The scene: St Agatha’s Primary School, backstage at the nativity play, between cardboard boxes piled beside peeling white walls. A mirror leans on a chair and nine-year-old girls stand around it, touching up their makeup while Joseph beats up the third Wise Man and the other two egg him on. A harried teacher struggles to pull them apart before Joseph’s white robe is covered with blood and snot. Too late, Joseph swings another punch and, with a loud crunch, blood spurts from the Wise Man’s nose. As one teacher leads the crying Wise Man away to console him, the other spits on a handkerchief and tries to wipe the blood from Joseph’s robe.
The cast: Nancy poses in front of the mirror. Although she is playing Mary she has convinced the teachers that she should have a more important role than merely being the Mum of the Son of God. With the persistence only a child can sustain she now has most of Joseph’s lines, and with hindsight that was a good idea now that Joseph has shown his psychopathic colours. Her twin sister Corrine struggles to pull herself into her angel costume because Nancy called her ‘fatso’ at the dress rehearsal and Corrine told their mother to sew it a size smaller to prove she wasn’t. Staci sits on a chair in her underwear with her arms folded over her chest and her face covered in white makeup behind beer-bottle glasses.
I started writing Horror Movie on a business trip nearly two years ago; by the end of the trip I’d written about half the novel, but it’s been sitting around since waiting for me to finish it. Now is the time; I want to have it out as an e-book and paperback by the end of June, which seems easy enough despite the rush of work in my day job.