June 20, 2024 Post

Today isn’t quite the longest day of the year–it’ll just seem like it after you’ve read this.

As we go to press, I’m taking a break from a fun Crime Writers’ conference where I’m meeting folks (online) from around the world. So far, seems like crime is a universal gift shared the world over. And here I thought we had the market cornered on it. Guess not.

Here’s something I don’t have to guess about. The Story of the Week is a sequel, so I’m going to post the original tale first. Janalyn Prude generously supplied the prompt. The new sequel will follow, so keep reading. Or not. We believe in free will.

Before They Were Famous

“Saul, every actress in the world would kill for the part, so as my agent, take care of it.”

Maddie leaned across the table. “Please?”

Saul shrugged. “If you wanna do the play, put your name on the audition sheet like everybody else.”

“That’s your job—Mr. Agent!”

“Agents get paid,” he said. “You still owe me my last commission.”

The bell rang, ending lunch period.

Maddie slid her pudding cup across the cafeteria table. “Happy now?”

“OK, I’ll sign you up and tell Mrs. Monroe you’re interested. If you get it, my commission better have pepperoni on it—all week.”

Prompt: School play audition

And here’s the Story of the Week. You might even call it the rest of the story.

Here’s Looking at you, Maddie

Before most eighth graders had even heard of talent agents, Saul was one. His latest coup was getting his friend Maddie top billing in the junior high play, Casablanca. He did it the old-fashioned way—bribery.

Mrs. Louise, the drama teacher, longed for modern theater lighting, so Saul, working his magic, bribed the principal. The theater got remodeled. Maddie got her role.

Months later, Maddie, now beautifully lit, embraced her standing ovation.

The backstage doors opened as Saul and Louise, arm-in-arm, strolled out, accompanied by thunderous applause.

“Louise,” Saul said. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Based on: Before They Were Famous (from FAST FICTION, Vol 2: Man vs. Machine, p. 52)

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, and end it here.

As always, thanks for listening.

Scotty out

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