Thursday, May 30, 2013

Senseless Challenge: Touch

Well, I did it. Five Fridays, five senses. For#fridayflash and #flashsense, the featured sense is TOUCH. (Now what will be the prompt to get me through June?)

By the way, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to #fridayflash. I've been a sporadic participant, but man, have I met some great writers during that time. I look forward to another four years of reading. 

New Sensation

The left side of the double doors remained locked, forcing audience members to greet Bruno before entering the theater. Bruno extended his hand. Some shook gratefully, excited to meet him; others gingerly, wary of his touch. For those that tried to sidle by him, Bruno made a point of touching them, even if he "inadvertently" swung out an arm. He then apologized for being so clumsy and bumping into their arm or their cheek, or in one case, an exposed thigh. After all, it didn't have to be hands, as long as he touched skin; then that person could get the full, Sensation-Al Experience.

Bruno nodded to the usher, asked him to bar the door. "Is that locked?" a woman in the back row half-whispered, half-squealed. Bruno gave her a warm smile and stroked the air between them. "It's open, feel the gentle night breeze?" he said. The woman lifted her chin, half-closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She shook her head, as if getting strands of hair off her cheeks, a contented smile overcoming her panicked leer.

Bruno spread his arms wide, waved and circled his arms as he ran down the left aisle to the stage, ran in front of the center front row and up the center aisle to the back wall, ran down the right aisle, then leapt onto the narrow stage. The audience ahhed.

Bruno removed the mike from the stand and stood in front of the screen, facing the audience. "Thank you for coming this evening. I was just commingling all our cells so we may share a Sensation-al Experience. I'm Bruno...don't you feel as if we're friends already?" He looked pointedly at the balding man in the middle seat, fourth row. The man had reluctantly shaken Bruno's hand upon entering. Bruno made a show of flexing his right hand, faking a grimace. "Nice grip there buddy." The man smirked, the audience tittered.

"Instead of showing credits, I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain and demonstrate what will happen. I promise you a full, three-dimensional cinematic experience. My niece once compared 3-D movies to being inside someone else's imagination. I love that description. Wonderful images popping in front of your eyes, making you gasp, or cringe, or laugh, or jump, or sigh. But, is that enough? It is such a visual experience—how can we consider a 3-D movie, even in IMAX, a full experience with only one sense?

"Dolby sound, you say. Yes, and this theater has the latest in state-of-the-art sound, Dolby Atmos. Multi-directional sound will fill your ears while images float and zoom before your eyes. You will feel as if you are in the movie—or will you?

"Can we really consider popping images and surround-sound a complete movie-going experience? I say two senses: 2-D. What about...." Bruno fluttered his fingers. He felt their anticipation.  


He let his gaze roam the room. "You've felt things watching movies—boredom for some of you." Bruno waited for the titters to subside. 

"Joy. Sorrow. Fear. Anger. Dread. Anxiety. Euphoria. Wonder. Desire." Bruno raised an eyebrow at a beautiful woman in the left aisle seat. "Feel that?" She twisted a strand of hair, re-crossed her legs.

"You've felt emotions, but have you felt anything else? Warm, gritty sand during a beach scene. Cold ocean during a deep diving mission—or how about the rubbery texture of that wetsuit? Or maybe, a soft kiss between lovers?" Again, Bruno looked at the woman. She caught her breath.

Bruno walked the stage. "How this works. When you entered the theater today, I touched each and every one of you. Your cells are on me, my cells are on you. We've shut the doors, and I ask all of you to remain in your seats during the entire show, so we may not lose any of each other." Bruno exaggerated a wink. "Now you know why we didn't offer concession-fare."

"So I've comingled our cells and we are now connected, at least for the duration of this film. This allows me to facilitate 'touch.' Group hug!" Bruno circled his arms. "Feel it?"

Startled expressions spread through the audience, along with a couple nervous laughs. "You will feel everything that happens on the screen tonight."

The bald man's arms were crossed, doubt emanated off him. That doubt ricocheted between them. Bruno couldn't allow it to permeate the room; the group experience relied on belief—his "touch" gift only went so far.

Bruno pointed at the doubtful man. "Sir, what would you like to feel?"

The man snickered. "No offense buddy, but I ain't buyin' what you're selling. My wife dragged me here tonight." His wife punched his arm, then huffed. 

Bruno smiled. "What would you rather be doing?"

"Ridin' my Harley, feeling the open road—"

—Bruno squatted slightly, placed his hands in front of him as if he were holding handlebars—

"—the wind in my face, the power of the bike under me...."

The man trailed off as Bruno twisted the throttle, allowing a revving sensation. 

The audience gasped. "What the fuck?" exclaimed the man.

"We are on a country lane, passenger is squeezing your waist. Slow, easy curve." Bruno leaned his body slightly to the right. The audience leaned to the left.

"A bug hits our helmet, jerks our head." As one, every audience head jerked. Quite a few people rubbed their crowns, others tittered. A female voice exclaimed, "Is this dangerous? I don't want to feel a phaser blast!"

Bruno straightened. "When a 3-D image seems within reach, can you grab it? The same principle applies."

Bruno waved to the projection booth. "Space, the final frontier." Bruno shivered; the audience felt a cool blast.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, here is the 3-D IMAX, Dolby Atros and now, Sensation-al Star Trek, Into Darkness."


quin browne said...

I loved the description of 3D...perfection! Nice end to your series, Missus!

Helen said...

Oh this would be more than a 3 D experience, 3 D sense of touch interesting concept.

Nice finish to the series of prompts.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Wow, what a ride Peggy! Super atmosphere in this. I at first thought they were going to be seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but this is so much better. :)

John Wiswell said...

I don't know if I would trust people with that kind of technology over me, especially for such casual ends. I bet Into Darkness would be wicked that way, though!

Brinda said...

High five on the flashsense series Peggy - way to go! This one certainly hit the 'touch' sense spectacularly. I dont trust Bruno one bit.

Lee-Ann said...

That would freak me out so much, but I love the descriptions. :)

Icy Sedgwick said...

Wonderful descriptions!

Mike Robertson said...

Peggy, the story left me with the familiar "You Were There!" feeling that I always have with your work.