The cursor blinks on off on off on off. The blinding snow white of page, electronic vessel of judgment, sits in front of me. How did I get here? What have I done? I don’t remember.
EXT. MALL PARKING LOT – DUSK
The truck pulls into the parking space. BEARS (30’s), larger, heavy-metal-haired film programmer and journalist, gets out; he looks around. It’s a mall on the outskirts of town. There used to be people here, many shopping people, but they’ve moved on, to other retail options, mostly north to a trendy enclave called The Domain.
INT. BARTON CREEK MALL – CONTINUOUS
Bears pushes through the glass doors into the sterile, empty halls. Here, in the protection afforded by roofs and air conditioning, the teens are left to find gifts at Spencer’s and discuss topics that are hot and to see movies. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Guardians of the Galaxy. This is not what he is here for. He steps inside, searching for a long line, a throng of excited fans, maybe even dressed in character, black and white costumes from tonight’s film. He finds about 20 people clutching their paper invites. He asks someone in a uniform:
Is this the Sin City 2 screening?
My fingers reach out to the keyboard, I pause. Never lose control. Never let the monster out. But they have it coming. I still smell days later from the stink of that night.
How did I get here? I love to write about film and to support filmmakers. I want to amplify their voices, give their films wings to soar. But they said the name of the film in the film. And they even used it in the trailer.
INT. SCREEN EIGHT – NIGHT
Bears selects a seat on the end. With a monolithic soda, he usually doesn’t make it through a film without having to leave during the end of the act two. Other journalists have already staked their claims, struck up conversations.
Enter ERIN, Bears’ wife. He waves to her. She’s a lawyer and carries the baggage of her important day doing important things with her as she sits down next to Bears.
Did you even like the first one?
I don’t remember. I think so. It looked good.
Are we going to need to remember what happened?
I don’t think so.
The cursor mocks me. On off on off. I want to send a fist through the pretty twenty-seven inch iMac, but I don’t. Writing a review for Sin City 2. All of a sudden this doesn’t seem like the brightest idea I’ve ever had. I close my eyes, knowing full well that cursor will still be blinking when I reopen them. Taunting me from the screen like the film did last Tuesday night. Sin City’s what you watch with your eyes open, or what’s the point at all? How did I get here? I don’t know.
I begin. Or rather, something inside me has started, and I cannot stop it. The monster. Never let the monster out. The monster wants that time back. Rodriguez is like a saint in this city, is it safe to speak out against him? Don’t avenge me, monster. It’ll be the death of you.
EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT
Erin takes Bears’ arm and leads him away from the theater. They walk in silence. A car pulls out of a parking space, hesitates, and then drives on. They reach Erin’s car.
That movie wasn’t very good.
I’m sorry. It looked pretty though.
Well, at least it was free.
It’s never free.
What are you going to write?
Never let the monster out.