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Eliza Gale

Why Do I Make Less Money Than Jennifer Lawrence?

jlaw

In 2014 North Korea hacked into Sony’s computer system and it was revealed that Jennifer Lawrence and other female actors made less money than many of their male counterparts. Recently, superstar Ms. Lawrence wrote an article for Lena Dunham’s  Lenny newsletter  entitled, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-stars.”  In the article she says that she has kept her mouth shut about the revelation for so long because she didn’t want to appear difficult or spoiled.

Ms. Lawrence mostly blames herself for the fact that she didn’t get paid as much as her co-stars.  She acknowledges the fact her problems are not relatable to most woman and says that, when negotiating salaries for “American Hustle” she, gave up early.

“I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need,”  she said.

She also acknowledges that she is not sure if it was her sex or her age that caused the inequity.

She writes that although her financial situation may not be relatable, she does think that many women can relate to letting their desire to be liked get in the way of expressing their opinion and getting something that they want for fear of being perceived a brat.

In spite of the fact that Ms. Dunham gave Ms. Lawrence the opportunity to be heard by a large audience, Ms. Lawrence confesses to an unwillingness to do even one single solitary bit of research for the article.

“We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I’m seriously asking — my phone is on the counter and I’m on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question.”

Her unwillingness to do research results in the devaluation of her own argument. She writes that one thing the Sony hack revealed was a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a “spoiled brat.” She says that she does not think a man would be referred to as a spoiled brat. If she had just employed Google she would have seen that this was not accurate. Justin Beiber and Chris Brown are called brats all the time.

I am not sure why Jennifer Lawrence was considered the best person to write about this topic, as she has contributed to sexism in our culture by participating in the long establish practice of Hollywood ageism against woman.

In the movie, “American Hustle” she plays a character based on Cynthia Marie Weinberg who was many years her senior. The real Weinberg was not the ditz portrayed by Lawrence if the film, but a key witness in the Abscam case. She was also not an exceptionally glamourous looking person. The role should have gone to a more mature plainer looking woman, but Hollywood is sexist ageist and looksist, so Ms. Lawrence got the part and financially benefited. One might think she was the best actress for the role, but she spend the film going in and out of an overdone Brooklyn accent.

She was also cast in the role of Tiffany in David O. Russell’s  “Silver Lining Playbook.” Other people considered for the role were Angelina Jolie and Elizabeth Banks both of whom are closer in age to the leading man in the film, Bradley Cooper. Mr. O’Russell said that in spite of the fact that she was too young, she got the part because her audition was exceptional.

Although she gives a good performance in that movie, I can’t help but think box office draw had something to do with her getting the part. Some of it also has to do with gender, they never would have cast a 21-year old to play the male lead, no matter how good he was.

Much of Ms. Lawrence’s popularity comes from the fact that she fulfills a male fantasy. She is beautiful with a symmetrical face and a perfect figure. Her public persona is of a woman that doesn’t worry about ruining that figure because she drinks, eats and smokes with the best of them. She isn’t overly sensitive like other chicks. She even says fucking several times in the lennyletter.com article. How very ballsy it is to say fucking.  Men see this and believe that she is actually like that and hence the perfect woman for them.

To be fair the male answer to this is Robert Downey Jr. Mr. Downey’s public persona is that of a tall, dark handsome man who is also witty and sensitive. Woman want to believe he is like this in real life and there is someone out there just like that for them. (There isn’t)

The notion that Ms. Lawrence or any of her co stars male or female negotiate their own deals  is preposterous. Any celebrity is like a small corporation and a team of lawyers agents and managers negotiate on their behalf.

Lennyletter.com espouses itself to be a feminist website, it features interviews and articles with prominent woman from around the country. Although Ms. Dunham has been accused of racism there are women of color on the blog.

If you are going to have an article about pay inequity in America there are millions of women who are more effected by this than Ms. Lawrence. There are many women who make less than their male counterparts and some of them may want for food, shelter child support and medicine.

Some of these woman may have been discriminated against and some, like Ms. Lawrence may be afraid to assert themselves for fear of being perceived as difficult. When this fear results in actually financial jeopardy then it is a real tragedy and one worth writing about.

When she decided that she wanted to run a piece on pay inequity Ms. Dunham did not reach out to any of the many working class women around the country. She could have done a little research and found many blogs on the subject.  Instead she specify reached out to Ms. Lawrence; one must ask why she would do this?

Mr. Dunham’s screen persona is that of a delusional, self-absorbed and neurotic young woman who fails at much of what she tries. In actuality she is a shrewd and astute Hollywood power player who is as brilliant a business woman as she is a writer. She knew that by featuring Ms. Lawrence she would get more hits on her website than if she featured some nobody. In fact most of the woman who write for the site are famous.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am.  I am homely, lower middle class woman who works in a call center and experiences looksism and sexism on a daily basis. I want my voice heard and it won’t be. I am more of an expert on this stuff then Jennifer Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence’s article got much press attention and many hits. Only a tiny handful of people will read this post.

If it sounds like I have something against Ms. Lawrence or Ms. Dunham I do not. I am a huge fan of Ms. Dunham’s work.  I think she is another Woody Allen which is the biggest complement I can give to anyone. I actually think Ms. Lawrence is a good actor most of the time, I just don’t think she should have been the first choice to write about this subject.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am late for the graveyard shift.

Time (part 5)

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All of my social media sites came up and my secret blog did not. There were ten good reviews on Yelp and two bad ones. We checked under images and found the same retouched picture of me that had always been there.

I went back to my personal e mail. I remembered that the in box went back further on that one month. Most of it consisted of updates about meet up groups. There was an e mail from an old high-school friend about her kids. There was a fourth of July party invite from my fair weather friend Mark.

I went to Meetup.com to see if I was signed up to go to any events. It turned out that I had been signed up to see Book of Mormon three days after my disappearance from social media.

“Maybe I should just get back in the time machine and go to a week before my last post.”

“What if it’s dangerous,” he asked.

“Do you think I was murdered? I think there would be some evidence.”

“Maybe you were abducted. I think we should investigate this further before you go back.”

“What do you propose we do?”

“For starters I could go over to your old place and see who lives there.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Just stay here, no going in the machine. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

While I waited I surfed the net. I looked to see that all the major news stories over the last year were still intact. I went all the way back in my Facebook profile, back to the very beginning.

I’d started it four years before moving into the Beverly Hills apartment.  At first I just posted advertisements offering my party services. After a while I started posting articles about famous psychics through history and articles by self-help gurus. I had an official company blog on which I’d written several articles and I was the official psychic writer on the website Chat-her.  I never had a personal Facebook, only the one for the business.

I looked for some evidence of why I would have stopped posting. Most of my post got about ten or so likes. I had some rather successful behind the scenes film industry people as Facebook friends and clients and a few minor actors. I looked through my friends and was impressed to see I had at least two hundred more than I remembered having. I noticed I was friends with Tamera Kelly the actor on Contemporary Twins. I was pretty impressed, she was becoming a big star.

Then I noticed the name Katrina Fuller in my friends list, the woman who had been e mailing me. I went to her page and looked at her profile. She was the wife of a reality show producer. She had attended Harvard where she received a degree in English. I was impressed. Most of my clients only had degrees in blow off classes from fake universities. I wondered why she had decided to hire me for her party. I wondered why I seemed to be avoiding her invitation.

I went back in her history, looking for clues. She didn’t post very much, pictures of a red carpet event here. A picture of her and a celebrity there. There was one picture of her standing with Tamera Kelly that was taken almost a year ago. I went back to October 5th of 2013, but there was nothing. I went back a little further to the date of her e mails to me. She had posted a comment or two about the difficulty of party planning. She had posted the song Bust Your Windows, which was about revenge and didn’t seem to fit in with her musical taste.

Suddenly I heard a rumble. I stood up and turned around the bedroom door opened and I saw someone who looked familiar; it was me, wearing a t shirt that I owned two years ago. I looked shocked when I saw myself I felt my knees going out from under me.

The Ringtone

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Belinda lay in bed staring at the ceiling. That morning marked her third straight month of unemployment. She was reviewing all the interviews she had in her head and wondering what she did wrong. Her benefits would run out soon and they weren’t really enough to live off of. She realized she should probably plan on going to sell plasma that afternoon.

She heard her phone buzz and she fished it out from under the bed and looked at the text. “I might not make it tonight…may have to work, Bill” the message said. For a moment she was confused; she didn’t know a Bill, it was obviously a wrong number.

“I really want to do this, would tomorrow night work?

 

She chuckled a bit she wondered what the circumstances were. He was Identifying himself, so whoever he was texting was obviously new in his life or he would be programmed into the phone he was attempting to text. She wondered if it was a date, or maybe a special professional meeting.

“Let me know,” said the next message.

She realized that she should text him and tell him he had the wrong number. She decided she’d do it as soon as she officially got up. She fell back to sleep for a bit. Then she got out of bed made coffee and took a shower. While she was showering she imagined what Bill must look like. She envisioned someone not very handsome, but very well groomed. Possibly the sort to wear designer clothes, go to the gym daily and get $100 haircuts on his balding head. She was sipping the coffee and looking at Indeed.com when she heard her phone buzz again.

She picked up her phone to see yet another message from Bill.

“Please do let me know if you’re getting these texts,” the next message said.

‘God, desperate much,’ she thought.

“I got them,” she texted back.

“Cool, is tomorrow okay?”

“Are you sure you won’t have to work again,” she wrote back.

“Yes, this was a one time emergency. Thanks for being cool.”

She wondered if he was being sarcastic or if he was simply trying to kiss her ass.

“It’s just that I canceled plans for tonight.”

“It’ just that I can’t do six. I can do eight if I drive like a maniac?”

“eight is fine.”

“Still want to go to Zorba’s,” he asked.

“Tots” she wrote back with a wink and a smile.

She went back to applying for jobs and surfing the net. She walked to Walgreen’s and bought some Dryel sheet which she used to clean her best interview dress. She put it on and drove to Zorba’s where she arrived at 7:50.

The bar was sort of dead that night two old men sat at the bar not speaking to each other. There was a married couple having dinner and talking about their lawn behind her and there were two women at a booth chatting quietly. One of them, a pretty, thin brunette was devouring an enormous piece of cake and appeared to be quite drunk. Her plump blonde friend appeared to be comforting her. Belinda attempted to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“It’s better to find out now than once your actually..” the blonde’s voice drifted off into the distance.

Belinda strained to hear what the brunette said, but only heard part of it.

“…took one look and walked out?”

With this a tall thin man with brown, thinning hair walked into the bar. He was wearing a nice suit and seemed to be in a big rush. He glanced around the bar looking right past her as he went. He walked over to the two woman.

“Bethany,” he said to the Brunette just as she was stuffing a giant piece of ice cream and fudge covered cake into her wide open gape.

“Bill,” she said when she could speak.”

“I’m sorry, if I’m a little late there was traffic and..”

“A little late, try two hours.” The blonde said. “I’m sarah.”

“”I thought we said six,” Bethany said.

“No, I texted you and told you I couldn’t make it until eight?”

“I never got it. Why didn’t you just Facemail me?”
“I don’t know I thought that since you gave be your cell I should just text, besides I…”

”You know what, Bethany exclaimed. I really don’t want to hear it. I’m really sick of cyber dates that I never hear from again. And every single plan being tentative, and saying lets hang out instead of do you want to go out with me? I’m sick of saying ‘it’s no big deal’ when it is a big deal. I sick of sleeping with people and acting like I wasn’t expecting anything. I ‘m sick of it! How dare you be two hours late, you dumb schmuck! What’s with the suit? You want everyone to think you have money? Learn how to spell if you want to impress people.  I’ve never texted with anyone who made so many mistakes.

Bethany got up and through some money on the table. The two woman stormed out. Everyone stared at Bill. He checked his phone and pushed a button. Suddenly a National Anthem ringtone went off.  Belinda instinctively turned to reach into her purse, but then realized she couldn’t answer it. Bill hung up and dialed again, this time when the Anthem played he looked around the bar, his eyes landing on Bethany.

He hung up his phone and the ring tone stopped. There was dead silence in the bar everyone stared at Bethany as he began to walk towards her.

The Profiler

 

 

 

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Irwin Mushpot entered the dank basement office with some trepidation. He seen answered the ad for a romantic profile writer online. He’d always wanted to be a professional writer, he sent things into publishers, but he never heard anything back, not even a form letter. When he’d filled out the writing test this time, he’d gotten a response almost immediately. A Mr. Albert E. Ayne had sent him an e mail back requesting that he meet him at his office on NE. 82 St.

An elderly secretary greeted him and lead him to a very small room which contained a desk and two chairs.

“Mr. Ayne will be with you in just a moment, the secretary said a bit to sternly for Irwin’s tastes.

After a moment Irwin saw the door swing open, but he did not see anyone come in. He heard tiny footsteps and looked down he saw what appeared to be a half man half possum making its way across the floor. It climbed up a small rope ladder that was attached to the other side of the desk. It sat across from Irwin and smiled.

Hello, you must be Irwin, I’m Al,” the creature said in a strange buzzy voice.

“It’s a pleasure,” Irwin said extending a hand trying to act normal.

“So, as you can see I have a physical challenge. As a result of this I’ve had great struggles in my life. I had to educate myself I had to start my own business,” It said extending its left hand (the human hand around the office.) “I’ve been very successful, considering everything and now, I want a girlfriend. I enjoyed your writing sample and well, I’d like you to be my Cyrano.”

“Thank you,” Irwin said, a bit flattered in the face of the shock.

“So, what questions do you have for me to get started on the profile?”

“Um. Let’s see,” Irwin said fumbling with his notebook. Millions of questions raced through his head, but none seemed appropriate.

“What are you looking for physically?”

“Well, I’d like her to be petite, I don’t really care about hair color or style, but she should have nice skin absolutely no yellowish hue.”

Irwin wondered if that was supposed to be a racial comment.

“No dry itchy or flaky skin. She should have a flat stomach no bloat.”

 

“When you say petite, what, like um height and weight did you have in mind?,” Irwin asked wondering if Al wanted someone his own size.

Al’s cell phone burst out with I Think Were Alone know, by Debbie Gibson.

“Hello,” he said. Yes, I’m working on it yes. I realize that…..yes…Ok I definitely will do that…Of course I know what it’s like to be hungry…I have a way to get many…many of them. Yes…I’m working on it ….yes he is.”

Al hung up. He seemed agitated.

“Sorry, where were we?”

“We were discussing an ideal height and weight.”

“Ah, yes. Oh you know between 4’9 to 5’3 no more than 125 pounds.”

“Any preference for race or age?”

“Human not over 40. She should be a non-drinker, that’s very important! I would prefer an only child who is herself childless and when we go on our date she should not have eaten for 12 hours. She should have no digestive problems. I mean I don’t like those anorexics.” He said bouncing around.

“Do you want me to use a picture of you sir,” Irwin asked delicately.

“Abby will e mail you something to use.”

AL turned and looked out the window suddenly he leaped up and jumped on the curtain he began pulling it shut with his paws, his hand and his teeth.

“Um, do you need any help,” Irwin asked.

“No,” screamed in a shrill voice. He finally got the curtain closed.

“Well, is there anything else you want me to ….”

“No, no”, you had better get started. Go out the back way.”

As Irwin was leaving he noticed the shadow of a large circular vehicle in the parking lot.

He walked out the back door and walked around to the front to get in his car. He drove around the building, but the vehicle was gone from the parking lot. He looked up at the sky and saw a strange object with a familiar arm hanging out of the window.

One Onion Ring

 

 

 

WIN_20140709_184211 (2)

I must be honest; I am an exceptionally attractive male. In my fourteen years on this planet I have been able to get away with that which less fortunate men cannot. I often go up to strange women on the street and rub my body against them. I rub my face on their inner thighs and their only response is to squeal with delight, stroke my head and tell me how soft my hair is and how beautiful I am. Too be fair it might be because I have had a certain operation that makes women feel I am not much of a threat. If you have ever read The Sun Also Rises I am sure you will understand to what I am referring.

I do not have to work, I am what you might call a kept man. The woman who supports me does not have very much money, but she still treats me very well. I am afforded the best food and personal care as she knows how many other woman wish to be in her shoes. I will refer to her only as Madame.

Up until very recently I was fairly contented with my life. I stayed home most of the day while Madame worked. I watched TV and surfed the net. I did not concern myself with the problems of the world as there is so little I could do about them.

A couple of nights ago Madame came home with a takeout meal. She had purchased for me the finest type of meat and potatoes. She had also purchased some sort of bean patty for herself as well as some sort of breaded item. I finished my meal quickly, tossing the vegetables aside. I had to investigate the new substance. I jumped across the table and sniffed of the circular shaped items just as Madame was putting it in her mouth. She pushed me gently away and I responded by knocking the bag off the table.

She picked the bag up quickly, but in our struggle one of the breaded rings had fallen to the floor. I pounced to the ground and snatched the treat up into my jaws devouring in quickly. I was amazed at how good it was. I tilted my head back to a low the delicious grease and juice to flow down my throat. It was the most wonderful sensation I had ever experienced. The breading danced upon my tongue with all of its myriad spices.

It was gone too quickly. I licked the carpet to capture the remaining breadcrumbs, but soon they were gone as well. I jumped back on the table and grabbed the bag. Madame tried to stop me but I growled at her. Let’s face it, I am far out of her league and if she tries to tell me what to do, I will just find some other woman to live off of. I tore open the bag, but they were all gone. I ate the crumbs and licked the bag until the taste was gone. I sat by the door and cried all night.

When Madame left the next day I attempted to open the door by myself to go out into the world and find more of the wonderful food, but I was unable to maneuver the stubborn tool. When Madame got home I was unable to convince her to buy more. She said they were bad for me (as if they were good for her.) When we went out for a walk I attempted to run away to find them, but Madame held on to me with great strength.

I do not know what else to do. If you are reading this please help! If you know where to get this substance please tell me! I will do anything at all for more. I will leave Madame; I don’t care. I have tasted paradise and I must have more.

The Ice Queen

 pen

 

He met her in front of the library. She had been circulating petitions to get a senatorial candidate on the ballot. She was pretty, but not too much. She had seemed quiet and polite and quite nervous when he asked her out.

On their first date they’d met in the park and taken their dogs on a long walk. She’d seemed quit nervous, never looking him in the face. She had stammered a lot and let him do most of the talking. It had occurred to him that she did not seem like one to fight.

On their second date he’d taken her out to dinner at the restaurant of his choice. On their third date he had told her that he would meet her at her apartment and they would pick a movie to go see together. He had yet to achieve contact and was hoping this would be an opportunity to do that.

He arrived at her door and she reluctantly let him in. The first thing he noticed was how cold it was. The walked down a short hall way to the living room. He looked around shocked. There were stuffed toy penguins everywhere. There were posters of penguins and penguin pillows and several giant inflatable penguins. There were ice packs everywhere and the air condition was turned all the way up.

“Did you ever think you were born the wrong species,” she asked waddling towards him.

San Francisco

You get the memo in your sleep; it is a list of things you are not permitted to wear to work. The list is long; pants, shirts, skirts, underwear, socks and boots.

You wake up and ride the train to work. No one on the train notices that you are stark naked. When you get to the office you are met with looks of horror and snarky stares. You instinctively know that you are in trouble. You walk into your boss’s office and wait for a scolding. Your co-worker Gary is already in there and gives you an amused look as you walk in.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the memo,” you say and you are suddenly ashamed of your body which you suddenly realize is fat and doughy.

“It’s okay,” he says with a chuckle. He looks you up and down in a loving way and you wonder, for a moment if he could ignore the hideous aspect of your aspect.

“I should have known that they meant I should wear a towel.”

“It’s a natural mistake. In fact there is a giant room filled with towels down the hall.” He says opening the door for you.

You walk down the hall till you see a door that says ‘giant room filled with towels.’ You open it and find that there is nothing their but an enormous room filled with painting of nudes. The nudes make you feel inferior in your blobby bareness. You stare at them until they turn into Muppets. Gary is suddenly behind you.

“Do you like it, “he says in a French accent. ”I painted it this morning after breakfast?”

“You are sick,” you say beginning to cry.

“You have to realize our hearts are made of Styrofoam no matter what are genitals look like.”

“I know, I know,” but why say it? If we don’t say it we can tell ourselves it’s not true.”

“I brought you a towel. I think you will look nice in it.”

You put on the towel and you wrap it around you like a disco dress.

“Let’s go to a meeting in San Francisco”. He says taking out an egg salad sandwich and eating it.

You follow him down the street and get in his car you drive to the airport. You get to security and you are told you cannot board the plane with bare feet. You are angry, believing that it is a conspiracy to get you to pay airport prices for shoes.

You decide to get your feet amputated and replaced with suitcase wheels. You roll onto the plane. You look around and notice that everyone looks vaguely familiar. You realize that you are at your high-school reunion. You turn around and look for Gary, but he is gone.

You order a martini and are handed a Shirley Temple. You choke down the hideous sugar drink as you attempt to make conversation with your former classmates, but the groups of people stand closer together as you approach.

“Can’t you see we are all movie stars” said one of them as she turns into George Clooney. She blows on you until you shrink.

 

“I came here with a beautiful young man” You scream, but no one hears you as you are only an inch big. The plane lands. You get off the plane and find Gary waiting for you with an enormous box of popcorn.

“What happened to you?” you ask with indignation.

“We can’t very well travel on the same plane, what if it crashes? You’re tiny,” he says picking you up and carrying you into the men’s room.

You avert your eyes as he throws you in the sink. The men who come to wash their hands regard you with amusement as he begins to fill the sink. You feel yourself growing until you are so big that your ass is welded into the sink. Security comes and help you out of the sink.

“Let me see your passport,” The security guard insists.

“Passport, this is San Francisco,” you argue.

“Exactly.”

Gary bribes him with the popcorn and you get back in your towel.

“Where is this business meeting,” you ask.

“I don’t know yet,” Gary says. “But San Francisco is a big city with lots of businesses and one of them must be having a meeting.”

He kisses you and you wish your high school classmates could see it.

Gary rolls you into the city and you live happily ever after.

The Big Story

The black SUV was parked just off the corner of Sunset and Vine. Edgar sat in the driver’s seat with his eyes trained on the door of The Waffle. He munched pizza and drank a large coke while his camera sat on the dashboard at the ready.

Outside the SUV a tall, thin red haired man wearing eye make-up and a long ladies shirt asked passersby for money in a very quiet voice. When they walked right by without knowing he had spoken, he would say, “maybe next time”. An old black man in a torn undershirt and blue jeans walked down the street with one hand down his pants.

Edgar finished his meal and peed into the empty coke bottle. He grabbed his camera and put it in his lap. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a small group of people emerge from the office building next door to the restaurant. A thin, blond man and plain, blonde woman sat down on the stairs next to each other. They both appeared to be in their late thirties. The man lit a cigarette and put his arm around the woman. A group of young men stood near the couple not too subtly making fun of the woman’s looks. They took out cigarettes and began discussing a supervisor they didn’t like.

The thin man took his arm off of the plain woman’s shoulder and reached into his pocket for a cell phone. He appeared to be checking a text message. When he was finished he put the phone back in his pocket, but did not place his arm back on the woman’s shoulder. The woman scooted closer to him as he looked off into the distance. Her movement blocked out a stream of light that was coming from the building, casting an eerie shadow on the front of the restaurant.

A tall, woman with dark hair exited the building. She was talking on her cell phone and tears were beginning to emerge. She stood directly in front of Edgar, blocking his view of the door.

He whispered swear words to himself as he overheard her conversation.

“I did look on Craigslist today…. Well, I’m contributing somewhat. Well, I’m not gonna give up my whole acting career for some job at Denny’s.” The tears were rolling down her cheeks. I know you are, babe I’m sorry. Well, there hasn’t been anything that’s right for me is all. I’ve been doing the writer’s group…I know she… look, I have to go back in. I’ll see you soon.”

She sat down on the steps and took out a bag of candy and began eating it. Edgar breathed a sigh of relief. The door to the restaurant swung open and a dark haired man emerged with a redhead in a green dress Edgar’s stomach tightened and his arms flew up. He focused and realized the man simply looked like the actor he was looking for, he breathed and rested his arms.

Edgar stared at the redhead as she and the man stood waiting for the valet to bring their car around. She was short with large breast and full hips. In spite of carefully contoured make-up, small lines emerged at the corner of her brown eyes which darted about nervously. She wore pantyhose under the short dress and her waist was clenched smartly beneath a wide belt. The man checked his watch and smiled at her politely. He was well dressed and in his mid-forties. A small wave of contempt passed though Edgar’s veins as he noticed the man’s fingernails were manicured. They got into a BMW and drove off.

Edgar looked down at the magazine in his passenger seat. The man he was looking for was taller with a pointer nose than the man who had just come out of the restaurant. He tried to study the face in the magazine while keeping one eye on the door. If he missed another one they were sure to fire him. He had already been warned twice. If he got the picture he was after it could mean a minimum of $500. He owed his landlord $2000, but he might be able to talk him in to letting him stay for another week if he presented him with $500.

 

 

 

 

A beautiful young man was walking down the street, tall with dark curly hair, dark eyes and perfectly angled features, everyone turned and looked at him as he entered the building.

The plain blonde woman smiled vaguely as the man entered.

A few people said, “hi, Phil” as he passed. He nodded politely and went into the building. The others got up and went back into the building after him.

Edgar stared at the door of The Waffle. A young man carrying a purse ran by his line of vision than another man, then a crying woman came stumbling after them screaming curse words. The second man came back after a moment carrying the empty purse.

The door opened again and a tall man came out picking his teeth. Edgar fired his camera taking snapshot after snapshot. A gorgeous brunette followed the man. The two kissed and Edgar fired once again. They got in their car and he followed them. He wondered what page People would run it on.

He smiled to himself as he chased the couple down Sunset. He could pay rent he would be okay, and the best story in town was all his.

The Complaint part 2

comp

“Ok God,” Ellen whispered beginning to cry.
“I am never shopping in this mall again,” the woman said. There were more shots and screams followed by a long silence.
Ellen looked beside her to see the woman had disappeared. She belly crawled out from under her station to see several people lying dead on the floor of the shop. She, carefully made her way out into the walkway which was dark and dead silent. She saw a man walking towards her and she began to run.
“Ellen, it’s me, Mr. Kaden.”
Ellen stopped and turned around walking towards her was her childhood best friend’s father.
She ran towards him sobbing he stiffened at her embrace.
“Did they catch him,” she asked.
“We’re supposed to go downstairs,” he said it a comforting paternal tone.
“Is Carrie with you,” she asked.
He was silent. He began walking very quickly; she found herself having to run to keep up with him. He broke out into a sprint racing down the escalators to the food court. He stopped at Aunt Diane’s, panting and out or breath.
She caught up to him.
“What are you doing”, she asked.
“I’m getting a pretzel.”
“But, don’t you think. I mean isn’t the mall closed?”
“Life goes on, Ellen,” he said.
A woman with blood on her shirt and handed him a garlic pretzel.
“Do you want one?”
“No I’m fine,” she said.
They walked into a room where about 40 or so people were gathered. Ellen thought she recognized a couple of them as fellow mall employees. Their soft chattering was silenced when a police officer approached a podium that stood in the front of the room.
“I want to thank you all for your patients. Here’s what we know so far at two o’clock today a man with a gun came into the mall and I need bananas. I said I would pick up bananas and I need more facial scrub.”.
Ellen was confused. She looked at the woman sitting next to her who was just staring straight ahead and nodding stoically.

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