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Video Magic

Video Magic by Vikk Simmons
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To Northrupp High junior Kimberly Lange, winning is everything. For sixteen years she has lived in the shadow of her successful big brother, the biggest winner of all. He seems to always be the focus of their parents’ attention and Kimberly feels she must compete just to be loved. So when she and Marla Monroe compete for the coveted internship on Northrupp High's senior video project, Kimberly closes her eyes and wishes, “Please, please let it be me. Everybody loves a winner.” That same competitive spirit fuels Kimberly’s desire to be a successful film maker. The internship is her opportunity to show what she can do – her ticket to a good film school and a big career. But from the minute she first sees senior Greg Winters, the project’s cinematographer and last year’s intern, she can’t help but wonder if there isn’t more to life than work and competition. With his quiet presence, broad shoulders, and unruly curly hair, Greg’s boyish charm captures Kimberly’s heart from the very start. But is his relationship with Marla more than just a friendship? When Kimberly finds out that Greg wants Marla to win the internship, she has even more reason to want to win. Kimberly isn’t the only one competing with Marla – her best friend Carol is caught up in a different kind of contest. Queen of the campus Goths, Carol is jealous of her boyfriend’s attentions to Marla, and she blames Kimberly for taking Ricardo’s side. While Kimberly is focused on learning to be the best film maker she can be, the conflict between Carol and Marla threatens to ruin the film, and Carol’s green-eyed monster threatens to devour their life-long friendship. Kimberly’s relationship with her family undergoes a crisis when it’s time for her to take the test for her driver’s license. Eager to pass and to capture the promised reward of a new car, Kimberly is devastated when it seems as if once again she is relegated to second favorite child and saddled with Bobby’s cast off ride. All her life it had been Bobby, Bobby, and Bobby. Why can’t her parents see her and her accomplishments, she wonders. On the video shoot, Kimberly continues to work harder than she ever has in her life. Working closely with Greg is both challenging and exciting. When they find themselves alone together during a break, they take the first, tentative steps toward romance. But Kimberly also worries that with their different working styles – hers impulsive and intuitive, Greg’s methodical and practiced – a head-on collision might be only a matter of time. Ultimately, Kimberly’s good intentions create even more problems and her talents are put to the test. She is forced to decide what is really important to her. With all her relationships crumbling around her, Kimberly must reexamine the attitudes of her childhood and determine what it means to be a true winner.
Awe-Struck Publishing; September 2005
92 pages; ISBN 9781587494819
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Video Magic
Author: Vikk Simmons
 
Excerpt
Kimberly looked for something to shield her from the blinding sun. The scrim fit the job and she held one over her head to block the sun. Greg appeared suddenly and dropped down next to her. He handed her an iced canned cola. “You look like you could use it,” he said, smiling and taking control of the scrim. Greg leaned behind her and moved the scrim against the back wall. As he did, his arm brushed against her back. She instinctively shifted away from him, then rolled the cold can against her forehead in an effort to cool down. Rising to his knees, Greg dug deep into his back jeans pocket. Kimberly had no idea what he was doing, but she wished he would sit down. She had become acutely aware of his presence. She smelled the woodsy cologne, heard his breathing, sensed his leaning closer and closer even as he dug deeper into his pocket. A few seconds later he waved a bandana in the air, then shifted until he was behind her and wrapped the cloth band around her forehead. When he had finished, he continued kneeling behind her, his hands resting casually on her shoulders, and said, “That should help. The sun is really intense today.” That’s not all, she thought. His breath whispered against her ear and cooled her cheek as he spoke. The warmth of his palms resting on her shoulders radiated more heat than the late morning sun burning her exposed sun. The soft, lingering scent, reminding her of a cool, dew-drenched forest, mingled with the humid air between them. Despite the awkwardness of the moment, she didn’t move. She liked his touch, his scent, his attention. A sharp whistle blast shattered the moment. Barry, in a hurry to finish the scenes on the roof, was trying to hustle everyone into action. “Guess it’s time,” Greg said, his voice still soft. She nodded. “Yes, we better go.” She saw Barry waving for her to join him. “Barry calls.” Greg laughed and got to his feet. “At least he hasn’t blasted us with his whistle.” When Greg left, she felt the loss. She couldn’t sit around thinking about him, so she grabbed the script and jogged over to where Ricardo had set up the camera. Thanks to Barry, she had something else to keep her occupied. Barry had the actors do a number of retakes and Kimberly could see that Marla was getting tired. Maybe the heat was starting to get to her. It certainly was slowing Kimberly down. During the last take, Kimberly started to think something was off, not quite right. She watched Marla pace in front of the camera, each step retracing the exact path she took before. Despite her careful efforts, Kimberly couldn’t figure out what was bugging her. During a short break, Ricardo slipped next to her. “You sure are watching Marla. Don’t tell me you want to be her understudy.” “Hardly,” she said and shrugged. “I don’t know. Something just doesn’t feel right.” “You and Greg make a real pair. You both need to relax. Everything looks fine.” Shading her eyes, she looked across the roof. “Did you watch Marla do the crossover earlier?” “Yeah, of course I did. Through the camera,” he said and folded his arms across his chest. “Who wouldn’t watch her make her moves? Did you see how her hair swings gently at the end as she takes a step?” Then his smile sagged. “You don’t think Marla made a mistake, do you?” Kimberly sighed. “I don’t know. Maybe I’m trying too hard. You’re probably right and everything’s fine.” She glanced at Marla again and watched her throw her head forward then toss her long silky-red mane. “She looks good to me, girl,” Ricardo said and shifted his weight to get a better look at Marla. “She hardly ever makes a mistake; but, look, if you really think there’s a problem you need to tell Greg now.” She stood and replayed the last scene in her mind. She tried to visualize Marla’s actions. Nothing. She still could not get it out of her head by the time Greg joined them. “Looks like we’re ready to break everything down, pack up and leave,” he said, but his clear eyes shadowed when he looked at Kimberly and Ricardo. “What’s the problem?”