“All that blood looks good on you, really brings out your eyes.” Manuel tossed his rag aside.
“Right, it’ll be in all the winter fashion magazines. I’ll start a new trend.” The actress barely moved from her chair and waved for the assistant. The clumsy twenty something ran over quick to give her a small sip of water from a straw.
Manuel shooed him away, “Okay Charlene, we’ll need to let some of the glue dry. Think you could hang tight in your dressing room until they call?”
“Guess I’ll have to. There’s a tour soon and they don’t want the fans to see that it’s me they’re killing off.” The actress stood up carefully. “Suppose I’ll just go watch TV or something. Come on Mike, keep me company.”
Manuel watched the two leave his trailer from the backdoor, the assistant mumbling that his name wasn’t Mike. He began cleaning up his pencils and paintbrushes, screwing the caps back on the fake blood containers and putting sponges near the sink. His next appointment was going to be the triplets from “The Sisters.” He knew that he was in for a rough afternoon, but at least the makeup wasn’t so extensive as Charlene’s.
A couple hours later Manuel heard a knock on his trailer door. He had done the triplets makeup and a retouch on Jose from the buddy cop movie and was just cleaning up before heading home. “Just a minute!”
“Mr. Cheve we need to speak to you.” It was a voice Manuel didn’t recognize. He put his rag down and opened the door to find the director of the Zombie Show and a police officer.
“Can I help you, fellas?”
“We’re aware that you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese this morning, we’d like to ask you a few questions.” The officer said politely.
“Last person? She didn’t make it to the set?”
The director sighed. “Unfortunately not.”
“Do you mind if I come in and look around?” The officer already began up the steps, he was determined.
“Please, by all means. So what happened?” Manuel stepped to the side so the two men could enter.
The officer didn’t say a word. He put on gloves and began searching the makeup desk. It seemed he was looking for something in particular.
Manuel turned to the director. “Mr. Jefferies, what’s going on? Where is Charlene?”
The director let out a sob he had been holding in. Once he gained composure he sighed again. “They found her when she didn’t show up to set on time. In her trailer, the TV was on, she was sitting in front of it. Face was mangled and blood everywhere.”
“Special effects, that was my job today.” Manuel was confused, his orders were to make it look like She had been almost eaten by a bear.
The officer found what he was looking for. “Sir, we’re going to need to take this in.”
“My fake blood, why?”
“The blood found on Charlene was not special effects blood. I’m going to need to take you in for questioning as well. The blood was her own, we believe this is hers as well.” The officer put the jar in a plastic bag and held out cuffs.
“She left my trailer with her assistant, Mike or something. Are you sure he didn’t have anything to do with this? All I did was apply makeup like I was ordered to do by you Mr. Jefferies!” Manuel was becoming upset. He had been in his trailer all day.
“She didn’t have an assistant, Manuel. You’re the last person to see her alive.”
The officer motioned for all of them to leave the trailer. “As of right now Mr. Cheve, you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese alive.”