Rise of Roxy Ch. 08byEgmontGrigor2011©
Roxy waiting with her overnight bag packed for two nights away, imaging Shaun would arrive in a red Ford 1-ton truck and pulling on the brim of a black Stetson as he saw her.
Almost right. He arrived in a metallic blue truckie thing he called a regular cab 1500 Silverado. He wore black jeans, black embroidered shirt, black boots and black Stetson.
Oh god. Had he ever been on a ranch?
"God look at you," he said, frantically pushing at his mustache.
Perhaps the hair rose outwards when he was aroused, thought the young woman dressed in sandals and a blue and white show-almost-everything sundress with spaghetti straps.
"Does this thing have air conditioning?" she asked, as he undid the canvas lid thing at the back and carefully placed her bag before rearranging the tie-downs.
"This thing?" he said, sounding hurt. "Of course it has A/C plus many optional extras."
"Oh to make it go faster?"
"Faster? I go trucking and take pleasure in watching the hoons speed by into the next cop radar trap."
"Oh I thought you'd be a guy who'd drive fast to feel the wind through your hair because you have so much of it?"
Straightening to his full six-three, Shaun said stiffly, "Are you sure you wish to associate with me?"
She said sweetly, "Oh here come two cops in a cruiser and they are glaring at you stopped like this."
"Oh Jesus, jump in," Shaun shouted and revved the motor in panic.
"Sweet Jesus," Shaun said. "They are following us."
"Well they were coming down this side of the avenue. I'll give them the fingers to lighten up their day."
"No!" he yelled.
"Just teasing but Shaun, are you really rugged enough to be living out remotely in the wilds where all sorts of dangers lurk and when we go into the bad country full of ravines and peppered with rocks we'll be in prime rattlesnake country."
"Oh Jesus," he said slumping in his seat but lightened up a bit when Roxy said sympathetically it would be all right, she'd be there to protect him.
"Put your foot down and see if this grunty-looking truck can out-run the cops."
"Let's stop for coffee," Shaun said in a murderous-sounding voice.
Shaun had a nervous pee as well.
When they returned to the vehicle, Roxy asked if she could drive.
"I really don't think so."
"Oh thanks," Roxy said, giving him a stunning smile and beating him to the front of the vehicle to round it to the driver's side.
"This model has a powerful V8 and 4-wheel drive and ..."
"It's still in the mode you were driving isn't it?" she said, taking the key.
"Well then," she said, quickly checking out the dashboard and then started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot into the traffic flow.
"I was about to give you instruction," he protested.
"Oh how kind of you. Never mind."
Shaun directed her to make several turns and as they went on to the San Diego Freeway he said, "For a woman you are a good driver."
"Fuck you Shaun."
"What the hell is the matter now?" he cried.
"You just arrogantly suggested most women are not good drivers and said nothing about the standard of male drivers."
"Um, oh I suppose you took that as a discriminatory comment?"
"You are sure right about that buddy."
He frowned and said he had been out of order.
"Thank you Shaun, I might let you at my pussy after-all."
They drove quite some way in silence until Roxy judged he'd stewed long enough.
"This is quite a cool vehicle. I've never driven a pickup before and the ride is a lot better than what I expected and the steering feels good."
"Thanks. I can't believe you've never driven a truck before. What about a vehicle with a V8 engine?"
"No but does it matter? Once you can drive you possess the basics. I know this vehicle is much wider and more powerful than what I'm used to and accept the need to adjust me thinking and to take nothing casually."
"That's great thinking."
"Thanks. Have you ever taken this vehicle into real four-wheel drive terrain?"
"Is that because of possible damage to the paintwork or even have the bodywork dented?"
He sucked in breath and she said she'd thought so.
"Have you ever been on a ranch?"
"I noted you have made fifteen movies. Were any of those filmed outside the studio?"
"Um just two of them."
"And where were the locations?"
"Frisco and San Diego."
Indignantly he snapped, "What?"
"You have no idea of what it will be like on the Texas Panhandle do you?"
"It will be like living and working in a park, all-day sun, birds twittering and..."
"Shaun if you're teasing me I'll..."
"No I'm serious. I can't be that wrong?"
"Have you packed a computer?"
"Yes a notebook with wireless."
Roxy said good, she'd give him the addresses of some websites to look at.
"We'll be on location in January and February because we require snow on the ground when Blanche returns to town with her trophies."
"Our location scouts are presently looking at that, whether we can shoot 1900 buildings in parts of different towns to make a composite town of the right look or we build one of frontages."
"That sounds good."
"Perhaps I should tell you the Texas Panhandle at that time of year is subjected to hail, thunderstorms and average day highs of no more than 50ºF, and lows in the low twenties at night with little rain, a few days of fog and I repeat, many days with the temperature below 32ºF when we will be out from dawn to dark filming or preparing to film or packing up from filming but fortunately there will be no dust storms, tornadoes or wildfires."
"Gee that's comforting to know. We'll need advice on what clothing to take."
They arrived at the beachfront house at Solana Beach on Pacific Avenue that his parents co-owned with his mom's sister and husband.
It was a stylish house and very comfortably furnished.
"Can we fuck now?" Shaun asked.
"Thank you for asking. Yes I suppose so."
He proved to be very good and a comfortable size for Roxy. She thought it passed the time better than reading a magazine.
"Gee you fuck swell," he said, still panting.
She complimented him on his techniques.
"I didn't know I had any?"
"Well I certainly wasn't the one doing the leading," she smiled and he thought about that and grinned.
Jesus, who looked after him; his mom?"
"Do you live at home Shaun?"
"Yeah, top quality accommodation and great food and mom doesn't care with what I do with the women I take home and dad chats them up and I see him giving them his personal card."
"Oh very nice."
"Yes it is and mom accompanies me on set and looks after me, gets the information I need from the call sheets each evening when there's activity next day and she organizes me to go to the 'dailies' on time to review our day's work on film."
"Oh that must be very nice for you," Roxy said, meaning it gently sarcastically but he grinned at her and said yeah. Roxy decided this would be her first and final intimate association with mommy's boy. She was relieved when he said mommy wouldn't be going to Texas with him.
* * *
The production crew were holed out waiting for fog to lift at a small town called White Deer (named after a creek) in Carson Country, some thirty-six miles northeast of Amarillo when they crowded into a couple of bars to watch the news on TV when hearing the movie review near the end of the broadcast was to be their studio's latest release, 'Let's Produce Musicals'.
Locals in the bar Roxy and Jennifer was at hushed during the review, having been told Jennifer was the director of the movie and Roxy played the lead.
The female reviewer said, "I thought it was an easy-paced romp, tightly directed by Jennifer Hinckley and providing little that was taxing for rising star Roxy Reeves. Roxy surprised by providing she has a great singing voice and so that must be a plus for her. I was astonished to find my two teenage daughters I took with me to the review were anything but bored but instead they spent most of the time, mouths open, their eyes glued to the screen. I asked what had them hooked and in true teenager feedback they said nothing."
"Well something is there; it's a feel good story and the main character Rusty came out of jail determined to change her life around and began writing and producing musicals and at the end of the movie she takes her full cast to her old prison and oh dear, they sent that place rocking, almost blowing the cement out of the slimy green concrete walls of confinement."
"Yes I did leave that theater last night feeling I had been entertained and the message of redemption came through loud and clear. Roxy's vitality and yet relaxed style really got to me. I'm giving it four out of five, mainly because it thoroughly entertains, tells a great story and is beautifully acted. I believe Roxy Reeves was acting as if she really believed she was the novelist's main character, Sharon Hill also known as Rusty because of her chestnut hair. It's cute things like this that can made a small story big."
"Omigod, Omigod," Roxy said, grabbing Jennifer and dancing her in small circles, the crowd cheering and clapping them on.
Jennifer, red-faced and looking very happy, broke free and called, "Mr Bar Manager, a round of drinks for everyone on me and, if you turn off the TV, Roxy will tell you more about this movie we are making in this locality. It's about time we opened up and gave you explicit details."
"God won't Publicity screw my neck by revealing so much so soon?" Roxy asked.
"No and I must say the authorities giving us planning permission and much other support have remained very tight lipped. The arrangement was I make the leak at an appropriate time and let the media come flocking to flesh out the story of a legendary woman that people on the Texas Panhandle apparently have forgotten about. The time is now."
The bar room was pretty silent as Roxy delivered most of the storyline about the legendary Dr Blanche Monroe but leaving out the fact that Blanche had killed three of the brothers and the techniques used to capture (or shoot) them. But when she finished a burly guy said, "That's all bullshit. My family traces our origins of arriving on the Panhandle in l863 and I've never heard of the story of this chick going out alone to round up five desperadoes to bring them back dead or alive. Your writer must have been in drugs."
"You see the problem is it happened way back in 1904," Jennifer said. "No one that old from around here is living. We're hoping this news of why we are here will encourage people in the numerous museums on the Texan Panhandle to look through their archives to find something even more valuable than the faded newspaper cuttings that described Dr Monroe arriving back with her wagon load of her captives, a report of the court Judge commending her for her heroism in doing all of this alone.. Unfortunately the town where this all happened no longer exists so we can't go to that town's archives and we were unsuccessful in our attempts to find the court records in storage in Amarillo."
"What about checking Austin for those old records?" called a thin elderly woman.
"One of our researchers did ma'am but came up empty-handed apart from a copy of the same court record."
"Where is the location of that ghost town?" called a guy in a business suit.
"It was a small settlement called Boswell, apparently named after an Army Scout who years later returned to settle there. Its location is southwest of Amarillo."
Someone called, "Then why aren't you filming there?"
"Well firstly because no one knows where the settlement was and our scouting suggested we could get more of the 1904 feeling by setting up here at White Deer. You must understand some 80% of our filming will be out in open country."
A younger woman called, "Why don't you consult Thomas Elder, a distance relative of mine? Mr Elder is ninety-eight and lives in a retirement place in Amarillo. When a boy he lived to the west of Amarillo and may recall seeing a decaying abandoned town to the southwest of Amarillo."
"The problem will be there will be a number of original small settlements around that were overtaken by time and circumstances," said the guy in a business suit. "What you really need is for someone to come forward with that doctor's diaries and remember, she may have been a quack rather than a qualified doctor, a medicine woman and possibly also a party-qualified vet. They were around in those early days, making a living out of possessing a bit of knowledge but if she had been a real doctor she would have kept diaries to protect her butt against possible claims of malpractice."
Jennifer said good thinking and whispered to Roxy to get details of where to find old Mr Thomas Elder. "It might not work out as a lead but we can't ignore it."
The word spread and next morning media people including two TV teams arrived from Amarillo.
They watched the filming and then, as arranged, Roxy repeated driving along just for the media in her wagon complete with steel cage that was drawn by two matching roan horses. Roxy was dressed for winter, her hair pinned up and topped by a bonnet tied under her chin, with her shoulders covered by a thick cape and she wore a thick long skirt to her ankles and held up by a thick brown leather belt, black boots and leather cowboy tan-colored gloves.
The media gathered and a women called, show us your shotgun Roxy?
Roxy obliged and pulled out the shotgun held in a scabbard on the outside of her seat to the right. She blasted off a shot into the air and two of the female journalists screamed in fright. The camera guys were having a ball.
"T-that was live ammunition," said one of the women who'd reacted adversely.
"Well yes, we are not playing around here. We are making this as realistic as we can."
Roxy agreed to do that all over again for the benefit of one of the TV crews who wanted the two journalists who'd screamed to stand beside the horses and jump and scream and for Roxy to yell "Whoa" and pulling back on both pair of reins in one hand."
But it was even better than that.
The shotgun blasted by the horses had become used to that and stood still but when the two females screamed right beside them, they took off with Roxy yelling. "Whoa, whoa you motherfuckers."
Everyone watching including about thirty curious onlookers fell about laughing and that interview was shown on network television that evening, with an editing 'bleep' over that disgusting profanity.
Roxy drove back and a young male reported asked, "What's the shotgun Roxy?"
"It's a Winchester model 1897 solid frame 12-guage pump shotgun made in the year 1900 with a walnut butt. I just love it and the noise of it going off. Blanche probably using a similar gun fired each time she gunned down one of the brothers."
There was a gasp.
"Gunned down?" choked the reporter.
"Oh yes, three times Blanche had a shoot-out with one of the brothers. Each time she came through unscathed but it was adios each time for those brothers firing at her with a six-gun but she sidestepped before firing while they didn't."
"What happened to the other two guys?" said a senior reporter, sensing they were on to a big story.
"Oh they were later hanged according to newspaper clippings of the day. Perhaps I should give you the storyline for better-understanding?" she smiled cutely and the media chorused yes please.
Jennifer smiled triumphantly, amazed that sweet Roxy had the guile to have the usually cynical media practically drooling to be told the story of what this movie was about.
William called Jennifer from the studio next afternoon to growl, "Hey are you guys down there to film or are you filling your day yarning to the media?"
"We are managing to do both quite nicely thank you William. I guess you have seen some publicity."
"Yeah and it's causing some reaction. We had a stupid bitch on midday TV on her Hollywood Report saying although you guys were working your butts off in the cold filming you were taking time out to shoot buffalo by the score and probably leaving them to decay."
"Keep relaxed. The local media will swarm in behind Wildlife Rangers sent to investigate that report because it's fed live to a large number of independent TV stations."
"Are there buffalo in Texas?"
"There are bound to be Jennifer and bound to be larger than buffalo anywhere else but does it matter? All publicity is good publicity for us... er within reason. Last night Eva and I almost wet ourselves watching that TV clip that had a close-up as Roxy fired the shotgun and those two dumb media babes screaming. The horses look off with Roxy holding her shotgun in the air while trying to haul on the reins whiles cussing. That was easily a million bucks of free publicity for us because the name of the studio and the name of the movie being shot were mentioned. I've been told that clip went coast to coast and was being repeated on some news wrap-ups this morning."
* * *
"A big posse is approaching from the east," called a sharp-eyed camera operator.
"Christ it will be Wildlife offices, the media and probably a couple of cops," Jennifer groaned. "John and Felix, walk out a bit and stop them and tell them to be quite while we finish this scene. We might have to reshoot it as well."
Those stopped were three cops, two wildlife officers and fifteen media people including six who'd just flown in from out-of-state.
The visitors left their vehicles, motors turned off, and crept in to watch, John warning no flashlights and no noisy camera shutters to be operated.
Roxy stood side-on to the cameras and to the visitors grouped behind them a bit.
Roxy playing Blanche, stood with her long dress pulled up beyond her knees and a breast nearest the camera was hanging out, bared.
"Oh LeRoy, don't be shy. I know you are behind that big rock. Come out and see what I'm offering you."
"Clear out or I'll put a slug into your belly. The only females we want around here are sluts and you sound too educated to be one of those."
"Oh please LeRoy. I need some manly satisfaction. I could pay you."
"It would be worth five dollars to me to have a real man."
"Five dollars, then you must be loaded."
The thickly bearded desperado came from behind the rock with his six-gun pointing at her midriff. She was standing slightly side-on to him, concealing her shotgun from him.
"LeRoy Wilson, I'm taking you in for being involved in the cold-blooded shooting of unarmed Harry Ludbrook and unarmed Joseph Channing. Put down your gun and raise your hands."
"Go to hell your sly bitch. I've seen better udders on heifers. Say goodbye world," he laughed and raised his gun with the action to work a cartridge into the firing chamber and lowered the gun to shoot Blanche.
She darted to one side and he fired wildly and missed.
Blanche calmly raised the shotgun waist high and fired. The blast sent Leroy back half a pace and he looked down in surprise at the blood running through the wide hole in the middle and lower part of his vest made by the shot spread.
He coughed and again, this time coughing blood and, eyes wide open, fell on to his face without a sound.
"Goodbye rattlesnake," Blanche gritted. "Oh my breast is so cold."
"Cut," Jennifer called.
The visitors clapped and the dopey female journalist from yesterday said, "Was that a faked shooting?"
"Yes darling," smiled the director. "We are not permitted to shoot to kill our actors even when they are playing the baddies. Now what do you people want?"
The senior wildlife guy said, "We've received reports that you people are shooting buffalo for the sheer hell of it."
Jennifer said, "Well that's very interesting. For a start we have no shotgun ammunition in our possession, and never have and fire only blanks. We have no rifles. Between us all with have six self-defense handguns, all .32s I believe and not the sort of weapon to go near buffalo or should I say bison. Secondly are there free-roaming bison around here?"