Today I’m taking the time to post something a bit off-the-beaten path from my normal posts, but still movie-related of course. Those of you who’ve been around FC for a while have probably read my first fantasy draft pitch Hearts Want I wrote last September, which is a romantic thriller.
So what’s that got to do with this post? Allow me to explain.
The first time I came across this brilliant writing exercise was at Novroz’s blog and I was impressed by her short story on Alice. It turns out the idea came from Olive of Creative Writing Ink, who posts a picture each week to prompt people to write something based on it, be it a poem, short story, what have you. Well, the ‘steps’ picture she posted on April 18 somehow made me think of that movie concept, particularly the relationship between the main protagonist Spencer Wesford (Timothy Dalton) and his estranged son Jacob (Gerard Butler), the woman mentioned below refers to Spencer’s former lover Olivia (Helen Mirren), whom he had an affair when he was still married to Jacob’s mother.
Spencer instantly got all choked up as he approached the steps to the villa. The harder he tried to conceal his tears, the more he failed miserably… it’s as if someone had broken the floodgates within him and water just kept pouring out. His biggest fear all of sudden came true as Jacob placed his healthy hand on his shoulder, “What’s wrong, dad?”
Spencer leaned on the stone walls, covering his mouth as he’s practically sobbing now. He couldn’t speak, barely even able to stand up straight. He had figured he’d be a bit emotional coming here, but nothing would prepare him to be overcome by it in this way. He recalled the time he brought Olivia here, mostly during the night so she couldn’t track down the exact location. He had missed her, but the fact that his affair was the main cause of their estrangement in the first place wasn’t lost on him.
Jacob had never seen his father this way, never. The 64-year-old had always been a picture of controlled grace, almost severe in his stoicism, perhaps something he had learned in his long years in MI-5 that no amount of retirement years would ever shake it off. But in this surprisingly sunny afternoon, for the first time Jacob saw his father in a different light. It’s kind of ironic that minutes ago it was Jacob who was in a gloomy mood, remarking about how even the bluest sky accompanying their ride from the city could barely make a dent.
Jacob dropped his duffel bag on the ground and reluctantly embraced his father. Reluctant not because he didn’t love him, it’s just that they didn’t quite have that kind of relationship, not since Jacob was a wee lad, and especially not after his mother passed away. Spencer made the most of that slight gesture and held on to Jacob, holding him as tightly as he could with tears still streaming profusely out of him. Jacob was starting to feel a bit of pain on his wounded shoulder, but he didn’t want to say anything. Besides, it couldn’t be anywhere near as painful as what his father must be feeling, he thought.
Spencer finally stopped sobbing and regained his composure, wiping his nose with his jacket sleeve as he broke away from Jacob. “I’m sorry.” His voice was suddenly stern and his gesture seemed to suggest that he’s back in control again, though of course his bloodshot eyes betrayed him. “No need to be sorry… it’s… really ok…” Jacob muttered, he was going to say ‘it happens’ but it didn’t seem appropriate as it actually never happened before. “Grab your bag, we should go inside.” Spencer said, “A lot of things I have to tell you. You have the right to know.”
With those words, the two lanky father and son walked quietly up the steps and into Jacob’s safe house. Perhaps this very place could in fact bring healing to their weary hearts? Spencer could only hope.
The short story would make more sense to you if you’ve read the pitch, which you can access here or by clicking the ‘Hearts Want’ poster on my sidebar.
Well what do you think? I’d really appreciate your feedback… thank you kindly