In conjunction with the release of my new mini-collection, GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC VOLUME 0: BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE, I’ll be doing a Casting Call for the (cough) inevitable (cough) GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC movie over the next few days. You can get the Kindle edition of BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE for 99 cents over at Amazon. (The paperback will be out shortly.)
HISTORY: Little has been revealed about the origins of Bellingham, but what is known is that he’s a nearly immortal time-traveling British secret agent from some point in the future beyond the 44th century. Smooth, suave, and rarely given to losing his cool, Bells meets Jill and Hanna in 1866, on their fateful train ride west from Kansas City. When Jill dies during the train crash, it’s Bellingham who brings Hanna into his quest for the Universe Cutter, a weapon that can bring the dead back to life, make them immortal, and allow them to travel backwards through time.
In “Appetite for Appeasement,” it is revealed that Bellingham’s home base is the Queen of England’s space station in Earth orbit in the 44th century, where he is assisted by Miss Tennyson Feathers and a man known only as the Apothecary.
PERSONALITY: Given to excessive flirting and giving off a vibe that says all of life is his playground, Bellingham is all business when it counts. He generally insists on carrying only era-specific artifacts with him when he travels to the past. The one exception is a specially built, technologically advanced watch that can open nearly any lock and start nearly every motor. And yes, for those who will wonder if it’s intentional after reading “Appetite,” Bells is largely the answer to the question: “What would it be like if James Bond had a TARDIS?”
CASTING:If time travel were possible, there’s only one real choice to play Bellingham and that’s a young Roger Moore. Long-time Anxiety readers who were around for the James Bond reviews know I hold Moore in high regard.
BELLINGHAM EXCERPT #1 (from “Blood of the Universe”): The man in the maroon duster heard everything the Havertons said, and as soon as they’d cleared the room he was on his feet. He looked without interest at the pieces of his face on the floor, but grunted in pain, feeling two bullets shifting inside of him. Bellingham went first to the brunette, fearing the worst and finding twice his fears. Her name was Jill. She wore jeans, a white blouse, and a black vest, all of it covered in her own blood. Blood was easily replaced, but the crash had snapped Jill’s neck, and snapped necks were complicated.
He would need help.
Bellingham turned to his left and called for Jill’s friend, Hanna, but when he opened his mouth to talk a large slab of melting flesh slopped off his face and fell to the roof-turned-floor. “That’s disgusting,” he thought with what would have been a smile.
From ten feet away, the Korean-American woman groaned and pushed herself to her feet. Flames were everywhere in the caboose and all of their clothes were smoldering. The Korean wore leather pants and a brown duster and both felt impossibly warm to her skin. As she moved numbly towards Bellingham and Jill, she knew that the woman she loved hadn’t survived and the man she’d shot twice had.
What the hell had happened to this world?
Kneeling in the fire, Haneul gently placed a hand behind Jill’s head, and Bellingham knelt down beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
Hanna swiped it aside, staring hard into the melted face and boiled eye of the Haverton Special Agent. “You should be dead!” she roared. “I killed you!” She started punching the Englishman wildly.
Bellingham grabbed her by the throat and squeezed until she stopped, and then pointed to the dead Haverton. He opened his mouth to talk but he didn’t have enough lips left to form words, so he reached for his own gun, pointed to it, and then to the dead Haverton.
Looking at him dumbly, Hanna wailed that it didn’t matter, that nothing mattered, that-
Bellingham slapped her in the face, and then pointed back to the dead Haverton. Standing up just to reach back down, Bellingham carefully picked Jill’s body off the floor and walked up the incline towards the exit door, leaving Hanna kneeling in fire and tears.
Nithers handed him a grenade.
Bells blinked. “A grenade?” he asked, dumbfounded. “My dear boy, have you not seen the collection of automobiles collected in this garage? There are multiple Bentleys, Austins, Aston Martins … I am rather positive I saw a Squire.”
“Yes, sir,” Nithers said, still holding out the grenade.
“They only made seven Squires.”
“Time is of the essence, sir,” Nithers insisted, the grenade still in his hand.
Bellingham stared at the shorter man and shook his head. “You are killing a part of Britain if you throw that grenade.”
“I’d rather kill a part of Britain today than see the whole of it fall to the Master Race tomorrow.”
Bellingham shook his head. “You are far too sensible,” he admonished. “Throw the grenade into the middle-right of the garage and then step back. I’ll advance first and advance on the position of the men shooting at us. You come in next and concentrate on the right.”
“What is our destination, sir?”
“A fast car you don’t destroy.”
“I’ll do my best, sir.”
Nithers pulled the pin and tossed it around the door frame. Someone yelled, “Grenade!” just as the ordinance exploded. Bellingham instantly moved into the room, his trusted Webley out and firing. He hit two vamps square in the head, but missed a third as his eyes scanned the room for an available car. He noted instantly that Baclav and Roma had taken the Bentley, and that Nithers had damaged the Squire.
“What have we here?” Bellingham mused, noting a beautiful, black 4-seater tucked away in the corner. From his left, a vampire screamed as he ran at him, but Bellingham didn’t even look at the vamp as he reached into his jacket to remove a silver stake, which he then hurled at his charging foe, striking him in the neck and dropping him to the floor. “A 1937, I believe,” he said admiringly of the open-topped Aston Martin. “You will do nicely.” Tapping his watch, Bellingham opened the door and fired the car, then pulled out.
Nithers was pinned down by two vampires who were firing tommy guns at the Austin he hid behind.
“Sorry, old girl,” Bells apologized to the Aston as he slammed the car into the vamps, knocking one of them forward and trapping the other one under the car. Nithers fired his anachronistic Beretta at two vampires behind the Aston and hopped into the back seat.
“Go!” he yelled, and Bellingham hit the gas. Nithers knelt on the back seat and fired his M9 at the vamps foolish enough to move out after them.
“Don’t waste bullets!” Bellingham yelled behind him. “And get down here. I find myself in need of a back seat driver.”
Thanks for reading, everyone. I’ve been incredibly humbled by the response to GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC, so far, (I think, in one day, BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE has sold more Kindle copies than HARPSICHORD & THE WORMHOLE WITCHES has sold in over a year), so I hope you’re enjoying these casting calls.