A Gilded Cage

Reads: 88  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 4

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jason Rawlins has it all, his dream job, more money than he needs, and a jet set lifestyle. Is everything as glamorous as it seems though? Or is he living in a gilded cage?

Submitted: August 02, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 02, 2017

A A A

A A A


The photographer handed him the book and joked about “knowing what to do”, Jason's eyes rolled internally. With nearly a dozen books under his belt, Jason Rawlins did indeed know the drill. He silently cupped the book in his left hand, supporting it with his other one, and flashed his freshly polished teeth at the lens. The photographer “oohed and ahhed”, clearly impressed with Jason's familiarity with the standard poses.

 

“Two more Jim Porter Mysteries this year then?”, Fabio, or whatever his name was, enthused. Jason made a small huff before regaining his composure.

 

“As Jim would say... ” Jason gave his signature two fingered point to the side “sure thing!”, he added a wink this time. The fans loved that shit. Everyone in the room nodded their heads at the gesture. Except for Candice Obermann, she had her head in her phone, as always. Despite her attention being locked like a laser on the device, she managed to negotiate the humdrum of “hangers on” with ease. She tapped Jason on the shoulder and whispered into his ear.

 

“Okay, Vincenzo, that's enough for today. Mr. Rawlins has a “meet and greet” in LA tomorrow, so we need to get to his jet.” Vincenzo popped the camera to one side and glided over to Jason, pressing his hands either side of Jason's.

 

“Can I just say it's been an honour to work with you today-” Candice swatted him away and demanded approval for all the images before publication. Jason liked her style. It was one of the few things he did like about her, or indeed the life he'd ended up with.

 

From the minute he could hold a book, the passion had grabbed him. Before any of the letters made sense to him and his Mother had to read for him. His Mother wasn't a good reader, she lacked the imagination for all the different voices, but she'd explained all the words to him.  In his teens, Jason resigned himself to “bookish nerd”. He kept his head down and when the “sticks and stones” of the bullies' missives hit, he withdrew into another world with his inkling friends.

 

Jason's mother had darned near fainted when he produced a signed contract for a three book deal, aged 21. The advance figure was underwhelming in her eyes, but the publishing house was at least one she had heard of. So began the “my son's Jason Rawlins, the author” phase of his life, with the addition of “acclaimed” after his first book award.

 

It seemed a charmed life, to his readers. They devoured his every word and Jim Porter took on a life on his own. Jason was rich beyond his needs, he gave most of his earnings away. That helped, come tax time as well, of course. He went to bed in London and attended a film premiere in LA the following night.

 

Jason hated Jim. He was a poisoned chalice, to him. The success of his fictional detective had hobbled any attempt to break the cast iron mould he was in.  He'd offered new ideas to his publisher, so many ideas. But the standard response was “another couple of Jims and we'll see”. Then Jason suggested publishing under a pen name. His publishers agreed, a plan was forged, and a book delivered. It bombed.

 

So now Jason was stuck writing Jim Porters, earning money he didn't need. He could retire of course, he'd thought about it often enough. The fan mail, the ones that talked about his writing in general terms, he'd miss that. Perhaps.

 

***

 

Jason made himself comfortable on the sand and took the newspaper out one last time. He looked to the paintbox blue sky and smiled. A private island hideaway was his final perk. It felt good to have the sun on his face. He read the headline and chuckled, before throwing the paper into his makeshift beach bonfire.

 

Jason Rawlins: Missing

 

In a mystery worthy of one of his Jim Porter books, Jason Rawlins has disappeared whilst flying his private jet. Mr. Rawlins, a former billionaire, was under contract for two more of his wildly popular series when he vanished. Fans have been left shocked and saddened at the prospect of a cliffhanger, with no news of the fate of poor Jim. His personal assistant, Candice Obermann, was refusing to comment and his publishers will be issuing a statement in the next week.


© Copyright 2017 India Emerald. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Flash Fiction Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by India Emerald

Aylsh'r and the Afterlife

Short Story / Flash Fiction

Ghosts of the Sea Queen

Short Story / Flash Fiction

Tourmaline

Short Story / Flash Fiction

Popular Tags