Copyright © 2009 A.Matheson.  All Rights Reserved.

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by Antonia Matheson


Part two: L.A

June 1st: opening gig/arrival in L.A

Kirstin couldn't quite believe where she was. It all seemed rather alien to her. She was used to meeting her clients in cafés, and the casts at rehearsal venues or strange little rooms in warehouses and old cinemas. She was used to working with a range of people from embittered actors and naive talent, to egos whose tempers ran high. What she wasn't used to was rock and roll lifestyles that were in any way actually what she considered to be rock and roll.

In Kirstin's world of work everything was usually a little feigned. She did occasionally work with a really talented kid that didn't know what was coming yet or a seasoned pro who for some reason had escaped the machine and remained grounded, but it was rare.

These people here looked real. They looked like they really belonged. They looked like they didn't mind the beer stained floors or the dank tobacco scent that lingered in the air from the previous night's performances. This wasn't a set and there wasn't a script, because they weren't pretending. This was what these people lived day in day out. They didn't go home to clean up and rehearse their lines: They stayed out, they wrote new ones. They fell into their un-personalised hotel rooms and onto their sullied tour buses. The likes of which were parked right outside. Kirstin decided she liked it. She decided this really might be a challenge after all.

Leaning against the rail at the back of the venue, one steel toe-capped foot up on the fencing, Kirstin watched her new project in what appeared to be a sound check. They seemed relaxed and, despite the fact that technical difficulties were obviously prevailing, the odd joke was being tossed about between them. She got the impression that this job involved as much waiting around as any other performance might. Add to that a film crew and all the trappings of making a well-lit film… maybe I ought to get a book, she pondered.

She had taken the unlikely decision not to do any research, having the idea that they should to try and document the journey as they found it. She lifted her camera up to take some snaps, noting the light was bright enough for her not to have to intrude.

What she found was a cute girl singer with plenty of spunk, a real voice and a guitar, snap; a sweet looking bass player with an imposing presence that looked liked he loved her, or certainly adored her, snap; and a drummer that she seemed to listen to without question. Snap. Correction: a lounging, cool looking drummer.

Wait a minute.

She leaned forward to peer a little closer pushing the hair out of her eyes and peering back through her lens.

Isn't that?…

As she was frowning to herself the house lights came up and she was illuminated without intending to be. She lowered her camera and narrowed her eyes until they adjusted, feeling a little caught out. She then relaxed when she realised she was not alone. Various people were dotted around, she assumed most were technical staff judging by their attire, and then she spotted some more familiar faces. Suze smiled and duly trotted over.

“Hey!” She beamed. “Well this is a little more interesting than the norm wouldn't you say?” She was wearing casual clothes as per instruction and looked totally at home, her wavy, long, red-brown hair a little ruffled.

Kirstin could almost see the slightly star-struck kid that Suze might've been when she was at college, all baggy jumpers and worn jeans. It was refreshing. She herself quite liked being on the job in her own ripped jeans and faded t-shirt. It made a much more comfortable change to the monkey suit she would usually have to wear to meet clients.

“Yes,” Kirstin smiled back. “I'd say it was. In fact I get the feeling this could be kinda fun!”

She turned back to watch the bustle on the stage. The lead singer had taken a perch on one of the flight cases as a longhaired roadie was trailing leads across the stage. Guess stereotypes exist for a reason, she mused to herself.

“Good flight up?” Suze interrupted her musings.

Kirstin lowered her voice a little sheepishly, “Ah, I drove.”

Suze turned to her. “You drove?! I thought you said you'd be fine?”

“I did. I was. I am.” She answered plainly.

Suze shook her head. “I would've happily come along to hold your hand you know…” she gave Kirstin a slightly scathing look.

“I don't need you to hold my hand Suze. Just like I didn't need to fly here.”

“I feel duped. You had no intention of flying did you?”

“Nope.” Kirstin replied bluntly without apology.

“Have you seen the tour schedule? You know you can't get away with that for the entire project right?”

“Yeh, but I can try.” She flashed a wry grin at her.

“And I'm sure you will.” Suze sounded resigned to the concept. “So do you have any schedule planned for today, or maybe the week, that I can have?” She said neatly changing the subject.

Kirstin took a breath, “Ah, well no. Not really. I don't actually have a clue what we're doing,” she admitted. “The problem with this project is that we can't possibly know what shape it'll take til it's well on its way. Luckily we have enough resources to ensure we can keep rolling til we're done.”

“We do?!” Suze's eyebrows hiked upward. It was more usual for them to be under-equipped and understaffed.

Kirstin nodded as she looked out towards the stage and its occupants. “Whoever these guys are they're pretty popular, they have quite a lot of hefty backing.”

“You don't know who they are?”

“Nope. Should I?” she asked looking back at Suze.

“Um. Well… actually yes, I kinda think you should.” Suze nodded briskly.

Kirstin paused for a moment before speaking.

“I don't exactly have my finger on the modern music pulse Suze. Not sure if you noticed but I don't get out much. In fact I seem to remember you telling me that yourself not so long ago,” she waggled a finger at her.

Suze looked at her for a moment. Then her eyes travelled downward to pointedly stare at Kirstin's t-shirt. She raised an eyebrow. Kirstin suddenly felt a little self-conscious. “What?” 

“What kind of non-muso just happens to have a aged Joan Jett t-shirt in her closet?”

Kirstin looked down at it herself. “I'd hardly call it modern day underground music Suze.”

“You be surprised what the kidz are into these days. It's almost cool,” she said with authority.

Kirstin rolled her eyes and then nodded her head toward the door and setting off in that direction. “C'mon, want a coffee?”

“Sure.” Suze got the impression Kay had taken to heart the comment she had made the previous week when she had told her boss to go home and leave her and Josh to finish up. It wasn't usual for her to get hang-ups, but here she might have found one, little though it was.

“You know I just meant you work too hard sometimes, it's not like I told you to get a life or something…”

Kirstin threw a sideways glance at her as she held the door open for Suze to pass through. “Ah ha.”

“Stop it!”

“Stop what?” said Kirstin innocently.

“Looking at me like that. You have this amazing ability to me feel really bad.”

Kirstin played at being wide-eyed, “Oh, that. Yeh. I know. Sorry.” She took a breath. “It's what I do when I feel vulnerable.” She elongated the word in a rather sarcastic tone. “And I like watching you squirm,” she added. “You're too easy.”


Watch sound check

Meg wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand. The lights felt like they burned into her sometimes. She found herself wishing that shades didn't look quite so wanky when worn indoors. She peeled off her grey hoody and threw it behind her. It landed at the feet of their bassist who looked up to see where it had come from. She grinned at him. He grinned back and picked it up carefully between his thumb and forefinger as if it were distasteful, placing it on the nearest amp.

“I don't sweat that much bush boy!” She growled at him in good humour.

“I can deal with your sweat I just don't know where you've been…” he retorted.

“Funny guy. I'm not the philanderer this week…” She shouted turning back round to resume her position.

He rolled up the piece of gaffer tape he'd been taking off a stand and threw it at her hitting her squarely on the head and bouncing off onto the floor tom beside her.

She flinched for a second and turned to shoot him a look but he had hidden behind a wing. She made a mental note to find something a little wetter to throw back when she'd done.

“Some snare please.” The monitor bleated from her left as George, the sound engineer, shouted instructions.

She stopped her foot on the kick drum and replaced the slow, low beat with the high rattling sound of the snare as the engineer twiddled knobs in a vain attempt to remove the tinniness from the sound.

Meg was surrounded by leads and microphones attached to each and every bit of equipment in front of her. As usual she zoned out letting her mind ponder on everything and nothing. What would they have for dinner she wondered? She liked the restaurant they had been in the night before. The calzone was great. Yes. She'd be more than happy to go there again. Mmmm.

“High hat please,” came the instruction.

 Without even pausing for thought she ceased with the snare and clunked away at the high hat to the left. We might even be able to catch a movie if they get this over with quick enough. Then she remembered they had a meeting later with some film company or other. Damn.

She hated being filmed. She knew it was good for publicity but it was not her favourite pass time. She was a drummer after all. She quite liked sitting at the back, not having to speak. She just liked banging on things. It was what she did. She just hoped that they'd focus mostly on Jess, the lead singer, as usual.

Jess was stood a few metres ahead of her tuning up with a look of concentration, her tongue peeking out of the side of her mouth, the silver ball of her piercing just visible. Her messy mop of streaky badger hair looked barely brushed and from what she could make out last nights mascara still lingered. Meg chuckled at the sight, knowing full well Jess didn't know how cute she looked. Then the glare of the lights began to irritate her again. Grr.

“Can you get them to turn the stage lights off?” She shouted to Jess who turned round squinting. “They're giving me a headache flashing at me like that!”

“What?” Jess shouted, leaning forward.

“I said the lights, can we get rid?”

“Oh, yeh I know, they suck.” Shielding her eyes she turned back to face the auditorium. She spoke into the microphone in front of her. “Do we need the lights? Can we kill them for a bit?”

“Sure, sorry,” came the response from the blackened booth. The stage lights shut off and the house lights came up.

“Thanks Adie.” She said briefly before twisting round to look at Meg. “Better?”

Meg winked at her, “Much,” she said, and smiled.

“A bit of crash please.”

Meg switched focus again, this time to her right. She could hear the techs in the booth muttering something “Are you getting that” she heard one of them say, “Ok, hang on.”

A guy ran out on to the stage with a lead in hand and swiftly swapped it with the one attached to the crash mic. People who know what they're doing. Meg smiled at Pete as he fiddled around. Makes such a difference.

After a few years of toiling on an underground scene whose heart was in the right place, but that didn't quite seem to realise sound mixing was more than twiddling knobs and pushing buttons, it certainly was nice to sit for a check and know that what you heard on stage was almost exactly what the audience would be getting later on. And because they had their own engineers and roadies on tour she didn't have to sit there explaining why Jess needed two mics, or why she preferred her kit set to the left. It made their lives so much easier, it was quite easy to see how people could come to just expect that level of attention. She didn't think it would happen to them. She certainly hoped it wouldn't.

Grapple had been started at a college party some years ago. Meg was drunkenly strumming on a guitar entertaining a group of freshers when she had heard a hauntingly raw and sexy voice drunkenly join in from down the corridor. It came right into the room and joined her. And it didn't leave.

Being drunk had been their first commonality. Hating their courses had been their second. But the strongest bond was their love of music and all the trappings that came with it. There began a drunken spree of missing lectures to hang out in the rehearsal rooms of the music department after hours. Meg's roommate Sally was on an engineering course and the rooms were open late into the night. No one ever asked to see a pass and people just assumed they were on one of the courses. Soon even the lecturers there knew them by name, yet never questioned why they'd never seen either of them in class.

They went to gigs whenever they could together, watching, learning, drinking, crashing backstage, getting a name for themselves, and eventually they found a bass player. Well, more specifically they purged a bass player from a local band they'd seen.

By tradition he was really tall and lanky. Jess was insistent that he come and rehearse with them. And when Jess wanted something, she tended to get it. She'd hounded the poor boy, dragging Meg off to every gig he played, shouting out from the audience. Though a little reluctant the first time, he was easily persuaded the second, and before they knew it they were a three-piece. Meg had to give it to Jess; she was certainly right about their big bush boy Ben.

They finally decided on a name when Jess's mother turned to them one sunny summer afternoon in the back garden when they had been round for a barbeque. They were engaged in some rough and tumble as a result of a silly and rather pointless mock argument.

“Will you three please stop it, you always end up in some kind of grapple…” she had said.

And it was true they decided. They had play fights all the time. Sometimes even on stage.

They had learned a lot very quickly on the local scene. They had a good background in the technical side of things and Jess was such a great front woman, they never really seemed to struggle. They had played crappy gigs, sure, but hadn't everybody? It was still a far cry away from the place they found themselves in today.

In fact it was rare they should allow themselves to be booked into such a large venue. They all preferred, it was fair to say, the darker, damp, intimate gigs of their childhood, and they did everything they could to stick to smaller venues. But they had had to give way on this one. You couldn't start a world tour in a bar she conceded. Jess had argued that one too, but eventually she gave in.

Pete had successfully changed the wire over and George was talking from the sound booth.

“Ok try that again please?”

Meg refocused and attempted the crash cymbal for a second time.


Gather crew

“This place is pretty cool…” breathed Suze.

The rest of the crew had been pulling up one by one into secondary bar area near the entrance to the venue.

“Yeh, used to be an old opera house apparently,” stated Kirstin.


“That's what it says in the toilets.” 

Suze laughed at her deadpan delivery. The others weren't quite sure if she was joking or not. Or, if she was joking, why it was funny.

Her crew was a small one all in all, though they had recruited more people for the first day's shooting since it was the opening night of the tour. The rest of the tour would be covered by her slim-line choice of camera operators, sound guys and runners for convenience. People would have to double up on jobs and so she was glad she had a large pool of expertise to choose from. When travelling the fewer people you had the easier everything was to organise. Kirstin had learnt that at a young age.

“What's the plan then Boss?” piped up Josh a big smile on his face.

“I don't have one,” she responded breezily.

Suze raised an eyebrow at Josh who was looking a little nonplussed.

“I'm sorry?” he said.

“I don't have one,” Kirstin repeated.

“Right. Oh, well…” He wasn't sure what to say.

“We're not gonna fall apart y'know just because I didn't write you out an itinerary…” she joked.

“Um, no, of course not. It's just…”

“Not like me?” Kirstin enquired.

“Er, well, yes.” He smiled abashedly.

Kirstin sighed. “Ok, gather round everyone,” she motioned them all forward.

“Here's the deal. This is a documentary. We don't usually make documentaries as a crew, I know. That is to say not real ones. This time we can't script anything or even story board things. We can't ask for interviews in pretty places or put people head to head where we think it might be interesting. In short, we can't orchestrate anything. We simply don't have the time. We're going actually have to document properly. By this I mean literally just follow their lead. Learn about them as we move with them. Ask questions when they occur to us, in the moment. It's the only way we're gonna get a half-assed decent piece outta this I think. They're real people, lets just get to know them. Lets try to live a little of their life before we comment on it or feel the need to sugar coat it.” Kirstin looked around the room at her crew. She raised her eyebrows looking for approval.

It was Josh who spoke up, looking a little relieved, “Well, now Boss, I thought you said you didn't have a plan? That sure sounds like a plan to me!” he beamed at her.

“Hm. I guess it is huh?” she remarked thoughtfully.

There was general nodding agreement all around. Kirstin smiled to herself triumphantly.

“Ok. Good. Anyone have anything they need to bring up, things they need to sort out? Travel, hotel arrangements, everything ok?” A silence followed. She looked at them affectionately.

“I'm glad I got to bring you guys with me on this project,” she grinned. “So, lets just hang around here for a bit then I guess. We're meeting with the band and managers and staff and whosoever else they wanna throw at us just as soon as they've wound down sound check. Which could be any length of time away I'm guessing. Anyone fancy a game of pool?”

Josh's eyes lit up.


Meet Al Riley

Al Riley had an amble, not a walk, Kirstin had noticed, and she quite liked it. It made him very approachable indeed, and it was quite endearing. He seemed a little old to be a fan of the music that boomed through the auditorium door after him as he opened it, but he certainly looked like he'd been around for some time and knew a few tricks.

“Hallo there Miss Hart, how ya doin'? Nice to see you again,” he drawled at her in his rich southern accent.

They had met briefly the week before when he had dropped by the office to chat to her about the project. He was mightily pleased she had agreed to take charge of it, and he was very aware of her previous work he had told her.

Kirstin soon discovered Al certainly wasn't all hot air, unlike most other clients who started by trying to sweet talk her. This guy actually DID take note, and had a great memory.

She stood to greet him, “Hi Al. I'm really good thanks, but please, can you start calling me Kirstin?”

“Well, I could,” he replied, “but ah won't.” He smiled at her and half winked as he took a seat and gestured for her to do the same.

“Howdy Mike,” he put a hand up to the guy behind the bar who waved back.

“Good to see ya Al! The usual?” Mike shouted back.

“Yeh, why not?” The bar tender busied himself with the order.

Kirstin introduced her table to him, “Josh, Suze, Kate, Seth, this is Al Riley, he manages the band.”

“Al Riley eh?” Josh was clearly impressed, and Kirstin was impressed that Josh was impressed. “A pleasure,” he said standing to shake his hand.

“Don't get too excited son,” he chuckled returning the handshake, “but nice to know my name ain't mud yet.” They all smiled. “So what's the plan? You got your equipment here now?”

Kirstin laughed internally at the mention of 'plan' and she sensed that Suze was laughing too.

“Actually we thought we'd save the cameras til this evening. They arrive this afternoon.” Some things didn't change, like cutting it fine. “I can take a look at the space and work out vaguely what's gonna work where and how later. Most of the footage will be roaming cameras I'm thinking, with some of the front of house frenzy and at least one camera set to the stage. I want to catch as much as possible on the opening night and we can work out our take on it after it's happened.”

“I like it. We can argue about your take on it when you've worked out what it is. Suits me damn fine!” he growled happily. “So no interviews today then?”

Kirstin was smiling at him, yes, she liked this guy very much. “No, not today. I think we'll leave that til they're bored and decide they want to talk to us…”

“Good move. Jesse'll talk for America if you ask her the right questions but the others you'll have to coax a little.”

“Noted. Thanks for the tip.”

“Sure, anytime.”

Kirstin had been sitting at the back of the group, lounging, having played a couple of games of pool that had dented Josh's ego. She looked across at him. He was clearly still sulking a little as he supped on a beer. The bar tender approached with Al's drink.

“Will they be much longer?” she asked Al.

“Uh, ten-fifteen minutes?” he offered.

“Cool. Josh, you wanna re-match?”

He eyed her warily in thought. “Only if we play doubles and I get Al as my partner.”

Al coughed. “Ha! Don't reckon you'll need mah help son!”

“Don't be too sure Al,” Kirstin said as she got up and headed for the table. “He got beat pritty bad,” she mocked in an American accent, “he might need some help… Suze, that means you're with me I guess.”

“My pleasure, Kaye. I like beating boys.” She smirked at them both as she got up to join her.

Al coughed again, “BOYS?!”

Josh pleaded with him, “See what I have to contend with? It's worse than college. C'mon, you gotta help me out!”

“Ah, jeez.” He looked around to see if someone else might offer. There were no takers. “Well, ok I guess. Lets see if we can't put em' in their place!” And with that big man from Texas stood up to take to the table.

Josh knew there was little chance of redeeming himself today, even if Al did turn out to be a whiz on the table, but he was just competitive enough not to let it go.


As it happened, and as usual, no one much past Kirstin got a chance on the table. She had grown up with two brothers who had taught her well, or rather beaten her well, at most games, thus infusing her with the need to be better. She obviously gave them a chance in the first game trying not to show off, which Josh found cute, but when Al mentioned that it looked like the band were on their way she kicked  right into auto pilot, walking round the table with nonchalant ease and cleaning up to swiftly put her on the black.

“Nominate,” she stated.

Josh was standing there watching her in pure admiration.

Al swung round. “Wah?”

Josh shook his head at her, “You're wasted in this profession…”

She cocked her head to one side scratching her nose absentmindedly. She sniffed, “I said nominate.”

“Sheesh girl. Damn'it!” Al scratched his head, more present-mindedly.

Josh took a look at the table, noting Suze smirking in the corner. “Okay.” He picked the trickiest pot he could muster, and with so many other balls still on the table it was easy to find one. “Middle left.”

Kirstin sighed. Took a look at the table and walked round to the white to cue up. “Could do it with my eyes closed,” she muttered.



“Go on,” Josh said. “Close your eyes…”

“You serious?”

“I'd like to see you try, yeh!”

She raised an eyebrow at him. She was just about to tell him not to be so silly when Suze egged her on.

“G'wan! I bet you can do it!”

“How much do you bet??” countered Josh.

“Ten dollars,” Suze replied.

“I bet you twenty she can't,” he responded.

“Guys! Lets not involve money again ok?” Kirstin pleaded as she remembered the last time the pair had placed bets on her, resulting in their dual silence for well over an hour.

A drawl came from behind them, “I bet you fifty she CAN…”

Josh turned around to see Al getting his wallet out. He looked from Al back to Kirstin who looked as shocked as he felt. He paused momentarily in thought then offered Al his hand, which he shook. “You're on.”

“Oh sweet Jesus.” Kirstin let out, slapping her hand to her forehead comically.

Josh turned to her. “Go on then. With you're eyes closed.”

She looked at Al.

“G'wan kid, like the boy says…”

Kid? Was she a kid? That was the second time today she'd been referred to like that. She stood there with her mouth open for a moment, observing the preposterous nature of the situation and considering her options. The she snapped out of it. “Fine then. Whatever. Just don't hold me responsible when I miss…” she pointed out.

Taking a quick look at the ball she settled herself into position. Her eyes, full of reproach, found Josh and Al in turn before closing. She cued the ball, pretty hard. It hit a couple of cushions and on hearing a clunk she re-opened her eyes and took a step backward to watch the black ball come off the right hand cushion and, to her disbelief, actually head towards the centre pocket where it neatly dropped in.

“Holy crap!” Suze was the first to speak breaking the stilled silence that had covered them. “Holy crap Kay, you did it!”

Kirstin was stunned. They all were. She gave Josh a lop-sided bashful smirk and shrugged. He just laughed at her and reluctantly fished for his wallet.

From the group that had surrounded the table a girl suddenly emerged striding towards Kirstin.

“I'm sorry, I just gotta shake your hand! Who in the Hell are you? That was amazing!”

Kirstin was a bit taken aback as she offered the girl her hand, which was taken firmly. It was the singer from Grapple she realised, smiling right in her face.

Al jumped in to save her, “That there young lady Jesse, is Kirstin Hart. And she sure is something ain't she?”

On hearing Al's voice Jess turned, letting go of Kirstin's hand. She looked from him back to Kirstin, “Oh, shit, sorry, should I know you?”

Kirstin's forehead contracted “Ah…”

“Nope. Not yet. But you will,” Al said. “She's the director and producer with the film company that'll be touring with you.”

Al stood and counted the crisp notes Josh had just handed to him. “But I'm thinking her talent may be wasted too…” he smiled at Josh who nodded seriously in response.

“No shit!” exclaimed Jess. “Really??” She produced a broad smile. “Well I think you and me'll get along just fine. So long as you promise to always be on MY side. Jess Graver,” she said taking her hand again. “Good to meet you.”

“Kirstin. Nice to meet you too,” she answered.

“Wann'another game?” she asked.

“You can play later Jesse,” Al interrupted. “Lets get everyone introduced first, eh?” He came forward and gestured for them to move to the seated bar area.

“Is this everyone?” He asked one of the engineers Kirstin ecognized from the booth in the auditorium. General nods followed. “Ok. Siddown people.”


Introduce the crews

Kirstin was surprised to discover that there weren't nearly as many people as she'd imagined on the band's touring crew, in fact they seemed to be as minimal a grouping as her own. For some reason she had imagined a much larger entourage, probably due to the many stories she had heard about bands generally. But then the band had been present for their own sound check hadn't they? That in itself said quite a lot about them.

The two groups naturally took sides of the bar according to whether they were band or film related, which made things a little easier. Al took the lead introducing first himself, then the touring stage crew before coming finally to the band itself.

“And then of course we got the talent…” he smirked. “Lil Jess, who I think generally manages to introduce herself before I get chance…” Jess held up a hand to everyone. “She sings a bit…” he joked, “Ben on bass, who gets called all kindsa funny names I don't ask about,” Ben nodded hi, “…and Meg, hiding there at the back, the drummer.”

Kirstin had known she recognised that face. It had changed very little since the last time she had last seen it, though she noticed its wearer had gained a little muscle and perhaps a little height. Or was it just a little confidence maybe? Either way it was still the same face, unmistakable. Dark, brooding features, angular jaw-line, piercing blue-grey eyes, almost permanently active eyes on what was otherwise a seemingly passive face. She still had a lump of dark hair that she hid behind. It was definitely her Kirstin thought. And the name was too much of a coincidence.  She suddenly regretted not having done some background research.

As she watched her leaning casually against the back wall of the bar, a vision of being pushed over at the age of five in a back garden at some kid's party, face first into the mud, suddenly washed over her. She shook her head as she realised she was staring. Thankfully she hadn't been caught. She quickly averted her eyes as Al introduced her to the group. He invited her to move forward. Too late now girl. She stepped up to say a few words.

“Hi.” She smiled sheepishly. “Well it seems I've already managed to show you all what a cock I can be… not the greatest first impression to make, that of a gambling, pool playing drinker, but, well… it's a little closer to the mark than the impression I give most people.”

 The smiles that came back at her were warm and any worries Kirstin may have had soon faded.

“Anyways. Hopefully you'll still all be able to take me seriously, at some point. So, this is tonight's crew behind me. Don't worry they won't be all travelling with us but I'll introduce them all anyway.”

She went round each person in turn giving their names and job titles and a brief explanation of what that actually meant they did, to some amusement. She finished off with the core group of Josh, Suze, Kate, Seth, Gerard and James indicating they were the people they'd see the most of during the tour.

“As far as tonight goes,” she concluded, “we'll try our hardest just to stay out of your way. Don't worry we won't be interviewing anyone or hassling you. I'll save that til we all know each other a little better,” she said suggestively. “That said don't feel like you have to be on good behaviour when you see a camera. I know it's hard, but just try doing whatever it is that you usually do. The contract clearly states that we can't use any footage you haven't agreed to be included in the final product so you don't have to worry if you slip up and say something really offensive or libellous! That's what the editing suite is for.”

Kirstin had become pretty good at working a crowd since she was used to speaking to far larger groups of more inattentive people, with much more to distract them. Her charm was evident, she was relaxed and confident and never shied from making eye contact.

“Anyone have any questions?” she added.

“Yeh, can we get a beer now?” Josh moaned. A small wave of laughter made its way across the room.

“Amen to that.” Kirstin swung round to pin him in his seat with a look. “But you mister gotta help me check in some gear first.”

Boo,” he hissed at her.

Then we can grab a drink, ok?” she promised him.

“Sure Boss, sure.”

Al stood up. “Ok folks, back to whatever you're supposed to be doing, thanks for your time. Everyone has the call times right? Let me know if you're unsure of anything and I'll be of as little help as I can and refer you to the stage manager…” he winked.

The room started moving slowly as people made their way out through various doors, some people chose to stay behind and sit at the bar. Al made his way over to Kirstin.

“So Miss Hart…” he started.

Kirstin frowned at him “I was 'kid' a minute ago,” she commented with a smile.

“Yeh well, I've always either been real formal or not at all… anyways, you need anything you let me know. When you're done doing whatever it is you do, if you fancy joining people we'll most likely be over the road in that there bar. Does good food, I'd recommend it.”

“Thanks Al, we might just take you up on that. Actually I don't suppose you have a copy of that call list do you?”

Kirstin could see Suze was listening in.

“Sure ah do. I'll get Pete to pass you one.”

“That'd be great.”

He nodded. “Well, have fun then you lot, see you later.”

As Al made his exit Suze appeared at Kaye's shoulder. “I knew you'd not be able to resist some sort of timetable!”

“Ah shut up!” she spat with a smile. “It's just so we don't miss anything. It's not as if it's a shot list…”

“Yeh, you keep telling yourself that…”

Kirstin audibly growled at her. “C'mon truck's due any minute.” She turned to her rabble, “Can I have some trunk pushers and cable flippers please? Bear in mind the first people to see the equipment get first choice on it…”


Sort gear – equipment check

She knew how many geeks she had employed and she knew they all had favoured lumps of plastic and electrics. It was a surefire way to get everyone volunteered and all the gear shifted in the shortest possible time. It was a tactic she preferred to use. It rarely failed. Any employee that didn't want to grab the best gun to fire with was to be frowned upon and usually didn't get hired again.

She looked across the room briefly to see where the band had gone but couldn't spot them in the babbling crowd. That'll have to wait then. She told herself.

Just then a large silver truck pulled up outside with the company logo plastered all over it and she had to move aside to avoid the rush.

“You think you're so clever don't you? Making them fight for gear.”

“Yes Suze. As it happens I do. Plus, I like watching their little faces when they find something new to play with. It's kinda like Christmas, for geeks.”

Suze laughed at her.

“Wanna go check out backstage?” she grinned in excitement.

“Do I?!” Exclaimed Suze in a similarly excited tone.

They wandered off pushing through every and any door available, working out a mental plan of the building. It was important to know all the emergency exits and to know the quickest safest routes for camera's and sound to be travelling through. There could be a lot of heavy-duty cables moving around so safety was a priority. They also worked out an appropriate base point that would be convenient for the whole crew to get to. They would store all unused equipment there and set up the monitors from which Kirstin would over see the whole operation.

By the time they got back from trawling the nooks and crannies of the old theatre the trucks contents had been emptied and people were sat with piles of gear appropriate to them. It didn't seem like there was any major sulking so she assumed there had been something to satisfy everyone.

“Anyone have any requests for equipment?” she asked the group.

Not a word.

“What NO-ONE? Nothing at all?” she continued in pure disbelief.

“Boss there's more than we need, seriously,” said Josh.

“And it's all top dollar stuff,” added James.

Wow. Okay.

She had asked for a lot of good gear but it was rare that she got everything she asked for, and even rarer that it would all actually be delivered. She tried to hide her surprise.

“Good. Well in that case lets go lay down some cables. We've found a perfect little base room down by the dressing rooms, we can set up stall down there.” She grabbed the nearest case and headed through the stage door.

Suze followed suit and everyone else headed after her.


Having talked everyone through their individual responsibilities, and teaming them up into small roaming groups, Kirstin had told everyone to go get some food, get freshened up and to meet back at the venue in time to set up before the band arrived. She couldn't foresee any complications ahead. Even if most of the cameras inexplicably stopped working or the sound quality was really poor they would still have stage sound from the main desk and enough potential footage to do something with. But she did hope whatever they did get would have something a little different to give her a direction to head in.

She found it hard to work without a focus, and with so many cameras to split her time between she had feeling tonight might be the most vague shoot they'd ever done. That would ironically leave her with a lot of organising to do, since it was rare that those on roam duty would pick up on the kind of detail she liked to find. It was like being on location but in a studio. A studio they didn't know without its own equipment. They knew what was supposed to happen, but not how it would unfold. They could control a lot of the variables except the story. The story was the whole point of shooting. It reminded her of the brief work she done on the live truck for channel 9 News. Ugh.

“You ok?” It was Josh.

“Huh? Oh, yeh, I'm fine. Just thinking. We need to make sure our radio contact won't interfere with the stage sound and vice versa.”

“Already done Boss,” he beamed.

“Good boy! You want your dinner now?” she patted his head in mock pet fashion.

They were in what Josh always liked to call the 'hub', their newly acquired control room. All the monitors were set up for her live feed from each camera, of which they had settled on six. Anymore just seemed frivolous. In fact Kirstin already thought it was frivolous. There would be one front of house, one in the main house near the booth, one in the pit, one in the wings and two backstage.

Kirstin was always adamant that they should have one more camera than they actually felt they needed, and when it wasn't in direct use that camera would record the making of the production they were working on. She didn't see any reason why that should not be the case here, with so much equipment and virtually no ceiling on their budget. It was nice to be able to cut a behind the action movie for the crew to take home. And more often than not most contracts actually stipulated that there be some footage of the makers of the projects they worked on anyway. It sure did beat the crappy tour t-shirts most companies gave their crews to remember them by.

Suze joined them. “Ready for a break?”

“Oh god yeh…” groaned Kirstin, “How much time do we have?”

Josh looked at his watch, a typically geeky divers timing watch that he had set to countdown. “One hour, five minutes, thirty two seconds.”

“What would we do without you eh?” she rubbed his hair affectionately one more time for good measure. “And I owe you dinner.”

“You do? What for?” he frowned in bemusement.

“Since I lost you $50. C'mon.” Grabbing her coat she got up and led the way out.

“Ah! No,” he said following her, “I mean I shudda known you'd make that pot!”

“Not even I knew I was going to make that pot. I'm all talk Josh, you know that!”

“If you were all talk you wouldn't have taken the shot now would you?”

She considered it. And had to agree he might well have a point.


Feed and water

The bar Al had recommended was old, retro and brown. That's how Kirstin would describe it. It was definitely cute. It had leather booths to dine in, wooden floors, and little yellow bulbed shades that hung down over each table as well as the bar. Beautifully lit.  Tully would have laughed at her for noticing that. It was quite a contrast to the bright, heavy, summer evening heat they had just come from, and just busy enough for them to feel like they could relax she decided.

A few trendy looking groups were dotted around. Mostly gathered, she noticed, in the far corner where she was unsurprised to see Al having snacks and drinks with the band and a few people she didn't recognise.

It's fair to assume people would recognise the band that was about to play the opening night of their first major world tour just down the street in about three hours, right? Kirstin mused. Groupies. I'm impressed.

Al looked up and waved them over.

“Hey there, you get set up ok?” he asked.

“Ah yeh, as much as we can anyhow,” Kirstin responded as they approached. One or two heads turned she noted as they made their way towards the large rounded booth they were all sat in.

Josh and Suze exchanged pleasantries with the rest of the table as they all took a seat each.

“Hey y'all,” Kirstin threw into the circle perching next to Josh. “So first things first, I'm starving, what does anyone recommend?”

“Ribs. Full rack. Really good!” suggested Jess immediately.

Ok so we have the leader of the group there, makes sense. Kirstin could cope with that. She seems pretty nice and sweet.

“Sold,” she returned. “Josh?”

“Sounds good to me.”

Suze was eyeing a menu. “Burger for me, please. And a large coke.”

Kirstin looked at Josh.

“Beer for me, please boss.”

“Done. Drinks anyone?” she offered to the table.

They all indicated they were fine.

“You should get the spicy curly fries with that.”

Kirstin turned to see Meg looking directly at her from the other side of the table. Her voice was low. She faltered slightly as they exchanged glances for the first time. A heap of memories seemed to rush back to her. She realised she had paused just a little too long.

“Right. Ok,” she said nodding slowly. “Thanks,” she added quite precisely, then turned to Al, “Do we order at the bar here?”

“Yup, certainly do.”

“Ok, won't be long,” she whispered to Josh as she turned to walk to the bar.

“I'll help you with the drinks,” he started to rise.

“That's ok, I'll go,” said Meg just out of Kirstin's earshot, “It's my round anyway.”

“Oh, ok. Thanks,” he smiled.

“No problem,” she returned his smile amiably and headed after Kay who was already, unknowingly, on her way.


Kirstin was engaged in ordering food by the time Meg reached the bar. She turned to her left expecting to see Josh only to be confronted by the solid presence of Meg who was quietly watching her.

“Do you… woaw.” She stopped mid-sentence. “Ah, ok, you're not Josh.”


Kirstin screwed up her face, “What?!”

“The dip I think you should get for the fries you're ordering. And no, I'm not.”

“Oh, right. Not what?”


“Mm.” Kirstin's temple creased briefly, then closed her eyes briefly and resumed her order. She turned back to Meg quietly as the bartender went to input her order. “Would you like a drink?”

“It's my round, let me get them.”

“No, that's ok honestly.” Kirstin said, half avoiding Meg's eyes.

“I insist,” came the definite response. Kirstin had the feeling it might be rude to argue.

The bar tender came back with a food total and asked about drinks. Meg butted in with a long list adding the two drinks ordered by Susie and Josh. “What would you like?” she looked at Kirstin.

“Ah, well I'll just have a coke thanks. Full fat.”

“You sure?”

“Yeh, I don't like to drink when I'm working.”

“Me either. Make that two more cokes.” She told the barman who nodded.

“Thanks,” said Kirstin, almost forgetting her manners in light of the situation.

“My pleasure.”

There was a short pause. Kirstin regarded Meg for a moment as she got her wallet out to pay. She wasn't the gaunt looking gangly kid she used to know, that was for sure. She had colour in her cheeks brought out by the crisp white sleeveless shirt she was wearing, and she had definitely gained some well-needed pounds.

My, you might almost call her healthy-looking.

She still had that swagger though. The ambivalence. She seemed to remember Meg had always looked that way, happy or sad. She never really seemed to let anything much affect her, good or bad. It all ran off her back. It must have been at least ten years, but Kirstin didn't think she herself had changed quite as much as Meg seemed to have. Had she?

“You don't recognise me do you?”

Meg cocked her head and raised an eyebrow. “Are you kidding?” She gave the man her money then returned her attention to Kirstin. “I mean from the front no, but I'd recognise the back of that head anywhere…”

Dry as a bone. Kirstin half snorted and laughed at her. She and Meg had always had a weird relationship as kids. Meg would mostly bully her and say mean things, yet when someone else tried it on she would come to her rescue. She kind of got used to the endless jibes and put downs that came her way. She had even learned to laugh at them, and on the odd occasion congratulate her on some of the more interesting or obscure references.

Meg continued. “So, the goofy kid made good…” she poked.

Kirstin just smiled at her sweetly, “Yeh. I guess ya did didn't you?”

And there was that lop-sided grin she used to get whenever she'd managed to say something sharp and amusing enough for Meg to realise she'd been out smarted.

So some things really never change.

She half expected Meg to run off and jump on a chopper so she could play dodge between Kirstin and her wheels in an effort to reassert some dominance.

But Meg just shook her head as she passed Kirstin a couple of the drinks that were gathering on the bar. Pausing she bit her bottom lip for a moment as she held Kirstin's eye contact.

“It's been a long time,” Meg said finally.

Kirstin agreed with the simple truism, “Aha.” And a thought struck her suddenly. “Does it bother you?” she asked.


“Me being on the crew? Y'know, because I had no idea until I saw you this morning… um… that…”

“You know what preppy?” Meg interjected, “I haven't really thought about it.”

So that's how it's going to be? Preppy. Still preppy. 

Kirstin smiled a little. “Then I guess we'll just have to get on with it and see, huh?”

“I guess so. Looks like we're gonna have plenty of time to catch up…”

“Oh yeah, plenty of time. Let's not burn out all our conversation on the first night…”

Meg laughed. “I seem to recall you never ran out of things to say to me…” she picked up the remaining drinks from the bar and turned to head back to the table.

Kirstin joined her side as they walked back. “Oh, ouch.” Kirstin mocked.

“And did you grow? I think you grew? You used to be a lot shorter I think?”

“You always were a charmer, Meg. I certainly remember that.”

Kirstin’s words drifted off as they neared the table and the two of them handed out the drinks.


Freshen up

With a full stomach Kirstin headed back to her hotel to freshen up. It was an average place, for this town anyway. Things in L.A were pretty expensive, and though the budget she had wasn't exactly tight Kirstin could never justify spending money where it wasn't necessary. It was still nicer than most places she'd ever stayed in for work, and there had been some real dives. Most notably a particular motel she'd been booked into somewhere just outside Texas a couple of years ago. She could still conjure a very vivid image of the shower curtain that had so much mould it was impossible to tell what colour it may have been at birth. And then there were the roaches. She shuddered. 

Yes, I'm certainly grateful those days are over.

Kirstin changed out of her clothes and decided to check out the facilities. She was pleased to note it was a roach-free zone. Standing under the forceful blow of the hotel shower she allowed her mind to ponder over the day so far. This inevitably led her to the most dramatic discovery of the day, which was of course, Meg.

Megan. Megan Rogers. Meg.

Meg had grown up. Meg it seemed was in a band. A rather popular band by all accounts. She hadn't thought about Meg in a very long time. It was strange to be suddenly confronted with a part of her past she had little to no contact with. Especially in such alien and immediate circumstances. She felt sure Meg must feel the same way. Clearly they had both found their own direction in the world. They had both taken very different paths since they had parted company, and yet somehow they had ended up on different sides of the same road, once again.

Kirstin's family had moved in next door to Meg and her family in Buffalo when she was 7yrs old. Kirstin's father had been offered a rather grand job working in the city and had up-rooted his family from England in order to take the promotion. Her mother was a little apprehensive at first, but she was young and America seemed exciting.

Meg's mother quickly became a trusted friend. It was at first a friendship of necessity more than anything since Maggie Hart had to rebuild her life and home from scratch in a city she barely knew. But over the years they also became real friends. This was unfortunate, Kirstin thought at the time, because it meant they had a tendency to want their respective children to get on just as well. And since Meg was an only child, and both of Kirstin's brothers were too old to play with the neighbour's kids, this meant Meg and Kirstin were destined to spend their childhood being pushed together.

Meg was a lot bigger than Kirstin at that age and being an only child she was used to getting her way. She didn't like the competition Kirstin presented, and Kirstin was quick to learn it. But then Kirstin was the youngest of three and had enough experience of knowing when to fight and when to submit. She was also smart, and would never fight back in public. This irked Meg, and she knew it. Another reason not to fight.

Kirstin laughed at the thought of her own wickedness at such a young age. Meg was mean at times, but she always saw to it that Meg got into trouble. Eventually.

Squeezing the last of the water from her thick, dirty-blonde bob, she reached for one of the plump white towels stacked near the basin. This is totally weird, Kirstin decided, not referring to the towels.

“This is going to be TOTALLY we-ird,” she reiterated to her reflection with concern. But her reflection seemed untroubled.


8.30pm head back to venue

By the time Kirstin made it back to the venue there were large crowds already gathering around the entrances, and she was glad she had taken the time to work out how to avoid them beforehand. Slipping round to the back end of the venue she flashed her security pass at one of a group of large men that were wearing black and looking self-important. She assumed they were responsible for keeping people out. She was apparently right since the guy smiled at her from his significant height and let her pass.

Even as she entered the building she could hear the continued hum of people outside. The exterior hum was swiftly exchanged with an interior hum as she strode down the corridor that led to the dressing rooms and her team's 'hub'.

Five fresh faces welcomed her into what was clearly a room ready for action.

“Here she is,” piped up Josh for the benefit of the room.

“Hey guys…” Kirstin smiled, taking a look around at the group and the room filled with machines that flashed alive. “Well, you look all set. Did I keep you waiting?”

Kate, the girl scheduled on second camera, looked up from her lens inspection. “No, boss, we sent the other two groups out front of house to check their feeds, everything seems to be in order.”

“Great, good job.” Kirstin commended. The live picture feeds from each camera to Kirstin's monitors were essential if she was to be able to inform them of any directorial decisions she may have on the spot.

The crew cleared her a path to the back end of the room where all the monitors were lit up showing various areas of the venue inside and out. Each monitor had the name of its camera operator attached to it so Kirstin would know to whom she was talking. Not entirely conventional, but Kirstin preferred names, they tended to be a little more responsive when you spoke to them.

Two of the feeds on screen were coming from within the room they were in, which made sense since two cameras were still situated in it. She saw her own face come up on the far left screen that had Kate's name above it. The image was wobbling slightly, and Kirstin look up to find Kate's bright red pigtails bouncing slightly as she sat there giggling.

Kirstin sighed warmly. “Go on!” She gestured with a flick of her hand, “Get out, I can tell you're all dying to get the best angles. Just don't go out of radio range ok?”

The four crew members smiled and nodded, and disappeared out of the room and off down their respective and already plotted routes, leaving Suze and Kirstin some relative space.

Kirstin pulled her sticker-covered headset on and settled down into her seat, fiddling with the sound level. She noted that Suze was already logging the cameras current positions against the time. All the camera operators were linked by headsets to Kirstin so she could speak to them individually or collectively. Systematically she spoke to each operator in turn to check the signal.


Sit back and watch

Jess turned round sharply to look at herself in the mirror. She frowned briefly and narrowed her eyes. “I think maybe I need a little more pink,” she said, fiddling with her hair, roughing it up. “What do you think?” she asked turning to Meg.

Meg was sat hammering away on the leather arm of the seat in front of her with a pair of black and white drumsticks. She stopped and looked up. “Er, yeh, you could go more pink,” she responded, a little less than emphatically before continuing with her warm up.

Jess spared a second to briefly check the screen up in the corner of the dressing room that was focused on the support band currently on stage.

She sighed and strode over to where Meg was sitting, standing over her ominously and staring down. Meg ignored her for a bit but eventually looked up at her from under an unmoving brow.

She stopped drumming.


Jess kicked Meg's foot with her own big-booted one. Meg half-smiled and looked at her.

“What in the Hell's wrong with you tonight?” she asked fiddling with the sleeveless t-shirt she was wearing.

“You look too clean,” she said, not really answering the question.

“Only compared to the dirty whore in front of me!” Meg exclaimed playfully running a drumstick up and down her and getting it caught in a hole.

Jess pulled the tangled stick out from somewhere near her stomach and looked down at herself. She had to agree. Big boots, pink holey fishnets, pretty much only half a skirt. Her outfit was less than modest it was true.

“Hm. Yeh. But I still think you look too clean…”

Meg saw a familiar glint in Jess's eye.

Uh oh.

Just then the door to the dressing room opened. It was Ben.

“Hey ladies,” he growled in his gruff bass tones. “What d'ya think?!” he smiled, showing off what was essentially a kilt and a black string vest type ensemble which showed off the many large and colourful tattoos he had crawling across his torso and arms.

Both girls started grinning.

“You look awesome, Bushboy!” declared Meg getting up and shoving Jess backward because she was in her way.

“Hey!” protested Jess kicking her again.

Meg winced but ignored her.

“Now you're definitely too clean-looking drummer girl,” Jess said looking from her to Ben and smiling. Ben understood her meaning entirely.

Meg, who also hadn't missed the implication, stood there considering her options, looking for potential escape routes. They moved towards her.

“Aw now c'mon guys, be nice ok?” she said backing off.

Jess mocked her “Be nice indeed!”


Kate and Gerard had been assigned the back stage area for the night's set up. Kate was an experienced roaming camera operator and her general attitude was that dollies, and carts and tripods, in fact anything that wasn't sticking the camera on your shoulder and carrying it around for hours, was nothing short of cheating. She was like the scavenger of the team, regularly coming up with interesting shots, even if they were a little visually confusing at times. She was ideal for being able to traverse the small corridors and stairways that lurked beyond the stage.

“Ouch!” Gerard yelled, shoving her, “That really hurts, stop it!”

“What?” asked Kate.

“The gum-popping, stop it!”

“Oh, shit, sorry dude, it's like unconscious or something, I do it when I'm concentrating…”

Gerard had pulled his earphones off and was itching inside his right ear.

“Well, stop it, it's really high pitched and it's irritating me…”

The microphone he was handling was on the end of a boom hanging just ahead of her as he was sampling the acoustics of the building. It was pretty sensitive.

Kate turned round in the corridor to face him. There was only room to go single file in this part of the building and he almost bumped into her. She blew a big pink bubble. Gerard's eyes widened and then immediately narrowed, but Kate softly burst the bubble with her tongue and sucked the air back in almost silently. She chewed it a couple of times for good measure.

“Sorry…” she said, with a touch of sincerity before resuming the route ahead of them.

Gerard just smiled, shook his head, and followed her, resigned to his fate.

A crackle came over Kate's headset.

“And finally we have renegade Kate… come in Kate, we have your feed…”

“Hi Kay,” smiled Kate turning the volume down a little. “How's it going?”

“Pretty good,” Kirstin responded, “the place seems rammed!”

“Yeh, I can hear it from here…” commented Gerard pointing at Kate's earphones.

Kate frowned and turned the sound down even more on her set so that it wouldn't be picked up externally.

“So where are you headed?” Kirstin asked.

Kate looked at Gerard questioningly who gave her the thumbs up indicating he could no longer register Kirstin's voice.

“We're going down toward the dressing rooms,” she told Kirstin, “to see what lurks there before we go back for the shot where we film them going on stage.”

“Ok, well… what the hell was that!” Kirstin blurted seeing something flash across the screen.

Kate lurched forwards to chase the sound that was heading down the corridor they were just about to conjoin with.

“I don't know but we're about to find out…” she managed to say just before turning the corner with Gerard in tow.

As Kate neared the incident, with what Kirstin thought to be an extremely smooth gait considering the distance she had to cover, it was hard to make out what was happenning. From what Kirstin could see there appeared to be a fight going on at the end of the corridor. It seemed to involve lots of struggling, giggling and some muffled screams.

As Kate pulled up it became clear who the three moving figures were. One of them was looking particularly crushed under another body.

“Hey come on…” the one furthest on the floor shouted through a laugh to Ben who was opening a bottle of champagne, “that's for later!”

“Meg there's like a whole damn fridge full of the stuff!” Jess said, still struggling to pin her down against the wall.

Meg's once white tee now had definite dirt all over it, and a couple of holes. Jess had scrawled some words across her chest in big black marker pen and was currently attempting to write something on Meg's arm.

“That frikkin' stuff is poisonous you know!” she shouted when she noticed Jess's intentions.

Jess stopped for a second and pulled a face.

What? Don't make me laugh, gimp! Considering what…” her voice trailed off when she realised they'd been caught on camera.

Ben obscured the moment by spraying them all with the contents of the bottle he was holding.

“Wow!” breathed Gerard stepping back out of the moment to the relative safety of a nearby doorway.

“You getting this?” Kate whispered to Kirstin.

“Oh yes,” replied Kirstin looking across at Suze in the control room whose face was a picture of confusion.

Ben walked over to the two girls on the floor and lifted them both up. In doing so he revealed his outfit to the control room.

“Whoa!” Kirstin and Suze both exclaimed simultaneously, their hands covering their mouths in shock. They exchanged glances and started laughing. It wasn't everyday you saw such a big man so close up in a skirt, so unexpectedly, and so well exposed.

“I think she's dirty enough now Jess, don't you think?” he asked.

She shook the juice out of her hair and looked sideways at Meg who was wiping her face.

“Yeh, I guess she'll do…” she breezed. Smiling, she headed back down the corridor past the camera.

Kate stuck to her shot though, Kirstin was pleased to note, as it beautifully revealed the sight of Meg who was still dripping slightly and squinting through one eye, watching Jess leave.

“Get a close up on her face with that t-shirt in shot if you can,” Kirstin instructed quickly.

Kate duly obliged. Smudged makeup, shiny wet hair, and a slight grimace greeted her. The shot dropped to her chest which read “bitch fest” in bold black letters.

Kirstin laughed, “We could well have our opening scene right there…” she commented.

Meg wiped her face again as Ben headed off after Jess swigging the remaining champagne from the bottle. Kate panned back and stood aside to allow Meg to follow. Kirstin thought she saw her give the camera a brief knowing glance as she passed by.

As she too headed down the corridor she suddenly understood why as the shot revealed that Jess has also scribbled the word “fucked” across her back. Meg turned round knowing full well the camera would have caught it. She walked backwards a few steps half smiling at Kate and whoever else might be watching.

“Welcome to my world…” she slurred in a husky voice before bowing slightly and then sauntering off after the other two.


Continued in Part 3

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