A dark, eerie silence lingers only for a second as the deep bellowing echo of metal chains whipping loose reverbates. A metal handle ratchets until a pop cracks open a bay door and lets a stream of moonlight dance across the dirty concrete of a warehouse floor.

As the door is being pushed open about a half dozen men in long, black leather trenchcoats accented with brimmed hats that cover their faces in the shadows, stand.

At the other end of in the middle of this warehouse sits a bleeding, sweating broken down man in a rusty metal folding chair, surrounded by nothing. His hands bound by barbed wire around the back base of this chair, bleeding broken skin scratches and deep purple bruising paint the beaten man’s arms, neck, and shoulder blades. Patches of dried blood stain various spots on the man’s tank top. His head slumps to one side and a drool of blood drips from his chin.

The trenchcoat men gather around the beaten man. One of these men, an older gentleman with a chiseled but oddly shaped face and sporting a goatee, reaches down at the beaten man’s face and rips his head up.

The head comes up to reveal Curtis Slamm as the beaten man. Slamm grunts, grinds down on his teeth as the older gentleman pops loose a switchblade and slashes the cheek of Slamm, drawing a spat of blood that soaks the older gentleman's trenchcoat.

As Slamm grimaces the older gentleman puts his face closer to Slamm’s. The older gentleman has an ear to ear grin.

“What's a matter hero, can’t take a little pain.”

As the older gentleman stands up and leads the rest of the men in a good chuckle Slamm pulls his hands apart with all his might and frees himself from the binding. Slamm quickly jumps to his feet and in almost one swift motion has his hand around the older gentleman’s throat.

The older gentleman’s feet dangle a couple inches off the ground.

Slamm leans in as the older gentleman grasps for air and tries with his hands to loosen Slamm’s grasp.

“You want to know pain? Try holding it for an hour a half while they put this make-up on you.”

“CUT!!”


Large streams of light illuminate around the area in which all the men are standing to reveal it is one big set on a sound stage.

Everybody cracks up, including Slamm and the older gentleman who is actually standing on a black painted apple box. Slamm lets go of his choke motion and helps the older gentleman off the box.

“I didn’t hurt you did I?”

“No man, in fact you could probably go a little higher and curl your fingers a bit more that would look more like a pressure point hold. We both do this kind of work for a living; believe me I can take it.”

“Cool.”

An obese man in a windbreaker and ball cap comes wandering over to the scene.

A man holding a boom microphone lowers his arms and yells to a group of cameras and audio tables about his levels.

A woman carrying a make-up case rushes over to the older gentleman.

The obese man slaps Curtis on the back.

“How was that?”

“Great stuff Curtis. The wires weren’t too tight?”

“No man after 5 surgeries (holds up his wrist), I don’t feel anything.”

“Great we’ll get the close ups, go a little tighter tomorrow and then go over the choreography for the ass kicking scene.”

“Sounds good.”

“8AM a good call time for you?”

“Yeah whatever you need.”

“You'll get a nice workout in."

"Good I have a show coming up. A tournament actually."

"Well tomorrow will be like a million 'oh my god' bumps in a row.”

“Nice I like the vocabulary pull there.”

“I’ve seen my share of Curtis Slamm shows. Good job today.”

“Thanks.”

The obese man turns around.

“THAT’S A WRAP!”

The obese man grabs a girl wearing a headset and holding a clipboard in her hands and starts talking to her about setting up the dailies room and tomorrow’s set-up.

A woman in her mid-30’s, a business suit, shoulder length blonde hair, some modest make-up, and holding a portfolio wanders up to Curtis who is rubbing his wrists and getting de-powdered by the make up girl.

“We all set for Nashville?”

“There are some concerns Mr. Slamm from the powers that be.”

“Isn’t there always? I’m not worried I’ll be ready, only 4 more days of shooting then I will hit the gym hard.”

“They want to set you up with an alternative. They have to insure that everything goes to plan.”

Slamm turns around and gets in the young woman’s face.

“You know what, I am just getting off the set. I am not going to think about anything but going to my hotel room and relax. If your bosses has any problem with that then they can get someone else to do the dirty work. They were the ones who fucking wanted me to take this movie role in the first place, good for publicity and all shit. They knew the commitment that something like this takes. You remember that conversation princess, right? You were there. I am going to maybe get me a skin-a-max flick and take the boys out for a stroll, if you want to watch my every move maybe you'd like to do so a little more up close and personal?”

“I think I will just say good night Mr. Slamm and we will see you tomorrow.”

“Sure thing sweetie.”

Slamm rolls his eyes as the make up artist finishes removing the make-up on Slamm’s wrists. He watches the young woman wander away he reaches into his jacket that is laying nearby and pulls out his cell phone and dials.

“Hey, it’s me. Yeah everything is going great. I am wondering if you could meet me in Nashville, have dinner?”

“Great. Thursday at 8? Hey can I ask you for one more favor? Do you have SB’s number? Yeah I think it’s about time I start looking out for myself. Email or text is fine. Thanks.”

Slamm hangs up the phone, picks up his jacket, looks down at the chair, runs his hand over the top of it, and walks out.

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