Devil in a New Dress

Image result for portain of a woman olga boznanska

Picture: Portait of a Woman (Gypsy) by Olga Boznanska

Written for NYC Midnight’s short story challenge 2019.

My brief was as follows:

Genre: Drama
Subject: A bad crowd
Character: A talent scout
Time limit: 3 days
Word Count: 2,000 words

*

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: RE: RE: Instagram Account

 

Hi Fareeda

To answer your question, the reason we prefer to email rather than exchanging messages on  Instagram is because we have had our Instagram account deleted several times without explanation. If that happens we would lose our connection with you and might not be able to get in contact with you again.

As you can see, there is nothing on our Instagram feed that would justify it. But we have to deal with people constantly reporting our photos because they don’t like our work. It’s a bit of a risk of being in our business I’m afraid. Having millions of fans inevitably comes with a handful of haters. It only takes a few Insta-haters to block our work.

Anyway, as we said before, we really like your Instagram feed. You have exactly the type of look we’re seeking to expand our production to new audiences. We can see from your photos you know how to tease the camera. You could be the figurehead for the next group of performers in our team… and you will earn a hell of a lot more than what that herbal supplement company is offering you 🙂

Are you ready to send over the photographs and video audition that I mentioned in my last email? If you have any more questions, let me know.

Speak soon

Carl x

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: RE: Email Audition Photos and Video

 

Hey Fareeda

I’m glad you noticed that our Instagram was account was pulled down again. As you will have seen, there was absolutely nothing posted on our feed that would justify it being pulled down, but ‘haters gonna hate’. That’s why it was so important that we exchanged contact details.

Anyway, thanks for sending over the photo and video audition. I appreciate you finding someone else to hold the camera. Using a DSLR rather than a phone camera makes a big difference. The professional lighting was a nice touch too, we always suspected from your Instagram shots that you had a semi-professional rig.

The photos and video themselves look absolutely fabulous. You have an amazing figure and you know how to use it! I’m really pleased that you didn’t lose any of your self-assurance. So many girls get shy and lose their ability to work the camera as soon as it gets a little raunchier, but you kept it fierce 😉

We are ready to bring you in for a live audition and test shoot now. I’ve set out our available dates below. Let us know what you can do. We will cover any travel expenses you incur.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Carl x

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: MUM <yasmin3346099@aol.com>;

Subject: RE: FW: RE: RE: FW: Where are you?!

 

Daughter

I’m emailing you again because this seems to be the only way I can get in touch with you. You must contact your sister or I. Your father is suffering. The stress is making him very ill. He has already taken all his paid sick leave at work and is now on unpaid sick leave. Your sister says she doesn’t know where you live but I don’t know whether to believe her or not.

The only method I have of knowing if you are still alive is by tracking your Instagram uploads. I only know about this because of the terrible rumours that are spreading about you. It seems at least some of them are true. You are baring your skin online. I am so ashamed that we have driven you to this. But you must understand the hurt and shame and stress that you are bringing to the family.

There are more terrible rumours in circulation about you that I daren’t even write down here. I am not simply saying these things to scare you. There are awful rumours, which if true, I don’t know how our family will recover.

Dad says he is sorry. We are both sorry. He has changed. Please come back home.

Mum.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: RE: RE: Audition

 

Hi Fareeda

Thanks again for coming to the in-person audition.

First, let me apologise that the nature of the audition wasn’t made clear to you. We’ll ensure that this never happens again (if you decide to continue working with us).

Despite the misunderstanding, you did really well. Everyone loved the performance, except the guy who came with you (is that your boyfriend? I couldn’t figure it out. What was his name again, Mark?). Anyway, you did great and you’re everything we’re looking for.

We really think you could be the face of our new South Asian flavoured productions and we’d love to get started straight away. I attached a proposal of the first shoot if you feel up for it. Let me know.

Can’t wait to hear from you.

Carl x

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: MUM <yasmin3346099@aol.com>;

Subject: FW: RE: FW: RE: RE: FW: Where are you?!

 

Fareeda

Running away from home is one thing, but trying to purposefully bring shame onto your family is outrageous. We saw your Instagram post with the accusations against your Father. The stories you have posted on Instagram are exaggerated where they are not utterly made up. Even if some of the things you said were partially true, there is no need to air our dirty laundry in public. It’s frankly disgusting, it is not the way that we deal with our problems.

Your father is still seriously sick, I dread to think what would happen if he were to learn of your accusations. It might be the end of him. He’s a changed man now. You must come and speak to him.

As your mother, I demand that you come back home and sort this out.

Mum.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: RE: Arabian Nights Shoot

 

Hi Fareeda

Well done wrapping up the Orgy on the Orient Express shoot on Tuesday. The payment with a small bonus for quick completion has already been paid into your account today.

The shoot for 1001 Horny Arabian Nights, starts on Wednesday at 2pm. The address is attached. The pay is the usual rate. There are going to be four different scenes. One with each of the three male actors and then a group scene. Also, the usual filler scenes will need to be recorded. We’re aiming to be done by 5pm Saturday.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the boyfriend.

P.P.S. We really appreciate the Instagram sob-story about your parents. It’s fantastic for your marketing.

Kind regards

Carl.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: FW: Urgent: Space on a new shoot

 

Fareeda

Someone has pulled out of the Invasion of Uranus shoot due to sickness.

You would be a good fit because you have an exotic look which will work with Sci Fi. It’s a long shoot because there is quite a bit of make-up work.

There is anal work, which I know you said you don’t want to do, but it includes the double payment. Furthermore, after your histrionics on the Empire of the Bum shoot, I’ve been struggling to get you more work. I had to pull a few favours to get you recommended on this. I suggest you take the shoot.

Let me know.

Carl.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: MUM <yasmin3346099@aol.com>;

Subject: FW: FW: FW: RE: FW: RE: RE: FW: Where are you?!

 

Fareeda

Yesterday I spoke to Mark, who told me about everything. I could barely believe him until he showed me the videos. We tried the address he gave us, but apparently, you have moved on again.

So it’s true, you are a whore. You have brought the deepest shame on your family and discarded your boyfriend.

Nothing your father or I did justifies what you have done to this family. You have brought shame on us, and every generation before and after us.

Come home now before you do any more irreparable damage.

Mum.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: RE: RE: RE: Contract and non-studio work

 

Fareeda

You’re right that your contract allows you to work on what you like, when you like. You are under no obligation to make any more movies for Bad Crowd Productions once you have filmed your initial five. You are also free to make films with other production companies.

However, your self-filmed amateur work is different. This would qualify as promotional work under section 26.4 of our contract and you owe me, as your agent, 15% of all earnings irrespective of if I actually arrange the work or not. You can’t use your Bad Crowd stage name and reputation to earn money outside the contract, for other production companies or for yourself, without paying us our cut,.

We also would like to remind you that under section 15 you’re obliged to keep an “active and promotional social media presence”. Your Instagram account has become extremely dark recently and this is reflected in the disappointing comments from fans on your latest uploads. Please correct this and post 3 promotional uploads a day.

As you said in your last email, you are within your rights to terminate the contract. But in such a scenario we will retain all the intellectual property including your stage name and all the films you have produced under Bad Crowd and all future earnings from this intellectual property.

I’m disappointed things have come to this. Give me a call and we can discuss how we can go back to working more productively together.

Regards

Carl.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: MUM <yasmin3346099@aol.com>;

Subject: FW: FW: FW: FW: RE: FW: RE: RE: FW: Where are you?!

 

Fareeda

I don’t know if you’re receiving or reading these emails. I notice your Instagram account is now permanently deleted. Mark says he no longer has any way to get in contact with you.

Your father passed away two days ago. His funeral will be on 23rd June.

Please let me know if you are alive.

Love, Mum.

 

*****

 

To: YOU;

From: CARL <carl@BadCrowdProductions.com>;

Subject: FW: FW: RE: RE: RE: RE: Contract and non-studio work

 

Fareeda

Neither I nor anyone else at Bad Crowd Productions has been able to get in touch with you for three weeks. We note that you have completely deleted your social media accounts.

I am giving you notification that we are terminating your contract with Bad Crowd Productions on the grounds of contract default on your part.

Sincerely

Carl.

 

*****

To: YOU;

From: ABDUL <abdul_hadi_332@cryptomail.org>;

Subject: RE: RE: Hello

 

Darling Fareeda

You continue to beguile me. You look wonderful in the niqab. Your eyes are so alluring.

Thank you for telling me about your past, but the past is not important anymore. For all of those who follow the path of Allah, and are present at fitna, will be blessed in the eyes of Him.

I can’t wait to speak to you over the phone. But in the meantime I am sure you understand that it is essential that we move this conversation to an encrypted messaging service.

My brothers are already working on your travel arrangements to bring you to Afghanistan. We will be married within days of your arrival and then we will be able to live together. I’ve attached some pictures of my home. Fatima, my first wife, is the woman in the pictures. I am sure you will get along well.

I look forward to hearing from you my love.

All my heart

Abdul Hadi.

 

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