Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Gene Hackman & Paul Newman walk into a bar and I have a plotbunny

For some people it is Gone with the Wind. For some others is Forest Gump, Jurassic Park, Disney movies, Hayao Miyazaki’s… everyone has that movie or kind of movie that they watch if they ever catch on TV, no matter how many times they have watched before. I got two kinds of them and I’ll explain why.

When I was a kid (I’m talking about being seven or eight) my parents used to buy this newspaper + magazine combo. The magazine came with a child-version with comics that I was given on a regular basis (Leo Verdura, I miss you. Sorry, readers, no Wikipedia page in English… but you can click on the picture to enlarge it). Anyway, mini me was trying to convince the parents that an eight-year-old brain was prepared to browse through the grown-up magazines, basically because it had shiny pictures.

So since at some point someone thought it was cute (and it kept me quiet) I got given the magazine with it’s glowy worms pictures. Only the glowy worms were not worms but digital images of an Ebola virus, and the article was the first chapter of the novel Outbreak (or something similar) that lovingly described in every gory details how a guy died of an haemorrhagic fever on a plane. Consequences: I had nightmares for months, panic at any kind of cold and never picking up the magazine ever again. You won’t find me dead on a plane.

Flashforward: I’m 13, rather terrified of planes, where you can catch a haemorrhagic fever and die. A national channel is showing a cycle of virus movies. I decide to shock treat myself. Fun part? It worked. Outbreak the movie cured the phobia a similar book had caused long ago. So I decided to try and cure my kinda-claustrphobia the same way. It worked too. Only, for this I used disaster movies. In particular, The Poseidon Adventure [link] and The Towering Inferno [link]. This kinda extended at all kinds of disaster movies like Volcano [link], Dante’s Peak [link]. And I got to admit: the worse the movie, the more I enjoy it – The Core [link]? I haven’t eaten so much popcorn ever (Note: Not Titanic. Titanic does not even deserve a link. URGH).

So why am I spamming you with my bad movie taste? Because lately (and who says lately says the last 10 years) I always had an incipient plotbunny when I watched one of those movies. A recently broken-up couple trapped in the middle of a life or death situation, one on each side. And that means every single time. The characters have varied: policeman, fireman, newspaperman (I think Godzilla [link] had something to do with this one)… something fleeting enough not to pay attention past the ending of the movie. However, last week, The Towering Inferno was on again. And I had nothing to write.

So I caught the plotbunny.

It is not those few instants when the world is shaking. Those seem long, but you know they’ll be over soon… or later. It is the minute after everything is over. There is a stillness then, the smell of fear. It’s like nothing move. In those few seconds you can only wonder one thing – how bad has it been?

– Miyamae Haruma

Haru is a apprentice in an Architecture Studio in Tokyo. On a particular bad Monday – break up, drunk-get-over-ex-lover debauchery, subsequent hangover, he is sent over to the Yokosuka Thermal Plant to asses how it would fare under a big earthquake. It seems that everything is fine, but when a minor quake hits the area, one of the towers collapses right on top of the building he is checking at that moment. And then I got no clue what happens. I guess they’ll have to get out. There’s a fireman around too. And a bad guy, who is even meaner than he looks. Did I mention the plotbunny is a bit of a zombie one, but also a little slippery?

P.S.: So now you know where the idea for the McMillan Ebolavirus came from, too…

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