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Outside Looking In

Outside Looking In
by Ellen Brand


They don't want me here.

That's all right, because I don't want to be here. I wouldn't be, if Stockwell didn't have such a big club to hold over me. I'm not a member of the A-Team, but he seems to think I need to be here. So I stay.

I don't belong here. They know it, I know it. I'm just a kid playing around with the big guys. This isn't my world. In my world, the guns are just fancy noisemakers, and everybody gets up when the take is done. This is for real stakes, and I'm scared shitless. Of course, I don't want anybody to know about that, so I pull the general "stupid macho" act to cover it up. I don't think I'm fooling anybody, though. Johnny looks at me with that combination of amusement and contempt that he's so good at. The other three just think I'm a moron.

Don't get me wrong, they're great guys. I'd be glad to call any of them my friends. The problem is, I don't think any of them would want to claim me. I'm just a special-effects guy, trying not to get myself killed on all these crazy missions Stockwell sends us on. I don't want to be here. As soon as this is over, I just want to go home, go back to the movies, and never look back.

I'm not one of the team.

They make that clear in a hundred little ways, although I don't think they really mean to. It's in the way they laugh about cases that I was never around for. The way they stand up against Stockwell, leaving me to decide whether I wanna be on the right side.... or the safe side. It's in Face's screaming nightmares, full of names and situations I can't recognize, and don't really want to. Sometimes BA goes in to comfort him. Usually it's Johnny.

Hell, it's in the fact that out of four guys, I'm the only one who calls him "Johnny." I wouldn't dare call him "Hannibal." It's not my right.

I don't want to be here. They don't want me here. All any of us want is just to get OUT of here.... but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen any time soon. So we bop around this house, go on our little "missions," and try and pretend that we're not all miserable. At least the guys have each other.

In a house full of people, I'm incredibly lonely.

And God, all I want is just to go home.


Outside Looking In by Ellen Brand