The Extras
Trisha J. Kelly

CastleDome

“I think we’re ready to roll. Good job, you two; what were you aiming for? A derelict town in West Virginia, inhabited by a Hillbilly community?” 

“Very droll, Scooter. High five, everyone. Haven’t we pulled off a Beverly Hills style setting on a shoestring budget? Just what you asked for. It’s all here. Start filming!” 

“Is everyone ready? Places please. And… action!” Rory smirked. This was going to be funny. 

Jez strolled into view. He was way overweight, sporting a full-on straggly beard covering half his face, and a baseball cap which was plonked sideways, struggling to fit his large, round head. The cut-off checked shirt sleeves did nothing to contain his ginger armpit hair, the second-hand dungarees were smeared with grease. Perfect. 

“Howdy, Clark. Git your hide over here, we going to kill ourselves some critters.” 

“I thunk we was taking ourselves off fishing. Looky, Jez, I got our Doohickey’s right here.” 

Clark’s mouth hung open. He placed his upturned thumbs inside his dungaree straps. A piece of limp straw rotated slowly as he chewed for inspiration. Two stick rods lay by his feet, alongside a plastic bucket. 

“And I suppose you ‘thunk’ we would take us a ride in that clapped out ’47 Chevrolet?” Jez threw his head back, roaring with laughter. Clark scratched his head underneath the straw hat. Puzzlement creased his brow. 

Rory, Scooter and Brains had tears rolling down their faces. Struggling to keep the cameras and ‘director’s chair’ steady; they daren’t make eye contact with the actors. Their friends. This was nothing more than a spoof movie, a laugh, and the two English guys were pulling it off, big style. 

Right on cue, Stringer entered the scene, placed one leg on top of a broken chair and rested his banjo on his knee. He flicked the strings with a downward stroke. 

 “Before you boys go off hunting, or a fishing, what say we hit some tunes.” The musician wore a stars and stripes bandana, his bare, smooth chest glistened with sweat, covered only with oversized dungaree straps. His bare foot began tapping involuntarily on the dirt. 

“Watcha playing? ‘butter my butt and call me a biscuit’?” Jez roared at his line. A moment later, Clark laughed too. 

The sounds of ‘Deliverance’ predictably filled the set courtesy of a background ghetto-blaster picked up at a jumble sale and a few more ‘actors’ came into view. It was a barn dance at high noon. A regular Nellie-May gathered her skirts and yee-hah’d to the music. Grandma joined in a little bit before turning her attention to the ‘roadkill’ menu on the blackboard outside the derelict buildings. 

Today’s specials were: ‘anything dead squashed inside hard bread,’ ‘smidgeon of pigeon,’ ‘BBQ’d duck who runned out of luck.’  

The actors made way as the rootin-tootin cowboys rode onto the small set. Firing guns into the sky and halting the party.  

“Hands in the air and get out of our way… if you know what’s good for you.” Boy Bodgers jumped off his ‘hobby horse’, caught his foot in the stirrup and crashed into the dirt.  

Rat Lady came to his rescue. Wearing hot pants and chaps, dangly ruby earrings and brutish, fiery red lip gloss. Grandma couldn’t help but give him the eye. Not an evil one, her flirtatious drooling and rapid speed found him pinned against the rusted vehicle.  

Boy Bodgers got himself up, dusted his jeans down and put his toy pistol back in its holster. Jez and Clark watched him with disinterest. Stringer carried on ‘playing’, faster than ever. The ghetto-blaster was playing up. 

“And… cut! Great job everyone. Grandma, put him down!” A few wolf whistles rang out as the ‘old lady’ carried on regardless. The crew were having a great laugh at the antics of ‘Bad Dolly Wrong’un’.  

Rat Lady, real name, Bruno, took it all in good humour before eventually scooping up the Jezebel, throwing her over his shoulder and marching her towards the water pump to cool her off. 

“Great work, y’all!” Rory grinned. 

“Really suits you, Rat. How the hell did you squeeze them on?” Scooter smirked at Bruno, who couldn’t be any more masculine if he tried. The body-building hunk was the most red-blooded alpha male of them all.  

“Lunch is served.” Brains did his best to avert his eyes from the cowboy’s bulging biceps. The role of Rat Lady would have been more suited to the producer. In fact, it might have been his suggestion for this particular character. 

“I’m good. Unless we have anything that isn’t meat!” Nellie-May fluttered her long lashes and whipped off the ridiculous blonde wig. “I can’t stomach anything which run out of luck,” she smiled. 

Rory picked up on the heavy sarcasm. At every given opportunity, his ex-girlfriend loved to rub his nose in the fact his gambling had ruined their relationship. Now they were just ‘friends with benefits’ as the saying goes. She was far too pretty not to be a part of his life. And his animal magnetism kept her close by. She loved a bad boy, but only on her terms. This new agenda suited them both. 

“I have some beans and cold beers in my RV, if you want to get out of this heat for a while?” 

“You got pie and cream?” she drawled, in a deep, Southern accent, slipping into her acting role with ease.  

A stinging wind whipped up from nowhere and red dust whirled around the team with an urgency. Tumbleweed rolled around the ‘set’. Rory grabbed the girl before her appetite was dampened and the others headed inside the square, wooden building which was also their temporary on-site canteen. The place still had running water and an electricity supply from an old generator. Brains soon got it up and running a couple of days ago. 

Jez, which was his real name, slurped tea from his over-sized mug and dug into a plate of golden, cheesy fries.  “That’s one hell of a desert storm brewing up out there.”  

“Technically, this isn’t a desert, it’s just an old, dis-used town,” Brains interrupted. 

“Yep, right smack bang in the middle of nowhere. What do you reckon it was used for?” Grandma aka, Lindy hot legs asked, while making a short meal of a large banana. 

“Coal-mining town I guess, in this neck of the woods. Sorry, Grandma, you’d have to look elsewhere for mined gems.” Brains sat down last with his tray of food, trying hard not to look at Rat Lady’s firm, solid hands picking at the last of his lunch. His ruby red lips were very fetching, distracting. 

“Can you hear me, Brains, or what?” Scooter impatiently shook his friend by the shoulders. “Can you feel the building rocking?” 

Stringer strummed his banjo for dramatic quality. Something was occurring, man. 

Bruno jumped back as Lindy began playing footsie under the table, working her toes upwards against his exposed shin. He scraped his chair back and walked over to where the window used to be. “Don’t want to alarm you folks, but I think we better make tracks. Seems to me some sort of storm is hitting these parts, look at it. How far are we from civilisation?” As he spoke, the building began to sway, it was going to provide nil to just above in way of protection. Right on cue, the generator died. Silence washed over them. 

Outside, the sky had turned a blacker shade of grey than it was fifteen minutes ago. “That’s a damn tornado whipping up in the distance.” Bruno was now shouting above the howling wind and lashing rain which was coming down in buckets. Grabbing Lindy by the hand, he ran her across to the second RV.  

The other one was a rocking and it wasn’t just the weather. The young friends scrabbled around, chucking on their normal clothing and Scooter banged on the back of the second RV. “Hands on socks, Rory – time to go!” 

They couldn’t help but film the bizarre weather as they drove away from the old mining town. As soon as they were out of sight, it stopped. Just like that. The miners had once more reclaimed their properties. No damn strangers were welcome in these parts. Especially foolish foreigners.  

 ***

Trisha KellyTrisha J Kelly was born in London. She has worked in various places. No longer confined to 9-5 she is living her dream by writing, receiving great feedback and wishing she started sooner! 
 
Trisha lived in Colchester Essex for over 50 years and has now relocated to Norfolk. Married with two adult sons and sharing life with two naughty twelve-year-old, Lhasa Apso dogs.  

Trisha runs an indie group on Facebook (Indie self-publishing) and helps moderate in others.  

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