Tanya's Challenge - The Beach House by Jeri
The beach house was a little unusual. Not only was it on the ocean, it also had a large Olympic size swimming pool in the back. The pool was surrounded by a large grassy area. Behind the grass, along the back edge of the property, was a line of high sand dunes populated sparsely with scrub sea oats. It provided a natural fence for the property, and hid the real fence line beyond. More importantly for the movie company, it provided a natural backdrop for the filming, and hid the highway and adjacent houses beyond.
The story the writer had rewritten for this scene was fairly simple. There would be several scenes of Tanya lounging around the pool and swimming (in her skimpy bikini, of course). Then, the ring-leader would sneak behind her as she was getting out of the pool and knock her unconscious from behind. The ringleader would then kidnap the businessman and drive away with him to the plane.
They had two camera crews, so they planned on getting the scene completed in one day. The second director and camera crew would be getting the shots of Lily abducting the businessman in the beach house and driving away with him, while the director and main crew took the shots of Tanya at poolside. This would take the morning and a part of the afternoon. This would leave most of the afternoon for the simple fight scene, and the crew could wrap up early and break down the set.
The morning's shots went just as planned. Lily worked inside the beach house and just in front of it with the man playing the businessman and the second crew, while the main crew took the shots of Tanya in the pool and in the lounge chairs around the pool. The director got shots of Tanya's tanned body swimming in the pool from every possible angle, and some in slow motion. They must have taken well over 40 minutes of footage of her at the pool, for a scene that would last no more than about two or three minutes. The second director even got a little creative and got some shots of her from inside the house, with the businessman watching her swim.
Just before lunch, the second director's shots inside the house were finished and the director watched and approved the alibi video of those scenes. He wanted to get some Steadycam scenes from behind of Lily sneaking up on Tanya. This required that all the crew be clear of the area, to get the wide angle shots he wanted. So, he broke everyone for lunch except for Tanya, Lily and the Steadycam crew. He told Lily and Tanya how he wanted to have them play the scene, then literally followed behind the camera as Lily crept up on Tanya. He photographed the sequence three times, and reviewed the video footage. Eventually, he was satisfied he had enough good footage for this stage of the shot. That would leave the fight scene for the afternoon, after lunch.
Tanya ate no lunch, as she didn't want to get cramps during the short swimming scene. She also knew what it was like to do strenuous stunts after a meal, so she usually ate a light or no lunch but ate a heavy dinner after the day's shooting was done. This turned out to be a good thing.
After the lunch break, the crew went about setting up the equipment for the close-ups of the fight scene. Tanya saw Lily talking with the director. At one point, she heard him say, "Great! Great!" loudly, and she saw him rushing about, madly giving orders to the crew. Lily then approached her and told her that she had changed the fight scene. When she told Tanya what she had in mind, at first Tanya was a little apprehensive. After thinking about it a little, she got a broad grin on her face and thought, "Payback!"
In the original fight scene, Tanya was to casually get out of the pool, and while her back was turned, Lily would sneak up to her from behind a near-by tree and knock her unconscious with one karate chop to her neck. The new fight scene was quite different.
The director had been busy. He had two fixed mount cameras set pointing up at the stairs out of the pool and two Steadycams ready for action close-ups. He picked the Steadycam operators he had used for the night action shots, so they could follow the action as it unfolded. He wasn't going to get a second chance at this scene. Lily positioned herself about 15 feet away behind the tree, and Tanya dove into the pool. When both were ready, the director called, "Action!" and the scene began.
Tanya swam slowly to the stairs and got out of the pool. Lily approached her from behind and threw her arm around her in a choke hold. But before she could get her arm fully around Tanya's neck, Tanya grabbed her arm and threw her over her shoulder to the ground. Tanya then backed away. Lily kipped up to her feet and they stood facing each other.
Lily was the one who attacked first. She threw a punch at Tanya's head, but she blocked it high with her forearm, leaving Lily's stomach open. Tanya took advantage of the opening by throwing a hard right hook to Lily's stomach, connecting solidly. She punched with all her might to Lily's navel, but felt her fist bounce off her strong muscles, penetrating only a little. This was the first real punch she had ever thrown full force into someone's stomach. She was glad it was Lily's. Lily countered with a hard punch to Tanya's stomach, straight into the solar plexus again. She gasped, and bent forward. This hurt some, but due to Lily's training and her practicing, it was well within her limits, and she straightened up quickly..
Lily had been very simple in her fight instructions to Tanya. She had said she would sneak up behind Tanya, and Tanya should throw her to the ground. Then, they would exchange stomach punches until Tanya collapsed to the ground. There would be no holding back on either of their parts. Each would punch with their full strength, so neither would have to fake any of their reactions. The director would get a very realistic fight scene.
Tanya was damned if she was just going to collapse to the ground as Lily said she should. She was determined to last as long as Lily, and maybe even longer. She liked the fact that she would finally get the chance to pay Lily back for all the times she had been punched by her. She was also determined to show the crew that her stomach was strong, especially after all the times Lily's punches had put her on the ground.
Tanya threw a punch right at Lily's navel again. But this time, Lily side stepped a little and blocked her punch to the outside. Lily countered with a right, rising hook up into Tanya's lower stomach. The punch penetrated a little but slipped on Tanya's wet, slippery stomach on up to her harder upper stomach muscles. She grunted again, as this punch hurt some, but only to her lower stomach. Her upper stomach was unaffected, as Lily's fist had only slid on the surface of these muscles. Before Tanya could counter, Lily threw a strong, straight left jab to the side of her stomach, aimed at her obliques. This punch was not too effective, as her fist again slipped on Tanya's wet skin, slipping completely off her stomach to the side.
Tanya then countered. She threw an upper cut of her own up into Lily's solar plexus. Lily gasped and bent forward, grasping her stomach, trying to breathe. Tanya was a little proud that she had taken the same punch better than Lily had. She was also relieved that she was not as weak as she had thought she was. Lily was still a little shaken by her punch, so she took the opportunity to punch her again, in the navel. She felt her fist penetrate deep into Lily's stomach until it was stopped by her strong inner muscles.
Lily doubled over from the second punch for a couple seconds, then snapped bolt upright and threw two fast left-right punches directly to Tanya's lower stomach. These punches surprised Tanya, as she didn't expect Lily to be able to recover that fast. They sank deep into Tanya's lower stomach, causing her to whimper with pain. When she finally looked up, she saw that Lily was still in pain and bent over, in about the same position as she was. So Lily had not recovered, but had ignored her pain and attacked despite it. This was a valuable lesson she needed to remember.
Tanya recovered first. She threw a punch into Lily's upper stomach which caused her to bend over again. Tanya then threw another punch, an upper cut to the middle of her stomach at the navel. Lily grunted loudly, but straightened up a little. Tanya took this opportunity to continue her onslaught. She threw hard punches, first a left then a right, then a left again, aiming directly at Lily's middle stomach. Each punch drew an increasingly loud and satisfying gasp.
Tanya kept pounding away at Lily's middle with a continuous, even cadence of blows. Without the distraction of Lily's attacks on her own stomach, Tanya had an opportunity to think about the effects of her punches. She was, of course, hurting Lily. Her punches were still being stopped by Lily's muscles, but those muscles were collapsing fast. Tanya could feel them collapsing more and more with each blow. She also had another sensation. She was beginning to like punching Lily's stomach. She was beginning to imagine what it would be like to completely destroy Lily's stomach, beating it to a pulp. She also started to think that this was the best payback for all the torture and pain she had been put through by Lily's pounding she had taken after her flubs. She started throwing harder and harder punches, eventually breaking down the last of Lily's muscles, and penetrating to her backbone.
Lily was hurting. Her stomach was on fire from Tanya's attack. Her middle stomach muscles were almost completely flaccid from the pounding they were taking. Tanya had the advantage of several extra pounds of muscle in each of her arms adding to her punch's impact, acting like a set of heavy brass knuckles. Each punch sent a wave of pain throughout Lily's stomach. And, it was starting to spread to the rest of her body, causing even her legs to start to give out. She was starting to get a little woozy from the pain, verging on unconsciousness. She knew she couldn't take much more of that pounding. But, she had a gimmick.
Tanya decided she would try another part of Lily's stomach, to see if she could pulverize another part of her anatomy. So, she aimed at her upper stomach muscles. Even with all the punishment the middle of her stomach had received, Lily's upper stomach muscles were still hard. Tanya had not expected that. After a little hesitation, she aimed her next punch at Lily's side stomach muscles. But in a completely unexpected move, Lily brought her arm down hard and knocked Tanya's punch to the side so it missed her stomach altogether. Tanya's stomach was left unprotected by Lily's sudden counter, and Lily buried her fist hard into Tanya's unprotected lower stomach.
Lily had done it again. She had ignored her excruciating pain and counterattacked, with great success. Tanya had been so fixed on punching Lily's stomach that she had forgotten to tighten her own stomach muscles to protect against an attack. Lily's single, hard punch penetrated deep into her lower stomach, causing her immediate, excruciating pain. She bent over gasping and holding her lower stomach. She was barely able to correct her mistake in time by tightening her stomach muscles, or she would have been put out by the following blow. Lily brought her fist up in an uppercut to Tanya's exposed upper stomach at the solar plexus, just below the ribs. This had the effect Lily wanted, as the force of the blow straightened Tanya up to a standing position again. Tanya stood there gasping to try to get some air into her lungs and to try to recover from the pain of the last blows. With Tanya erect again, Lily proceeded to repay her in kind for the last few minutes.
Lily had been brought up in a slum, the only white in a neighborhood of Blacks and Hispanics. She was always the outsider. She was the perfect target for her schoolmates to take out their frustrations. She was frequently the target of their punches and attacks. Quite often, one of them would hold her while the others used her as a human punching bag. In this environment, she developed a flash temper. After several minutes of this abuse, just as the punches were having their effect, her temper would flare white hot. This gave her an almost instantaneous surge of adrenaline, giving her the strength to break out of her bonds and to counterattack her attackers savagely in an unthinking rage. This usually left at least a couple of her attackers on the ground and the rest fleeing before she got her temper under control again and realized what she was doing. When she went into the martial arts, she found this flash anger helpful, especially when she was just about to lose to a much stronger opponent. She had been able to control her anger surge and even invoke it, to channel its power into controlled actions. Quite often, she would explode into a flurry of powerful punches and kicks and win the match, just as her opponent had thought he had victory in sight. She could do this even though she was in great pain, maybe even because of it. She had used this anger-induced adrenaline surge to counterattack against Tanya's blows.
Now it was Tanya who was in bad trouble. Lily was throwing hard lefts and rights to the middle of her exposed stomach. And, she hadn't recovered from the punch to her solar plexus. Lily was using the same target and cadence, but with a quicker tempo. Also, being more experienced, she was more effective with her punches. Tanya's stomach muscles broke down much faster than Lily's had, and her punches were soon penetrating deeply into Tanya's stomach.
Lily's punches were not going straight in, but were angled upward a little. Her punches were sliding on Tanya's stomach, now slick and slippery more from her sweat than the water of the pool. This allowed the punches to slide up into her upper stomach, compressing the muscles there and driving her upper stomach muscles and internal organs up into her diaphragm and stomach wall. The feeling of this intensified the pain of the punches and caused Tanya to be glad she had not eaten a lunch.
Lily's onslaught of continuous punching had another effect. While Lily had just stood in place taking Tanya's punches, Tanya was being driven backward a step with each punch. Suddenly, she felt something rough and hard against her back, the tree near the pool. This made the punches much worse, as her body no longer had any give to it. The punches penetrated that much deeper and did that much more damage.
The lead Steadycam operator had worked the wrestling circuits back just after college. He had shot scenes very similar to the ones he was witnessing now. He had been concentrating on filming close-ups of both girls' stomachs, getting good footage showing the strong impacts and deep penetrations of the punches. As Lily started to drive Tanya back, he motioned to the second Steadycam operator to follow and get full body shots of the fight scene, as he continued to get close-ups. He knew they were out of the range to the two fixed mount cameras, so the shots he and the other operator were getting would be the only ones of this part of the fight. He glanced up from his shooting only long enough to make sure the soundman was tagging along behind, recording the sound of every hard punch and every grunt, groan and gasp in glorious Dolby digital stereo.
Lily's directions for the fight had been simple. At any time when Tanya couldn't take any more punches, she was to drop to her knees and Lily would kick her in the stomach with a staged courtesy kick and Tanya would fake unconsciousness, ending the fight scene.
Tanya was rapidly approaching the point of unconsciousness, but was determined not to go down. Her stomach was being battered well beyond what she would have thought possible. Her insides were in flames from Lily's attack. She knew she had better finish the scene before she was too far gone to fall to her knees properly before the camera. So between punches, she started to fall forward, putting her hands out to catch herself. Lily backed off to let her fall. When her hands hit the ground her arms almost buckled, they were so weak from the pain. She was barely able to keep her back straight, as her stomach muscles kept rebelling at the minimal work they were being forced to do. Lily kicked up into her stomach, the instep of her boot landing lightly on Tanya's lower ribs just above the stomach. Tanya grabbed her stomach, groaned and fell over to her back. Lily grabbed her head, lifted it, and dropped it back to the grass to make sure she was unconscious. Then Lily slowly walked away, back toward the beach house, to kidnap the businessman. The Steadycam operators both remained focused on Tanya, while the fixed cameras followed Lily's saunter toward the beach house.
It was a full minute before the director remembered to yell, "Cut!" To Tanya, it seemed like an eternity. She had to remain motionless to simulate unconsciousness. All the while, her stomach was throbbing in pain. She just had to lay there with her tender stomach stretched out tight, with the aching growing stronger, doubling with each passing second. When the director yelled, "Cut!" she immediately started to roll up into a ball. It was a slow motion roll, as any sudden movement caused her stomach muscles to scream out in pain.
Lily bent down to her and slowly and gently started to massage her stomach. Tanya didn't know this, as her whole consciousness was focused on the pain. Slowly she started to see the rest of the world. It took her several minutes before she was able to even move from her fetal position. It took several minutes more before she was able to get up. Lily was at her side during the whole time. Eventually, she was able to walk around unassisted. That's when the director came over to her.
The director first asked her if she was all right. Then, he asked her if she was up to any more shooting that day. She stoically said she was.
The director said the part of the scene where she was kicked looked a little faked on the video playback they had from the Steadycams. He said it didn't look as real as the rest of the fight scene. Under her breath, Tanya said sarcastically, "I wonder why?"
The director asked her to get on her hands and knees again, and have Lily kick her with the Steadycams again recording the action. They would inter-cut this part with the previous scene to add the realism he wanted. Tanya got on the ground, Lily and the cameramen set up for the shot, and the director yelled, "Action!"
Lily kicked up into Tanya's stomach, landing again with her instep, but this time into Tanya's still sore stomach instead of her ribs. Since it was not a hard kick, Tanya tried to imagine what the kick would feel like, based on how her stomach still felt from the punches. She reacted by jerking backward and falling on her back. Immediately, the director yelled out, "Cut! Cut! Cut! That still looked fake! I want to see real pain!"
Both Tanya and Lily snapped their heads around and glared angrily at the director. He actually backed up a couple steps from them, as if their angry stares had pushed him back. Then, stammeringly, he said, "C... could we have one more shot of that? Please?" Several of the crew chuckled at this, as this was the first time the director had ever been put in his place, and by just a couple looks.
Tanya grabbed Lily's arm, and said, "OK, just do it!"
Tanya got down on her arms and knees, in the same position as she had fallen during the fight. She positioned her body as she remembered she had before. The director called, "Action!" and she tensed all her stomach muscles as tight and hard as she could, trying to ignore the pain this caused.
Lily kicked hard and fast, full force, directly up into the middle of Tanya's stomach. The toe of her heavy boot buried itself deep into Tanya's stomach, crushing her hard stomach muscles, penetrating all the way to the backbone, lifting her body off the ground from the force of the kick alone. Tanya cried out almost in a scream and landed on her side, curled up. The pain was so intense from the hard kick to her already tender stomach, she didn't have the wits to realize she was not on her back to match the previous shot. She also did not remember she was supposed to be unconscious. Lily kicked her in the stomach again with a hard, penetrating kick that flipped her on her back. Since she was still whimpering from the pain, Lily drove a hard, fast punch directly deep down into her solar plexus, and Tanya passed out