Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 80

image from petticoats&


Cinemagenic Eighty


“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if
they be not altered for the better by design.”
--Francis Bacon.

1(overhead drone shot) the crowd beginning to 
break up, spreading out like spider legs. Buck
walking in the lead, with Johnny catching up;
riders and wagons moving on the street.
2(sound cue) dogs barking, crowd noise, wagon
wheels creaking over saloon piano.
3(medium wide shot) Buck stopped abreast of
the barber shop. The tall front windows had been
boarded up.
4(cut to medium close up) an orange tabby tom was
lying under the boardwalk eating a rattlesnake. The
head had been chewed off, The cat peeled a long 
strip of white meat out of the sequined skin.
5(sound cue) the cat purring and chewing.
6(two-shot) the Eagle arrived alongside him, and said:
Today you came to talk, and yet you would have 
fought. The choice you made--was it wisdom or fear?
Buck, over Johnny’s shoulder: Yes. After a small 
pause: Did you know the barber?
7(close-up) Johnny: I never used him, but I’m told that
he is a good man.
8(medium close-up) Buck: He gives a good shave.
9(two-shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: He was set
up here before Bronson took over.
Buck nodded.
Johnny: I would say that you used up a bucket full
of luck on that day. Let’s hope Bronson considers
your peace offers. He pays for a lot of guns.
Buck: I’m not counting on it.
Johnny: I need to start carrying my rifle.
10(sound cue) banjo and harmonica.
11(medium wide shot) Buck slowly starting walking
toward the General Store across the street. Then he
stopped, put his hands on his hips, and with his chin 
he pointed back to the auction corrals, to the crowd
that Joe Hop was dispersing.
12(medium close-up) Buck: If I had killed him,
you know that would not be the end of anything--
some other crazed son of a bitch would just take
his place.
13(two shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: A man
must kill a rattlesnake that is trying to bite him, even
though he knows another snake will take its place
14(close up) Buck: But that is what the bastards
want! Thor wants somebody to gut shoot him.
Paulie wants somebody to fist-fuck him, and then
slice his ears off. Bronson wants absolute control.
I don’t want to play by their rules!
15(medium close up) Johnny: You confuse me,
boss. You say you are tired of the fighting--but
today you would have fought. I could almost smell
the gunpowder, and see the ground drenched with
blood--and we both know that one day they will not
let you walk away.
16(two-shot) angle on Buck: I am bone tired of not
having a choice. Today I would have killed out of
Johnny: You have killed many men, right?
Buck: None that didn’t deserve it, and no back
17(close up) Johnny: Then why do you hurt inside?
Why do you parley with trouble? Life is what she is--
that’s all. You fuck her, she fucks you. There are 
tears and smiles and seasons and sometimes even
children. Who are you to stand in the middle of the
street and ask why?
18(medium wide shot) People begin filing past the 
two men. Buck continued to stare toward the corrals
at the Bronsons; the Eagle continued to watch Buck.
19(sound cue) harmonica.
20(medium close up) Buck: I would like, just for once,
to have the option to say no.
21(close up) Johnny: Join the fucking band. It’s just
that most times there are no real choices--tell a tree
NO that is falling on you.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN


brudberg said...

This is a wonderful piece... I like the philosophy of breaking the escalation of violence... actually someone has to try. Just wonder if it will ever work... we live in a strange world.

Charlie Zero the poet said...

The barriers of your incredible philosophy and its violence, paints the picture we live in today in this world of confusion.

So glad to read your work Glenn.

P.S If you do stop by and read my newest. Just know I got inspired by William S Burroughs. I used the Cut up Technique.

tonispencer said...

The old west was a place of violence and guns. Sort of like today. I like that the cycle of violence is trying to be broken.

Anmol (HA) said...

Oh, this one is heavy on some deep conversation — I like how you corresponded the cat chewing on the rattlesnake with the discussion on how a rattlesnake has to be killed even if another would take its place. There is a certain pacifist philosophy of bringing an end to this continuous system of war but then, does anyone have a real choice anyway?
I really liked the thoughtful exchange in this background.

Vivian Zems said...

It's such a pleasure to see your gift in full flow. It's riveting. I actually watched the cat chewing on a rattlesnake (ugh!). Interesting that life is a 'she'- a good one that. The dialogue between the men does make me ponder...indeed why question closely?

Sanaa Rizvi said...

You capture the Old West so well in this one! I fear violence is becoming more and more an indomitable part of the world.. sigh..

Grace said...

It all about choices isn't it, to kill or not. But then if one kills the other, another one will just take his place, and so it goes on. Of course, sometimes, one doesn't have really another other choice. Enjoyed this one Glenn and wishing you happy weekend.

Frank Hubeny said...

I like the phrase "bucketful of luck" and that cat eating the rattlesnake.

Unknown said...

The cat kills the rattlesnake while the Eagle sits by - such symbolism. It never ends, this injustice, does it?

Truedessa said...

I had a feeling you might post a segment today. There is wisdom and truth in this piece Glenn. "life is what she is" I often ponder life and circumstances that seem to be out of control. It's quite hard in these times, especially when the sheriff is crooked and always seems to have a personal agenda. No back shooting..indeed..

Have a nice weekend!

Petru J Viljoen said...

He's going to have to leave his community entirely if he's going to want to keep on saying 'no'. Good for him though.

lynn__ said...

The imagery of cat eating rattlesnake was vivid! Just wonder how cat be a tabby (female) and tom (male)? I also wonder if they even used the "f" word in the old west...sometimes it's just a "filler" for moderns. Great stories are usually even better without obscenities, IMHO, Glenn!

Glenn Buttkus said...

I have always heard Tabby as a name for common striped cat. Sorry you find the dialogue offensive, but I assure you the F-word was part of the Old West vernacular. It is impossible to write historical fiction without some of one's modern views sneaking in. Thanks for stopping by.

Jim Feeney said...

Vivid piece...well done (btw, re obscenities, that's the way people sometimes talk!)

Gina said...

like the hard hitting words, you mess with life, she will mess back with you - simple yet strong words

Frank J. Tassone said...

A break in the tension that sets up future tension while developing characters--and all through skillful scene setting and dialogue! Can't wait for the next one!