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Three thriller stories.A BOY AND HIS DOG. The photo shoot is interrupted by the arrival of a big dog and his bizarre master. This mishap brings one of the models, now drugged and on the avenue of sunset, to take stock of their lives. He never did anything right, but maybe it's not too late to change. He could still do something good, save someone who really deserves it.ALONE LIKE A CAT. On Christmas Day Lili almost invests a boy and to be forgiven invites him to have lunch with her. In that house, time seems to have stopped, since his son is gone. That boy could take his place. It's what they both want and it could even work if there was not a terrifying cat to fight them.LIGHT OF MY EYES. Giulia has become blind. For years her sister Claudia has been taking care of her. But now the money is scarce, a decision is required for their future. But what Claudia asks her to do is scary.
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Illusion Short Stories # 11
A Boy and His Dog
Original title: Un ragazzo e il suo cane
Translated by Alfio Loreti
Alone Like a Cat
Original title: Solo come un gatto
Translated by Talida Mantegna
Light of My Eyes
Original title: Luce dei miei occhi
Translated by Cinzia Albanese
© 2018 Illusion
© 2018 Stefano Pastor
Graphics: Angela M.
All rights reserved
Kow must have been his name. That was how the boy called him. The first time I saw him I was scared, but Egon wasn’t, he was just having fun. When that huge black dog had jumped over Egon, he burst out laughing. I started to scream.
It was many hours since we started working, one shot to another. Lying on that rock, under the sun, with a microscopic bikini that left me almost naked. It had been a spontaneous, instinctive reaction. I had slipped down from the rock, I put my feet in the water and tried to reach the shore.
Alain went crazy, screaming at the whole world, at least so it seemed to me because I couldn’t understand a single word of French, and when he was upset, he went always back to his mother tongue. Egon, undaunted, kept playing with the dog, he probably forgot what we were doing there.
Even Teresa, the makeup artist, seemed to be getting upset. “Look at you. What you’re doing? You’re all dirty now! Don’t let it scratch you!” Then she turned to me too. “Why did you get in the water? Now we have to start all over again! Dry yourself, at least!”
Everybody else was laughing, all of them.
Yes, it might sound like a funny scene, even though I couldn’t find it funny at the moment. That mountain of muscles and hair burst into our set, in the middle of our photo session. Is it possible that boy hadn’t seen the barricades that demarcate our set? At the end of the day I didn’t really care, I was just a model, it was Alain that had to put things back in place.
And he was screaming, shouting, and the boy was screaming as well, still on the beach, far from us. “Kow! Kow! Kow.”
But Kow didn’t listen to him, he was playing with Egon, who seemed increasingly happy.
Then the disaster happened. In the excitement Kow got up on two paws and put the others on Egon’s chest, rasping. I saw eight reddish stripes, and Alain saw them too, who yelled so loud to paralyze all of us.
“Not bad! Not bad! Good dog!”, Egon cried. “Pas rien!”
In fact, the wounds didn’t bleed, but his perfect skin was ruined anyway.
They were almost funny, Alain and that little boy, both calling his own dog, refusing to obey.
In the end, Egon was just like Kow, Alain’s faithful little dog. Everyone knew it, they all laughed at them when they were not around.
I would have feel sorry for Egon, I was sure he wasn’t gay, yet I only felt relief. We were all relieved. Finally, a photo session without having to stand the harassment of the photographer in charge.
I had no idea how Egon could stand him, for a man it was different. Or maybe not, in our job we are all forced to compromise if we want to break through. And Alain was an important photographer, very important. Working with him could be the opportunity we all were looking for.
Egon was great. Even me, who couldn’t stand sex anymore, I was attracted to him. He was younger, younger than all of us. Nineteen, Alain said, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was even younger.
He’s been discovered by Alain, who found him in Brazil and had brought him back. He had tied him with an iron-clad contract, and that union was their luck. They understood each other with a simple glimpse, Egon blindly obeyed Alain, whatever he was asking him to do. During the sessions, Alain never had to repeat an order twice. They always worked together, and pictures of Egon’s statuary body and golden skin filled billboards and magazines of half Europe.
I was old compared to him, old for that future. It was too late, I no longer had any hope. Twenty-six years old. Yes, it was over. This session with Alain would be the pinnacle of my career. There was nothing beyond that.
What did I do to get there? What was I able to achieve? What a funny question, I should have asked exactly the opposite: what didn’t I do?
The hurricane reached the beach. Marcel grabbed me abruptly from my wrist. “Wipe yourself”, he pushed me against the dresser, who immediately checked my bikini, as if it was a dummy to wear it. Someone threw me a towel because I had wet my legs and golden sand had stuck to my skin.
He must have succeeded it, Alain, because he was dragging Egon on the beach. We could still hear the dog barking, but it was out of our sight. I looked for him around, but immediately the dresser hissed, “Stop it!”
Egon was handled like a dummy too, while Alain and Teresa controlled the red marks on his chest. He probably could see the dog, because he had his famous smile painted on his face, the one that had made millions of women around the world wonder.
“Can you hide them?”, Alain snapped.
“I don’t know! I don’t know! I can try!”
I saw them for a moment, going away: the boy and his dog.
He was a strange boy, as strange was the dog. He was all dressed in black and he was wearing a jacket with the hood raised, even though it was summer. He never turned back.
The dog was half-breed, a mix of too many indefinable breeds, and it was huge next to the boy. He always turned around, and barked.
Then they disappeared and it was over.
“That’s it, a little lower. Move the hand slightly to the right. And raise that leg, damn it!”
I felt the need to sniff some. A desperate need. That beach looked like heaven, but for me it was turning into hell.
Egon was above me, our lips almost touching. His body touching mine, his skin was soft. It had a strange scent, but perhaps it was the make-up they used to hide the scratches. Our oiled bodies glittered in the sunlight.
We looked like night and day, us two. I’m pale and translucent, with long blond hair, he was tall and muscular, with dark skin and curly hair. He was smiling at me.
He had never spoken to me, had never spoken to any of us. He never did. Maybe he wasn’t able to do so. He only knew few words of French and Italian, there was no way to communicate. Perhaps he was just that, he couldn’t do anything else, just a beautiful body to show off.
“Move! Slightly higher! Lower down now! Lower down a little bit more!”
The rock was full of sharp edges, it was a torture to be leaning over there.
“Hug her! With one arm only! Put a hand in her hair!”
What did that guy think? What did he think of me? Did he consider me a doll also? Why couldn’t I read anything in his eyes?
“Kiss her! Kiss her now!”
They took off my costume and I was naked on the beach. I waited.
Someone started to whistle and I felt vulgar appreciation behind me.
“Send them away!”, Alain cried. “What are they doing here? No public! I said no public!”
And to me: “What are you doing standing there still, punk? Get dressed, we’re done!”
Have we finished? I didn’t realize it. Then I noticed the clouds that were darkening the sun and realized that we couldn’t shoot anymore.
“Is it over?” I asked the dresser.
“For today”, she said.
No, it wasn’t over, not yet.
The drug was getting in my body and a strange peaceful state was taking over. Yes, I could do it, I could still hold on.
Another day, another session.
In the hotel’s lounge there was only us, the crew. It was low season and we were probably the only customers. We were twenty, including models. The fact that for that session I had been chosen as Egon’s partner didn’t change anything, I remained nobody as all the others.
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