The show is titled, or will be once it's sold to a network, Cheesehead Medium. Thankfully, the producer told Zandra that's only a working title, although she suspects it'll stick. People like TV show titles with a knowing wink in them. Naked & Afraid. Fat Guys in the Woods. Sex Sent Me to the ER.
"Remember, there's a lot we can do with the editing if something doesn't go right," says Chris Wolf, the bespectacled and generally pissy producer, on the van ride over to their shoot. The Target in town gave them clearance to film on location, given the role it played in the Elle Carey case, as well as the forthcoming TV movie.
Anything for free advertising.
"What makes you think something would go wrong?" Zandra says. "I'm the world's greatest psychic, right?"
"Let's just say this isn't my first go at this," Chris says. "We'll use this footage as part of the pitch to the networks. It needs to look as sharp as possible if we're going to sell this thing. The last psychic TV show we filmed wound up dead on arrival when some blogger debunked her as a fraud."
"I'm not a fraud," Zandra says, averting her eyes to a dog on the sidewalk outside the window.
"I didn't say you were. But for what it costs to run a crew out here, you'd better deliver. It's hard enough getting the kind of financial backing we did. I doubt we could do it again," Chris says.
"Sure, I understand," Zandra says. "I'll get you what you need."
Six months ago, Zandra would've told Chris, Target and everyone else to go to hell. Making money off her misery is like robbing a grave. Actually, make that graves. Namely that of her late husband and child.
The Elle Carey case changed things. With David and Soma Falls, the checks never made it her way. But now her overstuffed bank account makes any irritation as minor as scratching an itch.
It's about damn time, too.
Zandra's mission today is to "cold read" Target customers. Chris tells her they need at least three usable scenes to complete the package he'll pitch. Given the packed Target lot, she'll have her pick of the saps.
After they come to a stop, Zandra checks her makeup while the crew unloads the van. The deep pockets of her purple gown used to contain props critical to her act. Now they're home to a makeup kit.
This is time she'd normally spend getting into the right mental state and soaking in the details that might be useful later on. But this is different. This is TV. Once she's finished, her mirror shows someone 10 years younger than the version of herself six months ago. There's no better wrinkle remover than not worrying about money anymore.
Zandra crams in a few quick seconds to survey the parking lot for a gullible mark before Chris says, "Time to go." It's easier to spot saps now given so many people recognize her. The more eager they are for an autograph, the more likely they are to believe in her "powers."
There. Next to the cart corral. A woman in her 30s is staring at me with that stupid look. Perfect.
"I'm getting a strong impression over there, Chris," Zandra says and points to the cart corral.
"You sure to don't want to get inside the store first?" Chris says. "It's tough to get the outside shots lit right."
"I can't control these impressions I get. They just come to me. You want a shot or not?" Zandra says.
Chris hustles his crew to the cart corral. Just moving all that gear is a production in itself. In addition to Chris, three scrawny guys wrestle with camera, sound and lighting equipment. The cacophony draws attention, and a crowd, to the cart corral.
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Black Eye: Confessions of a Fake Psychic Detective #2 (Watty Winner)Mystery / Thriller
*** 2016 Wattys Award winner (HQ Love) *** Also available on YONDER, the next-generation reading app from the Wattpad family. The sequel to "Glass Eye: Confessions of a Fake Psychic Detective" picks up right where its predecessor left off. Read that...