Day 68 – The Comeback – Short Story

He looks in the mirror and stares into his own, empty, lifeless eyes, and tries to smile, but his eyes convey more sadness and the smile deteriorates into a haggard, old, worn out frown.

He lets out a sigh as he picks up the eyeliner and begins applying his make up for the show, when there is a knock at the door and a young man quickly makes his way in, looking at him with concern.

“My god George, we’re on in five minutes, and you haven’t even got your make up on, what’s taking so long buddy?” He asks.

“I’ll be ready, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and five minutes is all I need.”

“George, mate,” he says as he pulls a seat up next to him and straddles it. “I’m not having a go at you here, so please don’t take it that way. But you’ve got to remember, this isn’t your dime you’re running on, it’s mine, and I’ve taken a huge hedge bet tonight in giving you this spot. So get your face on and get out there and wow the fuck out of everyone,” he says as he slaps George on the back and gives him a wry smile.

George gets to his feet proudly and looks down at him, “Don’t talk to me like I’m not doing you a favour here, when my name was attached to this pathetic attempt at true theatre it opened doors for you that would’ve never been within your grasp. I legitimised your hack job of a show, so you give me the respect I deserve.”

He holds his hands up and smiles broadly, “Whoa there old fella, I never meant any disrespect, I said that, I’m just doing my job. Part of it is to make sure egos are removed, mine included, this is everyone’s baby, and I’ll remind you, you’re not doing it for free so I have to flex some muscle to keep the line towed, you understand right?”

“I understand, and you understand this, when the reviews come in, and they praise my performance as the only truly good thing about this show, I will demand more than the measly few dollars you seem to only be able to afford to me, just know that, you worm, then we will see where the table sits and who is at the head.”

He slowly stands up and smiles again, “a lot of people warned me against offering you this role, they said your ego was massive. But you know what, sure, whatever it takes old man, you want a bigger cut of the pie, go out there and fucking sell it, be the great George Slangzer, show the world you’ve still got it, and show me I’m right to let you carry the show. You make this a hit and you can have whatever you want, money, a writing credit, women, men, whatever, I’ll get it for you, but if this bombs, because of you, we’ll make a new deal, and it’s going to really benefit me.” He says as he holds out his hand.

George stands there, silently, “Kid, I actually might come to like you,” he says as he shakes his hand.

“Said no one ever, to the devil,” he says with a smile.

 

END

14 Comments Add yours

  1. ceayr says:

    Very good story, well devised and developed.
    If I say the writing could be a bit tighter in places, please don’t be offended.
    If I didn’t think you had talent I would say nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, it’s one of the stories I want to go back and work on. I think the hour and a half spent on it was worthy of what came out, but it needs some extra love to really make it work the way I saw it in my head when it played out. Thanks for your words of encouragement, they are greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlmalone says:

    good on you. good things will come of it. not everything will work but you know this. allow time for challenging reading as well.

    Like

  3. intrudesite says:

    Interesting clash of money versus talent . Happens in all professions. Some artists sell them selves cheap because they are vulnerable to criticism . ” Wow the fuck out of them !” is so healthy …..I liked the male friendship the undercurrent of the piece….
    Awesome writing….In short story genre , also sounds like a tight script of screen play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, I really enjoyed this one, exploring the washed up star looking to make his name worth something again and the up and coming writer who takes more than a chance to make his dream happen. It was the interplay that really won it for me, I don’t think I edited out any of their conversation as I do a lot of my writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. logangrey20 says:

    Your 365 day challenge is a real commitment. I can barely get myself to blog once per week. I’m impressed. Good luck!

    Like

    1. Thanks, I thought at the beginning it would be a piece of cake, I had all these ideas, and thought it would be easy to find the hour I needed each day, but, it has been a challenge, and I keep upping my commitment. Especially with the blog spawning its own story… But that’s something to talk about in October. Thanks again, I hope you enjoy the visit, and by the way, I really enjoyed the Night Always Returns 👍

      Like

      1. logangrey20 says:

        Thanks Matthew! I think you’ve inspired me to try my hand at flash fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I look forward to reading them, it’s so much more satisfying that sitting down and putting your soul into a novel, that takes more of you than it should. Flash fiction is a click of the fingers, wham bam, now what’s next! It’s expression of ones creativity, the key is don’t over edit, don’t sit on it for days. Write it, read it, post it, and move on. Well, that’s my system, it could be terrible but it works for me 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  5. TanGental says:

    nice and thank you for the follow..

    Like

    1. No worries, I really enjoyed revenge, loved the end, the last line summed it up perfectly 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TanGental says:

        Thanks Matthew

        Like

  6. janettoms says:

    What one might call succinct – can’t ever remember using that word before. It certainly draws the reader into these lives. Thank you.

    Like

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