Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 67

image from


Cinemagenic Sixty-Seven


“History is comprised of one slaughter after
another. We talk about it, but no one is really
listening.”--Fred Ward.

1(overhead medium-wide crane shot) Buck lying 
on his buffalo pelt making preparations--the ten 
bison grazing 150 yards from his hillock. He 
would be firing down onto them.
2(sound cue) two cellos, jazz snare brushing.
3(medium close up) Buck loosening the copper 
thumb screw & adjusting the aperture disc to the
first notch, slowing bringing the Sharp’s front sight
even with the backbone of the largest cow. He
waited until she turned broadside.
4(tight close up) his eyes, left one closed, the right
one steely & unblinking.
5(close up) he squeezed off a shot with the thick
6(sound cue) the thunderous clap of the Sharp’s
lethal discharge, echoing for a moment.
7(medium close up) the bullet hit a little low, tearing
her lungs apart--her legs caved in a second later as
the lead passed through her a kicked up dust on the
other side of her. Her brown bisonic bulk thudded 
into the knee-high grass.
8(close up) her head on the ground, eyelids closed,
gasping for air as thick red foam dripped from her 
black lips.
9(sound cue) Indian seed rattle & banjo.
10(medium wide shot) Time stood still for a moment 
as the small herd froze in shock.
11(medium close up) Young Buck jammed another 
tall brass cartridge into the Sharps.
12(medium wide shot) The albino patriarch danced 
and leaped about, straining to locate the hunter, 
sniffing the air, pawing the ground, grunting and 
bellering & moaning in fear, raising dust. The other 
bulls & cows formed an oxen circle, butt to butt, 
heads down
13(medium crane shot) behind & above Buck. We 
can see the buffalo in the distance as the hunter 
pulled down on one of the younger bulls and 
squeezed off another shot.
14(sound cue) the Sharp’s discharge over coronet.
15(medium close up) the young bull suffered a 
spine shot, and his hind quarters went down,
making him appear to be sitting. The old albino
roared & headed straight for Buck, gathering speed,
its tufted tail erect like a lion.
16( medium close-up) Buck fired again, sending a
fifty caliber message toward the charging bull. 
17(medium wide shot) The bullet struck the bull in 
the chest at sixty yards, shooting for the lights, thus
ripping a hole in its lungs. The albino went down like
a tree had fallen on it, skidding to a halt in the dust.
The other bull broke formation & headed for a nearby
gulley--four cows & one calf followed, rolling up white
dust midst their panic.
18(angle on Buck) loading another cartridge into the
smoking Sharps.
19(sound cue) cello, piano & harmonica.
20(cut to an overhead drone shot) Six bison running
away, Buck prone on his pelt, the albino down, and
one older black cow standing still near it.
21(medium close up) The cow stood as a statue, 
with the albino calf between its legs, confused, both 
waiting for the white patriarch to get up.
22(sound cue) another loud shot from the Sharp’s.
23(medium wide shot) Buck had gut-shot the last 
bull at two hundred yards, knocking him down--but 
then it jumped up again, dragging his entrails. The 
young bull stopped & stood, its shoulders quivering, 
glassy-eyed--the world a red mist, with blood every 
where in the yellow grass. The others stopped 
running, & trotted in small circles around the bull.
24(sound cue) bass fiddle & snare drum over a loud
rasping bellow.
25( medium close-up) Buck’s eyes jerked to the right.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN  


Anonymous said...

Man, do i miss reading your work.
Question: Have you ever thought about turning 'Blackthorne' into a poetic/prose book serious?
I really picture you releasing this into a book.

Your work is flawless and super imaginative. Love it. :)

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I wholeheartedly agree! If you decide to turn "Blackthorne" into a book it would be absolutely amazing!!❤️ Another sizzling installment!❤️

Glenn Buttkus said...

Yeah, Charlie, I considered, fantasized that I might make a Chapbook off them, but I'm already up to 67 episodes--so that dream is shot--but thanks for your kind words.

Victoria said...

This one really pains me. You paint the trauma so clearly. I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite since I do eat meat, but hunting for sport is a problem for me. Your details are so graphic.

Frank Hubeny said...

You described the slaughter well with plenty of detail so it could sink in to the reader's understanding. The courage of the animals shown through.

Amaya Engleking said...

I was hoping the hunter would, for once, get a taste of his own, uh, medicine here. But not even revenge would make the good animal half as blood-thirsty as Man. The strings and snare really added to the drama too.

Kim Russell said...

I must admit, I was worried when I read the title, Glenn.
I know nothing about weapons of any sort but I could see Buck 'loosening the copper thumb screw & adjusting the aperture disc to the first notch, slowing bringing the Sharp’s front sight even with the backbone of the largest cow'. I closed my eyes when he took the first shot! I was right to be worried - it made difficult reading, the effects of your cinematic writing and detail.

annell said...

This was difficult to read.

Gayle Walters Rose said...

It was the way of that time so I can see why this scene made it's way into your ongoing saga, Glenn. I don't approve of killing for sport but if people want to hunt and eat their kill, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Gruesome, gritty and painting a picture that pains me and has me longing for the days before when the kill was perhaps more connected. The gun was the beginning of the end for the Bison, and for a people. said...

Okay. I HATE this. I have tears in my eyes and I'm almost in full panic mode attack. I'm not exagerating here. This is too real. I am so disturbed by the reality of this. It reminds me of why I HATED and thus RARELY, unless I had to at some other kid's house, watched westerns on tv where there were "cowboys and Indians" fighting and horses being reined up and then falling. I always imagined how much it must hurt the animals. I REALLY HATE THIS episode and Buck.

Now -- deep breath -- and what it means to your writing which is a HUGE compliment for the reality you are able to capture in the setting, music cues, and description and steely hardness of Buck's aim and heart. POWERFUL writing that can exact such feelings. I knew when I read the quotation here that this would be disturbing. Well done...but I want to go back to the interaction with people and horses and no more slaughtering please.

Glenn Buttkus said...

This scene is not over yet dear friends. The West, history itself, is fraught with brutal violence. I am pleased I could capture it so vividly, saddened by the emotional triggers this activates in sensitive folks--but remember, a poet, a novelist, a filmmaker must create unflinching depiction for optimum effect--whether it be violence, tragedy, or erotic bliss; sad smile.

Alison H said...

“History is comprised of one slaughter after
another. We talk about it, but no one is really
it all reminds me of the films my husband seems to watch and we mercilessly taunt him for...usually there is a lone survivor....the others are slaughtered...maybe this is life...meanwhile I cook a mean cornish pastie...XX

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