This short was meant, originally, to be the entry in the “Let’s Talk” Blogfest, but honestly, I didn’t feel like writing something new, so I cut and pasted an excerpt from my first novel. That went as well as it could be expected, considering I was #56 in the list of over 120 participants. Thanks for all those who commented, all six, no, seven of you. I really appreciated it. No really, I do. Honest!
Errm, yes, this is part five of an ongoing series of seasonal themed stories which I started last year. Now, the main character is back in London in another cafe and about to start a new project amidst some major life altering changes in his personal life. Those who have read the past entries might notice a change in POV, which I thought it would fit, in fact I’m thinking of re-writing the whole series in first rather than third person.
So without further ado….
Starstrucks was a tourist trap. A cafe that imitated it’s near-namesake in style and appearance but added a celebrity angle to attract costumers. In Britain, unlike in the States, celebrity does not equal wealth. Someone like me could appear in over a million TV sets, have hundreds of thousands of followers on the internet yet come no where near the millions that Hollywood actors got. That’s why actors in the UK transition between movies, television and the stage with ease. You can earn a comfortable, if busy, middle class lifestyle doing yeoman’s work but if you wanted to make it big you had to “crack America” or “Go Hollywood” and that was a long shot, even for actors who managed to appear in sleeper hits summer after summer or get Oscar nods every year or so.
The real money+fame combo belonged to the rock stars, especially the ancient order of rock royalty who made a name for themselves a few invasions back. Records themselves didn’t pay for the remodeled castles, but the royalties on an enumerable number of pop hits and endless touring certainly did. And the man that sat across from me, Stephen Dalton, was heir to one of the largest rock empires of all time. He was also the reason why I drank a most excellent cup of coffee, that and the fact I didn’t pay for it.
“So she really agreed to it, eh?” said Stephen. His eyes bore into me, searching for clues that would prove my announcement a unmistakable lie.
“She did. In fact, it was her idea. After she saw the animated bit we did as part of the episode on her and her book series, she sent her army of assistants to do research on me and found out about the series bible. She liked my pitch so much, she practically begged the studio to do it, or else!”, I said looking an an attractive bum passing by the window.
“Must be the biggest franchise of all time, and you will be in the middle of it.”
“One of the biggest, right there with James Bond and Star Wars.”
“But I thought she said she didn’t want anyone writing about her characters?” he said between sips.
“Technically I’m not writing about the main characters, it’s a new cast in the same universe.”
“So it’s a glorified fanfic?”
“No, it’s a multimillion dollar international project which will reach an expected audience of over 100 million worldwide, give or take a million, or two.”
“So a VERY expensive fanfic then,” he said bemused.
“Yeah, something like that,” I said with a chuckle. “Oh and I want you to be in it.”
Clear blue eyes started at me. A few strands of blond hair fell down over his right eye. He pushed them back into place, “What?”
“You’re an actor, and a damn good one”
“Sorry, but I can’t,” he said. His eyes wondered upwards, as if the obvious answer hanged in the air above us.
“You mean this place?
“Yes, huge investment, I have yet to brake even.”
“It’s not like you need the money, Stephen, not with your trust.”
“I like to think I am more than my father’s money.”
“An Eaton education notwithstanding.”
“Well, there more to the world than Public School, you know.”
“Listen, it’s twelve episodes a series, shot movie style, all in one go. Your character is important but won’t be in every scene. We could film—” my phone buzzed. I patted my pockets searching for the damned thing. It said Beth on the screen. “I got to take this…Beth, sweetheart, how are you? The gynecologist? But I thought your appointment was on Friday…you moved it up? Okay, so…you had the sonogram and…it’s a boy!” My heart thumped wildly in my chest,”Wow, a boy…and a girl? Wait, what?” The thumping stopped cold. “It’s a boy and a girl? OK, I’m listening. One boy and one girl…” I turned around, people gave me funny looks. I pantomimed It’s a boy and a girl! I got twins, twins! “Yes, honey, I’m still here, so, we got twins, wow, of course I’m happy bet your ass I’m happy…sorry didn’t mean it that way…sure, I’ll see you when I get back…oh your sending me the video, OK, let me get my iPad.”
Stephan leaned back on his chair. He watched the human drama unfold before him with a smirk on his aristocratic face. I retrieved my iPad from my backpack and second later I saw a fuzzy, black and white picture of the twins.
“I’ll do it,” Stephan announced with an air of foregone conclusion.
“You will! Great, we start shooting in September. Got a run, have to meeting with a few execs down at the Beep broadcast center. Oh and good luck with the cafe.” I sped off down London’s busy streets. The warm sun shined down on me amidst a rare clear blue sky. It didn’t get any better than this.
Well, that’s it. I hope you like it. Now I leave you with the tale of a little bear in London. Enjoy!