Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #237

Reality, TV
by Dean Clayton Edwards


Leather swivel chairs, enormous desk, celebrity photos neatly-framed on stark, white walls.

Tony sighed.

“Didn’t you get my email?”

“I’ve been on holiday,” said Graham. “Don’t people use the phone anymore?”

“Things have changed a lot,” said Tony.

“Everything but me,” Graham chirped.

“Yeah,” said Tony. “Everything but you. Graham - the new series didn’t do as well as we had hoped. The latest polls show that people aren’t switching on anymore. I’m sorry, but your contract won’t be renewed. If it’s any consolation, it’s been a ... magnificent ... long ... career.”

He should have known. Even his wife didn’t watch him anymore. She said he made her cringe.

“It’s ok,” he said and Tony looked relieved. “I was thinking of spending more time with the kids. I can’t go on forever.”

“No.”

“No.”

*

Much later, on his way home, he got out of the car, leaving the engine running. Tower Bridge. Below, the river was muddy and inviting. He climbed the railing. Slippery shoes.

Above, a bird flew in silhouette against the lightening sky. He raised his arms and closed his eyes, imagining his descent, like an ancient bird of prey.

And then he slipped.

He screamed, but his fall was interrupted by the pavement.

He scrabbled to his feet, embarrassed, but it was ok. No-one was watching.

41 comments:

Aerin said...

Oh, my goodness. I'm still giggling. The dialogue to introduce the piece was awesome, and the last part - just brilliant. Loved this, very very much.

Bernita said...

Good set-up. Was relieved that your character didn't pull a prima donna farewell-cruel-world.
Refreshingly normal.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Succinctly told, and a great ending.

Anonymous said...

It's all about image, no matter what the event. --JR

Laurel said...

Best last line! I love a twist you don't expect, especially when it's funny! Awesome.

Aniket said...

Looouuuuuvvvhh the last line!

To be famous one day and a nobody the other. It sucks all the pride out of you.

Brilliantly told.

McKoala said...

Ha! Love the last line!

Yamini said...

Awesome punch. loved the ending! :)

Christian Bell said...

Good twist to a nice set-up. Quite funny.

Angel Zapata said...

Great ending. And definitely a slap of reality for Graham.

Four Dinners said...

Now that's my kinda writing!!!!

wrath999 said...

Nice twist. Enjoyed it

Deb Smythe said...

Ha! Thanks for bringing the contest home with a laugh.

J. M. Poirot said...

That was great! Loved that even the wife didn't watch him anymore. That was a great line. "She said he made her cringe." I feel the same way everytime I see an ad for a new reality tv show. oh so much cringing.

kashers said...

Very good and very different. Loved the set-up.

Also, like everyone else, loved the irony of the last line. Though as an echo of where his career was, it had more a thud of sadness than jollity about it.

Well done.

Meghan said...

I love the theme of nobody watching at the end and how it ties it to the start. Great job!

Harper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megs - Scattered Bits said...

Ouch. This puts a whole new meaning on invisible. I liked the way everything changed expectations to something so painfully embarrassing, humorous, real. You expect him to maybe jump. He doesn't. You don't expect those common words at the very end to mean just what they do.

I love the way his character shows through in this. Well done.

Susan Ellis said...

Loved the last line, bringing the reader back to the first half of the story. One of my favorites. So glad he didn't jump and splat.

laughingwolf said...

good`ùn, dean... and so glad the twit was not my namesake :O lol

Leatherdykeuk said...

Loved the worry that someone saw!

Aerin said...

Caveat


Something I Would Keep


The two "No"s. I don't know why, but I like that interaction very much.

Something I Might Tweak


Um....well, slippery shoes and "and then he slipped." (?) Maybe vary word choice?

Preeti said...

Heh heh heh...

I smile as i key this comment. poor poor man. i am actually feeling so embarrassed for him. and i hope to goodness that no one was watching.

The progression of dialogue is very beautiful. It was an easy read and kept me attentive.

This is so well written. Liked.

Dolors said...

It makes one smile. It's fun reading.

Lee Hughes said...

Crisp sharp writing with a smile inducing ending. Great piece.

truevoid said...

good twist in the end. loved it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

LOL

Thanks for the laugh! Great pacing and twist.

Aimee Laine said...

Such a funny ending! :)

Karen said...

This is a great twist at the end - I didn't see it coming, but it's perfect! I love the detail about his wife.

Merry Monteleone said...

Have to agree about the ending, loved that. Nice twist.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Whew! That was a close call.

Jane said...

sad and funny at the same time..god one

Tara said...

This is great. The last three lines-brilliant! (Okay--the last 2-brilliant, the one before-hilarious ;-) )

JaneyV said...

Oh the superficial life of a celebrity!!

This is very clever. I liked the humour and pathos. And that David Brent awkward moment in the office - Cringetastic!

I liked this a lot.

Craig said...

Lol, great twist. Especially considering some of the entries that have come before.

Harper said...

it ain't over until the unemployed actor screams

pjd said...

What a treat after reading 236 others. Laugh out loud funny ending, in part because the laughter is due to relief. No one wants this poor guy to die. He had his day, and it's over, and he chooses to retire rather than act like Leno. This is really witty and brilliant. One of my favorites.

Terri said...

LoL!
I can picture the scene (and feel his embarrassment...)

Kartik said...

Oh I totally lurved the ending .. that's my kinda humour :D

Patsy said...

The end made me smile - I hope it also brought him to his senses.

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

He was suicidal until the moment of truth, then embarrassed when he slipped, loved it!

Congrats on the H/M!!

Dottie :)