by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
This is my response to a writing prompt from Writer’s Digest Community last year.
BENDING THE RULES: The sign said “No shirt, no shoes, no service”—but that didn’t matter. He had to get inside.
The sign said “No shirt, no shoes, no service” – but that didn’t matter. He had to get inside. He laughed at the thought of what he must look like to passers-by. No doubt, a down-on-his-luck replica of that famous you-know-who celebrity. If they only knew. Nothing is ever as it appears.
“Get a job!” someone scowled, causing him to jump back. He lost his footing on the wet sidewalk and landed, bum first, into an oily puddle. I need a stunt double, he mused to himself, then broke out into hard laughter. For it was always his choice to do the stunts himself. It gave more honesty to the scenes, he often said.
And now, with no director or script or camera crew, here he was. On the rain-soaked streets; trying desperately to reach her.
She glanced back playfully; egging him to keep after her, daring him to the chase. He rose to the challenge and started again. His stride automatically increased in large bounds but his focus turned to recall of how they met. There had been auditions and screen tests. Agents and managers. Meetings and negotiations.
She’s stubborn to work with, they warned. She has a will of her own. But he always loved a challenge. And he always got the girl. There was no need to think otherwise. Until now.
Their courtship barely started and he was in love. The tables had turned, and this strong leading man was now being led.
And so he chased. Whenever they weren’t working, and sometimes when they were, he pursued her in a manner almost ridiculous. Like now.
It had started when she greeted him in costume. She often found him half-dressed. Giving him no time to prepare, she grabbed his sandwich and ran away with a smile and “come get me” look. The chase, the game, the race. It was all on.
He gave no care to anyone or anything except pursuing her, and suddenly she was trapped. She managed to escape into the deli, out of the wet falling sky.
The irony struck him. Her beauty had always opened doors for her. Here he was. Soaked. Dirty. Determined.
He paid no attention to the sign, and strode in. With authority. She backed into a corner, almost laughing. The patrons, drying and feeding themselves, stopped to observe, whisper, and gawk. He gave no attention to his peripheral vision.
Finally, with no place to go, he backed her into the corner. She took one bite of the sandwich and dropped the remnant on the floor. She was collared, and she knew it.
He smiled his Oscar-winning smile. “Tell me you love me,” he urged as his embrace became more of a stronghold.
She looked up, licking her mouth more for his benefit than hers. Almost nodding, definitely winking, she answered.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!