Monday, September 1, 2014

Madrid

On a mission one month ago in Madrid the weather wasn't cooperating. Blister hot my eyes were about to pop out while sitting at a sidewalk café drinking a cup of iced coffee. Two dozen other customers were complaining the weather ruined their day.  I'd unfastened the top button on my shirt and adjusted my pistol holstered on my belt underneath my shirt on my right side. My contact had yet to appear when a young brunette woman approached me. She came from inside the restaurant, carrying a thin briefcase, a cell phone and was wearing a pair of Google Glasses and staring into my eyes. Her tight white blouse distracted me as did her black mini-skirt and stilettos.

"Can I help you?" I asked, and examined her large chest.
"Es más como te puedo ayudar," she said.
I sat back in my chair. "Well, how can you help me?"
"Por no dejar que te maten."
"By not letting them kill me?
She sat down opposite me and glued her eyes on mine. The light din from cars passing in the street and the small conversations around us wasn't distracting, but her words of not letting them kill me echoed through my brain.
"Usted no es su persona favorite," she elaborated.
"Who is their favorite person?" I snidely asked.
She looked dazed, tilted her head like she was listening to someone. She tapped her glasses and put her briefcase on the table and watched me. She folded her hands on top of the briefcase.
"I have something to give you," she said in English, and unlatched the briefcase.
I put a hand on top of the briefcase and stopped her from opening it. "I have something to give you first."
"There is nothing you can give me that is more important than what I have to give you," she said, and tilted her head again.
"Before I give my gift to you first, tell me who wants to kill me because I'm not their favorite person."
"Te han estado geotagging toda Europa . No se puede escapar de ellos y ellos no te quieren de vuelta en Ciudad del Cabo."
"Okay then, they've been following me all over Europe and I can't go back to Cape Town, Africa. So, why don't they just shoot me and be done with it?"
"Regulations," she said in English. "The boss wants your death officially recorded."
With that, I stood and upended my small table on the beautiful Spanish woman. Her chair collapsed and she bounced on the concrete, the briefcase landed next to her and the Google Glasses popped off her face. My cup of iced coffee flew three tables over and landed on the pavement. Customers jumped up and scattered. I picked up her cell phone off her stomach.
I took her briefcase and threw it into the street underneath an oncoming car, pulled my pistol from its holster and pointed it at her face.
"If I see you again I'll shoot a hole through your head. Do you understand?"
She nodded and lay still. All was quiet and the coast was clear, so I backed up, turned and slithered down the sidewalk and around the corner. If someone was following me I didn't know it. I dropped the cell phone and crushed it underneath my heel. I took out the SIM card and stashed it in my pants pocket. How they were goetagging me was something I'd have to investigate.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Paris

On a mission two months ago in Paris the weather wasn't cooperating. Sitting alone at a sidewalk café on the West Bank, dogs and cats rainfall chilled me. I was drinking a hot cup of chai underneath a narrow awning with my black leather coat collar raised up. A brunette approached me dolled-up in a forest green designer suit. She placed her umbrella on the ground beside her. She hugged an iPad and held a large black bag under her other arm.

"Vous avez l'air américaine , êtes-vous?"
"Yes, I'm American. You look French, are you?"
She sat on the vacant chair across from me. "Votre accent n'est pas américain. Vous regardez croate."
"I may not have an American accent, but I'm not Croatian."
She looked across the street and spoke in English. "Can you help me?"
"Une faveur pour une faveur," I said. "Comment puis-je vous aider?"
"I give favors," she said, "within reason. You can help me by looking across the street and tell me what you see."
"Are you in danger?"
She nodded and pushed her iPhone across the table. I didn't look at it and I didn't look across the street. My eyes were glued to hers. The ocean could only be so blue. She nudged her phone at me. I ignored it. She tilted her head sideways silently saying, look across the street.
"Êtes-vous en danger?" I asked again in French.
"Je suis amoureux," she said, and dumped the iPad in her large bag.
"You're in love?" I said. "That's the worst danger ever."
Her sweet laughter filled my life. The pretty way her lips puckered, the soft complexion of youth, hair that etched her face into a Monet. How could that be? Me, a wealthy philanthropist whose purpose is supporting an orphanage in Cape Town, Africa, and not falling in love on the whim with a gorgeous French woman whose demand is for me to look across the street.
"What do you see across the street? she asked.
"I see nothing but you," I replied, and took a sip of my tea.
"Ils veulent vous tuer. Ils m'ont dit de vous dire et de donner à ce téléphone pour vous."
"Who wants to kill me?" I asked. "And why do they want you to give me the phone?"
"They will tell you where to meet them so they can kill you."
"Nothing can be more predatory," I laughed. "Are you with them?"
"No. I'm a stranger shopping and they asked me this favor."
"Are you bugged?"
"I don't know what you mean."
She lied, I saw it in her eyes. "Tell you friends," I said, "if they want to kill me they can do it right now."
Her snicker killed me on the spot. She stood, winked at me, picked up her umbrella and left the phone on the table, turned and walked down the sidewalk in the rain.
I stood, put three Euros on the tabled for the tea, turned and walked in the opposite direction down the sidewalk in the rain.
Three hoodlum looking men ran across the street, picked up the iphone and ran after the pretty French woman whom I knew fell in love with me.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Istanbul

On a mission a few months ago in Istanbul all went wrong. Weather turned hot, Turks were disengaged, traffic was horrendous, drugs deliriously available, youthful angst displayed everywhere, hungry dogs in gutters, angry skinny cats hiding in doorways, elderly with hunched shoulders, torn clothing, faces filled with disgust, prayer-rugs hung over fences, children afraid to play, food and jewelry and clothing venders relentless with demands. The sky was blue and the earth was scorched form histories of warfare, destruction and death. I wasn't a happy camper.

Sipping a cup of espresso and chomping on a small piece of baklava at a sidewalk café, from behind me someone tapped me on the shoulder. A young woman, blonde, natural, in cut-off jeans, flip-flops and a smile as broad as the Bosphorus Bridge which links Europe with Asia.

"Kunt u mij helpen?" She asked in Dutch.

"If I can," I answered in English.

I motioned for her to sit across from me at the small table. She took a sip of my espresso when I offered it to her, and then soft tears dripped from her eyes.

"How may I help you?"

"Mijn vriend mij verlaten. Ik heb geld nodig om naar huis te vliegen naar Amsterdam."

"This boyfriend that deserted you is he Dutch?"

"Hij is Turks. Ik ontmoette hem op het internet. Hij vertelde me om hier te komen naar Istanbul. We zouden trouwen en wonen in zijn kasteel."

"You believed he would marry you and you'd live in a castle in Istanbul?"

"Hij is een vriend van mijn leraar geschiedenis aan de universiteit. Ik geloofde hem."

"I would not trust your history teacher any more. A friend of his sounds like your enemy."

"Thank you," she said in English. "I need money for a flight back to Amsterdam."

"You know what," I said, and slyly looked around for her Turk boyfriend. He stood across the street , his dark eyes staring at us like a lion praying on a lamb, "you're pretty but I can't sympathize with you. I'm not a tourist. I'm a mercenary."

Her eyes bulged.

"If you and your boyfriend like being healthy, you should stand up and walk away. If I see either of you again that will be the last time either of you will try to swindle someone.

She stood up. "Het spijt me. Vergeef me."

"Being sorry is a long way from being forgiven," I said. "Go back to Amsterdam where you belong."

She left with wet eyes and walked in the opposite direction of where her boyfriend waited for her. I ran across the street. He panicked. I grabbed his shirt and yanked him into a doorstep, my thumb pressed against his windpipe.

In Turkish I said, "Eğer ödül Eğer hayat onun agian görmek asla." If you prize your life never see her again.

He nodded and walked up the street in the opposite direction.
__________

Author's Note:
My MO - Live as if you'll live forever.
Remember to follow me on Wattpad to receive uploads about my adventures.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fat City

Marlon Brando, Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American actor. He is hailed for bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time.

And then comes Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood. Can't stop the rebellion and can't stop the magic. Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood is working it with the delicious Marilyn Monroe, unfazed Marlon Brando and delirious James Dean. They are alive and spellbind the movie industry. The Blonde Bombshell, the Renegade and the Rebel make produces and directors wealthy, and make the public edgy. The triangle shakes up Hollywood and change society. They change those who know them by way of method acting, eccentric lifestyles, amazing veneers and outrageous celebrity.

Marlon Brando is the instigator of method acting followed by Marilyn Monroe and then by James Dean. Prettyboy  comes along and swells with the culturally shifting times. Actors, money, sex, seduction and illusions; women want to be Marilyn Monroe, men want to be Brando and Dean. The actors are drop dead gorgeous and cunningly vulnerable. They are praised as well as jaded by the media. Older generations misunderstand them. P R E T T Y B O Y: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood breathes freshness into a timeless era of celebrity, money, beauty, sex and rebellion.

Stop by my Face Book page and LIKE it. Prettyboy's publication date will appear there.
https://www.facebook.com/bencampbellnovels

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's Your Tale, Nghtingale?

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American actor. He is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark.

Then along came Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood. Prettyboy features turmoil during 1954  when method actors and perfumed actresses in Hollywood were storming the media. I mean, before there was Superman, before there was Batman, and before there was The Simpsons, there was Prettyboy, carving his pathway to stardom in Hollywood alongside James Dean, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.

From New York to Hollywood, from mundane existence of the '50s to the uproar of method actors and perfumed actresses, Prettyboy draws you into the world of established and rising producers, actors and actresses the likes of Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Carey Grant, Frank Sinatra, Jane Russell, and many other celebrities, and tells a story of love, betrayal, survival and friendship. As complex as the friendships Prettyboy experiences, Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood is an engaging, transparent and unforgettable novel.

Stop by and like my Face Book page for updates to Prettyboy's October 2014 publication date.
https://www.facebook.com/bencampbellnovels

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Marilyn Monroe + Prettyboy

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

She now stars in the new novel Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood, with James Dean, Marlon Brando and a few other fabulous movie stars from the 1950s era, publication date set for October 2014.

UCLA 1954, Prettyboy is one average method acting student among hundreds ready to graduate, and join the pools of thousands of other actors in Hollywood seeking agents, auditions, and parts in movies. Marlon Brando makes an appearance that fires up Prettyboy at the Roxy Theater. The following week Marilyn Monroe makes the scene and seduces the young method actor. As if that was all that mattered, James Dean the new kid in befriends Prettyboy.

The gates have opened for Prettyboy. He dines at the fabulously famous  Hollywood Formosa Café. The unknown handsome Prettyboy is confronted and hounded and challenged and put-on by Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Howard Hughes, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, and other fanatic movie stars as well as his best friend and girlfriend.

Struggling with romance, friendships, enemies and career options, Prettyboy faces regretful choices. Among method actors and perfumed actresses, can Prettyboy find comfort in his own skin weaving in and out between betrayal, survival, complex relationships and experiences, and learn to only trust his instincts?

A classic tale of romance, adventure and hardships, Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood mixes fiction with fact, which bolsters the elements that love has a place in everybody’s heart, except for perhaps Prettyboy.

Cast an Eyeball


Cast an eyeball would ya? Just when you think you have it made along comes Prettyboy. Cranked, cruisin' for a brusin', fired up, faked out, get bent, goose it hipster, in orbit, jacked up, knuckle sandwich, like crazy like wow. The language of the cool generation, its insights, and the culture of the 1950s return when Marilyn Monroe declares she’s getting a divorce from Joe DiMaggio, when James Dean offers a leading part to Prettyboy in Rebel Without a Cause, and when Marlon Brando is about to rip out Prettyboy’s heart because he won’t give the shades back that he had given to him.

Will Prettyboy survive?