Tag Archives: art

Fake Blood

“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.”

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Valerie T. Estrella

Valerie set her business card on a small table under a blue tent. This was in her instruction booklet when she signed up for the Art Fair. She couldn’t believe she was finally entering her work. She molded her clay for months, coming up with many designs, in hopes to sell.

The man at the small table took her card and studied it. “You’re Valerie T. Estrella?”

She was nervous. “Yes, that’s me.”

“What’s your age?” He said sternly.

“Uh, 32.” The words almost didn’t come out, almost as if she had forgotten her age.

“From Pontiac, Eh?” A smile grew on the man’s face. “I’ve got cousins there.”

Valerie wasn’t sure what to say. She stood there quietly as he entered more information from her card into his computer.

“Pottery, huh?” He looked up at her.

“Yes, a small hobby. Hoping to do more with it.”

“Well this is the perfect place to drum up some business. Now, here’s a map. You’re in row 8. Perfect I think, you’re more towards the front of the rows so people won’t be so tired. Super hot for Michigan this year. Anyway, this booth right here.” He highlighted the booth in row 8 and handed her the map. “You can use your car or whatever to unload, but it must be moved to the parking area before 10 A.M.”

“Got it.” Valerie thought for a moment. That was three hours away, she wasn’t sure what do in the mean time. “That’s when people show up to look at stuff right?”

He could tell she was new. “When you get your stuff all set up, you can walk around the booths. Pretty friendly crowd, these artists. And it’s a great way to make some friends out there, buy some stuff early, won’t have to worry about your own booth for a while.”

“Thanks, so much!’ Valerie got back in her little SUV and followed the signs for her row. After setting up her booth and taking her car to the parking area she perused the other artists as the man had suggested.

The had two hours to kill before customers started showing up. The first few rows that she walked down seemed to be all photography. She saw many stunning images, but nothing that caught her eye in a way that she needed to purchase anything. The next few rows were paintings of all kinds followed by charcoal drawings and mixed media. The middle of row seven is where the clay started. There were a few potters that concentrated on only pots or only sculptures, but most were mixed products like the ones Valerie made herself. She saw many techniques she’d like to try, one in particular was called horse hair raku.

“Excuse me sir, those vases there are beautiful.” She pointed to the white vases with smoke-like marbling.

“You’re early. Must be competition.” The man said without turning to face her. He was still setting out his cup collection.

“I’m afraid I am.” Her nervousness came back, maybe looking at the other artists was a bad idea after all.

The man still didn’t turn to look at her. “Let me guess. Pottery.”

“Oh, you’re good.”

“Come to steal ideas.” He still had his back towards her.

“I think we’ve started off on the wrong foot. I’m so sorry to bother you.”

“Well you’re here now.” He finally turned. “Valerie?”

She stood there perplexed. “You know me?”

“Nope.”

“She looked around his booth then back at him, not sure how he knew her name. “But, you said my name.”

He threw a thumbs up behind his shoulder.

“Oh. We’re booth neighbors.” She laughed.

A grin appeared on his face and he didn’t seem so agitated. “Yup. I saw you just as you were leaving to park your car. You’ve got some real talent there, but not a whole lot of product.”

“It’s mostly a hobby. You do this full time?” She looked again at all of his work.

“Yeah, I’m a traveling pottery peddler. Well mostly. I also teach some classes in Pontiac.”

“Wow, small world. I’m from Pontiac.”

“Not so small really, we haven’t even left Michigan.” He chuckled.

“I’d love to learn Raku, do you teach that?” Valerie picked up one of the vases with the black swirls.

“Not professionally.” He went back to placing the clay mugs on his display.

There was disappointment in her eyes and she placed the vase back down. “Oh.”

The man reached into his back pocket and pulled out his business card to hand to her. “I make a few exceptions. Here, this has my personal number on it.”


Blog April 24 2017

Woah. WordPress has reminded me that I’ve had my blog for 4 years! Happy anniversary to me and to you, dear followers. I know I don’t post much anymore, to be honest I haven’t been doing a whole lot of anything lately. Lets see, last I talked about was NaNoWriMo, of which I got about 5000 words and then life got in the way. And it was another three months before that that I had written anything. Though I have played around a bit on my other blog, still just I don’t know, major writers block I guess. What do you do to cure your writers block? Something else must be goin on because I haven’t been doing much of anything I like lately either.

On the other hand I have had some stories in mind, and have most intentions to get down and write them. One will be paired with artwork and another is a sort of collaboration with a poet friend of mine. Well, maybe not collaboration? We got a prompt and wanted to see where each other will go with it, so when we get that done I’ll share with you all. Oh and there’s one that I did start for Halloween but for some reason had no direction with it.

I have always thought that half of writing is research and I’ve bought a few books over the past few months to get down and read. You know, get some inspiration. I like writing horror/thriller/scary stuff and a friend of mine gave me the Grimm Fairytales, which I’ve read some here and there but not the whole thing. I’ve also written a lot of short stories and got a book that is a collection, so I can see what that’s like if I ever decide to publish. So many ideas float in my head when I’m at work but after working 11 hours a day, I don’t feel like doing anything when I get home.

So tell me about you. How do you keep writing when you don’t have anything to write about? Where do you get your inspirations? What would you like to see from me in the future?


Blog August Eight/Novel excerpt

About a week ago I decided that while I have nothing much else to do since moving in with my parents that I would really try to start writing more. I have this thought a lot honestly but what’s another go at it? A few months ago a friend asked me if I wanted to go work out with him, saying that if he had someone to go with he’d have more motivation. Our busy schedules got in the way but we did go a few times and that was fun. Well last week I asked that same friend if he’d meet me at a coffee shop and we could work on our respective arts. He likes to draw and paint and all that and he’s incredibly good at it, and while we’re talking about him I should shamelessly plug his websites so you can peruse and maybe even commission him for your own original. I know I’ve praised his work before, but some of you followers are new. You can see him here or here or even here!

So anyway, like I was saying… We met at a coffee shop and he worked on drawing stuff and I was tweeking a resume for a job and then I started writing. I finished my latest story and we talked about things and caught up because I’ve known him for at least twelve years now. We joked about my story ideas and he came up with the name Charlotte Festerbottom. I decided that would be the next story that I wrote and boy, did I start it. In fact. I’ve continued on with it about four pages and have no idea where to stop. I have no idea where she is going (but I do know where she came from, I had a lot of fun figuring out her family tree) and I haven’t yet a plot. The situation that she is in fortuneatly can have a lot of situations, which means for you dear reader….drum roll please… will have a novel to read in the near/distant future. That’s right. I stumbled upon a novel idea before NaNoWriMo is even here. Who knows, maybe I can write it all before November and have another idea for NaNo!  I’ve decided to include the beginning of Charlotte’s tale for your reading pleasure.

Charlotte Festerbottom comes from a long line of Festerbottom’s from a small island in the Midfjorden of Norway. Her great great great grandfather, Charles Festerbottom moved to the small Illinois town to open up an all in one cemetery and mortuary. Meeting a local girl named Clarice, they raised their three sons in the business. Chance and Christopher both died while away at sea with the Navy. That left Chuckie who only had one eye from birth to carry on the business. He married Clara, a local school teacher new in town, and they had Chuck and Cora. Cora became a school teacher as well but never married. Chuck and his wife Cassandra birthed five daughters before Charlie finally came. He was the pride and joy of the family and understandably, the only one willing to work with the dead. The girls all took jobs in fashion and education.

Charlie had a fascination with morbidity. His enthrallment stretched across every aspect of the dead. The family home located in the back of the cemetery land was decorated in wild taxidermy animals and shrunken heads from the Africa’s. His wife was an African medicine woman specializing in the dead named Chicha. He met her on a visit to the Congo, though it was never clear what her original nationality was. They had one son, Fester, who had ivory skin and dark black hair, he nearly resembled his great great grandfather. Rumors had spread after the death of Chicha that Charlie had gone insane, his obsession with death grew and long standing customers had become fearful of the Festerbottom services. Once Fester reached high school he had taken over most of the duties around the property, except for the care of the lawn. Charlie continued to mow and fertilize and stay to himself.

Fester brought life to the funeral home. He cleaned up older grave plots and tried everything he could to restore the original stones that Charles had placed with his own hands. Fester was also the first in the family to have modern schooling. He juggled the funeral services with correspondence classes and became the official CEO.  The long line of Festerbottoms lived modestly and therefore had a good amount of savings. Fester took some of the money to upgrade the morgue equipment and give a face lift to the buildings. He was even able to plant new trees and bushes in the entry way to really give the land a good home feeling. Some cousins came to help, but Fester did most of the hiring from the local college. He met and married Louise who interned with Fester in the office. She died shortly after Charlotte was born from lymphoma. Charlotte was lucky to survive.

Fester tried to give Charlotte a better life since she was the first only child that was a girl in the family ancestry. He kept her away from most of the proceedings of the family business, but that didn’t stop her from sneaking into funerals. He even offered to pay for college as long as it was something different than mortuary science. She vowed to pay her own way if it meant she could continue working with her father. It must have been something in the bloodlines that kept the Festerbottom children glued to that spot.