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. You can get the Kindle edition of BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE for 99 cents over at Amazon and the paperback for $6.99 at Amazon.
HISTORY: Not much is known about the Italian time traveler named Roma, except that she was in her early forties and living under Mussolini’s rule when she felt the sting of a Universe Cutter, became nearly immortal, and gained the ability to walk backwards through time. Roma has a contentious relationship with Bellingham, sometimes working alongside him and other times working in opposition to him. Her relationship with Hanna, whom she meets for the first time in “Blood of the Universe,” is also marked by contention. While she is, at first, put off by the inclusion of a new, inexperienced person on their mission to retrieve the newest Universe Cutter, she does come to respect the lengths Hanna is willing to travel in order to save Jill‘s life.
CASTING: I ain’t gonna lie. Maria Bello was my first choice right out of the box to play Roma, but then I went and spent two hours searching for Italian actresses to cast instead just to be clever. Sometimes, clever is just a fancy way of saying you think too much. I love Bello’s toughness; Roma is a tough woman who’s been through a lot, but if you show her an ounce of pity you’re going to get five ounces of gruff in return. Unlike Bellingham, who’s been time traveling for centuries, Roma’s only been at this for a decade (give or take). I wanted Roma to be played by an actress that could pull off looking like she hated wearing a dress, and yet still looked right at home inside of one.
“Come here, girl,” Roma ordered.
Hanna looked to Bellingham for direction, but the British agent was unresponsive. This was her play.
Hanna was numb and tired and angry, so she pushed the latest revelation out of her mind and concentrated on what was most important: getting Jill back to her family in Boston for a proper burial.
And that meant dealing with these three.
Rising to her feet, Hanna moved to the Italian, American, and Brit. Her stomach still burned put she took that pain and put it in the same place as all of her questions about time travelers, werewolves, vampires, and First Ladies.
“I have only question for you,” Roma said sternly, meeting Jill’s eyes with her own. “Plummer wants to give you to the Cherokee for your own protection because he’s a kindly sort, despite all his grunting. I’d prefer to cut you loose, one woman to another. But Bells over there,” she
said, jerking a finger at the Brit, “thinks you’re going to be trouble.”
“I’m still waiting for the question.”
Roma smirked. “Are you now?”
“I’m taking Jill back to Boston.”
“That would be a shame.”
Roma pulled a large handgun off her her hip, turned towards Bellingham, and shot him in the heart. The British man fell backwards into the grass.
Hanna wasn’t impressed. “I did that twice this morning. He gets better.”
Roma looked back with a hard look. “Yes, he does, Hanna. He dies. And he gets better.” Roma turned towards Jill’s dead body on the back of the grazing horse. “Still want to go to Boston?”
“Useless,” Roma scoffed.
Bells shot Roma a hard glance that told her he didn’t like sharing his interrogation, but he dismissed the butler, anyway. “Get out of here, Carl,” he ordered, stepping back and opening his arm to offer the stone path exit. The butler looked at both of them nervously and then ran down the path-
Only to stop at the band of light that served as daylight’s last path.
“Not useless,” Bellingham remarked, and shot Carl in the back of his head. “Now we know there are vamps on both sides of the border.”
“Fascinating,” Roma remarked in a tone that said it wasn’t.
Bellingham looked at her with disappointment. “I forget how awful you were at this stage.”
“What do you mean, at this stage?”
Bells shook his head. “We’re time travelers, Roma. How many adventures have you and I had together?”
“Not to me.”
“Why? How many have we had together for you?”
Roma took off her green mask and smashed it onto the ground. “Time travel is stupid!” she yelled.
“Then why are you here?”
“I was mad!”
“And when I’m mad I like to jump into the past and kill Nazis.”
“Because they’re Nazis.”
“Fair point,” Bellingham said, ceding the issue.
Thanks for reading, everyone!