Aroma – a short story starring George Clooney & Jack Black

It was raining.

Not because of any chemical-environmental reactions, nor because the gods were angry, or the angels crying. But because it should be. It was necessary for a dramatic ambience to fill the night…

… that’s why Jack was driving through the wee hours, rain falling on the windshield of his black Lexus Hybrid. Blinding him. The actor swearing every time the freeway signal outdistanced wasn’t the one he expected it to be…

… that’s why, when realizing he should have turned a couple of exits ago, he stopped his vehicle, cursed, and drove his car back, this time racing again out of the highway…

… that’s why, once Jack realized he was arriving to his final destination, sped up, intentionally and awesomely breaking wide the golden fence-gates while a thunderbolt lit up the leviathan mansion in front of him…

… that’s why. That’s why it was raining.

Because of drama.

Jack Black – yes, the Jack Black, the actor – was feeling despair and a weird shitty-Shakespearean feeling he could not describe. It was a long trip from the entrance of the facility to the main doors of the luxurious mansion, and he was already building and apology for the possible peacock run over.

Three lightning and a spared peacock after trespassing the main labyrinth, Mr. Black reached the porch and stopped the car.

Goddaming the seat belt, Jack unfastened it and step out of the car and into the now stormy night.

“George!” he yelled. “Geooorge!”

Looking like a British young man who just desperately came rushing to the airport the last minute before his lover’s flight departures, Jack Black closed violently the car’s door.

“Geooorge!” he screamed, rage in his voice, to no one in particular. Now he waited for the rain pouring down from his soaked hair to his mouth, and spitted:

“PffrfgGEOOORGE!!!”

A window just a few meters up and next to the entrance of the big house lighted. A figure approached in the inside, pushed away the curtains and opened it wide.

George Clooney looked down into the thundering night, eyes trying to figure out who was screaming like a maniac at his doorstep.

“Jack?”

“’Evening, George!” responded Jack with a smile.

“What are you do- ? Why haven’t you rung the doorb- ? How the heck have you entered the facil- ? Is that one of my peacocks???”

“Yeah… Don’t know, man. Little bit stressed right know, don’t push too hard on me!”

“Jesus, Jack, what’s the matter?” said George, covering himself with his white and gold bathrobe and protecting himself from the cold.

“Something terrible may be about to happen to us, and I just came to warn you!” Jack seemed quite concerned, almost as much as when he was told School of Rock would not be nominated for Best Picture. That movie meant a lot to him.

George hold that thought.

“Alright, come in, quickly. It’s freezing and I’m getting wet”.

“That’s what she said”, told Jack to himself. Then he approached the door, waiting for George to open it.


The main hall was big enough for a couple of trucks to park, transform and roll out without colliding.

Two big oak doors at each side of the hall and a wide staircase with purple upholstered steps stood in front of Jack the moment he closed the main entrance behind him. Electric medieval-looking torches were lighting the room, while deviant art – sculptures and paintings – decorated every frame of the walls.

George Clooney came rushing downstairs, an electric old-looking candlelight – you know, the ones that are shown in the Harry Potter films, but running with batteries – in his left hand. He was wearing slippers and adjusting his bathrobe again. A different one. A pink one. With unicorns and rainbows all over it.

“You look georgeous in that bathrobe, George”.

“Thanks, it’s Amal’s. Mine got soaked a minute ago ‘cause someone made me lean out a window in the middle of a storm” said George, handling a towel to his fellow actor. “Anyway, what’s wrong, Jack?”

Jack Black dried his face by shaking it in the towel.

“Oh man, so soft! What do you clean this with? Baby-ass fabric conditioner?” When finished with the face, the armpits went next. “Is this sweat or rain water? I really can’t tell them apart.”

George answered with a patient smile.

“So?”

“Whu-? Oh!” Sniff! “Sweat it is.”

“No! I mean why you are here?”

“Oh.”

Jack went gloomy for a moment. Sadness took over his smile and George realized that hiding behind that clown attitude there really was something really, really bad happening. He tried to keep that realization in mind when Jack Black covered his long wet hair using the towel as a turban.

“Maybe we need to sit down. Do you have anywhere warmer in the house?”

“Yeah. Yeah, sure. There’s a fireplace in the living room. Let’s go there, I’ll make you something hot- a hot beverage.” George aimed his friend to follow him.

“Cool” nodded Jack, aimlessly. “I’m sure there’s going to be a tiger carpet with its mouth open near that fireplace…”

“Maybe what I’ve is got a goat carpet I stared at!” giggled Clooney. When he saw no reaction, he saddened too. “Oh, Jack, what’s wrong? Your puns and jokes are really low and reference-less. I am really worried.”

“Well you should, man. You should”.


Flames’ reflection flickered in the crystalized already-orange eyes of the tiger carpet. It was laying there, aiming at the fireplace, its mouth open, as if roaring to boringness.

Jack was comfortably seating in one of the two beautiful armchairs each side of the resting tiger. He was wearing another bathrobe, a blue one, fitting him perfectly. He covered himself with a big brown blanket.

Thunder stroke in the outside awakening the actor, who was lost in thought while watching the fire dancing. In that moment, George entered the room, a steaming mug in each hand.

Jack watched him smiling, awkwardly, as George crossed the whole dining room.

Maybe you could spend thirty seconds going from a wall to another in that giant room. It was like spotting someone at the other side of the zebra crossing and having to wait uneasily for the light to change in order to salute, although this time there were no cars to idly gaze upon.

Finally, Clooney arrived, gave Jack the hot mug, and sat down.

“You won’t have sugar, won’t you?”

“No, thank you.” Jack felt her hands go warmer. “Fantastic…” Then he spotted a missing place in the wall. “Mister!”

“Yeah?”

“Fox?”

“Hmmm? Oh. That’s reserved for a panda.”

“Isn’t that illegal?”

“God, no – they are all props, from my movies. They were never alive. I’m not a murderer- not even played one!”

Both actors laughed. It was a courtesy laugh, it was not that amusing.

Soon – when it had to – the laughter banished and Jack spoke.

“Speaking of murder…”

“Yeah. I’ve heard of it”, said George, dead serious now.

Jack Black felt certain relief.

“What the fuck man? Did you even know when they started?”

“I’ve been researching. They say they started a couple of weeks ago, the news say so- but I know they started even before that.” He stopped, dramatically. “Do you recall the brunette woman from the first one?”

Jack paused, his brain engines trying to remember. Then his eyes widened.

“The one with the short hair?”

“Her body was found nearly eight years ago, and it presented the same characteristics. No violence. No sexual abuse. Just dehydrated.”

Jack Black’s jaw dropped. George turned his look away, deeply concerned about the matter. Then something else came to Jack’s mind.

“Do the other ones know? Do you know anything about Danny, John, and the rest?”

Clooney nodded.

“Yeah. He… or she… only takes women. We are safe.”

“For the moment” snapped back Jack. His eyes watered. “George… Melinda is gone.”

There was a long, mourning silence.

“I- I’m sorry, Jack”, said George, saddened. Then he bit his lip. “Who… who’s Melinda? Is she your…”

“She was, I guess. I met here while filming the last spot we were together in. The What more…? one. Tall, blonde, merry little nose… The news haven’t said anything yet, but I’m damn sure she’ll be the next corpse to be found. Dehydrated, like the others.

“But you know what’s the real problem here?” he wiped out the tears from his cheeks and became serious again.

“You tell me, I’m sickly horrified already.”

“That these killings- they shall only appear in little media, and people will soon forget about them. Only the nerds on the Internet are connecting the clues. The Nespresso Killer is what they all talk about. That’s why I’ve come here tonight: to make an end of it… with your help.”

Clooney laughed.

“What? The Batman and the Kung Fu Fat Bear against a serial killer? Are you out of your mind?”

“Not at all. Listen carefully and you’ll understand: no big media is involved. Do you understand what I mean?”

“That the police is maybe covering the killings for people not to freak out?”

“Maybe… or maybe because someone wants to keep their sales as they are.”

George seemed to understand Jack’s theory. Motionless, he asked him to-

“Go on.”

Jack Black stood up, the blanket falling to the ground, and started to walk around the armchairs, a hand behind his back, the other holding the mug.

“This is what we know:

“Through the last eight years, several women have been assassinated. All these women had some things in common. They were all actresses, for instance, and every one of them have been appearing in several commercials alongside one the most successful actors in Hollywood. And you.

“These tends to, and I say, correctly suppose that a Serial Killer – or in this case an Ads Killer – is on the loose. A man or woman who is kidnapping women who have made appearances in one or more Nespresso commercials!” Jack stopped by the fire and looked at George.

“The Nespresso Killer… who is not just killing but dehydrating women. No violence. Just… draining them. But why? Why not me?”

“I’ve got answers for every question in existence which-you-may-not-ask-now-thank-you… But! That one, my friend, eludes me.”

Black sherlocked. Clooney sighed.

“OK. What’s the deal, then?”

“Well – I think that Nespresso is covering the killings.”

“Wait, you mean they murdered all those actresses?”

“No, I mean that they are paying a fortune for their deaths not being an issue in the news. To protect their image. And yours.”

Silence took over the room. Jack and George exchanged gazes.

After a while, George spoke his mind.

“I’m sorry Jack, I really am: but I think you are just crazy talking.”

Jack couldn’t believe the actor.

“What!?”

“I’m sure Melisa walking away has been pretty harsh, and that there are a lot of crazy Internet connections about this serial Nespresso killer- but I really think they are just coincidences.”

“I can’t believe what you are saying…” whispered the actor, heartbroken.

“That’s because, right now, I’m not acting. And truth is harder to swallow than drama. Poor “R” Gere doesn’t even know that the story of that Japanese dog was based upon a real story yet. That would break his handsome, Buddhist heart.”

Jack Black stood there, paralyzed.

“What about-“

“You know nothing about Melinda, Jack. Maybe she’s just out there doing Melinda stuff, and melinding melindingly, waiting for you when you get home. And if she’s not, let the police make his job.

“Here.” George Clooney hugged Jack Black, who was clearly about sob. “Calm down… You know, you can stay here for as long as you may need to, right? In fact, I would be so glad for you to stay with me.”

The comedian freed himself from George’s arms and smiled, gratefully.

“Don’t know man. I’m a bit shaken right now, so I’ll stay tonight for sure. Tomorrow… I think you are right, dude. I’ll go fetch da cops and tell them my theory.”

Clooney smiled back his friend. “Ok, then”, and fetched Jack the blanket laying on the ground. “By the way, I felt you are still quite cold. Here. Have some coffee too. It will make you good.”

“Thanks, George. You are a good friend.”

After covering himself with the blanket again, Jack sipped.

“Hmmm…” He closed his eyes, smiling. “Amazing… What is it?”

“Guess. Try again.”

Jack sipped and consciously savored it. You could almost feel his tongue moving inside his mouth. He then seemed to realize, swallowed and raised an eyebrow. “Nespresso?”

“No. Wrong.”

“What?” Jack sniffed the mug. “Really? Don’t fuck with me, Georgey!”

Mr. Black sipped one more time.

“Nescafé…? Bloomsbury’s? Costa?”

“Wrong, wrong and wrong. Try again. This time use all your senses. Your tongue, your lips, your nose, your… heart…”

Jack looked at his friend, puzzled. Then he approached the mug to his nose, thoroughly smelly the scent of the coffee inside it. There was something familiar in it, but what?

His deep brown eyes opened and froze.

“Melinda…?”

What else…?”

Using a little knife he was hiding in his sleeve, George stabbed Jack thirteen times in the chest, spilling blood all over his body.


Some stabs later, George stopped, heavily gasping, and had a look at Jack’s corpse. The eyes were full of blood and still looking at him.

Such a pity.

He let Jack’s corpse fall on the armchair. Then he sighed and walked away towards the kitchen, each step leaving a track of blood.

In there he approached to a modified coffee machine with several pipes and etiquettes. He then took a wet rag and started cleaning the coffee dispenser.

“I know, Melinda, I know. I really trusted him but- he just knew too much. Besides, I couldn’t let him have you without draining all your virtues, huh? No-one but I could appreciate your aroma.”

When the tap was clean enough, the actor approached a cupboard and got a little cup. Then he put it on the coffee machine and looked closely to the varied flavor selection he had acquired through the years.

“Nevertheless, Melinda my dear, I think I’ll spend a moment or two with Sarah now.” He then started the machine by clicking the button near the “Sarah” label and waited for the coffee to be served.

A misplaced drop made him realize he had blood on his hair. He then looked for a mirror and realized he was a mess: most of the unicorns and rainbows of his wife’s bathrobe were now red.

“He was right,” Clooney smiled. “It was a georgeous bathro- Georgeous? Gorgeo-?”

George noticed the pun and started to laugh.

When the coffee was served, the actor came to get it, still laughing.

“Oh Jack… You son of a bitch.”

He sipped.

THE END.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

De guiones terminados y Errejaldes va la cosa – Camino a Sitges. Toma 02

He aquí la segunda entrada de este diario de producción.

Y ha pasado bastante desde la primero, ¡quién iba a decir que el proceso de llevar algo al Festival de cine sería tan tedioso! Y no tedioso porque amargue, tedioso porque no deja amargar.

Veréis, desde la última entrada en la que relaté cómo VisionFES decidió centrarse en la producción de cortometrajes, han pasado muchas cosas: se ha acabado de escribir el guión, cambiado la fecha de estreno, detallado la producción… y de mientras se han desarrollado un par de cortometrajes o tres de forma intermedia y acabado de filmar un spot para cines y redes.

Vamos por partes.

En primer lugar, el PROYECTO BRUXAS ya está guionizado y bautizado. Su título KHAERAWÜD, que en una lengua distante y arcana, Gaezani’tan (La lengua del llano) significa El bosque oscuro. The Dark Forest, en inglés. Que queda más cool.

Los diálogos del guión están siendo desarrollados en Gaezani’tan y Khani’tan, las dos lenguas habladas en el reino. Lo creáis o no, desarrollar la fonética, gramática y vocabulario de una lengua es mucho más divertido. Mi trinchera, por eso, es mi habitación, despacho y cafetería particular.

Durante la primera fase del proyecto, como siempre de mano de, y al lado de todos mis compañeros y equipo, me acompañará codo con codo la ilustradora Aisha Ullah (aquí podéis ver su blog). Nos encargaremos de relatar un prólogo que funcionará como Teaser Trailer del proyecto para más adelante encontrar financiación. Ahora, buscamos estrenarlo en Sitges 2017.

Como explicaba, se ha desarrollado un presupuesto inicial para el cortometraje que excede las expectativas. Conscientes de que no podremos filmarlo en tiempo (el dinero no crece en los árboles, se ve), dedicaremos los próximos meses a rodar pequeños cortometrajes – algunos infinítamente más chulos que otros. Todos geniales al final.

De mientras, esta semana terminé un rodaje largamente postpuesto:

El spot para la ONG STOP Accidentes llega a su fin con el rodaje de las últimas escenas con la colaboración del galardonado actor vitoriano Karra Elejalde (Ocho apellidos vascos, Tambén la lluvia… para mí siempre será Mortadelo).

Fue un rodaje muy breve, y se comportó de manera muy profesional teniendo en cuenta que no andaba muy bien de salud. Nos reímos, me alagó, comparó mi estatura con la de Clara Lago (eres una claralaguita, me dijo) y se marchó deseándonos a todos lo mejor a su manera.

El spot se podrá ver pronto en los Cinesa a nivel nacional – aquí la ficha del corto en nuestra web. Es un gran paso para mí, profesionalmente… y he de decir que hacía tiempo que no me sentía tan bien de manera personal.

Un saludo, prometo no tardar tanto en escribir la próxima vez.

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Las historias que realmente importan

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.


Frodo: No puedo hacer esto, Sam.

Sam: Lo sé. Ha sido un error. No deberíamos ni haber llegado hasta aquí.
Pero henos aquí. Igual que en las grandes historias ,Sr. Frodo. Las que realmente importan.
Llenas de oscuridad y de constantes peligros. Esas de las que no quieres saber el final, porque ¿cómo van a acabar bien? ¿Cómo volverá el mundo a ser lo que era después de tanta maldad como ha sufrido?

Pero al final todo es pasajero, como esta sombra. Incluso la oscuridad se acaba para dar el paso a un nuevo día. Y cuando el sol brilla, brilla más radiante aún. Esas son las historias que llenan el corazón, porque tienen mucho sentido, aún cuando eres demasiado pequeño para entenderlas. Pero creo, Sr. Frodo, que ya lo entiendo. Ahora lo entiendo. Los protagonistas de esas historias se rendirían si quisieran, pero no lo hacen. Siguen adelante. Porque todos luchan por algo.

Frodo: ¿Por qué luchas tú ahora, Sam?

Sam: Para que el bien reine en este mundo, Sr. Frodo. Se puede luchar por eso.

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Samwise Gamgee, from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Samsagaz Gamyi, de El Señor de los Anillos: Las dos torres (2002)

Camino a Sitges. Toma 01 – Diario de producción: primera entrada

Por lo que sé, soy un fanático de las historias desde más allá de lo que mis recuerdos alcanzan.

Antes de que mi madre se sentara a mi lado para que aprendiera a leer con los libros de El barco de vapor, mi padre me relataba historias de salamandras vaqueras que vivían aventuras en el lejano oeste y mi hermano me detallaba con emoción todas los cuentos y leyendas de la Tierra Media que acababa de leer. Todas estas historias después se las explicaba a mis amiguitos del cole, quienes (la mayor parte del tiempo) las escuchaban ávidamente.

Claro, una vez pude tener un libro en mis manos me puse a leer a la par que empecé a devorar películas y series. Nada más entrar en secundaria, decidí que mi camino en la vida sería contar historias, de todo tipo: el placer de hacer soñar, sentir y aprender a través de la narrativa es mi droga.

Esta droga la he compartido con mi hermano, Ezequiel (Eze (Tete (Dr. Gordo))) durante muchos años. En cuanto conocemos una historia (o partes de La Historia) que no conocemos, corremos a contárnoslas. Y, de vez en cuando, nos contamos historias de nuestra propia invención. Así fue cómo nació este proyecto, hará casi dos o tres años.

La historia que avanza camino a Sitges.

Hace ya mucho que pretendía que esta historia fuera a Sitges. Pero siempre pasa algo – ahora mismo Vision Factory se retrasa por el rodaje de un spot para cines y el programa Exploradores 3.0 que podéis ver en las FNAC de Barcelona -, y siempre se deja de lado.

Cuando mi hermano y yo retomamos el trabajo en esta historia – a la que llamaremos de aquí en adelante el Proyecto Bruxas, moví a todo mi equipo para ponernos manos a la obra a la par que empezamos a re-imaginar, crear, re-redactar todo aquello que diera una base firme a este proyecto. Pero shit tends to happen.

Hasta el viernes por la noche.

El viernes por la noche, el cineasta Dani Portillo, que ha sido mi director de foto en varios proyectos y me ha dirigido como actor en su último corto, me soltó aquello que necesitaba que me soltaran: nos juntamos para hacer cine, para hacer cortos, y al final nada de nada. Aquella frase, el apoyo de los presentes, algo de alcohol, y un ominoso discurso acerca del destino que no es destino pero que, ey, coño, se ha de aprovechar hicieron que hoy empezara este diario de rodaje.

Porque hoy he comenzado a escribir el borrador.

Un borrador que aún está lejos de ser definitivo, pero que gracias al impulso y el trabajo de todos será la primera baldosa del camino a Sitges.