cute, sweet, teeny-bopper heartthrob I had come to know and trust over the last month. That Tim had been a mask. I was seeing the real Tim that lay hidden beneath. His face was frightening. It was gleeful and maniacal. His eyes were dancing with psychotic excitement. He had a hunting knife in one hand, a sharpening stone in the other. "It's your time to shine, Kassie!" he told me, then went back to sharpening his knife. Scrape... scrape... scrape.
"Tim," I said weakly, "what's going on?"
He looked at me. "What's going on? This is the moment you've been waiting for! Your big break in showbiz! Your fifteen minutes are about to begin!"
"Why are you doing this?" I asked him with a whimper.
He seemed to ponder the question, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "Hmmm, why am I doing this?..." He began to pace back and forth. He cast a glance at me. "Because Mommy didn't love me and Daddy beat me," he told me and resumed pacing. "Because a priest touched me in a bad way and teachers were mean to me in school. Because I didn't have any friends and girls didn't want to date me." He stopped and turned to face me. His lip was quivering and tears welled in his eyes. "Because society turned its back on me, and no one ever gave me a chance to have a normal life." he said in a trembling voice and put his head in his hands, emitting several theatrical sobs. He stopped abruptly and looked at me, laughing, wiping away his fake tears. "Multiple choice answer, Kassie! Go on and take your pick! Which explanation do you think best suits me?"
His face suddenly darkened, becoming serious. His eyes blazed. "I'm doing this, because I like to do this," he seethed. "In fact, I love to do it! I guess you could say it's my true calling."
"You're insane, Tim!" I said.
He laughed. "You sound just like all those psychiatrists I had to deal with! Oh, by the way, that whole sob story I fed you about my mom walking out on me and my dad being a mean drunk?" He cupped his hand around his mouth and whispered as if letting me in on a secret. "That was all bull****!" He shrugged. "Well, some of it, anyway. I mean, technically, my mom did disappear after I slit the bitch's throat and dumped her body in the river, but hey - she shouldn't have been threatening to send me back to reform school! And my dad? Well, he really was a worthless drunk, but he didn't beat me. He didn't die of liver failure, either...unless you count the two loads of double-ought buckshot I fired into his guts."
"You don't have to do this!" I pleaded. It was all I could think to say.
Tim rolled his eyes, annoyed. "Why is it in movies whenever someone is about to be killed, they always tell the person about to kill them "you don't have to do this"? I never did get that. That make any sense to you? Do you seriously think someone like me feels like they don't have a choice?"
"You *******!" I spat at him.
"Hey!" he said in a mock-hurt tone, "that's not fair! You should be thanking me for this opportunity! Because of me, you're going to be remembered as a star!"
"What are you talking about?" I demanded.
"Ray let me pick you out myself to star in this little flick! I selected your headshot personally! It was really quite generous of him. Plus he's going to let me "do the honors." You see, you've been the centerpiece of this show all along! The leading lady! The others were just the supporting cast. The warm-up to the main event. And you owe it all to me."
He walked up to me. I thrashed around, but I was trapped. He placed the edge of the knife against my cheek. I trembled. He lowered the knife and traced the blade along the tops of my breasts, just above my bra.
"You know," he said, "you really have a nice body, Kassie. I noticed it when you jumped in the pool to save Tyrese. He drew the blade across my skin, cutting me. I cried out in pain.
"It's a shame I'm going to have to cut it up. But hey, maybe we can have some fun together afterwards." He looked me in the eye. He leaned close as if to kiss me. "It's going to be a hell of a wrap party," he hissed, and licked my cheek.
I spat in his face.
His face contorted with rage. "Bitch!" he snarled and drew back the knife to strike.
I screamed.
"Enough!" a voice demanded from the dark. We both looked.
Ray stepped into view. He glared at Tim. "Not yet," he told him.
Tim whined like a child. "But you said I could--"
"And you will, but not until I've finished talking to her."
Tim glared at me, then stalked off out of sight. Ray looked at me. "I told you I'd be back, Kassie. I really must commend you for your stellar performance. Even if you did go... "off script" near the end, I did tell you all to feel free to improvise. It really sped up the action, really took the story in an entirely new direction."
"Ray, what is all this?"
"You still don't know? I thought I explained this production to you in detail in our first meeting. This is the wave of the future, Kassie. A new breed of horror film. Super-realism. And live action, to boot! You and your friends have proved to be quite popular with my subscribers. We've had a very successful test market. And that's not even counting the revenue we'll generate from the, uh, "home video release" of the film. Those who lacked the, uh, fortitude to subscribe to the live show but will be more than willing to pay to watch the action secondhand. Sergei's clients are going to go nuts for this! And now that we've proven there is an audience for this genre, more films can follow!" He smiled his chilling soulless smile. "I guess you can say we're going to make a killing with this."
"You'll never get away with this!" I said defiantly. I felt a sudden surge of hope. "My agent! Maury! He knows I'm involved in this project! When I don't come back--"
"I already know, Kassie," another voice spoke. Maury stepped out of the shadows, shoulders sagging. He looked at me. There was a look of genuine regret on his face.
My heart plummeted. My last trace of hope vanished. "Maury," I whispered. "You too?"
He shrugged. "All the kids' agents are in on it. Ray's paying us all a ton for you guys. He looked at me apologetically and shrugged. "It's nothing personal, Kassie. But I only get paid when you get paid. And fifteen percent of nothing is nothing. I got ends I gotta make meet."
"No!" I wailed. "Goddamn you! All of you!"
Maury lowered his head, ashamed.
Ray glanced at his Rolex. "Well Kassie, it's been lovely, but it's getting late and my viewers are getting restless for the grand finale. As they say in the biz, Ciao." He nodded to Tim, who reappeared, brandishing his knife, leering at me.
"Ready for your close-up?" he asked as he advanced on me.
I closed my eyes and screamed.
"All right! Everyone freeze!" a voice shouted.
I opened my eyes. We all looked. Tyrese, no longer dead, was standing, aiming a small revolver. One of his pant cuffs was hiked up, revealing an empty ankle holster. "LAPD! Get away from the girl and raise your hands! All of you!"
Ray and Maury complied fearfully, but Tim looked back defiantly. "No!" he screamed shrilly. "She's mine! Ray promised me!" he turned back to me and raised the knife. I screamed again.
A single gunshot rang out and Tim, eyes open in shock, slumped to the floor, a bullet hole in the side of his head, just above his right ear.
Tyrese aimed the gun back on Ray and Maury. "Either of you mother****ers want to join him? Make one ****in move."
Suddenly, from above, I heard the lodge door burst open and a stampede of many feet thundering across the floor. A team of men in SWAT combat gear carrying automatic rifles stormed down into the basement.
An hour later, after Ray and Maury had been arrested and taken to jail, I sat in the back of an ambulance with a blanket wrapped around me, still shuddering from the ordeal. By then the blizzard had died and it had stopped snowing. Police cars and ambulances were parked all along the front of the lodge, policemen moving all around as paramedics wheeled body bags out of the lodge.
There was a knock at the rear ambulance door and it opened. Tyrese, or more appropriately, Detective Banks, as I learned his name was, popped his head in. "Hey," he said.
"Hey," I replied quietly.
"Mind if I sit with you for a minute?"
I shrugged. He came in and closed the door. "You all right?"
"I think so. They're going to keep me for a day or two for observation."
"I thought Tim killed you."
He tapped his chest, grinning. Good ol'-fashioned Kevlar. Gotta love it. I'm just lucky little Timmy didn't go for the headshot. That was a chance I had to take."
"So that's what you were doing when you disappeared."
"Yeah, and gettin my guns."
"So you're a cop?"
"Yep. Been on the force six years." He was silent for a moment. "I shoulda said something sooner, but I didn't want to blow my cover."
"Well, you saved my life so I guess I can't hold it against you," I replied.
"You gonna be okay?"
I shrugged. "Maybe. This whole thing's a lot to deal with."
He patted me on the shoulder. "They'll take good care of you. I gotta go, but I'll be by to check in on you."
He left, closing the door behind him.
Not long after, the ambulance started and pulled away from the lodge, driving down the winding road through the mountains beyond.




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