Category Archives: Fans

La Chuparosa 02

La Chuparosa

by J.M. Rosenfield

A civilian has a close encounter with a world famous actress. Is it an act of fate or grace? 2,948 words. Illustration by John Mann.


I’d been lucky once before when I got the scholarship. The Hanover prepsters tagged me “Feather.” 8547D799-C475-4659-B563-17A9A283F8B3And they called the kid from Calcutta, “Dot.” As if they had a hard time telling us Indians apart. They had a lot of fun with us. It’s one of the things I liked about her. She was different. She could care less where I come from. Or what I do. And when I think back on how we met it seems like a chance encounter. Random. But lately I wonder if fate played a part.

It’s only 10 AM. I swap out the igniter in a tub at Ten Thousand Waves. The Japanese spa up on the hill. I usually keep some spares in the truck. So it’s a simple fix. And I finish my first job of the day. It’s slushy in the parking lot. When I see her she’s having trouble starting her car. A rented Cayenne, shiny and white, but caked with red road mix from the thawing and re-freezing in the wake of a brutal winter storm. It’s that storm. More chill than snow and ice. A hundred-year hard freeze that leaves a trail of burst pipes from Roswell to Taos. My bread and butter. I can make my year in those two weeks alone. She throws her hands in the air as if to say, “What’s the use of even trying?”

Of course, I’d seen that wild dark mane and those huge eyes staring out at me before on movie screens. Mostly foreign films. But here she is right in front of me. Spewing a stream of curses. En Espanol. So how can I not offer to help? It’s all so easy. I pop the shifter from Drive into Park, turn the key, and the Porsche fires right up. Anyone else in that situation would feel slightly embarrassed. But not her. You can tell she’s privileged like those Texas tourists who waltz into town for the summer. Expect to be waited on hand and foot. Only she’s Euro, not Anglo. When you make that kind of bank isn’t it all the same? She’s more relieved than anything. Asks if I would accept something in return. A tip?

I say no thanks. But if you got a few minutes to sit down over a cup of coffee, I’ll call us even.

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Thomas Warming - MJ is dead1600

Michael Jackson Is Dead

by Christopher Horton

Are humans hard-wired to gather in mourning for Hollywood celebrities? 1,848 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


June 25th is my birthday. Most years. Not this year. This year it’s 2009 and the day Michael died. And Farrah. And it makes me very sad. If you looked at me, you’d probably figure why would a white, divorced, middle-aged accountant — okay, unemployed accountant — give a shit? You’d think I’d have more important things to be sad about. Like the fact that I’m unemployed. Or that I’m middle-aged and fat. Moonwalk? Hell, sometimes just plain walking normally gives me shooting pains in my left arm.

I should be sad that I live in a crappy apartment in Hollywood, the part where the glam is insane homeless men and drug-addled whores. Or that my ex took my kids to Ohio. Or that she did it because I lost my job. In other words, she did it just to be a bitch. Was it my fault that all of a sudden I couldn’t make good money being an accountant? That’s my skill. I didn’t complain that she didn’t make good money being a bitch.

Anyway, let’s not go there now. Lots of nights, I sit around drinking cheap scotch being sad about that. Not this afternoon. This afternoon, I’m sitting around drinking cheap scotch being sad that Michael’s dead. And Farrah.

So why do I give a shit? Because Michael and I were close. We were bros. Not that I ever met him. We probably didn’t have many values in common. Fill in your own pedophile joke here. But we did sorta have stuff in common. We’re the same age. Well, I’m two months older. And I’ve outlasted him. I never thought that would happen. I mean, I never really thought about it at all. But he was a rich singer-dancer -actor who breathed purified air, and I’m a fat accountant who recently began drinking too much cheap scotch. Just since my kids left.

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Thomas Warming - Reverend Monroe2

Reverend Monroe

by Aimee DeLong

On what would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 91st birthday, an imagining of her most humble of childhoods. 3,038 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


Della noted, as she held six-month-old Norma Jean, that Sister Aimee had said it was very foolish to even hesitate to trust God. Sister Aimee spoke every sentence with a building rhythm. One, two, three, FOUR; one, two, three, FOUR. Certain words clanged like cymbals.

Della held Norma Jean loosely as if waiting for the baby to be scooped up by the great Aimee Semple McPherson. Della listened for twenty more minutes as Sister Aimee preached, her black Bible rolled up and held like a microphone as her long white sleeves trailed down to the stage, a heavenly cord of electricity with all its rhinestones, cascading to earth like stars from the sky.

“What’s more illustrative of our faith than to dedicate one of God’s little lambs? Bring your babies to the front and give back the gift, which has been so graciously given you. To keep them safe and let them truly grow in the light of God.”

Della raised Norma Jean above her head and passed her to Sister Aimee. From the back of the tent the baby appeared to levitate in her white baby gown up to the center of the stage.

“I baptize thee, beautiful baby, Norma Jean Baker. In the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit.”

“Amen!”

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The Horrible Not Knowing 01

The Horrible Not Knowing

by John Bensink

A writer’s lost script is found decades later by people born after his last produced credit. 2,492 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


This all started back before electronic submissions. Wilkerson had knocked out a beautiful script in three days that was a beautiful script. Wilkerson knew it was the best work he’d ever done. So did his wife Alice, who was unerringly right. She had shouted “Yes, perfect!” over and over while reading it with Wilkerson hovering, unable to sit, always desperate for her approval which he always had anyway.

He subsequently made ten copies at Kinkos on Vine, using pale-cream bond pages finished with snappy manila covers. He gave the counter guys old brass script brads he’d found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, fearing the more flimsy ones might splay and spill his precious tale. But these sturdy warriors would never surrender.

But when he put the screenplay copies on his agent Helena’s desk, she recoiled. Because she’d already read his hand-delivered original and pronounced it dead on arrival and dropped it showily into her massive metal wastebasket.

“So what’s wrong with it?” Wilkerson had challenged his agent in his first yet fatal clash with the woman who had done so much for him. Slapping her was like slapping his beloved Alice.

Helena glared. Then something flickered in her eyes like the dismissive blink of a falcon at full altitude. Helena knew people would despise the script because it was neither fish nor fowl. But she said simply, “It’s a wanted poster for unproducible.”

Yet he pushed on recklessly. “Agents only tell their writer that when they don’t get something but won’t admit it.”

They didn’t talk for three weeks.

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Turn To Kill 1

Turn To Kill

by Daniel M. Kimmel

A movie producer and a studio head begin a tough negotiation that ends with a surprise twist. 1,524 words. Illustrations by John Donald Carlucci.


“Mr. Allen will see you now.”

The middle-aged secretary barely looked up from her computer screen as she flicked her head in the direction of a short hallway just beyond. When no further direction was forthcoming, Movie producer Tim Munson realized it was time for him to move. He rose from the barely comfortable seat in the powder blue outer office, fumbled with his briefcase, and headed past several closed doors to the one that was ajar at the end of the hall. He tentatively poked his head in, not quite sure if this was where he was supposed to be.

At the far end of the room, behind a broad mahogany desk, sat I.F. Allen, head of Tigerslair Pictures. His white hair and neatly trimmed beard were countered by his lively eyes. At this moment, they were focused on his electronic tablet, while he also tapped his ear. He was wearing a Bluetooth and seemed to be engaged in a conversation. He looked up and saw the young producer and waved him in.

As Munson tried to figure out which of the many seats available was intended for him, Allen was wrapping up his conversation. “Look, Barry, it’s my way or the highway. If you think you can make a better deal elsewhere, good luck to you. I’ve got to go.” Without so much as a goodbye, the conversation apparently concluded.

Allen put the tablet aside and then swiveled to face the new arrival, who had taken a seat to the left of the desk. A long table piled with scripts and other documents extended from the center of the desk, forcing visitors to choose whether to go left or right, never being quite sure if they had made the right decision, and Allen never indicating where they should sit. It was one of the many ways that those bringing their projects to Tigerslair were kept off-balance.

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Speck Script

Speck Script

by Diane Haithman

A very big TV/film fan hitchhikes to Hollywood in search of something – or someone. 2,408 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


On behalf of my home planet, I’d like to welcome myself to Hollywood.

I hail from Mars. I know for decades you’ve been searching for signs of life up there on the fourth rock from the sun. We were so flattered in 2012 when you sent up that cute Mars Rover Curiosity that’s still zipping around our Gale Crater like a little golf cart. We love each and every orbiter and all those nifty NASA-type gadgets. When that stuff shows up, well, it’s just like Christmas here!

You’ve explored Mars — but you still haven’t found us. Don’t blame yourselves. We’re smaller than anything you can detect even with your most sophisticated ultra-microscope. You can take home all the digital photos, rocks and space-dirt you want— you won’t see us. No, you’re not stupid. It’s not your fault. We’re just real small, that’s all.

Okay I like you humans. You’re funny. So I’m going to share a little secret: You can see us, in a way. We are the red on the Red Planet. All of us, together: our very existence radiating a beautiful warm glow into space for the whole galaxy to share, shifting from tangerine to blood orange to terra cotta brick depending on our mood. That’s us.

We would have done purple when Prince died if we could.

But I digress. My Earth pop culture reference to The Purple One reminds me of the story I wanted to tell you as my first direct communication with Earth. About how I came to Hollywood, and why I must stay. I must stay for as long as it takes.

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American Asshole 02

American Asshole
Part Two

by Pasha Adam

The Hollywood wannabe must decide between his normal life or dream career. 3,036 words. Part One. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


Tyler Price’s film premiere party was everything you’d expect a Hollywood party to be. Ostentatious, superficial, and wholly divorced from reality. It was also the first time I’ve truly felt like I belong, at home among the eclectic mix of narcissists, overachievers, and millionaires you can only find in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it was as far removed from my actual home as you can get within the confines of middle class America.

Twelve hours after the party, Alana and I boarded our plane and traded our luxurious, all-expenses-paid Hollywood weekend for the dryer, browner, more barren pastures of Bumfuck, Arizona.

I wake up bleary-eyed, lying next to Alana in our bed. I barely slept last night, haunted by regrets and mourning a bountiful life that not only could have been, but should have been.

Quietly sliding out of bed, I stumble across the bedroom, a bubble world oasis crafted by me to escape the trappings of reality. Combining our shared love of acting and music, my passion for pop culture and Alana’s obsession with celebrities, our apartment doubles as a shrine to the entertainment industry. Careful not to step on a pile of my Nip/Tuck, Californication, and Entourage DVDs, I enter the living room and embark on a dedicated morning ritual that dates back to our first month in Arizona. Press-ups, sit-ups, protein shakes, flossing, omelets, moisturizing, multi-vitamins, Propecia, and hair styling are capped off with a healthy sixty seconds spent admiring and critiquing my appearance in a full-length mirror.

A crisp tailored black shirt, fitted jeans, Rolex, and polarized Oliver Peoples sunglasses complete my uniform. I take pride in the fact no one here dresses like me. I dress the way I wish the world was, to show the world what it can be.

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American Asshole 01

American Asshole
Part One

by Pasha Adam

A Hollywood wannabe in love is jealous of a famous, charming, successful actor. 2,262 words. Part Two. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


My girlfriend’s hand tightens around mine in excitement, cutting off all circulation until my fingers are numb. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my fucking God!” she squeals. “It’s him!”

From our pool bed in the Tropicana Pool Cafe of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Alana points frantically. I follow her line of vision until I see what she sees. Beyond the cocktail waiters and the Hollywood elite stands the man of the hour: MTV Movie Award winner Tyler Price.

When I was no more than eight years old, my mom asked me, “What do you want to be when you’re older?” As questions go it was relatively innocuous, yet has remained etched into my subconscious ever since.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged.

To this day I have no idea why she asked me that question or why it seemed so important to her. Maybe the years spent floundering in the lower middle class had taken their toll. Or maybe it was something Dad had said. I’m not sure. Either way, what followed was the most earnest and intense moment we’ve ever shared.

She tenderly stroked the side of my face, guiding my attention towards her caring eyes. What Mom was about to say was so important to her that she didn’t just want me to hear it, she wanted me to believe it.

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A Great Bad Year 1

A Great Bad Year
Part One

by Anne Goursaud

A film director in crisis must split time between her pre-production and her father. 2,492 words. Part Two. Part Three. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


It was a few days before Christmas and I was ensconced at the Hotel Raphael in Paris. Jack Kennedy, Katharine Hepburn and Marlon Brando had all stayed there. The Arc de Triomphe and the Trocadero were steps away. In my suite, elegant tapestries, wooden wall panels and period furniture surrounded me. I was back in my home country. By all accounts, I should have been thrilled but I was miserable.

My father was dying.

I had come to Paris in October for pre-production on the sequel to a celebrated and profitable erotic romantic drama which at that point was an orphan without a title. The project was at a standstill as we waited and waited for the starring actor from the original movie, Rex Durand, to sign his contract. In the meantime, he approved me as the director. Getting the job turned out to be the easiest part of making the movie.

The film was to be my third directorial assignment and to try me in ways I had never been tried before, as if all the negative forces in the universe had banded together and decided “Let’s see what she’s really made of.”

Among the complexities was the financing of the film which was partially coming from state-sponsored film funds in three European countries. Each country had requirements attached to the money. We would have to shoot in the trio of nations, and the cast and crews would have to be split between them as well. Having a European passport had been one of the reasons I had been chosen. And the other was my directing work and its sexy edge. For this was to be a very sexy film.

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A mix Up

A Mix Up

by Leslie Epstein

During WWII, Hollywood entombs a studio mogul while burying a greater tragedy. 3,191 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


The line of limousines, all with their lights on, stretched out forever. Here and there I could make out a sedan, a convertible, a coupe — even a bright yellow taxi or two. We turned right on Van Ness Avenue and continued south across Sunset, then Fernwood, then Fountain. One car ahead, just behind the gleaming new 1941 Packard hearse that carried studio owner Victor Granite’s remains, his widow Giselle rode in the Cadillac De Ville. His brother Manfred followed in a rented Lincoln. I, Peter Lorre, was in that vehicle, too: Moto in the motorcade but thankfully without anyone to buck my teeth and slick my hair and stain my skin the color of weakly brewed tea. I sat low in the seat, so as to avoid the gaze of the mounted policemen, who, as we rolled slowly by, touched their white gloves to their caps. Still, I couldn’t help seeing the crowds that lined the sidewalks. Anyone would have thought a Harlow had died, or a star like Valentino. But Victor?

He’d been responsible for a million feet of film; it had spun from his brain like thread from a spider. Yet that sad, sallow face had never appeared on so much as a single frame. Was that the reason he never took off that horrible hat? So as not to appear in even a still photograph? He used that broad brim the way a gangster, confronted by the press, used his overcoat or his hands.

The press had been waiting, just minutes before, when our cortege, then on Hollywood Boulevard, stopped in front of Grauman’s Chinese. Sid Grauman himself had opened the door of the De Ville. We stepped out, all in black. Off went the flashlamps, like milk splashed from a bucket. Newsreel cameramen shot their film. The crowd surged forward, against the line of police. One car back, I watched as the studio publicist Les Kahn came up to the widow. He held a cushion from the Granite prop department, plump and red, with yellow braid.

"I’ll be right back," Manfred told us, before he climbed out of our Lincoln. He hurried over to where Kahn was standing. "What the hell is going on?" Manfred yelled at the publicist.

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Orson Welles 2A

The Invasion
Part Two

by Robert W. Welkos

Nothing in showbiz ever goes as planned, especially when Orson Welles is involved. 2,833 words. Part One. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


New York City — October 25, 1938

Orson Welles’ baritone voice caused the half-empty gin bottles to vibrate against the mirrors in the St. Regis hotel bar where he was a regular. “Hey, Mike, a martini for Miss… What was your name, again, my lovely?“ he asked the beautiful redhead seated next to him.

“Dalrymple, silly,” she replied, pretending to slap his cheek.

“Miss Dalrymple Silly!” Orson repeated to the bartender. “And two olives, Mike… one for the lass and one for the scurvy rat nibbling on your shoelace.”

The reed-thin bartender in bow-tie and checkered vest looked offended. “We ain’t got no rats in here, bud. I know ‘cause I clean up every morning.” He plucked the menu out of Welles’ hand, “And no more double steak dinners and pistachio ice cream until you pay your bill.”

Welles smirked and returned his undivided attention to the swirl of ginger at his side. He stared at her fair features and emerald eyes. The redhead placed a finger on her chin. “I haven’t seen a Martian that I know of, hon… Although I have an uncle who is friends with some blind Venetians. I mean, he makes Venetian blinds.”

Welles titled his head back and roared with laughter. “Excellent! I knew you’d be fun! A gorgeous actress with wit. You don’t find too many of those prowling the theater district, my dear.” He lowered his voice. “Now, what do you imagine a Martian would look like?”

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Orson Welles 2

The Invasion
Part One

by Robert W. Welkos

Would the American radio public believe Martians were attacking? Or Nazis? 2,086 words. Part Two. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


Berlin, Germany — March 1938

“Ladies and gentlemen… Am I on?… Ladies and gentlemen, this is Peter J. Simons of the Beaumont Global Radio Network. I am looking down Unter den Linden, a major east-west thoroughfare in Berlin. As far as the eye can see, there are German Waffen-SS — a paramilitary force under the command of Heinrich Himmler —marching in a parade. I can hear the trump-trump-trump of their boots as they goose-step in unison holding aloft flags with the familiar Nazi swastika. Crowds line the grand boulevard — men, women and even little children — all thrusting out their arms in a rigid “Heil Hitler” salute. There seems to be some sort of commotion up ahead. Nazi thugs are surrounding a man on the ground and they are slamming his head into the curb. It’s terrible, terrible… I’m being given orders by a Nazi official to leave the area. But I’m an American journalist! And now more violence is breaking out. A woman who came to the man’s defense, her face is covered with blood after she was beaten senseless… Now I know why the Nazis invading the Sudetenland has Americans on edge that they could be invaded, too.”

London — September 30, 1938

Dignified before the gathering of supporters at the airport to greet his return, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain stepped off the plane to cheers and stood in front of the microphone to talk about his meeting with German Chancellor Adoph Hitler. “I believe it is peace for our time.”

A few days later, in the House of Commons, British MP Winston Churchill rose to deliver his response to the Munich Agreement. “Do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”

New York City — July 11, 1938

Orson Welles sat in the dimly-lit bar near the St. Regis Hotel holding an unlit cigar. The 23-year-old actor, director, writer, and producer was celebrating the premiere of the live radio dramas he created, each a weekly hour-long show presenting classic literary works performed by his celebrated Mercury Theatre repertory company.

Naturally, he wasn’t alone. A statuesque blonde, her cheeks freshly rouged, draped an arm around his slumping shoulders and stirred him.

“Tell me,” he asked her, “have you ever seen a Martian?”

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Celluloid Hero

Celluloid Hero

by Robert W. Welkos

A World War II vet acts on his misgivings about a Hollywood fraud who’s beloved by all. 2,868 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


Bellflower, California — September 26, 1954

I take a sip of Lone Star and flip through the fan magazines. Here’s Hollywood movie star Del Hawk as the grizzled platoon leader at Guadalcanal. Here’s another of him leading a tank charge at the Battle of the Bulge. This one is of him parachuting into Normandy with the 101st Airborne. And that’s him again in the cockpit of a B-17 Flying Fortress raining bombs on the Third Reich.

I finish off my fifth beer of the night and set the bottle back on the scratched coffee table. Then I leaf through more of the fan mags. Del Hawk with Spencer Tracy and that ice skater Sonja Henie at the Racquet Club in Palm Springs. Del Hawk on Seabiscuit with Bing Crosby at Del Mar. And, dang if Del Hawk isn’t with that sultry dish Hedi Lamaar in this other photo. She’s wearing a black-and-white polka dot swimsuit by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. And don’t they look all idly rich.

A a fly does a carrier landing on my nose before lifting off and circling overhead inside my home at the Friendly Gardens Trailer Court. I pick up my Colt .45 and take aim at Mr. Flyboy and squeeze off a round. The silence explodes. Brick-a-brat trembles. The tabby high-tails it. Drunk as a skunk, I lower the pistol and slouch into slumber, the TV station already signing off with an Indian-head test pattern. But before I doze off, I make a vow to meet the celluloid hero I’ve followed since I left the Army in 1945. Maybe, just maybe, I can get him to sign an autograph.

Now I’m staring at the girl again and thinking she’s kinda cute. Her name’s Pet. Least, that’s what they call her here in the court anyways. She’s about five-three. Maybe a hundred pounds if carrying a bowling ball. Red hair done in a pixie cut. And can she horse laugh when she’s real tickled! I know cause she laughs a lot when I tell her my stories of Texas outlaw country. She tells me she’s only eighteen and already an excommunicated Mormon. How’s them apples? She knows things about the world, that’s for sure. But she’s never stared into the eyes of an Uncle Sam drill sergeant or spilled Nazi blood.

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Who Was Helen Twelvetrees final

It Takes Guts

by Ronald Alexander

TV FICTION PACKAGE: A soap opera actor’s father visits at the worst time possible. 3,788 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


As he slathered lotion on his face and scrubbed to remove the morning’s heavy makeup, he couldn’t help imagining what his father might say about a grown man who worried over his appearance. Van blotted with tissues and and began to brush his hair, stiff with spray. He thrust his jaw forward and studied his reflection. He wondered about his weak chin and if that was the reason he was stuck in this network daytime soap opera with no offers for anything better.

"You there, Van?" A soft tap accompanied the meek voice.  It was the new production assistant on As God Is My Witness. "I thought maybe you’d already left to pick up your father. I brought the scripts for next week."

"I was just getting ready to leave," Van said, thumbing the pages. "What betrayals does Alexandra foist on our eternally-dim Dr. Blair Blanton next week?"

"I’d never treat a man the way she does," the assistant replied, averting her eyes, blushing, then turning to make a quick exit.

Van scanned until he found Dr. Blanton’s dialogue, and began to read aloud: "Of course I’m not accusing you, Alexandra. But a colleague mentioned to me at the hospital that he ran into you at Capriccio having dinner with Tony Agnello, when you told me you were playing mahjong with the girls at the club. And you’ve been so outspoken about how arrogant you thought Tony was, always bragging about his airplane and his polo ponies and beach house. You never mentioned any benefit for the homeless that the two of you were co-chairing — "

Van dropped the material on his dressing table with a scowl. No one except for his sister and a few seldom-seen cousins back in Indiana, and the nation’s unemployed, was impressed with the soap or his role. His father thought Van was wasting his life.

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Please Remain Seated SQUARE final

Please Remain Seated

by Ned Dymoke

A famous actor and a young woman are seated together in first class. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. 2,664 words. Illustration by John Mann.


The only thing Richard hated more than planes was being talked to while on a plane. He’d forgotten his noise-cancelling headphones somewhere in the first class lounge in Atlanta, which was an ever disappearing dot on the horizon. His red-eye flight back to LAX had been delayed two hours, and even though his first-class seat reclined into a bed, he was still not happy.

“Sir,” asked a flight attendant, “do you mind if this girl sits here? There’s been an… incident at the back of the aircraft and she needs to… sit up here for the rest of the flight. It’s the only seat that’s empty.”

“Okay,” said Richard, thinking he wasn’t old enough to be called sir or mister.

“Thank you ever so much. She’s a big fan. Thank you, Mr. Mayfield.”

Richard grumbled a reply that was inaudible over the thrum of the jet engines, and the flight attendant left to do whatever flight attendants do when Richard couldn’t see them. The girl was really a young woman and looked about 21 and had blonde hair cut into loose waves that spilled over the tops of her shoulders like cascading honey. She held her chin a little higher than most anyone he’d seen that day and it stood out to him, along with a curious squint and pout combination that made her look almost like a child taking a test.

“Are you Richard Mayfield?” she asked.

“Yes. Yes, I am.” Richard knew what was coming.

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