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All This... And Nothing: Original Fic

Author: Bitterfig
Title: All This… And Nothing
Fandom: Original
Summary: Hollywood, 1986. A movie based on a controversial novel. Three actors film a missing scene for the visiting author.
Beta Reader: Fedink
Word Count: 3046
Rating: R
Warnings: Coke snorting, heroin shooting, vodka swilling, simulated rape. Language.
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Any illegal acts taking place within that fiction are NOT condoned by the author. Depictions of any questionable, illegal, or potentially illegal activity in said fiction does not mean that I condone, promote, support, participate in, or approve of said activity. I grasp the distinction between fiction and reality and trust that readers will do the same.



All This... And Nothing



In 1986, when I was 25 years old and a moderately successful motion picture actor, I was cast as the villain in the screen adaptation of the novel “All This... And Nothing”.

“All This… And Nothing” had been published two years earlier. The author was a twenty two year old boy. Some people considered the book to be sensationalistic trash; others regarded it as the most important literary debut since F. Scott Fitzgerald. I always thought it was both, and neither. That’s just the way I think.

“All This… And Nothing” wasn’t so much a story as a collection of fragments about Chase, a nineteen year old Los Angeles rich kid, who impassively witnesses the downward spiral of his friend Kent into drugs and prostitution. In the book, there was no villain except maybe Kent’s desires. For the movie they needed something more tangible so the minor character of a drug dealer was bulked up and I was cast to play him.

Chase, who in the book is all kinds of passive and ambivalent (not to mention a bisexual cokehead), became a hero for the movie, an angel to my devil. He was played by Alan Winston who was the good boy of the moment. Alan was my age, but like me he looked younger and could be cast accordingly. Alan was girlishly pretty, with soft brown hair, pale skin, pouting lips, and wide gray blue eyes that seemed perpetually hurt. There was a fragility about him that made him irresistibly appealing to his many female fans. It hardly mattered that he was a shit actor, though I felt smugly superior to him on that count. He had no technique and his repertoire consisted of all of three notes. I at least had some training and I liked to think some talent.

I was probably jealous of Alan. He was a leading man; I was the teen movie equivalent of a character actor. Still, I didn’t want to be him. Working with him the year before on a sort of a new wave romance film I’d realized that though barely in his mid-twenties, Alan was already a full-fledged alcoholic.

He was never disruptive or offensive in any way. He always showed up on time and knew his lines but if you paid attention, he was wasted 23 hours a day. A smell of alcohol clung to him, seeping through his pores. In the morning his hands shook until he managed to get enough alcohol in his system. He drank vodka straight out of a Perrier bottle between takes.

By the time we were making “All This… And Nothing” he had managed to stop drinking. He was as quiet about his sobriety as he had been about his alcoholism. His hands still shook but now they did so all day long, he looked dazed, he smelled clean.

Kent, the drug addled lost boy of “All This… And Nothing”, was played by Raymond Morton. Ray, who was twenty two, was a good friend of mine; we’d worked together on two other films. I sort of hated him. He was a fabulous actor, probably better than I would ever be, and not only did he have talent he had pedigree. My parents were teachers. Ray’s mother was the late television star Alma Morton. Rumor had it she’d molested her son and fed him drugs at an early age. I hoped this was true. I hated the fact that Ray was royalty while I was a peasant. It filled me with a cold, silent rage to know he’d had everything handed to him while I was bussing tables. The fact that he had been irreversibly fucked up was some consolation.

Really, Ray was the perfect choice to play Kent. Like Kent he was a bright, spoiled, beautiful boy with a perverse streak and a taste for narcotics. Watching the dailies, it was pretty obvious early on that Ray was going to be the best thing about the film. When I watched his scenes I was half in love with him and genuinely moved by his plight. When he was on screen I hardly noticed banal pretty boy Alan. Or myself.

I blamed the script, which was crap. In my mind I focused more and more on a scene from the book that was missing from the script. In this scene my character, Watt, gives Kent heroin. Kent shoots up and then Watt rapes him while Chase watches, unable to act.

I understood why this scene was not included in the movie. It was 1986; no mainstream studio film was going to show a homosexual rape scene. Furthermore no hero of a mainstream studio film was going to suffer paralysis while his doped up best friend played out said homosexual rape scene. Still, I couldn’t help seeing the absence of the scene as a missed opportunity.

I got into movies for the usual reasons, a desire for money, power and fame, but there was something else I wanted too. I wanted to be both purely myself and someone entirely different simultaneously. In real life, I was a nice guy. I had a wife living in NYC and a one year old daughter. I was polite, good natured and easy to please but what I wanted was to be a whiplash. To dig deep into ugly, nasty characters, to be a user, a vicious asshole, to live out all the anger I stifled every day.

Ray was also into the rape scene. We talked a lot about it and early on he’d actually campaigned to have it included it in the script, despite advisement from his people that it could be detrimental to his career. Ray believed in taking things to extremes, especially degradation. It wasn’t enough for him just to suggest that Kent was a drug addict and a hustler. He wanted to show the depths. Maybe he wanted to experience them. Maybe he was experiencing them. Maybe he already had.

“The author’s in town,” Ray told me one day near the end of shooting. He was all excited even though he looked like death warmed over. “I saw him at a club last night. We did lines together.”

“Lines?” I asked holding up my script.

“Lines.” He said covering one nostril and sniffing.

“Nice,” I said. “No wonder you look like crap.”

“Do I?”

“Yeah, you do. You’ve got black circles around your eyes. Again. Florence in make-up is going to kill you. Again.”

“Shut up, Daniel. You know none of that matters. Aren’t you listening to me? The author is in town.”

“So you said.” I was vaguely excited at the prospect of meeting the literary wunderkind, but I felt distant from the whole party scene he and Ray were a part of. I was a little older, I was married, I had a kid and in my way I was a serious actor. Decadence wasn’t really my thing, I just happened to be making a movie about it.

“He’s going to be on the set tonight.” Ray told me.

“We’re not shooting tonight.”

“We could be. I have this idea, I ran it by some of the tech crew, I thought it would be cool if we did the scene for him.”

“Which scene? There are a lot of scenes.”

“You know which scene I mean. The one that’s not in the script. The one with Kent and Watt and Chase, where Kent shoots heroin…”

“The rape scene.”

“That one.”

“No way that’s going in the film.”

“It wouldn’t be for the film, it would be for the author.”

I took a drag on my cigarette. I was starting to get kind of excited though it seemed like a bad idea to let on to Ray.

“Has Alan agreed to do it?” I asked.

“He said he’d do it if you did,” Ray said.

“Why? Why should it matter to him if I do it or not? He’s the star.”

“He respects you.”

“Maybe I’ll do it then,” I said. I still had reservations however. I had the sense Ray hadn’t told me everything yet.

“There’s more,” Ray said drawing close.

“I thought maybe there was.”

“I want to do the scene for real.”

“What do you mean, for real?”

“I’m going to actually shoot up. I want you to actually fuck me.”

A chill. A thrill.

“No way.”

He smiled.

“You’ll do it,” he said.

“What makes you think that?”

“Because you want to go there.”

“Go where?”

“There. The deep, dark place. The place I go when I’m beyond wasted where I stop being myself and I’m exactly who I was meant to be. You want to act your way there. I’ve been on three movies with you. Every single one of them you’ve been waiting to really cut loose but you’ve never gotten the chance. This is your chance, you’ll do it.”

He was right.

“Is this some elaborate scheme to get into my pants?” I asked. He laughed, then for some reason I remembered Alan. “Alan agreed to this?”

“Alan said he’d do the scene if you would.”

“Did he agree to do it for real?”

“He doesn’t know,” Ray admitted. “He won’t know till it happens.”

I smiled. I felt the whiplash. I was what I was afraid of.

“It’ll be the best performance he’s ever given,” I said.

We met on a hotel room set that was used briefly in the film and read through the pages of script Ray had put together. It was straight out of the book—Kent shows up at Watt’s place with Chase in tow to tell Watt he’s through with drugs and hustling. Watt doesn’t argue, he just offers Kent a bag of heroin. Kent accepts and shoots up. Then Watt has sex with the barely conscious Kent while Chase watches, paralyzed.

I’d never seen Alan so nervous. Before actual shoots he was usually calm and composed. That night though he was a wreck, pacing, gnawing his fingernails, smoking cigarette after cigarette.

“Are you okay?” I asked. Alan nodded, and then shook his head.

“I don’t want to do this,” he said. “I’m leaving.”

I knew I should let him go. If he was this jittery already he was going to crack when he realized what Ray and I had planned, but I sort of wanted him to crack. I put my arm around his shoulders.

“It’s no big deal,” I said. “It’s one take. It’ll be less than ten minutes. You’ll be fine.”

“Have you seen this author guy?” Alan asked.

“Not yet.”

“He looks like me. That really freaks me out.”

Ray winked at me. In my pocket was a packet of heroin he’d slipped me before Alan arrived. There was a set of works waiting on a prop dresser. We were going to do it. He was going to shoot up, I was going to fuck him, and Alan was going to watch. It would all be real, none of it would be real.

The author came in.

He did look like Alan. He was taller, more substantially built and not quite as pretty but he did look eerily similar. The same wavy brown hair, pale skin, wide eyes and round face. The same shaky hands. There was a man with the author, and a woman. His boyfriend and girlfriend, Ray whispered to me. Also with him were a couple studio high-ups who introduced us around.

The lights came up. Alan, Ray and I took our places.

“Ready?” Ray asked.

“Ready.” I said.

Someone called action and everything changed. I was Watt, Ray was Kent and though Alan was still Alan, that didn’t matter. He was just a guy who was there with Kent. Kent was the one I wanted. I’d been working on him for nearly a year, feeding him drugs, breaking him down. He was almost ready, all I had to do was push him a little further and he’d be mine. I’d own him. He was talking to me, saying he wanted out. I wasn’t listening. He was almost mine. I touched him however I wanted, called him “baby”. He winced, kept talking.

“Kent, let’s get out of here…” the pale kid with him was whining but that kid didn’t exist to me. All I saw was Kent. Soon, I was going to posses him completely. I was getting hard just thinking about it.

“Do you hear me, Watt?” Kent asked. “It’s over, I’m finished.”

“Sure, baby. I believe you.”

I offered him the heroin. Kent whimpered a little and I knew I had him. The other kid grabbed him by the arm but Kent swatted him away, started preparing the smack.

“Don’t,” the kid pleaded but Kent did. He shot up and when he did the kid’s eyes grew wide with terror. I didn’t care. I felt only triumph.

Kent let me lead him to the bed and fell limply onto it. Mine, all mine.

I didn’t have a wife in NYC. I didn’t have a one year old daughter. I was a drug dealer named Watt who finally had a pretty rich boy right where I wanted him. I swooped down on Kent, kissing his slack mouth.

“Don’t,” he said weakly as I yanked down his pants, ran my hand over his bare ass. “Stop. This isn’t what I wanted…”

“What are you doing,” Chase, Alan, the anonymous kid was whining. He was there but he might as well not have been, he was rooted to the spot, frozen in place. I put on a condom. “Oh my God, Daniel, what are you doing? Daniel, don’t…”

Kent screamed weakly when I entered him. After that it only took a minute, a few hard thrusts and I was done with him. I fell on top of him, stroking his hair. Mine, all mine.

Somebody called cut, the lights went down. Ray moaned. His pants were down around his knees and he was bleeding where he’d shot himself up. I covered him up with the bedspread, helped him sit up.

“You okay?” I asked. He said he was then turned and threw up.

I got to my feet and slipped off the used condom. There was nowhere to put it so I let it fall to the floor. I zipped up my pants. My legs felt weak, I felt shaky, drained but somehow fulfilled.

It was only then that I noticed Alan. He was still standing there, staring, his eyes huge. Tears were running down his face.

The author came over to him. They stood face to face and for a moment it was hard to tell who was who.

“It was real.” Alan said.

“And you’re not,” the author said with great kindness. “That’s how I felt when I wrote it.” He leaned in and I thought he was going to kiss Alan but instead he licked a tear off his cheek. Alan crumbled to the floor.

One of the tech guys took a reel of film out of the handheld camera they’d been shooting with and handed it to the author.

“I’ll cherish it always,” he said. Someone had a mirror, a credit card, some coke and we all did lines—the studio higher-ups, the author, his boyfriend and girlfriend, the techies, me, and Alan—everyone but Ray who had passed out. Later that night, I saw Alan drinking a tumbler of vodka. He looked steady.

Maybe there were other factors in play but it always seemed to me that that night destroyed Alan and Raymond.

We had five days of shooting left on “All This… And Nothing.” Alan finished the movie in a daze, shock in his eyes, and alcohol on his breath. After that he sort of faded away over the course of three more films. I haven’t heard of him in years.

Ray you couldn’t help hearing about. His drug problems expanded and bloomed like an atomic mushroom cloud. Kent turned out to be a premonition of what he would become, a used up junkie, a body for sale.

It’s always seemed to me that that night made me.

It was the first time I’d really followed through with the feeling I called the whiplash. After that night I knew I could become anything, no matter how horrifying. Later I would figure out that I could also become anything no matter how mundane.

Time passes.

Seven years after that night, the author wrote another book, a book so cruel, so hideous and violent that writing it was almost viewed as a criminal act. Around this time I saw an interview with him.

“How could you write this?” He was asked.

“It was real,” he answered. “And I wasn’t.”

Sixteen years after I fucked him, Ray showed up hoping for a repeat performance. He was at a low point in his life, completely consumed by his drug addiction.

“Fuck me again,” he said. He didn’t want me. He wanted it to be Watt and Kent all over again. He wanted that degradation. Maybe that was always what he’d wanted. I threw him out.

“Come back when you’re cleaned up,” I told him. Three years later he did get sober. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m waiting for him.

Time passes.

My daughter, who was just a year old when I made “All This… And Nothing” is now older than the author was when his novel came out, older than Ray was the night we played the scene.

So many of the fears I once had I’ve learned to live with or to live without. The anger I felt towards Ray and Alan, that sense of rivalry, hardly seems real anymore. It seems to me that they were broken boys. I wonder how I could have resented them like I did. Maybe I was more broken myself than I realized.

In twenty-plus years, I’ve seen nothing of the film that was shot that night. It never appeared on Youtube, I’ve never even heard rumors of its existence. For whatever reason, the author must have kept it to himself, those images of my young body and Ray’s slamming together like the cheapest kind of pornography, and Alan’s very real cries of “Daniel, don’t…”

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
lawless523
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's disturbing, powerful, and well-written.
zoi_no_miko
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
This and all this. Very well done.
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. It started out being written for the porn battle RDJ/James Spader RPF prompt then took on a life of it's own.
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased to know you liked it.
charisstoma
Aug. 1st, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Interesting and scarily disturbing. The line between reality and pretend isn't there and is.
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
steinsgrrl
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Incredibly well done.
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
golden_bastet
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
Wow - and I just heard an interview with Bret Easton Ellis on Sunday...

This is *really* well done, thanks.

(Typo? - "It was real,” he answered. “And I wasn’t.”)
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Bret Easton Ellis? Who is this Bret Easton Ellis you speak of?

Just kidding, my story is intended to be pretty transparent in its inspirations. I've been obsessed with Bret Easton Ellis lately. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased to know you enjoyed the story and thanks for pointing out the typo, you're correct, it should have been "It" instead of "I".
eve_n_furter
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
This was wonderfully dark and well written. So much is going on between the lines, and I love it.
bitterfic
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm really glad to know you liked it.
eve_n_furter
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
Hey, do you know that you are wanted over here?: http://community.livejournal.com/mome_awards/16062.html
bitterfic
Nov. 3rd, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for letting me know. I contracted the mod and I'm going to be on the ballot. Very exciting!
figaro_figaro
Aug. 6th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Ahh, as an Ellis fangirl this made me insanely happy. It's a perfect alternative universe with its own voice and characters but still with that eerie or downright frightening early 80s LA feeling Ellis nailed permeating it all.

Loved it. Fucked up and well-written, just the way I like it. :)
bitterfic
Aug. 8th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm really glad to know you liked the story.
13_tezcatlipoca
Aug. 11th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
Alas, I think I can only echo everyone else's comments. ;) Wonderfully written and dark. It's been a long time since I've come across a work of original slash as well-crafted and compelling as this.
bitterfic
Aug. 16th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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