Of course, 'cause I was volunteering, I didn't get to see as much of it as I'd like... but then again, I did get to bypass the three-and-a-half hour line-up to get in.
So yeah... there's that.
I ended up hearing a whole whack of horror stories about people trying to get into the Expo -- some getting in with like an hour or so left before closing or going out for a smoke only to be barred from re-entering, told to get into line and forced to wait all over again.
Yes, that's definitely not the way to improve a customer's relationship with your brand.
In other news, Episode #3 of 404 is live over there on the side! It's been a long week, with lots of drama, both personal and otherwise, but it's all done and ready for mass consumption.
Take a look and tell me what you think!
*Please Note: What follows below is only the FIRST page of Chapter 16 and is considered to be 'Raw Footage' -- unedited, first-draft material that may be subject to change (even in its entirety). This is designed to keep you in the loop with my story as well as, hopefully, intrigue you enough to want to buy the full, finished episode at the end of the week. Warning: there will be mild spoilers and coarse language as well, so please keep that in mind as you read on.
Episode #4 (which collects the finished and polished versions of chapters 16-20) will be available on Sunday, September 5th for 99 cents CAD.
You are encouraged to offer feedback and/or interact with me as this process unfolds. I'd love to hear what you like, what you don't like and what you'd love to see more of.
Marco splashes hot water on his face, wincing as it burns his open wounds, washing the dried blood from his skin. Through swollen eyes he stares at himself in the chipped and cracked mirror, fighting back tears at the visage reflected. "Aww shit… shit…"
A gentle knock on the door, followed by Jess's voice, pulls him back. "Hey, Marco, mind if I come in? They'd only give me the room for an hour and they're watching the meter."
He slides the deadbolt and Jess enters, already pulling off her bloodstained shirt. She looks up and inspects his wounds, trying to hide the concern in her eyes. "I got this too," she holds up a bucket of ice and a small bag of clothes, "but that's as much as you get for a favor owed these days. Guess the market's depreciated somewhat."
She removes her bra, sliding her jeans and underwear to the floor. In the mirror, Marco feels his wounds sting as his face flushes and he watches, unblinking, as her supple frame and her pert breasts lean over to start the shower. He gulps, feeling another tension growing within him.
The pipes vibrate in the wall for a moment before thin jets of water push themselves through the lime-encrusted shower head. Hot water hisses and splashes in the dirt-ringed tub, sending steam into the air.
"C'mon, let's get this offa you," Jess's fingers fly as she undoes his gore-caked dress shirt.
Marco looks down at her, feeling her warmth close to him, the softness of her freckled, sun-kissed skin as she peels the thick, crimson fabric off his body; gritting his teeth at the sound, not unlike Velcro, as the shirt separates from his skin.
She moves to undo his pants and he shies away, a sudden rush of embarrassment at the lump forming below.
"I-I'll do that. You… you go ahead."
She smiles and nods, "Sure thing, kid."
Pulling back the curtain, she steps into the tub. As she does, Marco notices a series of old scars on the inside of her thighs -- long and razor thin.
Three deep breaths later, after another failed attempt to calm his thoughts -- and his member -- he relents and slides his pants and underwear to the ground.
"See, that wasn't so bad, was it?"
Marco jumps as he sees Jess watching him from a part in the curtain. He crosses his arms, trying to hide the long stretch marks that cover his otherwise toned belly and hips. She smiles and makes a space for him beside her.
"You. In here. Now."