“‘You’re too late to stop me!’” Ryan read aloud, swiveling in his desk chair to take in the entirety of his cork board. It stretched from one side of the room to the other along the largest wall.
“‘It’s never too late for--’” He broke off, shaking his head. What had he been thinking?
Getting up from the chair, he removed a little square of paper from the board. It was a drawing of a girl in a frilly costume staring determinedly at the viewer. Turning it over, he found the image reference and brought up the digital version on his computer.
“Too cliché.” He muttered to himself, deleting the dialogue layer from the file. “How could I have slipped up so badly?”
He stared at the computer screen, at a loss. The panel needed dialogue, but it had to be good. This was the final confrontation between the villain and the hero. He couldn’t just throw in a ‘We’ll see about that!’. This moment had to be memorable.
“‘That doesn’t mean we won’t try!’” He tested, doing his best thirteen-year-old girl voice. He frowned. It was better than the first line, but still felt tired.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps pounding. Seconds later, his bedroom door was thrown open. “Ry!” Luna shouted, pointing at him. “You have to help me.”
I don’t think I do. The line got re-written on the way to his mouth and came out instead as “What do you need?”
“Your voice.” She strode over and nudged him out of the way. Without asking, she minimized Photoshop and opened Audition. In a flurry of motion, she plugged in a flash drive and opened a sound file.
“What are you--”
She shoved a pair of headphones on his head and hit play.
A soft piano melody started. Ryan didn’t recognize it, but he rarely recognized any of the music Luna showed him. They were usually original compositions from her friends at school.
When the music ended, he turned to her with a raised eyebrow. “It’s very nice.” He offered.
She shoved a wad of papers in his face. “Sing.” She ordered, reaching for the play button again.
“Woah!” Ryan knocked her hand away. “Slow down!”
She huffed in annoyance, but crossed her arms and took a step back from the computer. “Amy wrote a song for the end credits of my movie, but it’s supposed to be sung by the little boy who’s the lead. The problem is, Jen can’t sing in the voice she did for him.” She brushed a loose strand of hair out of her face and looked him in the eye. “So, I need you to do it.”
Ryan stared at her. “…No.”
He tried to keep his expression as neutral as possible. “Because I’m a nineteen year old male. My voice is lower than Jen’s. I could never sound like the same character.”
“That’s a lie and you know it!” She accused him. Then, realizing that pissing him off would not get her what she wanted, she clapped her hands together and started to beg. “Please, Ry. The showing is in two days. I don’t have time to find anyone else, and I know you can do it.”
He stared at her. Two days? Even if he did do it for her, he would have to nail it.
Discomfort wiggled in his stomach. Luna was right. Technically, he could do what she was asking. But to record his voice deliberately doing… No. He couldn’t.
But Luna needed him to. He knew how important this showing was to her. She had been working so hard for so long. He cared about her too much to be the reason this failed.
“Fine.” He gave in. “Send me samples so that I know what Jen did for the voice.”
Luna clapped her hands together and grinned. “Thanks Ry! You’ll have them in a flash.” She spun around to run back to her room.
“Oh, Luna!” He called after her. “Keep my name off the project!”