Friday, April 13, 2012 which the term "13-inch" is thrown about shamelessly

So mentioning Person of Interest on Facebook provoked a discussion, in which Ms. Elvira Scaff suggested I watch The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a great movie. I've never read the book by Alexandre Dumas pere, though he just might be the greatest French-Afro-Caribbean writer who ever lived. I read the summary on Wikipedia, though, and the book sounds rather convoluted.

The screenplay by Jay Wolpert, on the other hand, is fantastic. Even Tit Elingtin agreed it was a fantastic movie. The only thing it didn't have was the Harmless Chair of Relaxation.

From the special features, I learned that while filming the climactic sword fight, Jim Caviezel accidentally cut Guy Pearce, who now has a permanent scar. The party who committed the injury also mentioned that he'd been an athlete, so I had to know which sport(s). Basketball, it turns out.

This pic's from TheDorkMistress' Tumblr (

Speaking of injuries that sound much more sexy than they actually should, IMDB says, "While filming the whipping scene in The Passion of the Christ (2004), one of the whips missed the steel board on Jim's back and cut a 13-inch gash into his back." (Caviezel's own account here claims 14", but you know how men exaggerate.) It also says he was struck by lightning, but more importantly:

a) Getting so into a creative project that you'd literally take a whipping for it is both artistically admirable and incredibly hot, and

b)You can't use the phrase "13-inch" in a sentence about Jim Caviezel without giving me dirty thoughts. I'm an erotica writer, not a saint.

So then I watched this cheesy fan video yesterday:

So then I wrote this short bit of fiction. First draft, yo. Unedited. I will not be offended if you tell me there's a typo:

Joss Carter awoke to the sound of someone knocking on her bedroom door. Taylor, she realized as she opened her eyes. Her 17-year-old son stood in the doorway, a wise-beyond-his-years look of consternation on his face.

“Mom,” he said urgently. “Is your alarm clock broken or something? You’re going to be late for work.”
Carter looked at clock and realized he was right. If she didn’t get out of bed and pull her clothes on right now, she’d never have time to drop Taylor off at school and get herself to the precinct on time. She’d slept almost an hour later than usual, and she didn’t even remember hitting the snooze button.
She rushed to her closet and grabbed the first blouse she could find, followed by a hastily chosen jacket and slacks. “I’m coming, Taylor,” she said to the young man who still stood in the doorway, watching her. Of course he was watching her – this may have been the first time in his life he’d seen his mother so disorganized.

“Don’t worry about me,” he responded. “I fed myself, and I’m catching a ride to school with Erica and her mom.”

Carter breathed a sigh of relief that she’d raised a son responsible enough to call a friend from school for a ride. She was only slightly irritated that Taylor hadn’t woken her up sooner. “Thanks, kid,” she said. “I don’t know why I slept so late.”

She meant it. The night before had been no different from her usual routine. When her shift ended, she’d come home, made dinner for Taylor and herself and did a little laundry before bed. She couldn’t explain why the simple acts of her daily routine had left her so exhausted lately.

At the precinct, her head dipped low over her paperwork for the fourth time of the morning when Detective Fusco said something to her. “Late night, Detective Carter?”

“No,” she said. “Just a normal Tuesday night.”

“If you don’t mind me saying so, you look exhausted.”

“I must be coming down with something,” she said. “I did feel a little queasy at breakfast – maybe I’m getting the flu.”

“Flu?” She looked up to see the captain standing behind her. “Go home, Carter, before you infect half my precinct.”

“But, Captain, I’m fine,” she protested.

“I’ve been watching you yawn and nod your head all morning,” the captain said. “You’re no good to me tired. Go home and get some rest.”

She thought about protesting further, but he was right: she wasn’t at her best, and her cases were going to suffer for it. Reluctantly, Carter went home and took a nap.

When she woke up, Carter’s stomach rumbled. She went to make herself a bowl of soup, but somehow, none of the varieties of soup in the pantry looked good to her.

She opened the fridge to explore her options when her phone rang. “Playing hooky, Detective?”
Mentally, she cursed John Reese for the way her body reacted to the sound of his voice. “I have the flu.”

He said something, but Carter had stopped listening. She closed her eyes, remembering that night at the hotel. Up until this moment, she’d refused to think of what she and John had done as a mistake. Now she realized she hadn’t felt so exhausted and nauseated…since she’d been pregnant with Taylor.

“Detective Carter, are you all right?”

“I’m fine, John,” she said as she dashed to her purse to find her calendar. She looked for the last date with a red circle around it and found it – six weeks ago. She did the math quickly. “Damn it,” she said out loud, forgetting the phone she still held to her ear. “I’m too old to be peeing on a stick like some teenager.”

“Carter – what did you say?”

Damn it. What had she said to him that night- no complications? Well, this was turning into one pretty damn big complication.

“Did you say – peeing on a stick?”

“Just meet me at the coffee shop, John.” She hung up, hating him for making her feel this way. That damned stick had better not turn blue. 

Taraji P. Henson, beautiful, very talented and also principled. Now, off to watch High Crimes. 'Cause I also love Ashley Judd; she wrote this awesome feminist thing.  
P.S. High Crimes was pretty good, though it does take a very creepy turn at the end. Judd certainly plays a strong, resilient character.


Andrew Leon said...

Count is a great book and widely considered Dumas' best work. However, I've always like Three Musketeers more.
I just can't help it.

Erin O'Riordan said...

I'm not too likely to read either novel any time soon - except maybe in graphic novel form. I bet 'The Count of Monte Cristo' would make a great graphic novel.

Liv Rancourt said...

There's so much to like in this post..pretty pictures, random 13" thoughts, good short fiction, and the Ashley Judd link at the end! Strong work!

Erin O'Riordan said...

Thanks so much, Liv!

Erin O'Riordan said...

So eventually - in January 2013 - I read an abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Loved it. Wished I'd read the full version.

Andrew Leon said...

I have an unabridged copy sitting right here next to my keyboard waiting for me to get to it. It's been a long time since I read it, and I figured it was time to read it again. I've also been intending to get to the other musketeer books, but I've only done one other of those so far.