03/17/2013 - 4:39pm
What Happens When Monsters Fall Out of Love
by Robert Lee Frazier

"Jovian Thermal Incline" by David Senecal

The moon shone full into the window of stuntman Roger Tully’s movie set trailer. Roger steeped out of the small bathroom and directly into a pile of empty beer bottles. They clattered and then rolled across the floor. “Crap.” He smacking his lips together, wishing he had some water to drink, suspecting tomorrow’s hangover would be painful. Roger, reaching up to pull the blind closed mumbled, “Three months stuck in this hick Texas town, and we’re still not done shooting this movie.”

Roger, better known these last few years as, the man in the King Reptilia suit, glanced out the window. Across the lonesome little trailer park on the outskirts of Johnsonville, the crew lived in, was a row of trees and tall grass. Standing there motionless, an exact replica of the foam and polyurethane suit he came to loath.

“Hey?” Roger squinted for a better look as a cloud passed in front of the moon, and the trailer park plunged into darkness. “Oh man.” Roger grabbed the cord, and slowly lowered the bind.


“What the heck is taking that man so long?” Lou Resneck shouted as he chewed his cigar. Lou ran his fingers through his balding head of hair, and paced in front of the movie set.

“He’s coming sweetie,” his wife Rosa called out from behind a camera. As the co-director and producer she liked to double-check everything before the shoot began.

It was Lou and Rosa’s dream to create a monster movie series that would finally take care of them into their quickly approaching old age. Creating King Reptilia was their meal ticket. Now on their eighth film, titled King Reptilia vs. The Radiation Zombies, Rosa could finally breathe easy. Rosa considered coming back to Johnsonville a personal triumph. Nearly forty years to the day she spotted something monstrous moving through the swamp, but after telling her parents they didn’t believe her. King Reptilia had been her revenge.

Roger appeared at the side of the set, stiff with freshly applied polyurethane and spray paint to give his monster suit skin a sweaty sheen. Roger felt almost sea-sick as the two cups of coffee, and one sports drink he consumed, to aid in his more frequent bouts with the morning hang-over, rolled around inside his stomach.

The set was a semicircle of man-made hills, but the foreground area is flat dirt arena. Where, a newly shrunken King Reptilia, trapped in the last film, King Reptilia vs. MechaReptilia, by the U.S. Government and shrunk down with their super-secret nuclear Fission shrink ray, his new seven-foot tall frame was ideal for fighting radiated mutants in the current flick. In the movie world King Reptilia remained bullet, laser, and fire-proof, Roger however, was taking a beating. He crawled through the motions of the fight scenes in the grueling Texas sun.

“Cut! Why are you moving so slow Roger, are you hung-over again?” Lou screamed from his director’s chair.

Roger stood still; sweat ran down his face, his head pounding in the heat. He thought to himself, I need a drink.

Later that same afternoon, a Wardrobe assistant named Janet helped Roger drink water through a straw while keeping the headgear on. As Roger tilted his head back, he spotted it again. Standing silhouetted against one of the trailers, a near perfect copy of the very same monster suit he was wearing.

“Did you see that?”

“See what?”

“Someone is standing over there in a king Reptilia costume.”

“Oh,” The assistant answered without looking up, “Probably a fan.”


“You know – one of those fan boys, some pimply teenager in love with the King.”

A surge of relief filled Rogers mind, Fan-boy, sure that made sense.

“Or,” Janet continued. “Lou’s trying out a new stuntman to take your job.”


Night time and the heat of the Texas spring season had finally slacked. Lou Resneck, soap and bath towel in hand, strolled toward the communal showers. Lou chewed his cigar, and again debated a problem he had been struggling with since shooting began, Roger Tully’s drinking habit.

The dusky light made strange shapes come alive in the saw-grass, of which Lou was oblivious. He talked to himself as he walked, “It’s not like it wasn’t a good run. He’s made it past the old mark of series films with the same actor. That’s something.” Lou walked closer to the edge of the trailer park. Suddenly, he saw from the corner of his eye, King Reptilia standing in the swampy grass.

Lou started back and squeaked out, “Roger, What are you doing? Are you on the sauce already?”

Lou looked deep into the onyx eyes and blinked, “You know, you’ve had a great run as the King?”

There came a low throaty rumble.

“There’s no shame. I mean, think of the retakes?”

The rumbling grew louder.

“Okay, we’re all professionals. I’m going to give it to you straight. I need a younger – faster guy in that costume. Someone with some guts – someone who will take chances!”

King Reptilia stepped forward and bellowed out a great challenge.

“Not bad. But listen, I’ve got half a dozen guys who are tough.” A reptilian arm rose up. In it clawed hand was clutched a pair of rabbits. Their throats chewed open and dangling. Lou looked up surprised. An odd expression painted his face. He slowly removed the cigar from his mouth, and then he did something he hadn’t done in years.

He smiled.

Shaking his head slowly he said, “Kid, I didn’t know you still had it in you? You lay off the sauce, and keep up with the fight scenes, and the job is still yours.”

The great reptilian head turned catching the dying light in its bulbous eyes, and it let out another throaty growl. Lou nodded while putting his cigar back into his mouth. They both turned from each other, and walked away.


Roger trudged home mumbling, “Replaced by a younger man. Who do those Resnecks think they are?” He pulled the gloves with the new Titanium claws off his hands. “I’ve been King Reptilia for every single film – never even missed a day’s work.”

Roger halted a few steps from his trailer. The sun had set, the light from the bulb above his trailer door was on and it cast a strange glow. On the ground, in front of his trailer door lay an odd-looking pile. He slowly stepped over and stared down. Stretched out with their throats ripped open, was a pair of dead rabbits.

Is this some kind of sign? Roger thought, as he contemplated the sightings of the other King Reptilia. Roger screamed out in frustration and kicked the animal carcasses out of his way. He then pulled open the door, but before he stepped inside he turned and yelled, “I’m not going to quit!”

Roger slammed the door behind him, but instead of his usual habit of drinking until he passed-out; he flopped down on his bed out of exhaustion, and soon fell into a deep sleep.

Outside a single figure crept along the tree line, and stopped. It’s highly evolved eyes spotted the rabbits it left as a gift on the doorstep of the big male, forsaken, still laid on the ground. Spurned, and rejected the great Reptilian let out a cry of pain and anguish. As the eyes of the ancient monster misted over one terrible thought entered its old head – revenge.


Early the next morning, dressed in the King Reptilia suit, Roger was in fine form. He destroyed an improvised road block, deflected rubber bullets, and killed or maimed a pack of mutants, all before he had his morning coffee break.

Lou flinched as Rosa hissed into his ear, “We’re going to make it.”

Lou nodded in agreement; he knew they were scheduled to finish shooting by tomorrow night. A sense of relief spread through him. One more sequence, he thought, and I can cut the extras loose by lunch. I’ll save a day and half’s wages.

Twenty five minutes later Lou shouted, “Cut! That’s a rap folks.” Everyone, including the extras shouted with excitement.

Roger leaned against a fake wire and Styrofoam wall and smiled to himself under his mask. Thoughts of a much-needed vacation, followed by a promotional tour with events in air-conditioned hotels, danced in his head. But before one camera could be packed up, before one set piece was pulled down, and before one zombie received a shorted paycheck, a scream erupted from across the set. A near perfect copy of King Reptilia stood up in the saw-grass. The production company stood stunned. Only Lou Resneck had the presence of mind to growl, “Roll cameras – action!”

Rosa looked over at him surprised, and asked, “sweet-heart?”

Lou shrugged and whispered, “The next film slatted for the series is King Reptilia Must Die! He has to fight some of his own kind to remain king. If we can get a few of the fight scenes shot now. We will be way ahead of schedule.”

The monster bellowed with rage, and began walking across the wasteland set, its claws extended, ready for a fight. Roger glanced over at Lou, and Rosa, and watched as they nodded back approvingly.

“So, it’s to be like that, is it,” Roger asked himself bitterly. “Well if it’s a battle they want, then they are going to get something spectacular.”

He worked the 30 pounds of pressure per square inch metal jaws in his mask, and clashed the titanium claws together. They sparked, and the quick clashing action made the metal sing.

As the two monsters closed on each other all three cameras swung into focus, one on each monster, and one on the middle of the set. Roger thought this will be a fight to the death. I’ll show them, I’m still the king.


Robert Lee Frazier lives in Hagerstown Maryland where he works hard at keeping his published author alter-ego a secret. However, you can follow his authorial trials, and tribulations at www.robertleefrazier.com


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