Ink battling Saltwater
Somewhere in New York, in a half shabby restaurant, Carl Denham realized that the hungry girl he had bought a dinner was the perfect for the role. He had found her. Carl leaned forward and said with a smirk. "Ann, I'm telling you - you're perfect. Look at you. You're the saddest girl I've ever met. You're gonna make them weep, Ann. You're gonna break their hearts." He finished his speech clearly satisfied with his smooth words. She was going to fall for that, he knew it.
Instead of giving in so easily, young miss Ann Darrow leaned back in her chair. She let a slight snort slip her lips before she answered him. "See, that's where you're wrong, Mr. Denham. I make people laugh, that's what I do. Good luck with your picture." She grabbed a few bread – sticks unashamed before she stood up. Mr. Carl Denham already knew that she needed money and didn't have enough for rent, let alone for food. That was why she had allowed him to take her to dinner then listened to him babbling about his great masterpiece, his movie that was supposed to be filmed in Singapore. Because she had been so hungry, she had allowed him. But now she was satisfied, filled with food and a couple of bread-sticks in her pocket. Ann planned to give them to her room-mate, Aurora Chastain, a struggling writer in the same situation as her, unemployed.
"Ann? Miss Darrow, please! I'm offering you money. Adventure, fame, the thrill of a lifetime, and a long sea voyage. You want to read a script? Jack Driscoll's turning in a draft as we speak." Carl Denham said with desperate tone in his voice.
Ann stopped. "Jack Driscoll?" She asked without a breath. The great writer. Ann had seen all his plays and Aurora was always talking about him and quoting his plays. Was it really him? Did she have the chance to talk with him and to tell him that she was dying to play in one of his plays?
"Sure, why? Wait. You know him?" Carl Denham asked.
"No, not personally. I've seen his plays." She answered nonchalantly. Trying not to sound too interested.
"What a writer, huh? And let me tell you, Ann. Jack Driscoll does not want just anyone starring in this picture. He said to me, "Carl, somewhere out there is a woman born to play this role." And as soon as I saw you, I knew."
"Knew what?" Ann asked. She didn't buy Carl's stupid melodramatic rants but what if it was Jack Driscoll's words?
"It was always going to be you."
Ann bit her lip. She was not always going to be stuffed with food like she was now, she and Aurora were probably going to be evicted any day soon. And this job seemed interesting, serious and it did offer her some security. Although it was the opportunity to meet Jack Driscoll that made her say yes.
"I have one condition."
"Anything you like."
"I want my room mate and friend, Aurora Chastain, to go with me. I fear that she will be without an apartment anytime this week. We both actually will be." She said and stared on her feet. Ann hated to reveal how poor she actually was. Without job, you was nothing.
"That's excellent! Is she also an actress? We don't have a stand in for the stunts. I didn't have enough time to get one." He excused himself.
"What stunts?" She asked him. Jack Driscoll was famous for his drama where the pen was the sword. She had never seen any fights or stunts in his plays.
"Don't worry, you have a stand in now."
"No, we're not. Aurora is a writer, besides she's not very similar to me, unfortunately, she has auburn hair for an example."
Carl Denham who didn't seem to have paid attention to the description of the writer waved that off. "Don't worry, we'll find a solution. Besides, It feels more real to use the same actress all the time, don't you think? If your writer friend get along she might help Jack Driscoll with the script. Who knows!"
Ann smiled a bit. Carl payed for their food and they both left the restaurant.
Carl opened his mouth again as he fetched a yellow cab. "We don't have much time, I'm already behind my schedule. We have to leave this night."
"Today?" She asked him.
"Yes, damn paperwork you know." He said and shrugged. Carl payed the taxi chauffeur and handed her a piece of paper. "Be at this place 7.00 pm tonight."
Before Ann had the chance of responding he was gone. She stepped into the cab with an uneasy feeling.
'She walked into the room, tiptoeing.
Afraid to wake the sleeping bear.
She opened the door and shut it again, trying to make as little noise as possible.
Her heart was hammering in her chest.
Suddenly there was a crack behind her.
She turned around. Determined to fnmjmnmbghdfghooooefqsx'
It knocked on the door. Aurora walked over to the door and took a look in the spy hole. It was the landlord. He stood there with an angry face and his arms crossed.
"Rent!" He called and knocked again.
She decided to ignore it. He could wait a day or so.
He pounded harder on the door. "Open up! I know that you're here!"
"There's no one home!" She cried back.
She waited a minute and peeked through the spy hole once again. The stupid man seemed to buy it. Aurora watched him leave.
The young woman put her ink covered hands to her face. The inspiration was gone. She hated that feeling! You could be writing with the inspiration flowing and then, with a flick of a finger it could be gone, replaced with the infamous and feared writers block.
"I will never write a real book, play nor a manuscript if this wont stop." She said out load. The empty and silent apartment didn't answer. Aurora's worst fear was if it turned out that her mother had been right all the time. That she would never be able to write a book, never be able to live of her writing. Her British mother had wanted Aurora to take over her sewing business, since Aurora never succeed to find a husband and get married. Not that she wasn't good looking, she was just a bit plain. With simple face features, green eyes and auburn hair. But her facade wasn't the reason all the men gave up. It was the fact that Aurora was cold, uninterested and sarcastically towards them. Aurora didn't miss them, she wanted to be independent and more importnatly a writer.
The door to her and Ann's apartment swung open. Aurora stood up.
"Aurora, we have to leave!" Ann ran into the apartment and retrieved her suitcase.
"What has happened? Has the landlord decided to evict us? Did the police caught you?" Aurora asked her worried.
"No no." Ann answered and pulled out a drawer and grabbed all her clothes and put them into the suitcase. "It's nothing bad. I got a job!"
Aurora's mouth fell open. Ann already had a job, didn't she? "Why are you packing then?"
"Long story, I lost my job earlier today but then a meet a gentleman who took me to dinner. He turned out to be a... guess what, a producer."
"You got a picture job?"
"Yes!" Ann turned to Aurora and suddenly gave her a hug. "It's going to be a block buster movie, Jack Driscoll writes the script. We're going to film in Singapore!"
Aurora gasped. "Jack Driscoll, the Jack Driscoll?"
Ann danced around happily and threw some clothes and her toilet bag into her already filled suitcase.
"Are you leaving me here, all alone to deal with the landlord while you're filming in Singapore?" Aurora had a lump in her stomach. They had promised to stick together at least during the depression.
"No! You're going with me. Mr. Carl Denham said it was okay. We're leaving today."
"Today? Doesn't that sound a bit rushed? He doesn't sound serious!"
"No it's not like that. He told me that he wasn't like that."
"You believe him because he said he wasn't like that?" Aurora replied sarcastically and rolled her eyes.
"Listen, we don't have a choice! The landlord caught me when I came. He said he was tired of waiting for the rent. We have until tomorrow... then he's going throw our things on the street." Ann delivered the sad news with a despondent sigh.
Ann took Aurora's hands into her own. "We have only one choice. We have to take this chance."
Slowly she accepted the situation.
Fortunately Aurora owned a big suitcase. She had place for almost everything she owned, her clothes, shoes but most importantly her books, ink, paper and her bellowed typewriter. It was a Woodstock model 5 from the early 1920s.
Annstepped out of the cab followed by Mr. Carl Denham, leaving Aurora to handle the luggage.
"Mr. Denham, is this the ship we're traveling with?" Ann pointed towards a big and majestic ship in front of them.
"Ann how many times must I remind you to call me Carl and nothing else?" Carl said avoiding the question.
A man named Preston helped Aurora with the luggage. She got it out of the car and told Ann to take care of her own. Ann who seemed to be in her own world grabbed the suitcase and repeated the question. "Carl are we going to travel with that ship?"
Carl laughed nervously. "Not exactly, it's this one." He pointed towards a smaller, dirtier and rustier ship labeled as SS Venture. Preston whispered something into his ear as Ann and Aurora enjoyed the view of SS Venture, well enjoyed... might not be the right word.
A tall man with broad shoulders and a dirty once white captain's hat walked towards Carl. "I need the manifest, Mr. Denham."
"Ah there you are!" Carl exclaimed, ignoring the man's request and sounded as they were old friends.
The tall man didn't seem to think so. He made a face. Carl noticed this and changed his tone to a 'lets get down to business' tone.
"I'll give you another thousand if we leave right now." He said quietly.
The man rolled his eyes. "You haven't given me the first thousand yet." He answered with a normal tone. "The manifest!" He said again.
"Talk English, Captain Englehorn."
"Paperwork, Mr. Denham."
Carl shrugged and suddenly remembered the presence of the ladies. He changed the subject in the speed of the light. "Can we talk about this later? Can't you see we are in the company of a VIP guest?" Carl gestured towards Ann.
"Ma'am." The man said and politely touched the bill of his almost white cap.
Aurora couldn't help herself but snorted loudly. The snort came instinctive, she was always like this to men. The captain noticed her smirk and gave her a quick glance. He had brilliant blue eyes and he wasn't so bad looking at all. Too bad that heprobably was aningratiating man, if he wasn't he could have been interesting.He raised a brow. Aurora responded with a sour face.
Although Ann seemed to be flattered. "Ann Darrow." She said with a breathless voice.
"So, are you ready for this voyage, Miss. Darrow?" He asked.
"Oh please!" Aurora muttered under her breath causing the captain to glance once again.
"Sure." Ann answered, ignoring Aurora.
"Nervous? Why? Should I be?
Carl interrupted before Aurora could say anything else and went over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "And this is Ann's friend, the writer, Miss... "
"My name is Aurora Chastain." She said and stared straight into the captain's eyes. She knew it was provoking for a young woman to look straight into a man's eyes and she liked the surprised look he returned. But he came around fast and offered her his hand.
"Very well, Miss. Chastain. I am Captain Englehorn." She noted his German accent for the first time.
Aurora suppressed the snort this time and eyed his dirty hand. "Sorry, I don't want your dirt on my hand."
There was a moment of awkward silence...
… Until Carl Denham started to laugh nervously. "What a lady, don't you think Englehorn? Better be careful around this one!"
Preston took Ann's luggage and headed up to the ship with her following.
"We're leaving tonight." Carl said determined to Englehorn. "We can discuss the money later."
"But I want the money now." Englehorn responded angrily and took a few threatening steps closer him. "You promised me!"
"Hey! There's plenty of other ships I can choose instead! If we're not leaving tonight, there will be no money." Carl said and turned to board the ship.
Aurora snickered. "You know, you can almost think that he's the captain of the Venture, not the other way around." She grabbed her suitcase and the heavy box with her typewriter and leaved him.
He stared after the cocky and annoying woman with a murderous glint in his eyes. How dare she, a woman, treat him with so little respect? He clenched his fists together and climbed on the Venture.
"Mein gott, frauen..."
A/N: And so was the first chapter finished! Bellow you can see a preview of the next chapter, stay tuned. All I'm going to say now is; To be continued...
PREVIEW OF CHAPTER 2:
Englehorn came climbing down with a smirk on his face. He turned on the lights. "This will be much bigger than Miss. Darrow's room. Feel honored."
Aurora turned her head around and for the first time looked into the room. It was huge. And filled with...
"Cages?" She said out load.
"Congratulations on your observing."
"Am I supposed to sleep in a cage?"
"Isn't it obvious."
He smirked again. "We're short on rooms and you seems to be the least important person on this voyage. So yes, you're going to sleep here. Although it could be much worse."
"What's worse than this?"
"I could show you if you like."