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Color Commentary

by on April 17, 2013

This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt, which was to use the word “color”: complexion tint:  : the tint characteristic of good health, blush”. It’s also another entry in the Volcano Rain series. Enjoy!

The commercial rolled to its inexorable end, its overly perky actors praising a random product as the Best Thing Since Ever. Then screens across the planet cut back to the main event. The shining ceremony logo rolled across and dissolved into a shot of Bob Birkleman sitting comfortably behind his curving mahogany desk, Camille Andrews and her elegantly styled hair beside him. “And we’re back,” Bob announced in his usual rolling voice. “The 345th Volcano Sacrifice Ceremony is nearing its crucial moment now, as the pilot is making his approach run towards the volcano.”

“That’s right, Bob,” Camille said languidly. “We’re pretty well past the point of a muck-up now, aren’t we? Nothing to worry about?”

Bob chuckled congenially, flashing what, centuries ago, would’ve been a Mr. Rogers smile. “Well, there’s always the possibility of course. One never knows what can happen. Five years ago the maiden actually missed the crater, hit the rim, and rolled halfway down the volcano’s side!”

“Goodness me,” Camille drawled. “It’s a good thing the volcano accepted her anyway, isn’t it?”

Bob laughed again. “Indeed it is. And the pilot should be descending now, ready to release the maiden into the….” his voice trailed off.

“Bob…” Camille said slowly, the color draining from her face. “He’s not descending.”

“This isn’t entirely uncommon,” Bob said, trying to sound reassuring. “There’s many potential variables, it’s such a precise operation, pilots have been known to abort the first run, swing around, and make a second try….”

But it quickly became obvious the shuttlecraft wasn’t swinging around. The shuttlecraft kept on going. Behind it, the accompanying fighter wing suddenly sped up. “Looks  like they’re going into attack formation,” Camille said, her voice suddenly tight. She had started as a war correspondent before taking what should’ve been an easy gig as a volcano sacrifice commentator.

“But…” Bob said, thoroughly perplexed. “This can’t happen. It’s never happened.”  On the bright side, he reflected, the ratings this year would be off the charts.

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20 Comments
  1. I’m new to your story (and visiting from Trifecta), but I love the way you subtly shift the focus from the anchor to his commentator. She’s got some steel under the polish, doesn’t she?

    • She does, which is interesting; I didn’t quite mean her to start out that way, but then she just sort of developed. Character-writing is fun.

  2. Draug419 permalink

    Yes more of Rain’s story! 😀 I’m still wondering what she’s going to do about those jets!!

  3. You do bloggers everywhere proud, Michael!

  4. Rain seems to be succeeding in averting her fate. I can only hope this won’t end tragically for her.

    Thanks for linking up!

  5. This is un reality TV programming. Fun and gruesome.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  6. Thomas Marlowe permalink

    That’s incredible – what a lovely sardonic representation of how the media would deal with a situation like that. Brilliant.

  7. I love this storyline, Adams-esque but in your own voice. The campy tone keeps me smiling even while I read about a sacrifice, and I laughed out loud at the visual of the girl missing the volcano mouth.

    • Adams-esque; what a very nice thing to say. Adams is one of my favorite writers. 🙂

  8. I imagined their voices like cheesy game show hosts – with the fake smiles and dramatic tones. Now, to find out what happens next. Will Rain be sacrificed or manage to escape?

    • I think she escapes. I haven’t the heart to kill off characters, at least not without a decent plan to resurrect them.

  9. KymmInBarcelona permalink

    The commentators are fabulous.
    I love this turn of phrase so much: Best Thing Since Ever
    I may have to find a good reason to use it soon.

    • It’s a good phrase. I would’ve done “The best thing since sliced bread”, but that left open the question of what was the best thing before sliced bread. Unsliced bread? Is a puzzlement.

  10. Aha!Loved that you added this angle-great scene & perfect anchors!Now keeping my fingers crossed that those fighter jets will somehow be foiled & Rain will fly out safely-maybe there will be romantic angle later on?:-)

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