Funny Adventure Fiction

The squall came out of nowhere. No warning, no forecast from the radio weather stations. Just a full-on headwind smashing waves against Roger Sailstrom’s face, who desperately clung onto the tiller of his small boat in the middle of a raging storm sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Is that the best you can do?” He half-heartedly screamed at the elements through the increasing roar of wind bearing down on his position. “Well, I can take anything you dish out, because I have nothing to live for! Do you hear me? Nothing to live for!”

His over-dramatically drenched words were drowned out by a huge splash of water across his face and torso, physically surprising the lone sailor, who reactively coughed and spluttered his objection to the gale force of nature answering his challenge.

“I dare you to best that!” He unconvincingly screamed through a surrounding crack of rolling thunder. “I’ve sailed the seven seas through storm and shine,” he unashamedly postured, while his small yacht keeled from port to starboard and back again.

“Nothing you can do will defeat me,” he quietly growled, before suddenly recoiling from something impacting his left cheek. “OW!” he winced. “What the fuck was that?”

Roger looked around for his assailant, but before he could protest further, another impact slapped his left cheek, causing him to release control of the tiller.

“STOP!” He complained – waving an arm for attention. “TONY?”

“CUT!” Came a voice to his right. “Kill mechanics, Kill sound effect. Kill Green Screen! Kill deluge!”

On command, silence took over the preceding storm’s roar, as the stage-mounted boat halted its rocking, the wind generator desisted its howl, and water drained through the set floor into an underground cistern. Then, with the flick of a switch, overhead lights downcast their illumination, leaving the green set background in shadow.

“What is it, dear?” The director’s camp voice frustratingly enquired.”

“My face,” Roger replied.

“What about it?”

“Something hit it… twice!”

“Roger, we’ve been through this in rehearsal, darling. The script calls for realism. Your character must appear to be in dire circumstances – hit full on by powerful waves washing over the boat. It is nature challenging your character’s experienced nautical skills. You’re sailing into a hurricane, luv. It’s not a leisurely Sunday punt around the Serpentine in Hyde Park.”

“No, this felt like a slap. Two slaps! I can feel my face getting red.”

“Would you like us to ease up with the buckets of water, dear?”

“It wasn’t water. It felt more like the palm of a hand.”

“Okay, let’s ask the question, then, shall we? Green Screen Actors!” Tony ordered them to attention. “Show yourselves, please!”

Several live figures previously camouflaged in green full-body suits and hoods, stepped away from their veiled positions in front of the backdrop.

“Now, sweeties. Did any of you hit Roger here with a water bucket?”

“It wasn’t a bucket, Tony!” Roger abruptly corrected. “It was distinctly a hand.”

“Okay,” Tony acknowledged. “Did anyone slap Roger during that take? Anyone? No?”

Three of the four figures shook their cloaked heads, but one of them raised an arm in admittance to the deed.

“Well, please be more careful, okay, darling?” Tony pleadingly advised. “We can’t afford to waste any further time on this scene. We’re running out of warm water and it’s getting late in the day. I don’t recommend using cold water because - excuse the pun - it casts a damper on things. I realise you’re all tired, but stay professional, people. Now, places everyone! You too, Roger.”

Returning to their set positions, Roger and the green screen actors awaited the familiar movie call to action. However, Tony thought it best to give a quick reminder of the scene’s motivating factor to his principal actor.

“Remember, Roger. Your character is on his last legs. His willpower is drained, his desire to live is almost non-existent. The love of his life tragically died in a boating accident, and with her ashes on board, he is attempting to fulfil her quest to sail the Atlantic single-handedly. It’s do or die. We need to see that in your body language and hear it in your voice. Be that sailor, Roger, okay? Make us feel the emotion. Make us fear the danger. The audience want you to succeed, but I’m not currently feeling it. Got it?”

“Loud and clear,” Roger acknowledged.

“Steadfast and ruggedly determined, now. Okay?”

“Aye aye, Tony.”

Staying in character, Roger spoke in nautical terms to his director. “Full speed ahead, Skipper.” It was method acting at its most unconvincing.

“Right, then!” Tony directed. “Let’s get house lights off, green screen lit up, rocking boat mechanics activated, green buckets filled. Here we go, everyone! Cue storm sound, cue water, wind generator on full. Lights! Yes, that’s good. Take it from, is that the best you can do. Okay, Roger?”

Roger gave a thumbs-up reply as he cricked his neck from side to side, while shaking his arms loosely, attempting to prepare for the re-take.

“Cameras ready…?” Tony yelled into open space. The assistant cameraperson held up an open clapperboard in front of the main camera and announced, “Across Nautilus, Scene One, Take Seven,” before clapping the board shut.

Tony took a final look into the several monitors recording the multi-camera shoot. Satisfied everything was ready to go, he leaned forward in his chair and initiated the new take.

“And… action!”

Like an overeager racehorse, Roger hurriedly launched into his lines as a flood of water continued to soak him through. Struggling for motivation, his delivery lacked the correct level of emotion and sincerity, as the script approached the point of his character’s defining defiance.

Nothing you can do will defeat me,” he mumbled incoherently, before he once again recoiled in pain.

“OW! OW! OW!”

“CUT!” Tony intervened. “What is it now, Roger?”

“Somebody fucking slapped me again… Three times, this time!”

“Who slapped Roger?” Tony demanded to know, trying to sound more butch. “Step forward, please.”

It should have been me,” a muffled male voice complained in an educated, Oxford accent.

“What’s that?” Tony asked - as his eyes searched for the confessing culprit.

“I said, it should have been me!” The voice repeated more distinctly.

“What should have?” Asked Tony.

“The fucking part!” Was the reply from the green-hooded actor breaking character. “He only got it because of who he knows.”

“To whom are you referring, darling?” Tony asked in true grammatical context.

“The fucking casting director,” came the educated bitter reply.

“Look,” said Tony. “We can’t allow our principal actor to be assaulted on the set.”

“Where can I assault him, then?”

“Perhaps it’s best for all parties that you just leave, okay?”

“But I’m contracted for the week.”

“Not any longer, luv.” Tony asserted. “Security, please escort this person off my stage with immediate effect.”

On command, two burly-looking men dressed in black trousers and polo tops took an arm each, then dragged the green-clad anonymous extra from the studio - all the while, continuing his tirade of foul-mouthed abuse toward the movie’s star, yelling, “I’m Shakespearean trained! He’s nothing but a common East End soap actor at best!”

Assured that the set was firmly back under his control, Tony clapped his hands to signify his intention to continue.

“Chop chop, everyone! Time is of the essence. Please ignore that dramatic interruption. We can get through this with the remaining - what is it, three? Yes, three green screen actors. Just double-up on the buckets, darlings. Where’ve you gone, luvs? I don’t see you. Can you please step forward for clarification that you are still here and not gone back to make-up?”

Confirming their presence, the three remaining obscured actors took a step forward, waved, then disappeared back into the green scenery.

“Thank you for that, darlings. Roger, dear. Who was that angry person?”

“Dunno. Sounded like a disgruntled actor.”

“Aren’t you all, darling. You’re either complaining that you’re not getting seen for a role, and if you do get a call, you complain that the part’s not big enough, or worthy of your talents. Just be thankful that you’re a working actor and not a jobbing one.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Ask me again when you’re treading the red carpet and soaking up the attention at the premiere. Now, places everyone! Let’s try this again! And Roger, we need you to convince us that you’re fighting for your life. Deep breaths, darling.”

Attacking the scene once again, Roger re-assumed his character’s plight, as Tony took it upon himself to shout line-by-line directions at the inexperienced actor.

Nothing you can do will defeat me,” Roger crassly bellowed out.

“Cue fire hose!” Yelled Tony, prompting a massive barrel of water to assault the boat on the port side. On cue, the boat tipped to starboard.

“That’s it, Roger,” continued Tony. “React to that massive wave knocking you over the side, like you’ve been bitch-slapped by a tuna fish.”

Following directions, Roger’s dramatically delayed roll across the forward deck, spilled him overboard, clinging onto the metal safety rail by his fingertips.

“Hold on, Roger!” Directed Tony. “Camera Three, close on those fingers slowly losing their grip, like our hero’s hold on life is gradually slipping away.”

Confirming the shot in one of his monitors, Tony needed to check on Roger’s positioning with the on-set post-production specialist.

“VFX Supervisor! Are we in sync?”

The VFX specialist checked their monitor. Overseeing filming, the VFX role ensures that what is happening on set, lines up with the post-production plan, saving potential over-budget re-shoots or headaches in editing.

In sync,” a distant female yell confirmed. “Possibly, a little high on the wire,” the voice added.

“Wire operator,” Tony spoke into a small walkie-talkie attached to his director’s utility vest. “Please lower Roger ten centimetres.”

Lowering!” came the reply over the walkie-talkie before Roger’s position physically dipped.



“Okay, Roger! Time for the big quote that will get the audience recalling this scene for generations… Remember. With gusto! Hold… and… cue line!”

With the adeptness of an overweight gymnast, Roger raised himself a little higher for his close-up. Coming into view, a drone camera hovered in front of his face - filling the widescreen monitor with his method-determined expression. Staring into the lens through matted hair and a near-drowning face, he took in a deep breath of air into his lungs. His mouth agape and ready to convey his character’s memorable line, a voice off-stage beat him to it.

Ne’er the angriest tempest nor the call of the deep, will ever take me before I sleep!”

“CUT!” Yelled a frustrated Tony. “Who is the idiot that just ruined the only scene that might save this rotten tomato of a performance?”

It should have been me!” A familiar voice rang through the set.

“How did you get back in here?” Tony angrily asked.

“Through the door,” the unknown actor replied. “How else would I get in?”

“What the hell do you think you are playing at, luv?”

“This role should have been mine.”

“You’ve already established that motive, and why you think Roger was awarded it. I didn’t cast his role. That was the sole responsibility of the casting department.”

“Yes, who he repeatedly slept with; I hear.”

“Who did he sleep with?”

“All of them.”

“There’s three women, one male, and I believe a non-binary person in that department, darling. Which one did he sleep with?”

“All of them, I said.”

The indignant reply caused Tony to pause and flash Roger a questioning, raised eyebrow. Roger’s response was to simply smile and shrug his shoulders without admitting or denying the alleged acts of promiscuous nepotism.

“Darling,” Tony commented. “You need to learn to keep your indiscretions in your own pants and not in others.”

“Wasn’t my idea. Quoting you, Tony, It was do or die on the promise of a long career in movies. I’m known only for game show hosting on tv. I didn’t realise what it would cost to get into film.”

“You obviously liked it,” the hooded actor flippantly commented. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone back for more.”

“Roger?” Tony suggestively enquired in a hesitating and doubting tone.

A wry smile creeped across Roger’s face, mirroring Tony’s expression.

“The frolic of youth, mate.”

“You’re in your late-thirties, luv. You’re no spring chicken.”

“I say!” Shouted the hooded actor. “What about me?”

“What about you?” Tony dismissively answered.

“I was promised this role before Mister Spread-Them-Wide here wore out the casting couch.”

“Is that right,” Tony once again dismissed the interloper.

“I have a signed contract to prove it.”

“Show me.”

“Does it look like this skin-tight costume is hiding anything more than my blushes?”

“Throw him out, Tony,” Roger sneakily suggested. “And let’s get back to work.”

“You’re nothing but a hack actor!” The hooded assailant spat. “You were terrible in Breaking Bone and so awful in Jimbo goes to school that it went straight to streaming. Even bypassed marketing, such was it a foul story and equally amateurish performance.”

“I’ll have you know,” Roger countered. “That streaming is the new format. Cinema is dead.”

“Thank you for that, Roger.” Tony snapped. “I’m sure everyone who has spent years perfecting their skills in the movie industry, will appreciate your insightful opinion.”

“Well, it’s true.”

“It should have been me!”

“You know, darling. I’m inclined to believe you, but filming has already started.”

“It’s only the first scene, no?”

“Yes, but the budget is very tight.”

“One take is all I need. One take is all I ever need.”

“Yeah, right.” Roger’s doubting tone interrupted the train of thought. “Not with Tony directing and yelling in your ear like a nagging wife. Do it this way, do it that way. Be more convincing. It’s enough to put anyone’s concentration out of focus.”

“Yes, well,” retorted Tony. “Perhaps, you’re better suited to extra work, luv.”

Turning to the still green-hooded actor, Tony had an idea.

“How about I offer you a live audition, Mr…?”

“James. Jordi James.”

“You can’t be serious, Tony,” Roger protested.

“Consider it the new streaming way of tv directing, luv.”

“That’s ridiculous. I was only pointing out that..”

“..That we’re all nothing but advertisement fillers, like Swedish taxis, I suppose.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Rowan Atkinson, Roger. Now, his character, Mr. Bean, is perfect for television audiences. Very clever concept to minimise dialogue and replace it with slapstick exposition. Physical comedy, darling. Translatable to any language. An instant success on the global syndication marketplace.”

“I still don’t follow.”

“Swedish taxis show constant video commercials to its passengers, interspersed with sketches of Mr. Bean. Five minutes of commercials, then two minutes of Mr. Bean.”

“Sorry, still lost.”

“Cinema is dead, you say. So, according to you, that just makes what we’re doing here seem like simple taxi filler.”

“I didn’t mean it that way.”

“I blame it all on your mates in the casting department, darling.”


“They went over my head to the producers. Said you were perfect for the role. I’d seen your other work. Mediocre, at best. I mean, any talking primate can say, Let’s spin the wheel! Imagine my surprise when I was told that you were cast in my movie without me being consulted. Quite honestly, I’ve never had to give so much direction to one actor in any of my films.”

“Yeah, well if the script had a bit more detail in it, I wouldn’t need to second-guess my motivation. Who wrote this drivel, anyway?”

“That would be me, darling… Right, you’ve just decided it for me. Jordi, would you please take up position on the boat? We’ll go straight into the big quote. I’m dying to hear you project your wonderful RP onto our humble set.”

“Delighted to,” Jordi excitedly replied. “Should I report to costume?”

“No need, darling. We’ll do a live run-through, while the water’s still warm. If it all goes well, we’ll wrap for the day, then tomorrow, we’ll pick it up from the beginning.”

“What’s RP?” Roger ignorantly enquired.

Received Pronunciation, luv. It separates the real actors from the thirty-minute serials. Think Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren, or Jeremy Irons. A different level to mindlessly reciting What’s inside box number two, darling. No wonder you only lasted one season.”

As Jordi headed toward the boat, a disheartened Roger sat himself into a foldout chair, instantly annoying Tony.

“You’re in my chair, luv. Look at the name printed on it. Says, Director, yes? That’s me. Why don’t you go prop yourself up against the wall at the back with the interns.”

“What about my contract?”

“Director’s prerogative, darling. You’re fired! Ready Jordi?”


“And… action!”

Ne’er the angriest tempest nor the call of the deep, will ever take me before I sleep!”

“CUT! Absolutely perfect, darling. What a pleasure to work with a professional again! Six-thirty call tomorrow everyone! Before we go, Jordi, could you please indulge me and recite these words for me?”

Jordi’s face reflected slight confusion as Tony whispered in his ear.

“Are you sure?” Jordi questioned.

“I just want to make a point,” Tony gently explained. “Roger? I want you to hear this. Go ahead, Jordi.”

Taking a deep breath, Jordi let out the most beautiful dulcet tone of voice, as he complied with Tony’s request.

Let’s spin the wheel!” He exhaled with such a great tonal quality, that it stopped everyone in their tracks, causing them to turn and applaud the meaningless line, before leaving the set.

“Gorgeous, Jordi. Enchantingly captivating. Simply, music to an old queen’s battered ears. Received Pronunciation, Roger. R.P. You master that, and words will be the only thing you’ll ever need in your mouth at auditions.”

In a huff, Roger barged his way through some of the crew exiting the set, and quickly disappeared.

With a renewed air of optimism, Tony gently patted Jordi’s shoulders.

“My assistant will escort you over to costume, Jordi. Wear anything but green, tomorrow…”


March 06, 2024 14:33

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LeeAnn Hively
01:48 Mar 14, 2024

I've always wondered how one could even act in such circumstances that would make the rest of us laugh like naughty school children who heard someone fart. I thoroughly enjoyed this :)


Chris Campbell
03:49 Mar 14, 2024

Thanks, LeeAnn. So glad you liked it.


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21:31 Mar 12, 2024

Started off with such drama that even though the title seemed obscure, I went along with this serious story - not!! Pretty soon I was laughing until I cried. I do understand how a boat in a storm can be done indoors on a set with a green background. So realistic when seen on the screen. I think Roger was at the mercy of the job-actors, rather than the wind. Tony played a hilarious directing part. Loved it. Well written, Chris.


Chris Campbell
23:40 Mar 12, 2024

Yes, slight misdirection at the beginning to surprise you. Thanks for the great feedback, Kaitlyn.


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David Maxim Jr
16:46 Mar 11, 2024

Tony has the charisma and charm of my favorite theater directors from high school. I love it. Great characterization. I both fell in love with Tony and developed a distain for Roger at the same time.


Chris Campbell
23:22 Mar 11, 2024

Thanks, David. So glad the essence of the characters shone through.


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Marty B
21:57 Mar 09, 2024

A storm of disgruntled actors create chaos on a back seat! The Director and writer is up a creek without a paddle with a terrible actor, and a casting director and producer working against him. Whats RP for writing? I heard 'great tonal quality' in this story ;) Thanks!


Chris Campbell
02:00 Mar 10, 2024

Thanks, Marty. Wonderful feedback. You successfully recognised all the "Actors" in this story. "Promiscuous Nepotism." The Weinstein method acting course.


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Wally Schmidt
15:46 Mar 07, 2024

Gotta love any story that includes bitch-slapped by a tunafish..


Chris Campbell
00:40 Mar 08, 2024

Thanks, Wally. That would be quite a slap. 🤣


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Trudy Jas
23:08 Mar 06, 2024

Well, Darling. A storm on a back lot. A hurrah-cane fought. One soaked and chastised spread-them-wide would-be actor and a tempest in a teacup. Did I miss anything? Oh, yeah. Great story! :-)


Chris Campbell
00:18 Mar 07, 2024

Lovely puns, Trudy. Thanks for your great feedback.


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Kailani B.
22:56 Mar 06, 2024

For a second I thought he really was on the ocean, despite the cheesy dialogue. Very creative and funny. Thanks for sharing!


Chris Campbell
00:17 Mar 07, 2024

Yes, the movie dialogue is almost Bruce Willis in its nature until Brian Blessed ("Gordon's Alive!") came along. It's all about the delivery, I suppose. Thanks, Kailani.


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Ty Warmbrodt
22:03 Mar 06, 2024

Brilliant take on the prompt.


Chris Campbell
00:14 Mar 07, 2024

Thanks, Ty.


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Mary Bendickson
18:24 Mar 06, 2024

Easy come, easy go in acting world! But, hey, let's spin the wheel.


Chris Campbell
00:14 Mar 07, 2024

Yes, indeed. Thanks, Mary.


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Alexis Araneta
15:23 Mar 06, 2024

As usual, hilarious one, Chris ! Hahahaha ! I was wondering where this was going with the title (I love it. My linguistics-loving side was buzzing). Brilliant flow. Great job !


Chris Campbell
00:13 Mar 07, 2024

Thanks, Stella. I think Jordi's big test of his RP will be when he gets a face full of water thrown at him with every line. 🤣


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