(2018-12-10) At least no one beats the dead horse.
Filming gets under-way. Then a horse gets shot.
Players:
claire..presley..warren..

Jackfield Stadium

The outer fence is preserved, old wooden fence that looks like pallets from cattle chutes, while within the rodeo arena and stands are modern steel fancies. With large 5' posts, the fences are easily four and a half feet tall and open, easy to climb in or out of the arena. On one side are stands covered with a corrugated steel awning for shade on long rodeo days, the stands are of a similar steel construction, enough to act like bleachers for visitors. The opposite end contains a number of chutes, above which are a few stand boxes for announcers and VIPs alike. Several cables hang over the rodeo with old lights and a mix of banners which change from event to event.

The green space outside allows for more seating for bigger events held in the rodeo arena. Allowing for picnic like accommodations for families. The hills surrounding are bowl shaped to accommodate easy viewing from this grassy area, but not as shaded as the actual stadium stands are. The food vending area is near the stands and is generally restaurants from town providing food carts and cold beer. The only permanent structure on the premises are stables for the animals and restrooms.


It's hard to keep intrusions to a minimum when you're talking about a crew of a dozen people and what has become an incredibly tight shooting schedule, but they're trying, guys! The actual crew is, as promised, super nice and respectful, hard-working men and women just doing a job. The first day is also always a huge pain in the ass, so - by the time the light starts failing - it's safe to say that everyone's nerves are fried. They've had anyone willing to do anything that looks cowboy-cool doing it on-camera all day. Which likely means Presley and Warren have been pestered into showing off all. freaking. day.

And it's Claire's job to go between the people behind the cameras, the people that work the cameras, and the people in front of the cameras, to make sure everyone is on the same page, has everything they could possibly ever want, and no one winds up killing each other. She does it all smilingly, and finally comes through the muddy, worked-over arena to tell the super-patient cowboy-people, "Can you just go one more time? I promise, we'll be done after this."

It's been a long goddamn day, and Warren was feeling the stress. He was over in the arena trying to calm his horse, who was likely just as distressed as he was from the constant back and forth runs. His limbs were sore, he was starting to have a headache.. and now here was Claire, waltzing over for the 'one more go' talk. He crooks his elbow to rub at the nape of his neck, puffing out a breath. "I dunno, Miss Reed, I thought you wanted this all to be natural," he remarks, dropping his hand to his side and brushing off some dirt from the side of his pants. "All this back and forth, it's startin' to seem pretty staged. And I dunno if Dolly's gonna wanna run again, if I'm to be real honest with you." His horse, not Parton.

"The horses are going to get hurt if we keep it up." Presley opines from hre place draped over the back of her own horse, her cheek resting against the mane, arms around the neck of her horse. She's been doing her level best to rest and relax while others have run around, but even she looks like she might be exhausted by everything. "Maybe we could just….do this again sometime after everyone has a chance to rest?"

Claire sympathizes. She totally does. It's in her apologetic face, and the sorrowful look she gives the horses, and the way she shoots a look to the encroaching twilight, and the half-turn back to the impatient people waiting for everyone to go back and do this one more time. "It is supposed to be natural, but there's not actually a rodeo right now, and it's going to look very weird if we don't have some kind of footage, and - " She rocks back and forth between heels and toes, dithering. "I can go tell them no?" Don't make her do that, guys. :( "But, if you just do one more, I promise. We'll be done. And you won't even have to see any of us tomorrow. So. Please?"

There's a heavy sigh from Warren, who exchanges a glance with Presley and then returns his attention to Claire; if there was ever a portrait of 'Unhappy Cowboy', Warren could be the subject in that moment. "One more time," he repeats to her, "And we don't see hide nor hair of you tomorrow?" There's a slow rise of his eyebrows as he folds his arms across his chest. "I dunno. We've been at this all day, Miss Reed." There's another glance back over his shouder to Presley, his frown deepening. "You feelin' okay to do one more, Pres? 'Cause you can say no, if you're too tired. Nobody can force you."

Unhappy? Not really Presley's usual style, but she does look a little wilted, a little more worn out than usual. But she pushes herself up once more, sliding her feet back into the stirrups of her saddle, "No, I'm fine." She assures her brother, shaking her head before she glances towards Claire, looking apologetic, "But no more tomorrow, right?"

"No more tomorrow. I promise." Claire just has time to get this out when the guy with the megaphone calls down, "Can we get the lights turned on? And have them go again!" Claire's painted-on smile stays in place, and she tells the Starrs, "We'll just pretend we didn't hear the bit about the lights, hmm? Once more, and we're done?"

Megaphone: "We're waiting."

Claire: "Perhaps not tomorrow or the next day, either."

Warren looked as though he might be on the verge of turning that frown upside down when the guy with the megaphone barks. He shoots a look in that direction, before he just shakes his head, pulling his fingers through his hair as he goes back to his horse. "One more," he says again to Claire, before up to Presley he looks. "You be careful, and don't try to do any stupid tricks to be fancy on camera, okay?" Though the words were stern to his sister, his tone was soft and caring, and he sighs again as he grips up the saddle horn and pulls himself up onto Dolly. The horse lets out a huff, but she's led back to the start of the arena with just a few tugs of the reins.

"No stupid stunts." Presley replies, lifting her hand up to give him the scouts honor sign before she starts to lead her own horse towards the start, then she pauses. There is a glance down at Claire, frowning, "If any of the horses are hurt, I want you to know that it's going to be a really big mess." Because, that's about as stern as she possibly can be about things before she turns back towards the start of the arena.

Claire agrees with that warning, echoing, "No stupid stunts," after Presley. She's already starting back toward the fence to get out of the way, so as not to get run-over by their AWESOME HORSE TRICKS, when Presley puts on that post script. "I understand. I'll - " She looks toward the lighted area with the cameras. " - tell them."

Megaphone: "We're burning daylight, guys, let's get it moving."

"Everything's gonna be okay, Pres," Warren says to his sister with a forced smile, trying to push some optimism into the moment. "After this, we'll go down to Maude's and you can tell me about this kid you brought to meet mom and dad, huh?" Then there's a wink, before he leans into his horse. Somewhere, someone shouts 'ACTION!' or whatever, and Warren nudges his horse into movement. Dolly's quick to gain speed in spite of how tired she is, propelled into a gallop by Warren's boot into her flank. He gets to the center of the arena without incident, but as Warren lifts himself out of the saddle and prepares the horse to turn through some barrels set up… disaster strikes.

It was too muddy, and the lights were too bright, and there was a sickening CRACK before the horse's screams fill the stadium. It's a hideous, horrible sound, the kind that makes your ears bleed, and one of the camera men would catch it all on film - including Warren getting thrown to the side, his boot getting caught in the stirrup on his way out into the mud. Ankles probably aren't supposed to bend like that.

The mention of said boy causes Presley's cheeks to flush, but she holds and waits until….disaster. "WARREN!" She shouts, her heels landing against the sides of her own horse, sending it launching out into the arena. Unlike her brother, though, she's kicking her feet from her stirrups before she even reaches them so that when she drags back on the reins and the horse comes to a stop she is able to launch herself out of the saddle. As soon as her boots hit the ground she is running the rest of the distance towards her brother.

Claire is horrified. Like, 'hands clapped over her mouth' horrified. Several of the guys on the crew are also pretty sickened, turning away from the sight with groans that don't really reach all the way to the damaged horse-and-rider, but just know that they're there. The actual filmmaking SOB? Is in heaven right now. So the cameras keep right on rolling, even when the money-guy shouts, "Get the paramedic down here!" 'Cause that's the kind of thing film crews would be required to deal with ahead of time, accourse. He's shouting that at Claire, but it takes a solid ten seconds for that fact to sink in, and then she goes tearing ass off to do that thing.

It's safe to say that Warren wasn't going to be riding tomorrow. Or probably for several days after that. He had just narrowly avoided having the horse fall down ontop of him, but poor Dolly .. well, she was still screaming, her eyes having turned nearly completely white, and she was foaming heavily at the mouth from distress. Starr stablehands (Shorty to the rescue!) were flooding the arena to move in towards the horse. For his part, Warren was writhing on the ground, his face twisted in pain. He was managing not to scream, although it was unclear if he could be heard over the horse anyway. And he was really pale, like 'about to pass out if he looks at the way his foot is turned' pale.

"Shorty!" Presley is so very happy to see the stablehand, moving to make sure that her brothers foot was free before she tries to haul him out of the way of the horse and anything that could happen. There is a rather cold glare for the film crew, even Claire. Poor, poor Claire who was just doing her job. Paramedics or not on the scene, with the help of Shorty (because he is the best) there is a moving of a Warren before she is digging her cellphone out to call an ambulance, and a vet, and probably their parents.

The paramedic was probably off having a smoke, so it takes a minute - time enough for the filming to stop, for things like "Who the hell packed the hand-held already?!" to carry. And "Fucking amateurs!"

But the medics do turn up, though a wheeled gurney through mud ain't happening, so it'll have to be the canvas one. "I'm so sorry, I'm so so sorry." That's Claire. Not the paramedic. "Presley, I'm so sorry. Warren, I'm - " She does look at his ankle, and immediately bursts in to the world's most useless tears.

A couple of the grips wander a little closer, getting an eyeful, grimly comparing this injury to others they've seen this summer. "'Member that one kid that took it in the eye?" "Yeah, that was fucked up."

Warren was pretty much completely fucking out of it, and headed straight into shock town from all the pain he was (very obviously) in. But he does manage to reach out and take up Presley's arm when she comes close, his grip incredibly weak. "Dolly, is she okay? She's okay, right?" he was panicked, and there was absolutely no way that horse was going to be okay. As they gather him onto the gurney, he lulls his head to catch Claire's ugly tears, and it makes his brows furrow some. "I'm gonna be okay, make sure the horse is gonna be okay, I.." It was then that he takes one look at his ankle, and promptly passes out.

Also what did that guy get in the eye?!

You're unconscious, you'll never find out.

There is not going to be anything that can erase the next sound, from anyone's ears. It's the sudden, very loud BANG of a gun shot….and then silence from the horse.

Presley does not look happy, or impressed, or in any way charitable about the entire situation. She glances at Claire, then the lingering crew before she states very quietly, "Please make them leave." Maybe Claire is exempt from this, but the rest are not.

There's an absolute tantrum happening behind those cameras when they shoot the horse and no one is filming it. But the person having the tantrum gets told to fuck right off by the money-guy, and the two of them have a huge argument in front of a crew that doesn't even bat a lash. Must happen a lot.

"Did they just - did you just - " Claire looks at the unconscious Warren for a second, really sad, then swallows a hard lump and nods at Presley. "I will," make them leave. She walks backward to the crew, who already had the grace not to keep talking shit over the corpse of some guy's horse.

Leaving the paramedics with their stretcher to do things to Warren's lifeless body.

Not sexy things.

That seems important to mention.

Warren sadly gets no sexy times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Boo.

Not even a handy!

Broken horses don't survive! It's like taking Old Yeller back behind the shed or something. It's all very quickly and neatly done, and cleaned up, all things considered. Presley doesn't go with Warren to the hospital, she'll follow after pointing out that whoever's bright idea it was to keep pushing forward owes them a LOT of money for dead horse and injured brother.

"…why we have insurance!" That's the dick filmmaker again. That's the last line he gets before storming off in a tizzy.

Everyone else hangs around somberly to clean up their mess. And not try to see what they're going to do with the horse-corpse.

Except Claire. She goes and sits in her car and cries. :( Then sends like a billion flower arrangements to the hospital. With mylar balloons that say shit like 'Get Well Soon!' and 'Hang in there, Champ!' on them.

Warren is still passed out. Womp womp.

At least they didn't shoot him, too!

Presley's all, 'it's my brother, I'll do it'

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