On Location

by mwalimu

Chapter 3 - The Measure of the Situation

Clarence Skunk, Cindy Lapine, Wanda the Vixen, Susan Felin, Debbye Squirrel, Chris Foxx, Rodney and Ellen Lapine, and Mark the Lemur are copyright Chris Yost. Martin Lupina, Nathan Fenicus, Clint Aardwulf, Nancy David, Pacidy Angelou, Vernon Procyon, Miranda Civet, and most others not listed here are copyright Joe McCauley. Zig Zag is copyright Max Black Rabbit. Sabrina Mustelidae is copyright Eric W. Schwartz. James Sheppard, Rhonda Badger, Lilian Bartholomew, and Gypsy Coyote are copyright James Bruner. Marvin Badger is copyright James Bruner after a description by Chris Yost. Lee Evans is copyright Evan Mayerle. Joshua Fox is copyright Joshua Fox. Jake Mackelroy is copyright David S. Adrian. Kittiara Seng and "Callahans" are copyright Kittiara.

This story is copyright © 2003-2005 by Joe McCauley. This story may not be sold or used for commercial profit in any form or fashion. This story may not be modified in any way. This story may not be posted on any Internet site, archive, or newsgroup without the written permission of the author. Permission is granted for readers to produce an individual copy in print, magnetic or optical media for personal use only.

Characters listed as copyright this author may not be used in other works without the written permission of the author. Permission to use characters that are copyright other individuals was obtained prior to the appearance of said characters.

This is an independent work of fiction that is not canonical with any other work occurring in the same setting or featuring the same characters.

Sunday, May 28, 2000

"Here are my spare keys. The smaller one goes to the mailbox." Clarence handed the keychain to Cindy, then looked over his living room wistfully. "It feels strange just leaving the place like this, knowing how long I'll be gone. It's different when it's your own place."

Cindy shrugged. "I've never had my own place." She studied the thoughtful look on the skunk's face. "I'll keep an eye on things for you."

"Take my car out for a couple of short trips so it doesn't sit idle the whole time. Feel free to use the stereo," said Clarence. "In fact, you're welcome to sleep over if your parents don't object."

Her lop ears twitched at the suggestion. "That's a possibility. I don't think they'd have any problem with it." She hauled the strap of his carry-on bag onto her shoulder. "Let's get going."

It may look austere now, but someday soon you and I will have a place that's furnished properly. He hefted the large yellow suitcase out to Cindy's car and loaded it before returning to lock the apartment door. Well, here goes nothing, he thought.

* * *

At Port Columbus International Airport, Clarence spotted a few others from Double Z Studios already waiting in line at the ticket counter, and by the time he was through the line and had checked his suitcase, a couple more had gotten in line. He took the carry-on from Cindy as they proceeded through the metal detector at the entrance to the concourse.

When they arrived at the gate, Clint saw them approaching and stood up to greet them. "Welcome to the team, Clarence. I want to thank you personally for joining us."

"You're... welcome," the skunk replied. "I... hope I can meet your expectations."

"I'm sure we'll make good use of you." The aardwolf turned to the lop-eared rabbit. "Cindy, I presume?"

"Yes, she's here to see me off. Cindy, this is Clint Aardwulf, the producer of the movie."

"Nice to meet you," she said as they shook paws.

Clint smiled at her. "I was expecting something more along the lines of, 'So you're the lousy bastard who's taking my boyfriend away.'"

"I keep thoughts like that to myself," she chuckled.

He turned back to Clarence. "Just a couple of quick things. You need to keep a log of all meals and other covered expenses. Snacks are included. How much cash do you have with you?"

Clarence grimaced. "About twenty dollars. I, uh, didn't get to the bank."

"I thought you might not have." Clint produced an envelope and counted out five twenties, which he handed to the skunk. "This should cover you for at least a couple of days. This will go down as a cash advance when you submit your expense account. How did you get here today?"

"I drove," said Cindy.

"Are you in short term parking?"


He handed her three dollars. "That's a covered expense," he said to Clarence. "I have a few other things to go over with you, but we can cover them later. I imagine you two would rather have a few minutes together without a babbling aardwolf like myself around."

As Clint returned to his seat, Clarence and Cindy found two that were open. Looking around the gate area, Clarence saw various furs he knew were on the crew - Marty, Nate, Margo the lighting technician, Jason the sound guy, Mark the lemur, Wanda (whom he looked away from quickly lest she see him looking at her), and several others. A couple were notably absent, including Marvin. It's possible some are taking a different flight, Clarence thought to himself.

Nancy was walking around, carrying a clipboard in one paw and an otter toddler in the opposite arm. She was showing the clipboard to various crew members, each of whom took it for a moment and signed something. Most also said a few words to the toddler, whose reactions varied. Eventually, she approached Clarence and handed him the clipboard. "Would you like to sign this? It's a get well card for Rhonda. We're also taking donations for a gift." As he took the clipboard from Nancy, the toddler squirmed, distracting her.

"Ooh, can I see him?" Cindy asked as she held her arms out toward the toddler.

The toddler seemed interested, so Nancy held him out to the rabbit. "Sure. This is Jordan," she replied.

"Bhunny," said the young otter as he clambered into Cindy's arms.

"You know how to flatter a girl, don't you," Cindy cooed as Jordan grabbed one of her ears.

But Clarence hardly noticed this as his thoughts suddenly reeled. "Rhonda Badger?" he gasped.

"Yes," said Nancy. "Didn't Zig Zag tell you? She's in the hospital, and she's the reason you're now part of this crew."

"Oh, uh..." he uttered. "No, Zig didn't say who it was."

Nancy studied him. "Are you okay?" she asked. Cindy was looking at him too now.

"Yeah, I will be. It's... it's just that he's... I mean Marvin... is the guy I always go to if I have any questions, and... and I had kinda... figured on him being on the crew if I had any problems. I... I didn't know until just now that he was the fur I'm filling in for."

Nancy gazed at him for a long moment, then put a paw on his shoulder. "Clint or I will be glad to help you with anything," she said. "Or any of the rest of us. You seem to get on well with Mark and Vernon, and they've done all this before."

"Okay... okay, I suppose I can," he replied.

Noting that didn't look very reassured by her reply, she continued, "We count on Marvin for a lot of things, and I think all of us are going to miss him these next couple of weeks, especially Clint, Marty and I. Believe me, you're not alone in this. I know how you feel."

No, you really don't, but he dared not voice his concern. He started to hand the clipboard back, but realized he hadn't written anything yet, so he opened the card, found an empty space, and wrote:
Hope you feel better soon.
Don't stay away too long.
Best wishes,
          Clarence Skunk
After adding a couple of dollars to the envelope and returning the clipboard to Nancy, he sat down, and as he chanced another glance over in Wanda's direction, he felt the blood drain out of his face. Ohmigod! Ohmigod! He could hardly put together a coherent thought.

Cindy was handing the toddler back to Nancy, distracting them both long enough for Clarence to take a couple of deep breaths and regain his composure, at least most of the way. But he couldn't hide from Cindy the fact that something was bothering him. "Is something the matter?" she asked him.

Is there any way I can tell her the real reason I'm suddenly so worried about this trip? "I know what she just said, but... but... It's just that Marvin is the one I know best. The fur I trust the most. He's the easiest to talk to if I run into any problems." At least, certain ones. One in particular.

Cindy sat on his lap and hugged him. Can Cindy tell I'm suddenly more nervous about this trip than I was a few minutes ago? he wondered. But if she could, she didn't say anything. She just stroked his neck and shoulders gently until she felt him relax more, speaking to him reassuringly as she did so. "It's okay. I'm sure you'll do just fine." He sat there, comforted by her ministrations. Can I still change my mind?. he wondered. It was hard to imagine that once he boarded the plane, he wouldn't see Cindy, wouldn't feel her arms around him again for more than two weeks. So they sat like this, just enjoying the presence of each other during their final minutes together.

He noticed Nancy over by the window. After she had finished circulating, getting the last couple of members of the film crew to arrive to sign Rhonda's card, she and Jordan had rejoined her husband and was now hugging and holding both of them close, murmuring gently to them. There were tears in her eyes, and Clarence then realized it must be very difficult for the mother of such a young child to leave for two weeks. And there were bound to be others here who were leaving behind loved ones, whose lives were being interrupted, who were making sacrifices to go on this trip. No, there's no way I can back out at this point. It would be too embarrassing. Even Cindy would be ashamed of me.

His thoughts were interrupted when Cindy spoke. "I brought you something. A going-away present," she said, opening her purse. "It's not much, but it was the best I could do on short notice." She removed a small envelope and gave it to him.

"Oh, um... You... you didn't have to. Thank you." He opened the envelope and found a 200-minute phone card, on which she had written, 'Whenever you need me, I'm as close as the nearest phone.' He gazed back at her with a warm smile, basking in the smile she returned. "It's just fine. In fact, it's wonderful." Her being so supportive of him gave him a pleasant, almost indescribable feeling, making him realize once again how lucky he was to be loved by her.

* * *

The vixen stretched her arms overhead and looked out the window at the DC-9 they would be boarding shortly, trying to work some of the restlessness out of her body in preparation for two hours of sitting in an airline seat. Looking around, Wanda spotted the skunk with the rabbit sitting in his lap. Clarence!? When did they get you on this crew? Are you the fur they got to replace Marvin? She didn't want to stare, but couldn't help glancing in their direction periodically, albeit as covertly as she could muster. What is her name? Cindy, is it? He looks so relaxed with her, so at ease, so... natural. Wanda had been instantly, almost irresistibly attracted to the skunk's shyness since the moment they met, and it had taken a bit of effort to keep her attraction in check. Marvin, and to a lesser extent Rhonda, were the only others who knew the full measure of the situation between the two of them, and they had been like a conscience to her, but her attraction to him had never diminished. She had never resented the Badgers' role; they were much too good of friends for that. She realized that if anything it was good to have somefur to keep her from going overboard with Clarence. But now we'll be working on the same sets and staying at the same hotel for the next two weeks. How could we not end up running into each other quite a bit? I'll be on my own to handle myself around him.

Wanda chanced another peek in their direction, and something like jealousy rose up within her. She had seen them together a couple of times before and had known for quite some time that he was very much in love with Cindy. She had long since decided that this was not something she wanted to take away from Clarence, that she had no desire to drive a wedge between them. Wanda knew that given the kinds of relationships she usually sought with males, she could probably never be for him what Cindy was. So that certainly wasn't it. Did she want to bed him? Clarence had 'flattered' Wanda on more than one occasion, and she wouldn't turn him down if he were ever to show interest, but as embarrassed about it as he had been on those occasions she didn't think he would and had no intention of pressuring him. No, that wasn't it either. Yet inexplicably, as she looked at the two of them together, something about Cindy made her jealous, but she couldn't quite put her claw on it.

Wanda looked out the window, watching a commuter plane take off in the distance. I'll probably figure out what it is sooner or later. Clarence has most likely worked out the measure of the situation between us for this trip. For now, let him have his final moments with Cindy before we have to board the plane. He deserves that much.

* * *

When the boarding call came, Cindy and Clarence had a final kiss before he stepped into the jetway. It was some ten minutes later when Cindy stood watching the plane push off from the gate. As she looked unsuccessfully from one window of the aircraft to another in the hope of getting a last glimpse of her skunk, she heard a small voice beside her.


Nancy's husband was standing next to her watching the plane and holding Jordan. "Hi, Jordan."

The otter dad turned to her. "Hi, I'm Gary Fisher."

"Cindy Lapine," she replied as the young otter reached for her. "We met a few minutes ago."

"I saw," he said. "I think he wants you again," said Gary, handing Jordan to her.

"You'll be a heartbreaker someday, won't you! Won't you!"

Jordan turned and extended an arm toward the plane outside. "Mommy," he said with a sob.

Cindy hugged the child closer. "I know. My boyfriend's on that plane, too."

Now unencumbered, Gary removed the card to Rhonda from the clipboard and sealed it. "He really takes a liking to you," Gary observed, watching his son.

"Mm hmm," Cindy murmured.

"Do you babysit?"

They talked a few more minutes as they watched the plane taxi out to the airfield. They found out they lived in the same area of town. Gary had commitments a couple of evenings when he would need somefur to watch Jordan. They discussed what days and times she might be available to take care of him. Finally, after they saw the plane take off, they departed.

* * *

The flight arrived in Atlanta a few minutes early, giving Clarence and the rest of the crew about an hour before the departure of their connecting flight to Macon, enough that there was no big hurry to reach the commuter terminal. The whole air travel experience was a different world for Clarence, one he didn't have much experience with, and Hartsfield Airport had a notably different atmosphere than Port Columbus Airport. Indeed, he was momentarily puzzled at how they were supposed to get to his connecting flight until he realized that some of the walkways were underground.

He joined a gaggle of several Double Z Studios fursonnel to begin the trek to the other gate. As they passed the gift shop, a couple of them broke off to enter. Clarence was about to do the same, but when he noticed a certain flame-hued vixen in the shop with her nose in a magazine, he changed his mind and continued with the rest of the group.

* * *

*knock knock* "May I come in?"

"Hi, Zig Zag. Of course you can," said Marvin from the chair beside the sleeping form of his wife. "Rhonda's getting a nap right now..."

Zig Zag took in the scene before her - the badger femme, one of her best friends, with gadgets hooked up to her, an IV tube on her arm, the pallid color of her face, the wheezy sound of her breathing. "She doesn't look as bad as you made her out to be."

Marvin sounded as exhausted as he looked. "She's better now than she was earlier."

"You, on the other paw..."

"Hey, she's my wife. I'll stay at her side as long as I have to."

The tiger-striped skunkette glared at him with a smile. "Just because you won't worry about yourself doesn't mean I can't." He looked back at her meekly. "Anyway, how's she doing?"

"Her lungs have started to clear up, her fever has gone down some, but she's still coughing, and they've got her on medication to keep the pain and the inflammation in her lungs under control. The doctor says she'll be here at least two more days, but she's over the hump."

"Glad to hear it."

"Hi, Zig," croaked Rhonda, peering at her through barely open eyelids.

"You're awake! Feeling better?" asked Zig Zag.


"Maybe this will help a little," she said, handing her a card. "It's from the road crew of The Wild Southern Rose. You should be getting a gift from them too."

"Roses, I suppose?" Marvin wondered aloud.

"I don't know. Probably whatever Gary picked out - Gary Fisher, Nancy's husband. Everyone else had to get on the plane."

"Speaking of roses, thank you for the bunch you sent." He gestured toward a large bouquet in a decorative vase in front of the window. "They really brighten up the room. I take it the crew got off okay."

"According to Gary, they did."

"Clarence too?"

"He was there. Cindy was with him. Gary said their son Jordan really liked her."

Rodney's daughter, Marvin reminded himself as he smiled. "Well, I hope everything works out okay with Clarence on the crew."

"He's a good worker," Zig Zag replied.

They continued to discuss details of the movie and otherwise socialize for another half hour, during which Rhonda and Zig Zag were able to convince Marvin he should go home and get a decent night's sleep.

* * *

Clarence was one of the first in line when the general boarding announcement came. The Canadair Regional had two seats on each side of the main aisle, and Clarence had a window seat in the fourth row. After stowing his carry-on bag, he settled in his seat and watched the other passengers board. He observed several others from the film crew board and take their seats, including Mark the Lemur whose seat was in the sixth row.

Wanda came down the aisle and stopped just as she reached Clarence's row, looked down at her boarding pass, at the empty seat beside him, and finally at Clarence. The vixen gave him a look of resignation, as though she should say something but she wasn't sure what. It took all the self-control he could muster not to react too noticeably as he felt his insides turn to jelly. They were frozen like this for several seconds until Wanda was bumped from behind as a couple of other passengers tried to squeeze past her. "Oh, sorry. Excuse me," she said to them as she stepped out of their way in front of the seat, now only inches from Clarence. "Uhh, hello, Clarence," she uttered.

At that moment, Clarence felt like he wanted to crawl under the seat, to get to anywhere other than here. Other than on this plane, if possible. He tried to form a reply, but with his mind too overloaded trying to fathom how to deal with this latest situation, no words came to him. He was face to face with the reason he had most feared coming on this trip, knowing he would have to face her many more times before the two weeks were over.

"Clarence!" The voice startled him, but he quickly recovered and looked up at its source. "Clarence," Mark repeated, "do you mind if I switch places with you? I need to talk to Wanda about a photo shoot."

The vixen turned to him. "What photo shoot?"

"For the website. I'll tell you about it after we sit down."

Clarence stood up, hoping no one else noticed how shaky his knees were at that moment. "Umm... Sure, yeah, no problem. W... we can switch."

"Great," said the lemur as he stepped out into the aisle with his camera bag and his backpack.

Once Clarence restowed his bag at his new seat, it took a few minutes for his heart to stop pounding and his breathing to return to normal. As the plane taxied out to the airfield toward the runway, the skunk was sitting with his eyes closed, kicking himself mentally. How am I ever going to deal with Wanda? This trip was a huge mistake. I'll never make it through two weeks. I never should have come.

* * *

When their flight arrived at Central Georgia Regional Airport, Clarence was one of only three who had to wait for luggage. Everyone else had packed early and loaded theirs on the truck Friday to avoid the hassles of checking luggage and the risk of it being lost by the airline. After baggage claim, it was on to the car rental agency.

Dinnertime was approaching when the convoy of vehicles departed the airport on their thirty-minute journey. When they exited from the Interstate highway, Clarence saw the hotel they would be staying at, but they passed by without stopping. They had some work to put in at the Crutchfield Estate before they could check in for the night.

He had somehow imagined it would be like one of those mansions he had seen in some movies filmed in England, ones stretched out for a block or more. The Crutchfield Estate was nothing like those, either in size style, but in its own way was quite impressive to behold. The brick mansion looked from the outside like it had at least twenty rooms, and despite being over a hundred years old it appeared to be well kept up. The grounds were carefully landscaped with many shrubs, flowers, and a well manicured lawn. A wrought iron fence lined the front of the lawn, with lamps atop brick pedestals on either side of the two openings where the horseshoe drive intersected the road. Another building with garage doors was visible to the right. To the right of that building was the truck they had loaded two days earlier.

When everyone had gotten out of their vehicles, they gathered in front of the side building where they were addressed by a capybara. "Welcome to the Crutchfield Mansion. I am Floyd, butler of this estate. The Daltons, owners of the estate, are away on a cruise and have given me the task of overseeing matters during your filming and to assist you in any way I can. The mansion was built in 1882 by Darius Crutchfield and his wife and children. The carriage house," he gestured to the building behind them, "was built in 1887. The property has changed ownership a few times since then but most folk around here still call it by the name of the family that built it. The buildings have held up well, due in no small part to skill of the builders, but they are still quite old so we wish to ask all of you to respect and take good care of the estate while you are here. There is a lot more I could tell you about this place and its history when I have time, but I understand you have some work to be done and this gentleman here looks like he would like me to hurry up."

There was a bout of laughter as Clint, the gentleman he referred to, spoke up. "Thank you, Floyd. It's great to be here at last. Okay everyone, you heard it from our host. We are using someone else's property here, so be careful and use common sense. It's been a long day for us already and I don't want to try to do too much tonight, but we must get the truck moved back to the hotel tonight, so we have to get most of it unloaded. Here's what we're going to do..."

They divided up into two groups. Clint took Clarence and the rest of the crew over to begin unloading the truck. They would have the semi-trailer the whole time they were there, but they couldn't keep it at the estate because they would be doing some exterior shots and couldn't have the truck in them. The driver had other hauls for other customers before returning in two weeks for the return trip to Columbus. The innkeeper at their hotel had already agreed to let them park it there, and they would be getting a smaller rental truck they could use to shuttle equipment back and forth as needed.

While the crew began unloading, Martin and Nancy began leading the cast members around the vicinity of the estate house and the lavish gardens in the rear, pointing out how and where various scenes were to be filmed. There were only a few areas inside the mansion being used to film scenes, but several other rooms were being put to other uses. One room became the temporary office for the production where they had to set up a workstation they had brought along. The studio had paid to have a high-speed data line installed to the estate so they could be connected to the main system at the studio in Columbus. One of the bedrooms became the costume shop, and two adjacent rooms with attached private baths were designated as the dressing rooms. Most of the larger equipment for which neither storage environment nor security was a major concern was stored in the carriage house.

As some members of the cast completed their orientation, they came over to help the crew with unloading. Getting everything organized and set up was not a major concern - there would be plenty of time tomorrow to worry about that - and in just over an hour, the day's work was finished.

Upon returning to the hotel, Clint spent about fifteen minutes getting the lodging arrangements squared away with the innkeeper, a forty-something squirrel named Wil. Meanwhile, the truck driver parked the semi-trailer in a back corner of the lot where it would be out of the way of the overnight guests, and those who hadn't already done so at the estate retrieved their luggage from it. Once everyone was inside, the lobby was quite crowded, and Clarence once again became peripherally aware of Wanda, who was talking to others. At last, Clint concluded his discussions with Wil, and handed out keycards to everyone. The aardwolf spoke once more before they headed to their rooms. "I don't know about you guys but I'm hungry. What do you say we all meet back here in ten minutes?"

"Can we make it twenty?" Nancy piped up. "I need to call home."

There were some me-toos and a couple of grumbles. "Okay, twenty," Clint replied.

The Budgetail Inn was a modern two-story hotel with indoor hallways, clean comfortable rooms, and an outdoor pool. The Double Z Studios entourage had a block of rooms together that took up more than half of the second floor. Clarence thought his room had nicer furniture than his apartment, which wasn't saying much since his apartment didn't have much furniture yet. He popped open the suitcase, then decided it was time to break in the calling card.

"How was the trip?" Cindy asked him.

"Not too bad," he replied. Except maybe for the close encounter with Wanda. "It's different here. I wish you were here to see it with me. I miss you already."

"I miss you too, Clare."

They made small talk for a few more minutes before Clarence had to end the call so he could meet the rest of the crew for dinner. Cindy agreed to call Clarence's Mom to pass the word along that he had arrived safely.

By the time everyone was back in the lobby, it once again felt too small. Clarence was involved in a conversation with Jason and Margo and didn't even notice when Wanda appeared.

Dinner was at a place called Wild West Steakhouse, on the same side of the road as the hotel and less than a five-minute walk away. Clarence observed that Wanda was walking over with a group that included three female co-stars. Miranda Civet was a relative newcomer to Double Z Studios and was thrilled to have a supporting role alongside the likes of Wanda. Gypsy was more experienced. The colorfully dressed coyote had three hoop earrings in her right ear and two more in her left. Rounding out their group was Nancy. Clarence was further back with Jason and Margo. Though he was pretty sure Wanda wouldn't do anything to embarrass him with this many other furs around, he was in the habit of positioning himself such that he'd know where she was so she wouldn't surprise him, not even by accident. As he made small talk with those nearest him, he surreptitiously observed the four ladies. Though all four were quite attractive, something about Wanda kept drawing his eyes back to her - the way her shirt and cutoffs outlined the curves of her body, the saucy sway of her hips and undulations of her tail as she walked. He'd seen that allure from her many times before but it was usually when her attention was either on him or on the camera. This time it was neither. Was she aware of his attention on her after all, or did she really project that much allure even when she wasn't trying?

Besides steaks, the menu at the steakhouse included poultry and seafood entrees, as well as a large salad bar and a selection of fruit and vegetable dishes for the herbivores. The atmosphere was casual and friendly, and Clarence had a feeling they'd be eating here often during their stay. Not bad. Not a bad place to eat at all. We could certainly do worse than this, he thought.

* * *

Back at the hotel, Clarence was channel surfing when he heard a knock at the door. It was Clint.

"I wanted to finish going over a few things with you," said the aardwolf. "This is our shooting schedule," he explained, handing him a packet several pages thick. "We'll try to follow it as close as we can. If everything goes perfectly we'll be done in less than ten days, but the unexpected always crops up in these shoots. And we can't control the weather. Bottom line is, we have to be flexible."

"Okay," Clarence replied as he skimmed over the first couple of pages.

"I don't know if Zig Zag told you, but if we don't finish the shoot in two weeks, we stay until we're done." The skunk frowned slightly. "Don't worry. We have plenty of cushion built into the schedule, and Marvin and Zig Zag will have our butts in a sling if we run over for any reason other than weather. If you have any pressing commitments, we can probably let you go back anyway..."

"Mm... No, no... At least not right away." The skunk let out a sigh. "C... could we finish early?"

"Not likely. Knowing Martin and Nancy, if we have extra time they'll probably want to reshoot scenes they think could be done better, or they'll get ideas for additional footage."

"Darn. Oh, well..." said Clarence wryly.

Clint smiled. "But if things are going reasonably well, everyone will get a day off, probably next Sunday. That was something Zig Zag insisted upon, and I'm inclined to agree with her. It'll give everyone a chance to unwind, see what's in the area, and have a day of fun." Clarence nodded again. Clint spent a few more minutes filling him in on other things he needed to know and gave him some more cash to cover meals and expenses.

"One last thing," said Clint as he produced a form with Clarence's name already filled in. "We will be shooting some footage and still photos for supplemental material. I need you to sign this release form giving Double Z Studios and Howl Productions permission to use anything you may appear in."

Clarence's eyes went wide. "Y-y-you mean, I might end up being in the movie? I don't think..."

"No, these pictures won't be used in the movie," said Clint in a reassuring voice. "Double Z Studios may decide to include some behind-the scenes extras on the DVD release and you could end up in those, but no, you won't be appearing in the movie itself."

Clarence had to stop and think a minute about this request. This is an adult film, what many would call a porn film. I know, most of the people at Zig Zag's studio don't call it that. But what if someone who knows Mom sees it and tells her? What are the odds of that happening? Probably not as likely as her finding out some other way. I've thought about that happening before and I can cross that bridge if I come to it, he mused. Other than that, it's just so unexpected. I guess I don't really see any problem with it.

He signed the form.

Moments later, Clint left, and Clarence lay back on the bed and closed his eyes. He had a lot of things going through his head - the release form, Wanda, being in central Georgia, Wanda, leaving Cindy for two weeks, Wanda... His mind was a jumble and it seemed a bit much to sort out.

Some words of wisdom came to mind. Things have a way of working out. Things happen for a reason. Face your fears. How the heck are you supposed to know when these sayings apply? Sure, he could look back and find occasions when they applied, but when he thought about it, he could think of times when they didn't.

On to Chapter 4

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