The Darkest Hours Before Dawn
The Darkest Hours Before Dawn
from the AP News wire dated March 8:
"...actor Piers Anders was killed last week in a freak accident on the set of his new film, supernatural thriller A Serpent's Tale. Director Mickey Avalon said production will continue. 'He did such amazing work on this film, it would be a terrible shame for us to not continue in his honour.'
"This tragic incident is only the latest in a string of bizarre events that have plagued the production since filming commenced two months ago..."
He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Piers' head, once firmly attached to his body, was spinning through the air. His eyes were still blinking and his mouth was still reciting lines. The spray of blood, following the graceful arc of the head, was almost beautiful and in the back of his mind, Mickey though, "Oh, so that's what it looks like when someone's decapitated." A sharp, piercing scream brought him back to reality. He dropped his half-full cup of coffee as crew members rushed to offer aid that was far too late.
"Call an ambulance!" he managed to shout through trembling lips and queasy stomach. Mickey's knees started to wobble, but he was the director, damn it, and he wasn't about to lose it, not now. Not in front of his crew.
Blood pumped from the stump of Piers' neck only once or twice more then the body fell to the ground just as his head landed, bounced once, then rolled to a stop on his left ear. Crew members watched in horror as those famous blue eyes looked around and that lovely mouth, which had uttered both the divine and the vulgar with equal ease, tried to ask questions before the brain finally, slowly, stopped firing off its synapses.
Mickey was rooted to the spot as he watched his crew work around him like it was all happening at 180 frames a second; slow motion indeed. "I can kiss this crew good-bye," he thought, then shook himself. He was in shock, right? He couldn't be that heartless so quickly, could he?
All of the rushing around that the crew, and eventually Mickey, did in the aftermath of their star being decapitated by a runaway light rig was just as perfunctory as it sounds. Even Dr. Robert White couldn't have saved Piers Anders' life. It was over the moment the spinal cord was severed.
It was a freak accident, all of the investigators said so. It was with this argument, and a passel of others, that the producers of A Serpent's Tale approached Mickey to talk him into finishing the film. They needn't have bothered; Mickey had his own reasons for continuing on, some altruistic, most not, not that the producers would've cared. They never do. They didn't care about the art, only about the green.
He supposed they only chose him because he was hungry and new. Should the film flop, he'd never work again because all of the blame would be laid on his shoulders and he'd be made into proof as to why cookie-cutter, formulaic, regurgitated Hollywood garbage was better than original thought. If it did well, the film would spawn inferiour sequels and countless imitators trying to cash in and he might be forced into an even more unenviable position. All of this is without considering all of the accidents and strange things that have happened on the set. All of the blood that had been spilled even before Piers' death.
The mood on the first day back was maudlin to say the least. Foremost on everyone's mind, though no one would voice it because it might be taken