The Unhappiest of Feet

Music rippled around them. The camera was aimed at him and Peter the Penguin. Jack wasn’t smiling. He was squeezing his bagpipe and trying not to glance at the flightless bird next to him.

The heat was making him sweat through the shirt and into the scarf. Above him, light glared down at him from all angles. Beneath his feet, the snow was piled thickly and flaked in piles on his boots.

Behind the camera stood an almost statuesque man. His giant camera took in everything that it could see like a giant eye.

Soon, Jack will be able to stop pretending to play the bagpipes. The recording nearby would stop the music and the lights above him would be turned off, dimming the studio room for the time being, and Jack can go outside for a god damned cigarette.

“Cut!” Finally! Finally Stephen cut the blasted filming.

“I’m fucking done!” Shouted Jack. Stephen recoiled in his chair behind his beady glasses and thick nose. He held his arms out in protest but Jack cut him off “Shut it, you daft English muppet!” Jack threw off his coat at this point. “I’m going outside,” he shouted in the process of ripping his tie from his neck.

“I’ve fucking had it!” He was out from under the lights, which were still on. He didn’t become an actor to be typecast into this ridiculing shit. “Why the unholy cunt fuck would the character be playing a fucking bagpipe to a fucking bird!? Your script is fucking shit, Stephen!”

Stephen walked after the raging Scotsman, raising his finger with the script in his other hand. He opened his mouth to –

Jack spun around on him at the threshold to the studio door. His face was as crimson, arteries pushing the skin of his temple to its limit. His finger jabbed itself in Stephen’s direction. “Fuck you!”

There was a brief silence. Everyone was staring at him, even the stuffed penguin.

“Fuck you!”

– by Kier Sparey

© Copyright Kier Sparey 2014

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A note on the text:

This story comes from a challenge that I’d set myself where I asked for an image from someone in order to write flash fiction about the content. I went a little overboard but this is what came from it.

This is the image that I was given –
Hannah Beatrice Kiefer's photo.

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