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Space Madness – Chapter 3

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 02/02/2015

Space Madness

Former astronaut Nancy Line returns from exile after a public nervous breakdown to assist NASA in faking a moon landing.

Chapter Three – You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me

NASA Director Josef Morrow and astronauts Tony Graziano and Nancy Line enter the Paramount Studios lot, having flown to Hollywood to hire a director to assist them in filming the fake moon landing.

Josef paces ahead of the astronauts excitedly. “Arrendise Marche is one of the most celebrated French indie directors of his generation. His stuff is realistic, so we know our moon landing won’t look inauthentic. And he’s putting the finishing touches on his first big American blockbuster, so we know he’s willing to sell out for money.”

Tony nods and turns to his former lover, “Uh huh. So Nancy, how are you feeling? Do you have to take any medication as a result of your mental breakdown when you, ya know, tried to kill me?”

“Oh, so you’re still sore about that, huh,” Nancy scoffs.

“Well yeah, you tried to kill me.”

“I’m fine now, Tony. You don’t have to worry about me.”

“Well, that’s good. Because I’m seeing somebody new and I don’t want you to kill her. Or me.”

Nancy smirks. “Who is she, another astronaut?”

“Yes. She’s your understudy, actually.”

“Well, that’s fine. I’m, uh, actually seeing somebody too.”

“That’s great. What’s his name?”

Nancy thinks fast. “Her name is, uh, Adele.”

Tony blinks. “You say ‘her name’? That’s, uh, that’s great.”

“Yes, it is. Thank you very much.”

“Well, you’re welcome very much.”

Josef spins around in front of a stage near the back of the lot. “If you two are quite finished, I give you….Arrendise Marche.”

Josef dramatically drags open the giant stage door and a wine bottle comes hurtling over their heads.


“Mon dieu! This is shit. You call this a terrifying creature? This is a, how do you say, a muppet!”

Arrendise Marche is shouting at a production assistant while pointing at a massive green blob bobbing in a water tank.

“Mr. Marche, my name is Josef Morrow, director of NASA. Is now a good time, or..?”

Tony points at the bobbing blob, “What’s that, a big toad?”

“That is supposed to be the climactic scene of my big budget American debut. The terrifying Loch Ness Monster. But, alas, it is shit.”

“Why don’t you just use computer graphics like everybody else?” Nancy queries.

“Why don’t I use computer graphics like everybody else?” Marche erupts. “Why don’t I eat hamburgers like everybody else! Why don’t I drink soda pop like everybody else! Why don’t I jump off a bridge like everybody else!”

“Hamburgers are good,” Tony offers.

“Mr. Marche, I’m here to offer you the opportunity to make the American film you want. You will have complete artistic freedom, a budget rivaling Ness and it will be seen by billions around the globe. The only catch is you can never take credit for it.”

Marche grabs Morrow’s hand, “Done. I am in.”

“Wha–wow, I thought that would be a harder sell.”

“I have had producers pestering me with notes every day. Insubordinate incompetent underlings. I am sick of big studios. I need to get back to my roots. Super-realism, handheld cameras, amateur actors. Real people. An artist does not need credit for his work. An artist only needs his work.”

“Great. I’ve rented us a stage in the Valley. Let’s get to work.”

“What is this movie to be about, Mr. Morrow?”

Josef grins, “The moon.”


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