Moments later, in my mind’s eye, I see Zac Efron’s jet ski has capsized in an oil-slick. Josh flails, his dark hair, shiny and slicked down the sides of his face. Bindi Irwin, mermaid extraordinaire, bounds through the water with her dolphin friend. In one low dive, she scoops up Josh and flings him onto the dolphin’s back. He lands with dexterity and holds on. Pirates are sighted near an oil-rig stealing parts. Successful, they shed their costumes and their alien forms slide under the water. I roll over and reach for my handy dandy notebook and pen and write that down. From experience, if I don’t, the dream will replay in my mind all night long.
I glance at the clock and hear the dull hum of the computer. It’s 11 pm. I climb out of bed. The temperature has dropped at least five degrees. A violent shiver runs through me as I reach for my dressing gown with nerveless fingers. I head for Freddie’s bedroom and ease open the door. I walk over to Freddie and lift up one of his headphones. Heavy Metal blares in a cacophony of noise and deathly growls. Freddie gives me a bemused look. “Finish up now,” I say, exasperation in my tone. “It’s way passed your bed time.”
Freddie nods. “In a tick,” he mumbles, staring zombie-like at the monitor. “I’m almost at a save point.” He reaches for the mouse and I blink in disbelief at the speed of the graphics on his latest computer game.
I return to bed. Trust is a wonderful thing but it wears thin. I slip out of my dressing gown and scoot under the blankets. I feel Victor snuggle up beside me. When did he crawl into bed? He’s been sleepwalking again, no doubt! I march him back to his bed and lie down with him for a moment until he nods off to sleep again. I nod off too and wake to a ticking clock. Mission Impossible again! It’s midnight.
I crawl back into my own bed. Adam snores. I pinch his nostrils. He gasps for air and stops snoring. I give an exhausted sigh. The day rewinds through my mind like the daily rushes of a half-completed movie. I see an explosion of white light and typed words start emerging from it like the beginning of every “Star Wars” movie. I see the title: ”The Spy and the Mermaid.”
The Log-line follows: A spy sent to prevent the sabotage an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico lands in hot water when aliens masquerading as pirates are caught stealing spare parts off it to repair their spaceship, attack him and he is saved by a miracle-working mermaid in more ways than one.
I roll over and seek out my handy dandy notebook and pen and write that down.
It’s the end of another day in the life of a professional screenwriter. Good night. Sweet dreams. See you in the morning.
COPYRIGHT NATALIA ELDER, FEBRUARY, 2011