Tofino Timeless: Chapter Nine
by Marion Ann-Berry, Tofino
Location scout Danny Cubit has found the ideal locations for the filming of a horror flick in Tofino. The production crew of The Waiting Deeps is ready to swing into action, which turns out to mean a major rearranging of nature to create the horror elements. Everything began to go wrong when the plans of the crass production director, Nash, clash with the values of some of the locals. Furthermore, Danny seems to be in the grip of a life force that is influencing him in strange ways.
At the outset Danny blurted to a Tofino woman, Shell, that he was in Tofino "to fulfill prophecy." Velella, another local woman, has done Tarot card readings for Danny that foreshadow dramatic events. And what exactly is to be made of the words incised into the bark of the Eik Street heritage tree: 'he has come to repossess'? The effect
of the developing conflict and the drama of mysterious events and strange emotions have completely discombobulated the usually detached Danny Cubit. Now Danny has to somehow stop Nash from filming, convince Shell of his true feelings for her, and join a protest that many people will be surprised to see him in.
It is now time to start mending the damage that Nash's phony horror film has created in this small rainforest town.
Danny was now heartily into the protest. He chanted along with the others, "Down with Nash! Take out the trash! Down with Nash! Take out the trash!"
From his vantage point in the tree, Mussel's eyes widened to see Danny with a protest sign. Velella whispered to him, "I told you he was one of us!"
Shell was working her way down Eik Tree and looking for Danny. He did say, "I love you," didn't he?
Shell dropped the last few feet into the crowd of people around the base of the tree and almost lost her footing. Mr. Atleo from the Big Tree Taxi Service grabbed her elbow to steady her. "Watch yourself, Shell. This could turn into some kind of riot if we're not careful."
"Thanks, Mr. Atleo." Shell smiled and continued her search for Danny, leaving Mr. Atleo shouting his protests.
"You film phonies won't take down our town with your nonsense movie!"
Four RCMP vehicles, lights flashing, parked around the edges of the throng. Five members exited their cars and spaced themselves out for crowd control. Sergeant Joe Dennis had just returned to Tofino, home where he belonged. He had been posted to the east coast for over fifteen years and after numerous requests to be transferred back west, his wish was granted.
As Shell peered through the crowd of people, she saw Steve Nash and her former school friend, now Mayor Theresa Jarmen, huddled beside the kayak shop the next lot over. They smiled and shook hands.
Oh God, she was right. Just after Danny had shouted his feelings to the world, Shell had received a phone call on her cell.
"I'll make this quick. I've witnessed a secret meeting with the mayor and that Nash guy talking about the Eik Tree. Theresa's letting him go ahead with the filming for a few Sir Robert Bordens - let's say about one hundred of them." Then the caller hung up. When Shell looked at her call history the number read as "unlisted."
Great. I have a guy deciding to love me at the same time I find out our town is in a political nightmare.
Before climbing down the tree, Shell texted her old flame Joe Dennis. There was no way she was going to take Theresa on alone. Theresa Jarmen was born and raised in Tofino, but her monthly blonde highlights, designer skirt suit and Italian pumps said differently. Theresa was the youngest mayor in the town's history, and she had convinced the people that her young business thinking would be a great fit for tourism and Tofino.
"Mayor Jarmen, you made a good call on the permit. This movie will keep the tourists pouring in--once these little people get out of the way." Nash jerked his chin at the protesting crowd. His film crew was ready to start shooting. Nash was waiting for the rcmp to take care of this business so he could get on with his.
"Yes," Theresa was saying. "We need something to compete with Ukee's crazy golf course. But I have one favor to ask."
"What? Ten thousand bucks isn't enough?" Nash laughed nervously.
Theresa smiled. "Just make sure you mention my name when you do the press release for the movie."
Postponing her search for Danny, Shell had crept around the edges of the crowd, until she and Sergeant Dennis stood just around the corner of the kayak shop. Hearing confirmation of the anonymous call, Shell could not contain her rage. She leaped around the corner of the building.
"Theresa! Are you crazy?"
Theresa seemed unperturbed at Shell's sudden appearance. "Shell, we have to do what's best for town. It's time to step into the 21st century, my hippie friend."
Shell's fist flew out and punched Theresa's smug smile.
"Shell!" Danny yelled as he saw Shell sucker punch a blonde woman. Wow, I'm definitely in love with her. He hopped a wire fence and ran to Shell's side.
"You're going down for this, Shell." Theresa sputtered, holding her hand to her mouth.
Before either woman could continue the fight, Sergeant Dennis moved into view, and Nash edged toward the road. Dennis loomed above the freshly punched Mayor, Shell, who he'd been smitten with since third grade, and the movie hot shot who had turned into an activist against his own project. Good to be home.
"Joe, arrest her! She hit me!"
Theresa hasn't changed much, Joe thought. But he said, "I think we need to talk about the bribe you took from Fantasy Films."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Theresa's eyes bulged in fear.
"And Mr. Nash, I wouldn't leave town just right away. I need to talk to you."
Nash stopped but said nothing.
"That's a first," Danny whispered into Shell's ear.
"Come on, the two of you, let's talk about this at the office. And Shell, meet us there." Sergeant Dennis started walking Theresa and Nash to his car.
"Stand by until I tell you different," Nash yelled to his film crew. "Go back to the hotel and wait for my call." Nash was now calling his lawyer.
The crowd grew smaller as the police started clearing the area. "Nothing more here, folks. Go on home now." Only the media lingered, putting together their five o'clock stories.
Danny held the hand that Shell punched Theresa with. Her knuckles were red, but she didn't seem to notice. She put her arms around Danny. "Did I hear you right?"
Danny looked into Shell's big brown eyes. "Yes. I love you."
Shell leaned into Danny, but he stopped her. "Wait a minute. I have one question."
"What?" Her words were only a whisper.
"Will you be here when I open my eyes?"
"Tofino Timeless" is a serial story written by the Clayoquot Writers Group.
Watch for Chapter Ten in the October issue of Tofino Time Magazine...
Previous chapters of Tofino Timeless are available online:
Tofino Timeless is a serial story written by the Clayoquot Writers Group. This is chapter 9, writting by Marion Ann Berry, Tofino