Turning Blue Chapter Four: Johnny Raw and the Girl from Ohio (Pt. 2)

Turning Blue Book Cover

Chapter Four: Johnny Raw and the Girl from Ohio

“Okay.” The producer wanted to get things moving before there were any more sudden retirements. “Maria, Howard, let’s get Kimberly into makeup at once. Johnny, get ready. We’re going to shoot the scene right away.”

Notwithstanding the instructions they had all just received, Howard first took Kimberly to the production office to make sure that her paperwork was correct. He would be condemned to hell until it did freeze over if there was a problem with her test, or if she did not have identification documents to prove that she was of sufficient maturity to consent to her own appearance in an X-rated movie. Johnny needed a minute to himself in the bathroom, about which everyone frowned and examined their fingertips and felt the less said the better.

Maria was still recovering from the emotional experience of listening to Johnny’s heartfelt confessions. “Travis, is it true that Gloria doesn’t know that Johnny is doing hardcore?”

“Forget about it,” Beppo dismissed her concerns, “Gloria dropped him off here this morning.”

“He said he told her he was the stage manager here,” Maria explained.

“Maybe that’s why he didn’t bring any wardrobe,” Travis figured.

“He doesn’t have any wardrobe,” Beppo pointed out, “He’s wearing his entire wardrobe.”

“That’s why Tiffany didn’t want to work with him,” commented Maria, “No iron.”

“No iron,” Beppo repeated gravely, “But let’s hope that Johnny Raw still has an iron dick, or we’re all going down the drain.”

Johnny was doing his utmost to make up for the problems that he had caused, by thickly laying on the charm with Kimberly. He had cornered her in the hallway outside the makeup room, and with a tenderness that seemed absolutely sincere, he was flattering her in a way that she had only ever heard in movies and soap operas. “And may I say again that you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in this business…I can’t believe I’m going to be doing the scene with someone as beautiful as you….”

“You’re not so bad yourself,” she tittered, as if they were high school lovers.

“You have no idea what joy it gives me to hear you say that. For me, to be not bad is for you to be like beyond wonderful. You know what I mean? You are beyond wonderful, I’m not saying that you’re not… Boy, I’m so excited to be doing this…Before, I was, oh well, I’ll go to work, do my scene, but now, I’m like…wow, I get to do a scene with such a beautiful, such a wonderful, such a nice girl as yourself… What did you say your name was again?” Always the jester, he could not resist the punchline, which was too subtle for her sense of humor, and he tried to backpedal when he saw her hurt reaction. “Oh, no, I’m sorry…I didn’t mean that…It’s just a joke…Kimberly, Kimberly…A joke….”

Once she understood that it was a joke, Kimberly laughed delicately, and slapped at him with a loose wrist.

Travis, Beppo, and Howard watched them with satisfaction from the other end of the hallway.

Turning Blue • 73

“They’re getting on great.” Howard remarked proudly, as if it were all his accomplishment.

“She never saw anything like him before in Ohio,” Beppo observed.

They began with a dramatic scene: it was a piece of dialog taking place under a streetlight, on the alleyway set, in which Johnny played a convict, just released from a long prison sentence. Kimberly was his long-lost love, reunited with him after years of waiting. Johnny delivered an extended, heart-rending speech about how he had never stopped thinking about her for all that time behind bars. Travis trimmed the dialog for Kimberly, so that most of her screen time was reaction shots to his monologue. Maria had done a magical transformation of her face, practically in the time it took to effect magic.

The crew members–who were not easily impressed–were riveted by Johnny’s acting. Everyone considered how regrettable it was that he had not pursued a course in mainstream theatrical cinema.

As Johnny ended his speech, the performers, swept up in the emotion of the moment, embraced and kissed, and Travis wisely decided not to cut, and motioned to Jack with a circular movement of his wrist to keep rolling the camera. They let the love scene evolve naturally. The cinematographer nimbly released the catch to take the camera off the tripod, and went handheld without missing a beat. Tommy, who had been revolving a small lighting unit to simulate the headlights of passing traffic, crept in closer to the couple so that he could illuminate the close details of the hardcore.

Johnny was a consummate professional, guiding the newcomer through the positions and making sure that they were open to camera for the explicit shots, and covered up for the softcore. She was no virgin, but she did not have a lot of sexual experience, or a body of work before the cameras, and she had not learnt to play to the lens. Johnny gently held her hair back off her face. He repeated the insertion shots, so that Jack could cover them from a closer angle. He supported her with his hand beneath her buttocks or in the small of her back. He whispered
gentle directions in her ear. Once in a while, he improvised a line about being in prison, and how he had always dreamed about her, which threw off Kimberly a little, considering they had just met, and she was not as fully absorbed in her character as a method actor like Johnny Raw.

When they had shot about forty minutes of footage, Jack asked for direction. “What do you say, Travis? Are we ready?”

“Any time he’s ready, Jack,” answered the director.

Jack stopped rolling. “Johnny, are you going to give us a countdown?”

“A countdown…?” Johnny paused, covered in perspiration. “What am I—a rocket ship? I feel like I’ve had a rocket shit…did I say shit…I mean ship…a rocket ship up my ass….” He looked down
at Kimberly, her legs wrapped around his hips. “Oh, was that your finger…?” She giggled uncertainly. He stared off the set into the darkness where he perceived the director at the glowing monitor. “Yes, sir, I will give you a countdown.”

“How are you going to do it, Johnny?” inquired Jack.

“It usually squirts out this little hole in the head,” Johnny said, dead-pan.

Beppo had a request. “See if she’ll do the face, Travis.”

“Face, okay?’ asked Travis.

Kimberly was nothing if not cooperative. “Mmm-hmm. Not in my eyes, okay?”

“Don’t worry,” Johnny said, starting to pick up his rhythm again, “I’ll keep it out of your eyes. I’m aiming at the crew.” He glanced up at the cameraman. “Jack, you’d better duck.”

Alarmed, Jack took a step back, beyond the range of any emission, and rolling again, he zoomed in a little closer on the lens. He was not sure if Johnny was joking or not, but, knowing Johnny, he was not going to take any chances of getting sprayed. Although it was a spectacular cinematic shot, it was not a pleasant task to clean ejaculate off the camera.

“Let’s go, Johnny,” directed Travis.

Johnny began thrusting harder, violently, with loud, guttural moans, increasing in volume as he rocked back and forth faster and faster. He held onto her pale shoulders, squeezing tightly, hurting her judging from the white marks on her body, although Kimberly was gasping and squealing with desire. Sweat pouring off him, Johnny rammed her with a frenzy.

“Okay,” he panted, “Here we go….huhhh…huhh…ten seconds… 9…8…7…6, 3, 2, one…”

“He’s going to blow,” signaled Beppo, like a sailor on lookout in the crow’s nest of a whaling ship.

From past experience, Travis knew that the catharsis of release was too much for the angst-riddled performer. That eruption of energy spilled out in all directions. Travis warned the production assistants to stand by to assist. “Watch what happens to him afterwards… Let’s get Howard in here…”

“AAAAAAAAGH! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK! AAAAAAGH! FUCK!” Johnny Raw exploded. “How was that…Did you get that…Ah, fuck!” He fell forward onto his fists, dripping with sweat, and breathing heavily, then he raised up again abruptly and squinted at the crew. “Jack, there
you are…not quite sure if I’m going to aim at him or not…suddenly he’s on a reality show…bullets flying…did you keep your head down…?”

Jack artistically panned up to the streetlamp in the alleyway, put down the camera without waiting for direction from Travis, and made sure he was out of harm’s way.

Howard approached the couple with some towels and two production assistants, who seemed terrified. “Johnny…Johnny…Come on….”

“Moving along…” Travis said, nodding to Tommy to turn on the house lights.

Johnny staggered about the set naked, trying to catch his breath. “Do you mind? Let me get my pants on.” The production assistants tried to corral him on either side, spreading the towels open like matadors holding off a bull with red capes in a bullring. “You want me hobbling out there with my pants around my ankles like the elephant boy or something…oh, here comes Johnny Raw, elephant boy… would that be a sight…balls trailing across the carpet….”

“You okay, Kimberly?” asked Travis, as she wiped her face, and slipped quickly back into her clothes in a belated attempt at modesty.

“She was incredible,” bragged Johnny, “What do you mean okay? Hey, I’m the one who just had an orgasm…Are you okay, Kimberly…? Was I gentle enough? I can’t believe that I was supposed to do Tiffany West, and I end up with someone like you…. Is this my lucky day, or

It was dark outside now. There was the sound of a train going by in the distance. Office workers from the nearby buildings had gone home for the night, and the parking lot was deserted except
for the cars of people involved in the production. An old tan BMW with a few dents in it drove through the gates. Tommy had a few minutes to relax after the sex scene, while the production assistants were cleaning up the set, and Maria was cleaning up Kimberly. He sat on the liftgate of the truck with a cigarette and watched the BMW circle the parking lot twice and drive up to the sound stage.

The driver of the car rolled down the window. She was a brunette, around forty, so thin that she looked brittle. She had been a successful model in her youth, but time had not been kind to her, and her face was weathered and lined.

“Hi…I’m Gloria,” she addressed Tommy in a husky voice, “I’m looking for Phil…uh…Johnny Raw?”

“Yeah…uh…it’s a closed set…I’ll see if he’s here….” Tommy wished that someone else had that responsibility.

“I know he’s here,” Gloria said firmly.

Johnny Raw was officially wrapped, waiting in the green room, and all that remained was for Travis to come into the production office to write him his check. Under normal circumstances, the cast members were not paid until all their shooting was complete, but Howard had persuaded Travis that Johnny was in such desperate straits that he might starve and perish before the next morning if he did not receive an advance. The producer signed it, and handed it to Howard to give to the impoverished artiste.

“Let’s get Johnny out of here,” instructed the producer, “He’s done.”

“He’s waiting for Kimberly,” Howard informed him.

Travis did not like the sound of the news. “Oh, it’s a dating service that we’re running?”

“She needs a ride,” Howard explained.

“He doesn’t have a car,” Travis said, “His girlfriend is picking him up…”

Tommy knocked on the door, and entered the office. “Uh…we got company…Johnny Raw…female…Gloria….”

“Hell, I don’t want her in the studio,” Travis stood up, “He’s supposed to be the stage manager.”

Tommy was confused. “What, Johnny Raw as stage manager? I mean, I know he’s a great actor and all, but I don’t see him pulling off that role.”

Johnny shared Travis’ concerns about allowing Gloria to set foot on the premises, and as soon as he heard she was outside, he galloped down the hallway, and dived into the BMW. They began to make out like teenage lovers who had not seen each other for at least a day, a passion made even more poignant by the fact that forty minutes before, Johnny had been in the throes of orgasm with Kimberly.

Kimberly was still needed for shooting–she had one additional, short piece of dialogue to complete, and then the company would be wrapped. The piece of dialogue was actually a lot shorter now than it had originally been conceived, since Travis had cut, not some of the lines, but some of the pages, in his unselfish consideration of making it easier for the performer. It took about nine takes before Kimberly could deliver a version that was acceptable to the meticulous director, so by the time her acting was over, Johnny and Gloria, outside in the car, were no longer in the middle of making out and were already in the middle of an argument. They were still waiting for Kimberly, however, and Howard could not get rid of them until she was finished. She came to the production office to sign her model release.

“What’s your screen name?” Howard wanted to make sure he had it correct.

“It’s Kimberly Kreeme,” she explained, “I spell that K-R-E-E-M-E.”

“How do you spell Kimberly?”

“Like all the Kimberlys.”

“That will be easy,” Howard said.

She had already changed her nom de porn more than once. “I used to be Kimberly Kore, but then I didn’t like how it sounded.”

Travis had her check in his hand, made out in her real name, which was Doris Tuckle. She was very pleased to receive it, because now she could pay her rent at the furnished apartment, which was already late. The producer gave her the check and a hug.

“You did great, sweetheart,” Travis praised.

“She’s a trooper,” Howard agreed, even though in all the activity, he regretted that he had not had the opportunity to solicit oral sex from her.

“You ready?” Johnny Raw was in the doorway of the office, his hands hanging off the lintel.

“Sure,” chirped Kimberly, “Let’s go.”

Travis did not disguise his suspicion or disapproval. “She’s going with you, Johnny?”

“Yeah…We’re going to go back to the house…I can’t…I’m sorry…Gloria’s in the car…She thinks I worked…I told her I didn’t work, I’ve been building sets all day…I just want some…Kimberly…
in the house for an hour…to help stabilize things…I can just tell that this girl…she calms me down…she’s a great girl…she’ll calm Gloria down too…just to stabilize things…” He pointed a finger at Howard. “And, thanks, Howard…well, see you tomorrow…” He glanced at Kimberly. “So, you’re ready?”

“You going to look after this girl, Johnny?” Travis demanded sharply.

“Hey,” Kimberly laughed, “I can look after myself. Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”

“I’m just giving her a ride, Travis,” Johnny protested his innocence, “What am I going to do? Stick her down my pants and walk through airport security? She’s already drained my penis…” He caught himself in mid-sentence, lowered his voice and put a finger to his lips. “Shh…mustn’t…stage manager…enough…So, thank you very much….” He gave a broad smile. “And, don’t eat the licorice.” Arm in arm, the two performers walked away down the hallway, with Johnny rattling off a string of bathroom jokes and Kimberly giggling.

Without looking up from filing paperwork, Howard said quietly, “They’re not your responsibility, Travis. They’re off the clock. They can do what they like.”

“I’m sure they will,” Travis responded, in the same hushed tones.

When Howard arrived at the sound stage the next morning, the first person he saw, who was waiting for the doors to be unlocked, was Traci, safely returned from her voyage to Catalina island, so he already felt that it was going to be an easy day. She was also supposed to do a scene with Johnny Raw, but Traci had never once complained about a partner. His initial feelings turned sour, however, when the Duchess, who only seemed to show up in a crisis, and who made no secret of the fact that she thought Howard was an idiot, pulled into the parking lot in her Shit Girls SUV.

She sat down with Travis in the production office, and asked Howard to close the door, although it concerned him that she did not ask him to leave. “I’m pleased I got to you first with the news, but it’s not good news,” she began.

“Hell,” Howard said, but Travis withheld his reaction until he heard what she was going to say.

“I was over at Billy Dallas when it broke, so it will all spread like wildfire. You’d better be ready.” She paused for the dramatic effect so they could prepare themselves. “You know, that girl, Kimberly…?”

“We used her yesterday,” Howard confirmed.

“Yes. Kimberly Kreeme.”

“Underage?” Travis had a moment of panic. “Howard, burn the content….”

Howard shook his head, and reached for the stack of papers on his desk. “No. I triple checked her documents. We have copies. She was legal.”

“Well,” said the Duchess, “Now, she’s dead.”

“Dead?” Howard was shocked. “She was alive yesterday.”

“But not tomorrow,” the Duchess said darkly.

“What the hell happened?” Travis was stunned.

“Nobody really knows. The details are hazy, to say the least.”

Howard tried to argue against the facts of reality. “She left here last night around ten p.m. with Johnny Raw.”

“And Gloria,” added Travis.

“Right. They went back to Gloria’s place, and all three of them must have begun experimenting…They can’t remember exactly what happened, but at some point supposedly Gloria and Johnny left…to the store for Huggies or vodka…and when they came back, Kimberly
had hanged herself….”

“They get into some pretty weird bondage with strangulation and ropes and breath play,” Howard considered.

“Well, the prevailing theory seems to be that it was suicide. Probably with a lot of drugs to inspire her.”

Travis could not help feeling responsible. “Drugs and pornography.”

“Drugs, Lazar,” the Duchess emphasized.

“I’m not saying that pornography is evil and that it can lead to anything more severe than acne, but just that the pressure of being in a movie is probably not the best thing for someone who is inclining to go off the ledge.”

Howard was worried that if the blame went around some of it was bound to land on his shoulders for booking her, but, in all honesty, he did not believe that any of them had been at fault. “She’s been sitting on the couch at Billy Dallas’ for two weeks, waiting for this opportunity. It’s not like we dragged her into it. She was so happy when she got the part.”

“Come on, Howard. We put her together with Johnny Raw. On my set. She would never have met him.”

The Duchess said softly, “I think that Johnny Raw bears a lot more responsibility in this than you do, Travis. Whatever he did–him and Gloria–after they left here, that’s what did it.”

“So, the cops came and everything?” Howard checked.

“Gloria called the cops. No-one thinks that Johnny or Gloria wanted this.”

“This girl was from a very conservative background,” Travis said sadly, “She had to be very mixed up inside.”

There was a knock at the door, and since the news had already been divulged, they all shouted come in at the same time. It was Jack. “I heard we got another dead porn star.”

“Kimberly Kreeme,” Howard confirmed.

“Where did you hear it?” asked Travis.

“It’s all over the grapevine now,” Jack shrugged.

The Duchess said, “You know, Travis, this business attracts all sorts of people. Some make a career out of it. There are some for whom adult entertainment is glamorous and exciting, and some for whom, it is the last stop on a long way down.”

“Spare me,” Howard scoffed, “You can work at the post office and lose it.”

They heard the shuffle of footsteps in the hallway. Beppo the Bear, who was oblivious to the latest developments, ambled into the office.

“You hear what happened?” Travis had to make sure he was up to speed.

“Kimberly Kreeme died last night,” the Duchess announced, as was her chosen mission.

The executive producer, considering the artistic integrity of the movie, said the first thing that came to his mind. “Was she wrapped?”

“Yes,” said the director, “We shot her last scene last night.”

“She’s out of the picture,” Jack nodded. “One way or another.”

“How does this effect sales?” pondered the Duchess, “Are people going to be able to watch this poor girl have sex knowing that she killed herself? Are you still going to release the movie?”

Everyone stared at her blankly. The scene had actually become more valuable, because the late performer would never shoot another one. There was no way that Beppo and his partners were going to squander thousands of dollars with no thought of recouping, and Travis was in for a back end deal on this production. They also realized that she would not have had the opportunity to bank her check, so one positive note in the tragedy was that the free scene would make up for all the overtime. Jack was comforted that her final appearance had been of the highest professional caliber, and Howard understood that there were connoisseurs among the viewing public who would be inspired by the fact that the girl they were watching had expired in the line of duty.

The Duchess felt foolish for even asking, but fortunately, the uncomfortable funereal silence that descended in the office was broken by the entrance of Traci, who had an important question.

“Uh…excuse me, can somebody please tell me exactly who am I supposed to be having sex with today?”

See more from Stuart Canterbury‘s Turning Blue here

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