Wednesday, January 28, 2015

flash fiction challege accepted-#4

Jarvis walks to the kitchen, a young lady smiles at him as she passes. In the dining area he is met by several eyes staring back ae him “I wanted to say that once I’m in my new position I look forward to continuing working together and hope for the same respect that you had for Mr. Charles.”

A month later Jarvis takes his usual morning run down a pier with a lighthouse at the end. It is a windy fall day, the waves crash the pier spraying him. At the lighthouse he meets with a man wearing a suit. The man speaks “You’re late.”

“It’s been busy, I start a new job tomorrow.”

“Almost a year into this investigation and the master of the house finally trust you enough to make you his right hand man.”

“I’m not sure head butler and right hand are the same besides I really think we have it all wrong here.”

“Alfie, this is your first field assignment your job is to do what I say!”

“And we’ve been listening to chatter for almost two years, I’m beginning to have as much faith in the NSA as the rest of America!”

“A Presidential assassination isn’t something you make jokes about!”

“Yes but do we really think one of the richest men in England is the Assassin?!”

“Maybe not but we DO know the threats are coming from this house it could be one of the sons or perhaps the daughter?”


“If you believe that then get me proof. The chatter is escalating and I need something to move on before it’s too late.”  The man gets in a motor boat tied to the pier and drives off.

 Jarvis walks down the hallway, the same young woman who smiled pulls him into her room and closes the door kissing him “How does it feel to be in charge?”

“Fi, nothing about us will change.”

“But father trust you…you will be with him during the day. He will love you as much as I do”

“I’m not his aide I will help him in the mornings and evenings the rest of the time I will still be downstairs with the other servants.”

 “I will make him love you” He exits and walks down the spiral staircase. Mr. Andrews’s office door is ajar and he hears voices. They are of youngest son David and a man he has never seen, he stops to listen.

“David once this starts there will be no stopping, we need to know that you’re all in.”

“The Prime Minister has nothing to worry about, the President will be dead by the New Year and he will get his war.”

A maid drops a tray, Jarvis goes back to work before he could be caught.

After dinner Mr. Charles ask to talk to him “Mr. Jarvis before I leave I want to give you something.” He hands Jarvis an old silver pocket watch

“I can’t this was your fathers.”

“And my grandfathers. I’m an old bachelor who never had kids, you’re a young man with a whole life ahead of you and you need to be on time working for a man like Mr. Andrews.”

Later that night Jarvis is in bed with Fiona, she has the pocketwatch opens it and reads the inscription “To my son, stay true to yourself” She leans in to kiss him, Jarvis doesn’t stop her.

At his next meeting with the man in the suit, Jarvis tells him what he has learned and the man gives him his orders.

 Back at the house David is waiting “Mr. Jarvis, Daisy was making my sister’s bed when this fell off her nightstand” He holds up the pocketwatch.

“I was looking for it last night after dinner, Miss Andrews’ must have found it.”

“And I was going to return it to Mr. Jarvis after his run” Fiona appears from the dining room.

“Thank you, if you don’t mind I have to check on lunch.”

 Fiona turns to her brother. “David I love you but my life is my own.” She walks in the other direction leaving him alone.

It is November, Jarvis stands on the pier looking out at the water, Fiona walks up behind him and places her hands on his eyes. “Whatever you want I’ll get it, don’t hurt me.”

She whispers in his ear “Why would I want to hurt you?”

Jarvis turns, they kiss, he notices that she has brought a picnic basket “I know everything that happens in this place and a picnic wasn’t on the schedule”

“I admit I had to do some sneaking around but I wanted you to have a Happy Thanksgiving, You mentioned it’s your favorite American tradition.”

 They’re about to set up the food when a boat arrives, knowing who it is Jarvis asks “Can we move this to our secret garden spot?”

 Fiona agrees and picks up the basket, she walks down the pier alone, and Jarvis quickly meets with the man in the suit.

 They are enjoying their picnic when David appears “What’s going on here?”

“Fiona was kind enough to make me a small yet tasty Thanksgiving meal. Would you like to join us?”

“I have a meeting.”

Christmas Eve and the household is all decorated.

Jarvis goes into the cellar to collect wine for dinner, unknown to him he is followed, the door is locked.

“Alfred Jonas Jarvis, born London 1988 moved to the US at the age of 12, Class Valedictorian, studied history at NYU, disappeared for a few years before showing up as a BUTLER back in England. Does that sound right, where were you between NYU and here?”

Alfred turns around to see a gun being pointed at his heart “I told Fi you didn’t like me but a gun really?” He tosses the bottle towards David and takes his own gun from his side.

“Who do you work for FBI, MI-5, CIA?” Jarvis stays silent “I bet CIA. A CIA agent sleeping with my sister I have to say that is way worst then the butler a butler I could fire a federal agent I well you know.” Still no reaction from Jarvis “Whatever happened to being loyal to one’s country?”

“I love Fi and I’m loyal to country and myself! David…You don’t have to do this.”


A gunshot is heard throughout the house.   


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Into the Woods-An enchanting movie musical

I heard that Hollywood was turning the stage musical of Into the Woods into a film about a year and a half ago and was looking forward to its grand opening and as a fan of the show ( I have seen high school versions and original on VHS while in my high school choir class.) it certainly was a grand film to watch.
I have wondered for some time now if I got the chance to make a movie version how would I do it? how would it look? Now that director Rob Marshall has done so I have to say he excelled to all of my wonder and expectations. If you don’t know the plot to Stephen Sondheim’s musical let me sum it up, he starts with a handful of popular fairy tale characters like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and his beanstalk and a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt). He then throws them into a brilliant mashed-up world where everyone sings. Each character has a reason to enter the woods (queue “I wish”), for the Baker and his wife they go into the woods to “lift a spell” that was placed on their family by a Witch (Meryl Streep).

Every actor plays their role as realistic and with prestige. In my opinion the story works when Little Red Riding Hood does her job (with confidence not bratty) and young Crawford was perfect “I really hate to ask it but would you have a basket” and stood her own against The Wolf (a small role played to perfection by Johnny Depp). I enjoyed Corden as The Baker, I like  the character and he made it his own without “straying from the path” of the original. The Baker was funny, sweet and not to smart but loved his wife and Jack was just a kid who loved his cow. I should add that my favorite song is “agony” sung by the two Princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) and the scene was so good and fun to watch and made the year wait worth it (they really hammed it up). Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman and Mackenzie Mauzy also appear in the film.
Since the entire story takes place in the woods I was looking forward to how it would look (Production Design, Art Direction and Set Decoration). The trees were fantastic from Cinderella’s mother’s grave to the tree Jack climbed as he sung “Giants in the Sky”. The costumes (by Colleen Atwood) were wonderful from The Witch’s dress to “The cape as red as blood and the shoe as Pure as Gold”. Other reviewers will warn you that it gets darker in the second act and it does both plot wise and through the cinematography by Dion Beebe as each “midnight” passes.

 When the film was over I gave it a standing ovation and add this musical film to my top five favorites list (I was worried when the actors/characters had to sing on top of each other or together but they were all wonderful and pulled it off). To finish I would like to say a thank you to Miss Callen for making us watch Into the Woods.