International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
and the Waitress
The truck roared past Amy as she stood by the shop window. The guy
stuck his head out of the window and called something else out as
they turned the corner but she didnt catch it. Thankfully.
She looked at her watch. Seven am. A little early for the whoo-hoo
boys. A couple of the shop owners pulling up their sheet metal looked
over, almost recognising her. She smiled and looked back to the
The phone in her
pocket went off again. It rattled against her leg until she reached
in and turned it to silent. Three missed calls already. Bill Supa
Bad McKenzie, agent to the stars, calling her for her next role.
Hed explained it thus; Amy survives to the final reel and there
was a possibility she would be unmasked as the killer; a twist on the
slasher theme. It was actually the girl in peril who was the one in
power. Except, of course, unless youd seen any decent horror movie
ion the last ten years, and not just the marquee junk. And also ignoring
she wasnt the innocent in peril, as Bill was trying to spin it,
but the hooters girl. The best friend. The one who gets
mashed for having a sex drive.
Only one shower scene. A monologue about her divorced parents,
who later died in a car crash-to be edited and put in extras so theyre
could be 30 seconds extra of the above hygiene-scene, as
SupaBad put it so hilariously.
A fight sequence showing her judo skills.
In a tight white vest.
Always in a tight white vest.
Working in an abattoir in Kill-Slash3: Thrice the dice. Wearing a vest
May Day Massacre: A vet. In a vest top. In Alaska.
Cupboard Killer2: Whats In the Box? A vest top. In 1876.
Amy looked at the pretty flowers in the window. Lilies. Her ma had always
liked lilies even though her sister objected, because they were used
in funerals. Amy was in between. She thought they looked beautiful and
sad, too. Maybe thats why they reminded her of her ma. She looked
at her watch. She looked around and saw the woman in the café
flip the closed sign over and began to cross the road. Hmm. Thinking
about lilies and funeral at seven am. Not a good sign. But then shed
been whoo-hooed already so maybe it was the day for it. She wondered
if her tombstone would read, Amy Archer. Actress. Loving Daughter. Voted
no.63 in X Magazines most sexy, 2009. She walked inside the café
and ordered coffee, taking a booth.
She took a seat looking out to the street. She liked early mornings,
watching all the shops waking up. She remembered how she used to follow
all the taggers through the night back home, watching them spray down
all the metal shutters to the shops by her home. She wondered if the
shopkeepers were 100% pissed, or if some part of them, was secretly
pleased to have a living breathing work of art to walk up to each morning
when they started work. And they were works of art, no doubt about it.
Dragons, skylines, really good stuff. She looked over to the nearest
shutter being hauled up, a grocers shop. A five foot cock. Hmmm. Vandalism
aint what it used to be, she figured as her coffee arrived.
"Youre from the movies, yes?" The waitress said as Amy
was about to say thank you.
"I am yes. And thank you. For the coffee." The waitress smiled.
She had a thick accent.
"Uzbekistan. I can see you wondering. You actresses have expressive
faces, yes?" The lady smiled. She wore those fifties style glasses
Amy had always wanted to buy and red lipstick. She looked like a lady
who worked in a diner in the movies.
"A long way from home, I guess?" Amy took her cup, sipped
"Sure. Ive come here to study, same as the rest of the people
here. I like it here. Rains a little too much though." She flipped
her pad over and took a pencil from her shirt pocket.
"Over qualified, huh?" Amy said. She saw a cook over the skillet,
another man cleaning the work tops. All of them about her age, mid to
"A scientist and an architect. I am studying English, Shakespeare.
We are the smartest café in town. How about you?" She said,
looking over to the book sticking out of Amys bag.
"I studied English too. Not sure I needed it to scream and run
around in a tight t-shirt, getting pecked by crows but there you go."
She smiled back.
"Was that the film when you were chopped off in the head by a hedge
trimmer? Whats the word. Dilapidated?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Decapitated. Thats the one." There was a second. "Ill
have the eggs."
"Oh well. Being chopped off at the movies probably better paid
than this, right?" She scribbled down the order and flipped the
"Youre right." Amy said, feeling ungrateful and blushing.
But then the girl smiled at her and she couldnt help but smile
back. "Im Amy, by the way."
"Im Svetlana. But everyone here calls me Lana." She
said, smiling and walking away, waving the notepad.
Amy checked her phone. Three more messages. Hed want an answer
soon. She stuffed the phone into her bag and put the book onto the table,
not sure if she would be able to concentrate or not. She looked back
over to the florist. She remembered the little flower pot on the window
sill her and her ma used to treat each day. So careful with it, sprinkling
the seeds and drizzling the water in a salt shaker into the dirt and
Once they had taken a day out and visited a garden centre. Amy, her
ma and her brother Pete. They walked for hours through the aisles of
plants and trees, stopped for an ice cream and walked from one glass
wall to the next in the aquarium. Amy was pretty sure it was the happiest
day of her life. Uncle Pete scaring her by leaving his in the jaws of
the Venus flytrap as the teeth gently drew together. Finally reaching
the car with their small paper bag, with seeds, a potted plant. Then
Pete shaking the stolen seed packets from his sleeve. Amy, mouth open,
looking over to her ma, her face red with anger before dissolving in
a fit of giggles. The three of them sitting in the broken up car laughing
until they couldnt breathe. The most she had ever seen her ma
laugh. Their perfect day.
"Your eggs." Lana gently pushed the plate over to her, nodding.
Amy looked up and smiled. "Thinking about your lines? Far away."
"Just thinking. These look great." She took the fork up, reached
for the salt. More shutters were coming up around the street, the day
starting in full.
"I suppose you have to watch your figure, with the movies?"
"I guess. You must burn everything off working here, huh?"
The eggs smelled great.
She worked the salt and then the pepper. The corner of her phone lit
up from where it was peeking out of her bag.
"My father, he once met Marlon Brando, you know?" Lana nodded.
"You know Marlon Brando?"
"Yes." Amy managed to say, between spluttering on her eggs.
"I Know Marlon Brando."
"My father, he was a delivery man. One day he was moving in a sofa,
to a place in the middle of nowhere. He knew they must be rich, because
only rich people buy white sofas because they dont worry about
dirt. And Marlon Brando is standing at the top of the stairs where they
were putting down the sofa. Dressing gown, cigarette. Asked them for
coffee, if they needed any help." She smiled to Lana; put her arm
against the top of the booth.
"My father said the ash hung on the end of the cigarette like it
was waiting for his every word and did not want to miss a thing. Such
a simple story, but it made my father smile so brightly telling it.
"I guess he was a big star." Amy said. Her mas favourite
movie was Guys and Dolls. She loved The Godfather.
"Maybe. I think he was happy while he was working, same as my father.
I dont know. Id best get back or my boss will tell me off.
Enjoy." She walked away, half waving.
Amy sat eating her eggs. She closed the book, not even pretending she
was reading it. She looked at her watch; saw the phone light in and
out of life from minute to minute.
Finally it stopped ringing. No more lights, no more calls. The owner
of the florist walked up to the glass door and flipped the sign to open,
then disappeared. Amy looked round, caught Lanas eye for the cheque.
The sun was beginning to pour through the street, like someone had knocked
over a bucket full of the sun.
"You enjoyed?" Lana said, handing her the bill. "You
look happier." Before they had a chance to say anything else, a
voice called out Lanas name. She rolled her eyes and smiled, walking
Amy put the money down on the table, turned the bill over as she reached
into her bag. She pressed the phone down. She read her own number and
wrote it down on the back of her bill. Why not? She pressed the bill
and the money under the plate and stood up, hooking the bag over her
shoulder. As she made it to the door Lana looked up and began to wave,
just as a customer stepped up to the till. Amy smiled and walked out
the door, hearing the bell ring as she stepped outside.
She walked up to the florist; saw the lilies hanging against the glass.
She looked at herself in the reflection, the flowers cutting against
her. Happy and sad. She stepped inside the shop, taking in the smell
of all the flowers around her. She turned and pulled the card from the
corner of the window and held it up. The florist looked up and smiled,
her glasses half way down her nose.
"Ive come about the job?" Amy said, holding up the card
and smiling to the florist as the door drifted shut, the bell ringing
gently and trapping her inside with all the flowers. Each one a little
beautiful and each one a little sad.
© Chris Castle August 2009
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