Gran' Central

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


 

“I’ohno ’bout this part. I ain’t never eyum been in love. They always say we gotta try an’ draw from suh’um,” Johnny said as he flipped through the crumpled up script. His mother, Mrs. Anderson, brushed the doughnut crumbs off his gray lapels.  “An’ how can I tell if this fella in the flick is really actin’ like a real ol’ lovestruck sap would? I mean, what eyum really happened at Gran’ Central back then, Erol’?”

“It’s I duh-on’t. Gran-duh. Erol-duh. Can’t ya speak? Come on, Johnny. Don't you keep up with The Industry?” Johnny was still squinting his eyes at his dialogue. “Haven’t you ever seen the films? Don’t you know what—” but as Erold began to feel a hot welling of passion, there was the patpat of Mrs. Anderson’s hand again, taking on the all-you-can-eat buffet of sugar and sprinkles laid out on Johnny’s suit. “Does she have to be here?”

“Who? Ma?” 

“Oh, no!” Erold swatted a mocking hand through the air. “I meant Elizabeth! Elizabeth won’t you go home, darling? It seems Mama’s Boy has all the woman he can handle right now.”

The young woman sitting off to the side of the set, who had been bobbing her knees up and down and pulling her gloves on and off despite the slight chill in the room, stood abruptly. She bowed her head as if to show off her dirty-blonde pin-curls one last time, and rattled off an apology, “Uh-yes-sorry-Erold-I’ll-be-leaving.” 

Erold reached out for a moment. ‘Come back, Elizabeth,’ he thought. ‘I was only kidding.’ Then he looked back at the pair before him, and he wondered if maybe he really had meant it because the thick cuh-lup cuh-lup of Elizabeth’s steps was not enough to rival Mrs. Anderson’s patpat or Johnny’s mantra of “I’ohno.” 

While the footsteps were drowning, Erold briefly wished he could follow them and float away on the crisp air like an innertube on a lazy river. But then, patpat. “No, I‘ohno.” These two were indelible.

“Johnny,” Mrs. Anderson said. “Where do you keep getting all these doughnuts? How do you expect to find a nice girl one day if—”

“—they never get a chance to say their lines,” Erold chimed. 

Mrs. Anderson removed her hand from Johnny’s suit and slowly turned to Erold. “My son gives his time to the movie business, and he was never one to date anything but his work. Elizabeth’s a sweet girl, but she’s anxious and she’s young. She wants to make it, so she’d do a love scene and pretend she knows all about it. Heck, maybe she does. But my son, he’s never given in to something like this. Something so ...  fake. Now, we’ve seen behind all the ‘movie magic.’ All the flash has been removed, but Johnny doesn’t act what he doesn’t know.”

“She’s right, Erol’,” Johnny said.

At that moment, the light beamed in through the windows. Erold saw the pair illuminated. He grinned. “You know … this could work.”

 


Submitted: March 09, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Heather Renea Teague. All rights reserved.

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