Sunday, 2 August 2015

Short Story - Amelie, Michelle and Gracie - Day Four

It's our penultimate day at camp and we've got to finish the film today so they can announce the winners tomorrow. I think we've got a really good chance of winning, but I suppose it's easy for me to say that when I haven't seen any of the other girls' films. Michelle is a bit frantic because she wants it to be perfect, but I'm just trying to enjoy being here until we have to leave. It might have been helpful if there had been less arguing, because we lost valuable time yesterday, but at least we started work early today to try and make up for it.

"Amelie, I'm ready." Michelle peers into the dingy changing rooms, but it's too dark for her to see. "Just coming!" I shout to reassure her that I'm still here. There are no windows and the bulbs on the lights blew in here last year, but no one has ever got round to fixing them. It makes getting dressed a little tricky because I keep misplacing my clothes and then I am forced to feel around blindly on the floor looking for them. Finally, I locate my shoes and, slipping them on, I head out into the corridor. The contrast of light momentarily disables me and I squint around, trying to see Michelle. "For goodness' sake Amelie, I'm over here." I feel someone take hold of my shoulders and spin me around. My eyes have adjusted and I open them fully, to see Michelle standing in front of me looking confused as to what I was just doing. "Sorry," I start to explain, "it was dark and then light. You know what I mean? My eyes did the thing ..."
"I don't care what you were doing," Michelle cuts in, "let's just get on with it shall we?" I pull a face at her harsh tone.
"Oh, I did it again didn't I?" She says meekly. "I was rude. I'm sorry."
Wow! That's the first time she's apologised so quickly, I think we might be getting somewhere. "That's okay," I smile, "just consider what you're going to say before you say it next time."

Me, Michelle and Gracie spend all morning filming clips of people swimming, playing sports and
doing art. It's similar to what Gracie and I did originally, but this time we go up to the people and get them to talk to the camera. Michelle says it will make the film seem "more personal", whatever that means. At lunchtime, I interview the dinner ladies and then Michelle and Gracie get feedback from people eating the food. I try to tell Michelle that it isn't feedback if you tell the girls what to say, but she said we didn't want negative comments spoiling the film. So Gracie is put on the task of coming up with good things for everyone to say. She actually does a very good job for someone who doesn't usually know what to say herself.

"Ready Gracie?"
"Yep, let's go!" We're off to the campfire, but our work isn't quite over yet as Gracie suggested we film that too. For once Michelle was in agreement, so she is borrowing the camp's special camera which can film in the dark. I think it's the reason there isn't enough money to fix the bulbs in the changing rooms, but I would definitely rather have the camera than the lights.
"After this, the film will be finished and then we can go home!" Gracie looks relieved.
"Didn't you enjoy it?" I ask her.
"Some parts were fun, but others ... Slightly traumatic."
I laugh, "Don't you think you're being a tad over-dramatic?"
"Maybe." she smiles back, "I'll just be glad to get home to a quiet household."
"What I would give to have some peace and quiet at home! With a little brother and sister, there is always someone making a racket."
"Oh god, that sounds awful." Gracie looks genuinely horrified.
"I'm used to it, I don't really mind." It makes me smile that we are such different people, yet we get along so well. This is how friendship should be.

I spot Michelle standing by the side of the fire getting the camera set up. "Hi, how's it going?" I say as I wander over.
"Almost done, this camera is really complicated but I think I might have just about got it."
"What do you want us to do?"
"You can help me if you really want, but I think it would be better for you to just go and enjoy yourselves. It will give the film closure if you appear at the beginning and the end."
"Sure," I turn to Gracie, "I'm happy to join in if you are."
"Yeah, I vote for enjoying ourselves!" Gracie grins and I follow her over to a log where we perch, ready for the fun to begin. There isn't long to wait and, on Michelle's cue, a young camp leader gets everyone singing. It's a wonderful feeling to know you are part of something special. This will certainly make a great end to our film.

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