THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Two Works By Ann Summerville

 

 

 FAME

 

 

 

“Hey I got the part!”  Norah Jo closed the cell phone, raised her arms and waved them in a circular motion.

 

Amanda spluttered coffee down her pink, Ann Taylor blouse.  She gazed at the brown spots in dismay, lowered the coffee cup and mopped with a napkin. “Are you sure?”

 

Norah Jo stopped but her body continued moving.  The excess fat spilling over the tight halter top had a mind of its own and took a while to slow down.  “Of course I’m sure.”   The wings on her upper arms began to jiggle again.  “That was my agent.”  Norah Jo patted her phone for emphasis.  “He wants me to be at the studio in the morning.”  She fluffed the platinum hair, oblivious to the dark roots seeping into fair curls.

 

“Will you please stop; you’re making me dizzy.”  Amanda put down the napkin and rubbed her forehead with the tips of her fingers.

 

“Everyone thinks I’m the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe.  Your story confirmed it.”  Norah Jo admired herself in the compact mirror as she refreshed the crimson lipstick. “I’m not surprised they picked me to play her in a TV documentary.”  She fluffed out the voluminous skirt, raised her chin and smacked her lips together.

 

Amanda glanced down at her shoe, brushed off an imaginary speck of dirt from the silver buckle and looked back at her friend.  Norah Jo’s exclamations and excitement faded into the background as Amanda thought back to their first meeting.  The magazine had given her an assignment interviewing movie legend look-a-likes.  It was only a year ago but 70 pounds later Norah Jo’s facial features were hidden behind massive jowls and the once curvy figure had exceeded voluptuous proportions.  “What picture did you send them?” 

 

“I sent a recent picture.  I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I didn’t think I looked good in the one you took last year.  I’m much curvier now.  Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 you know.”

 

Amanda groaned.  “Size 12 not size 22,” she whispered. 

 

“The TV station decided to put a different twist on my article.  Maybe we should wait until something better comes up.”

 

“Why?  This is a great opportunity.  I can’t stay and chat, I need to find something to wear tomorrow.  Ciao.”  With a brief wave, Norah Jo opened the door and left the coffee shop. 

 

Amanda watched her friend pass the window and sighed.   This is going to be a disaster.

 

* * *

 

Amanda was enjoying a re-run of Grey’s Anatomy and sorting through mail.  The intrigue was interrupted by a commercial and then an introduction to the next program.

 

“And at 9, 8 Central, watch Then and Now.  How do you think James Dean would look now? What about Buddy Holly?” 

 

Amanda put the mail down and looked up to see a young James Dean swagger onto the screen.  The screen split and on the right side a balding, overweight man leaned against the side of a silver Porsche.  The only resemblance she could see was the coiffed hair and leather jacket.   She groaned and then remembered Norah Jo.

 

“Coming up, Marilyn Monroe and Buddy Holly.”

 

The ringing phone interrupted another passionate embrace between Meredith Grey and Dr. McDreamy.

 

“Amanda, are you watching Channel 8?  I can’t wait to see Then and Now.  Isn’t this exciting?  Make sure you watch it at 8 o’clock.”  A shrill beep indicated the end of Norah Jo’s message. 

 

Amanda looked back at the screen, a flash of Marilyn Monroe, her skirt fanned out above the air vent and next to her was a Rubenesque Norah Jo spilling out of a tight white dress.  To make matters worse she had her back to the camera, head peering over the left shoulder.  A behind resembling cottage cheese showed through the white stretch fabric, bright red lipstick accentuated the wrinkles around her mouth. 

 

The phone rang again. 

 

“Amanda.”  The hesitant voice whispered.  “Did you see that?  Who was that person, I thought they would use the pictures they took of me.”

 

Amanda smiled.  Maybe all was not lost.  Thank goodness Norah Jo didn’t possess a full length mirror.  “My friend needs some serious help,” Amanda said as she dialed the number. “Norah Jo, why don’t you meet me tomorrow.  We can stop by a beauty parlor I found.  What do you think of changing your hair color?  By the way there’s a contest for a Rosie O’Donnell look-a-like.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

 

 

I made a huge mistake.  “You twit” and “oops” didn’t sound nearly dramatic enough, but in my defense, I think the other expletives coming from my mouth were involuntary and caused by the impact of banging my head on the desk. 

 

My friend Lizzie had sent me an e-mail thanking me for helping with the wedding shower she hosted.  I did think at the time it was strange as she is always reading books on etiquette and should know that hand written note cards were more appropriate.  Still, it was just an e-mail between friends, or so I thought.  But when I inadvertently hit the “Reply-to-All” button I realized it wasn’t just to me.  

 

In horror, I stared at the screen, willing the e-mail to come back to me.  I knew there was a recall button somewhere and frantically searched for it.  I’m sure I would have found it quicker if my head hadn’t been throbbing.  There it was under Actions. I breathed a sigh of relief as I recalled the message.  Just to make sure, I “recalled” the message four more times.

 

Some of what I said was probably best left unspoken but surely Veronica knew that the dress she wore to the shower was too tight; I know for a fact she has a full length mirror in her bedroom.  In all fairness though she may not have turned for a rear view look and noticed the cellulite imprint resembling cottage cheese through the silky white material of her skirt. 

 

I clicked on my mailbox and selected the “sent” folder.  What exactly had I said?

 

“. . . and then there was Georgia.  I didn’t exactly say I liked her brilliant red, hairstyle I just said ‘It looks so different.’  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that looked at it and conjured up pictures of a hedgehog that had been dipped in red paint. 

 

And who brings their dog to a baby shower?  I know Carla thinks her Chihuahua is an adopted child but no one else appreciates having a dog nipping at their heels while they are standing in line at the buffet table.  Next, she will be carrying it in one of those baby harnesses.

 

We all know the bride’s mother is weird so I don’t even have to mention how she looked after the fourth glass of wine.  Her bun did look a bit lopsided by the end of the afternoon though and wouldn’t it have been kinder to let her know that her earrings weren’t a matching pair?

 

Let’s face it; no one is going to take Sherry seriously with her incessant chanting about how much thinner she is after joining Weight Watchers.  I stopped counting after her fifth trip to the cake table.

 

It looks like the next big event for the bride will be a baby shower.  She may be getting a white wedding dress but who buys one that looks like a tent and is three sizes bigger?”

 

* * *

 

The last e-mail I got from Lizzie informed me that she received five e-mails saying I was unsuccessfully trying to recall a message.  I thought we were all friends but now nobody will talk to me.     

ANN SUMMERVILLE shares...

Ann  Summerville was born in England, and in search of a warmer climate, moved to California before settling in Texas.  She is currently working on a cozy mystery set on the southwest coast of England.  Ann resides with her son, two boisterous dogs and a somewhat elusive cat.

 

 Motivation...

 

Fame..."While in a book store I watched a woman whose clothes were too tight, makeup too bright, and color coordination more than a little off, walk through the store exuding confidence.  Maybe full length mirrors should be banned."

Technical Difficulties... "Having remembered a time when a friend of mine called and frantically asked how to recall an e-mail message I began to think of the worse case scenario for an e-mail gone astray."