5 Minutes of What?

“The universe is disguising its intentions. It must unveil them before it’s too late,” Roxanne said. “If it has no plans on helping us deliver this short film to the masses then we need to start persuading it.”

“Fuck this universe if it doesn’t want to help,” Nina said. “There’s other universes we can ask.”

“Maybe it’s having a hard time understanding what we’re making. Right now we might be trying to cram too much into a five minute version of the feature film we wrote.”

“Look at the notes we took if you’re confused.” Nina pointed to an overflowing pile of loose leaf paper and Post-It notes on a coffee table. “We’re extracting the essence of our beautiful film and creating an alluring perfume to entice some studio into financing our already perfect script. Let’s not get all bogged down in plot and characters and structure. What are we professionals?”

“Isn’t that what we want people to think?”

“We’re not scientists, Roxy,” Nina said. “We’re artists. We evolved from fairies. We’re fucking magical.”

“It’s just that there’s not much of a story. Aren’t you afraid–”

“Don’t talk about my fears.”

“I’m sorry I just–”


“Great,” Nina said. “Here comes my herd of fears. Feeding time apparently. Now I’m thinking maybe the whole thing is too weird for the film festival. It’s right around the corner. We don’t have time for doubts.”

“I can try to dig somewhere for more time. I worry about private property and trespassing though.”

“I didn’t want to tell you, but I had a dream we got laughed out of the film festival and all your teeth were falling out because you ate a pizza that was really someone’s heart.”

Roxanne felt around to make sure her teeth weren’t missing. “I’m going to go have a smoke and see what I can come with up,” she said. “You–should yell into a pot of water until it boils.”

Outside, Roxanne sat on the stoop smoking three cigarettes at once. As she exhaled an old man of many old years stood over her and inhaled her new smoke.

“Henry, you scared me.”

“I materialize at inconvenient times according to my wife,” he said.

“I had no idea you were married.”

“I’m not anymore. She divorced me. But I’ll be back.”

“You want a smoke?” she asked.

“No. No. Can’t get the hands dirty.” He motioned to the ears of corn overflowing in his hands.

“You wouldn’t happen to know anything about show business would you?”

Henry sat down across from Roxanne to catch his breath. “No,” he said. “It’s going to rain any minute. I live in a bush.” He held out his corn. “You like corn?”

Henry walked backwards into the kitchen as he rambled on about corn. “It’s in more things than you can imagine. And not in things you would imagine. It’s not in glue or hand sanitizer. It is in tarantula milk lotion and fear. Corn itself is a mystical harvest of goodness and I find myself deeply connected to it on a spiritual level and can’t imagine bringing harm to the cob known as corn.”

Nina was yelling at a pot of boiling water. “Looks like the vessel is ready,” she said.

Henry tossed the corn over his should into the pot and plugged his ears to avoid the screams.

Roxy looked at Nina and said, “Henry’s homeless and it’s about to rain soon. Wouldn’t want him out there in the rain all night without a home. That sounds like it would be really terrible to be living in a bush while the rain soaks you all night because you don’t have a place to stay. Doesn’t that sound awful, Nina?”

“Henry,” Nina said. “The Midnight Slaughter Motel has super cheap rates, color tv’s and locks..well, they have a spot where locks used to be.”

“The Midnight,” Henry stopped writing and looked up from a sheet of paper. A look of concern crossed his face. “You think they have a hot tub?”

“Cut!” Roxanne said. “I think we got it.”



Published by tony espino

a human. for now.

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