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Isn't it funny how hard it is to part with something... even when you already know how it's going to end?

Crystal Pate as Paula

It's not time yet.

I heave once more into the toilet bowl, all bread and lettuce splatter. My fingers claw the porcelain edge like a desperate hug. I can smell my own breath. This isn't happening. This can't be happening already. How it is happening now? I attempt to clear my throat, yanking a string of paper from the squeaky wheel and waving it across my mouth like a flag of defeat, rubbing away all the traces that might give my secret away. No one else knows. Except him. It's not real until others know. I'm sorry, God. I'm sorry for not being grateful. But I'm just not ready. It's not time yet. Is this how Mary felt? As if in answer, my stomach pounds upward, heaving my head and arms toward the yawning bowl like a violent marionette bow.

I'm grateful, I am. Acid burns the back of my throat. Gasping for air, feel like I'm drowning. He doesn't know what it puts our bodies through. None of them do. They think it's like magic. Math. 1+1=2. He should be grateful. I want to make him happy. But I don't know if I can do this. It's barely been a month, and he already is coming home with wood. Wants to build the crib himself. Wants to contribute. Don't even know if he can build one. How am I even sure if I build it inside of me? My hair falls in my face, and i run it back behind my ears, feeling the cold sweat on my brow. I have to get back to the front desk. I have to smooth my dress. These artist types will stare. Largest gallery in town, and a place filled with critics, someone's bound to notice. They don't have to be the brightest crayon in the drawer to see through you, my dear. Stand up. No, not again. I heave once more, an unforgiving stream of guilt. At that moment, the click of heels. I hold my breath from beyond the stall door. They dance toward the sink, stop, water on, washing, water off, blow dryer, click away. It's not time yet. I feel like I'm holding my breath for hours. Pneumatic door hinge gives the signal. I exhale, inhale quickly.

My phone starts buzzing from within the depths of my purse, amid all the lipstick, credit cards, and floss, like some dull, latent heartbeat for things to come. I slap the flush handle. My purse continues to murmur as I stand up wobbily on my heels, smooth my dress, and head to sink. I splash water on my face and refuse to look at my double in the mirror, a peripheral tease assuring me that we are one in the same. But I resist. Because if I see it, it's real. If it's not real, then there's still time. The phone continues to vibrate. I know my mascara is smeared. Wash your hands. Like doctors do. Thorough. I refuse to answer the phone. It's not time yet. It can't be time yet.

I look up.

Jack Elliott as Nicholas

I didn't want to move.

I felt glued to the cushion, trying to make out all the familiar shapes silhouetted in the near darkness. Like sleeping animals. Waiting for one of them to tell me to get up. I couldn't even make out what the arms were saying on that crooked clock. But I knew that once I got up, I'd have to go back to bed. And if I woke her, she'd complain about it in the morning. Like she always did. Why did everything look so different at this time of night? I had never noticed that crack in the corner above the painting before. It sprawled out at me like long, splayed fingers in a moment of defense. I looked down at my clasped hands in my lap, neatly folded over my naked body like I was praying. Now that's funny. Sure would make her happy to think I was out here trying to talk to God.

My penis, belly, and arms all lit up in the blue of the room like pale, nebulous ghosts. How long had I been sitting here? I had done this earlier, to be sure, while at work. I had found myself browsing houses online. While I was supposed to be working. All reasonably priced, all roomy. All in Chicago. Larry wanted the answer by yesterday, and I had yet to tell her. This would be best for both of us. For the baby, too. The sooner we get out of here, the better. That's what we need. A change of scenery. As far away from here as possible. Had that crack grown just now? Looks bigger than I thought. It looked like it was stretching from the painting all the way to the bookshelf. Need to fix that. I found my feet suddenly moving, ahead of my body, as I padded across prickly carpet and cold slab linoleum, headed to the kitchen, awash in pockets of cold blue light.

I stopped in the hall, turning my head out at our yard. Need to mow that. I have to tell her. She has to know. It took me a minute before I realized I was gazing beyond the yard and through the window into the home next door. I could make out the dancing stripes of light in that thirty degree angle from a television, on to a woman draped across the couch. Was she sleeping? Did she see me? Do I care? I didn't move. I almost held my breath. My hands were suddenly clenched at my sides. Let her see. Let her know. Who does this anyway? Sleepwalkers do. But I'm not sleeping. Suddenly, there was the crack again. It had found me. It was looming above me again, and I was still sitting on the couch, with my hands folded neatly across my naked lap like a bashful schoolboy.

I don't think I'd moved.

Lauren McCune as The Blonde Woman

I made it to the store right before they closed.

Larry had kept me late doing some filing, and it was just beginning to drizzle outside. The drivers were carefully inching along the highway in fear of black ice. Like they always do. But I didn't have time. Didn't they know I had to get to the store? I don't blame them, of course. They were only trying to be careful. My blood pressure was beginning to boil again, and it was only while I was forced to drive under the speed limit that I realized I hadn't eaten at all the entire day. Maybe there are still some of my leftovers in the fridge, I thought. I saw a small boy, perhaps 7 or 8, staring at me from beyond the foggy pane of an SUV next to me. I caught him right as he had his tongue out and eyes wild. Looked like he was being dared by his little sister next to him in the backseat. I smiled at him, but he just stared back, blankly. Then he began to cry and looked away as I tried to smile. But when I looked up into the rear view mirror, I suddenly realized I didn't have a smile on my face at all. Where had it gone?

And where were the candles? Why weren't they here? I searched the racks, but seemed to miss them. I tried to call out to a teenage stocker, but either she ignored me or didn't hear me, as she sauntered to the back room. Oh, well. Maybe she had her earbuds on. Maybe she has a sweetheart to get home to, as well. After a while longer, I finally found the right aisle, and gathered the seven prettiest ones I could find: a variety of thickness, color, and shape. My hands began to sweat as I gripped them tightly. All I could think about was that bath. Soaking water. Candles lit. And his voice. That soft, but deep voice of his.

I had found myself passing his office at least a few times today, in the off chance that his door would be open, but it was always closed. I even put my ear to the door when I thought Larry wouldn't be coming down the hall, and strained to listen. But couldn't hear who it was. He hadn't looked me in the eye for the past week. Something was wrong. Something was off. Oh, I'm sorry. Just lost in my own thoughts, I guess. Yeah, just these candles. Yeah, it's wet out there. Really starting to come down. You? Just tired. I'm sorry. I don't have enough change. Oh. You sure? Oh, thank you. Yes. Must be my lucky day.

By the time I got back in the car, the rain had stopped.

Morgana Shaw as The Mother

I love that I don't break a sweat.

My ass still looks good. It really does. The other half dozen around me have their chests stretched out, arms out, moving in rhythm, but I have my eyes glued on my own ass that's arching back at me in the ceiling-length mirror. It's just as perfect as it was twenty years ago. No lie. But it's not easy. It takes discipline. The minute you let your guard down, you can lose your ass. You lose your ass, you lose your looks, you lose your appeal. The others around me here are mostly my age. Like Donna, my bore of a neighbor who's invited me over countless times. The most I can do is wave before heading inside. And that's even almost too much effort. And what an unfortunate coincidence that she picked the same yoga days. Tina and Cindy, the only two girls here under forty, are insipid college babies and the closest things to rivals in terms of ass champions.

Ease in with the lotus, Cindy, Ramon assures. I suddenly see him towering over her. I've caught him looking at my ass more than once, I can assure you. I imagine his hands on my back as he braces his fingers against Cindy's sweating bare back. He had big hands. He suddenly glanced at me, smiling, as he moved up and off to the other side of the room. I smiled back. Ah, it's because he knows we're on the same team. And he knows I don't break a sweat. The rest can all marvel and wonder. It just takes discipline. You have to learn when to say yes and when to say no. Even if it hurts a little. I haven't even contacted Bill in months. But you have to remain strong. Doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Doesn't mean I can't still read his letters. But I'm strong enough not to answer. Ow, that tingles just a bit. Easy on the ankle, girl.

I only fucked up once. That night I'd found that vodka in the cupboard. Shouldn't have called him. Sure, you have your good days and bad days, but you have to learn what to hold and what to release. It's just the tension in your own body. Like this morning, I'd taken all of his letters, tied them up, and sent 'em straight into a Neiman's shoebox, and right out to the garage. Ow, fuck, my knee. Never mind. Just keep smiling. You're better than these people. You got this. I'd taken all those letters and took them away from the house. You have to expel that bad energy in order to hold the good, it's what most idiots don't understand. Shit, maybe I actually pulled something. I put them in with all the other junk that doesn't matter. Uh-oh, Ramon's looking at me. Just smile back. Take it all away….and put in a place you can lock up. To hell with the past. Ow. That better not be sweat I see on my brow. Shit, they can see the sweat. Lock it away, girl.

Lock it away.

Riley Templeton as The Little Girl

I'm lost. Can you help me find my way?

Trailer coming soon

HER WILDERNESS weaves an elliptical, minimalist narrative of a lost, wandering child in the wake of an affair that may or may not have even happened.

Wildly operatic and quietly mysterious, while blending memory with fantasy, it is a portrait of four women wondering just how much power they wield in choosing their next stage in life. Both a feature film and a multi-channel video installation, this non-linear tale is an investigation into the themes of responsibility, choice, and identity. Think of it as a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' novel as if written by Andrei Tarkovsky.

Frank Mosley is a Texas-born filmmaker, actor, and University of Texas in Arlington alumni with a BA in English literature. He's a 2010 IFP Narrative Labs Finalist, 2011 Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas recipient, 2012 Culture Column Award winner, and 2013 Visionary Award winner from FW WEEKLY, the publication which featured Mosley as its June cover story and declared him "the John Cassavetes of North Texas". He's discussed his work for NPR, Good Morning Texas, KD Conservatory, SMU Meadows School of the Arts, The Lone Star Film Society, and FILMMAKER Magazine. His acting, directing, and video installation work have been seen at various venues such as The Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, SXSW, The American Film Festival in Poland, Viennale, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Edinburgh Art Festival, PBS, 500X Gallery, Second Thought Theatre, and he’s collaborated with such esteemed artists as Jon Jost and Shane Carruth. Of his acting, represented by both The Atherton Group and Linda McAlister Talent, Variety says "he performs with a potent dose of sexual schuztpah" and Smells Like Screen Spirit says "he can induce simultaneous states of humor, menace, and intrigue." His critically acclaimed directorial debut, HOLD, was named "one of the best films of 2010" by Cinemalogue, premiered at the ReRun Theater in Brooklyn, NYC, and was released through Fifth Column Features. His latest film, HER WILDERNESS, is a personal multi-platform project that is four years in the making. Contact Frank here.

Original score composed and performed by Clint Niosi. The soundtrack has been called "a transfixing experience" (THE STAR TELEGRAM) and "moody and gorgeous…one of the most ambitious multi-media projects North Texas has ever seen" (FW WEEKLY).

BUY A DOWNLOAD OR A LIMITED EDITION COMPACT DISC OF THE "HER WILDERNESS" SOUNDTRACK:

Some things are out of our control.

You know sometimes my head hurts when I don't talk to you?

I used to think that God was looking out for me.

Are you even listening to me?

I told you not to call me anymore.

Luck has nothing to do with it.

You have to find someone who understands you.

Have you been crying?

Tell me what I want to hear.

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

This has got to stop.

It's a dog eat dog world out there.

I've read them all so many times they run together, in circles.