Friday, April 23, 2010

The Last Change (I Hope)

When I said I was struggling with my latest work in progress, I wasn’t kidding. I decided I needed to change the story one more time, so I went downtown to talk to Sara. It was supper time and Ellen’s café was noise, so I asked Sara to walk down the street with me. We left the restaurant and walked north along Main Street, going past the other restaurants and shops. There were several other people out for an evening stroll. I nodded at an elderly couple and thought I would wait till we got past them before I brought up the reason I needed to talk to Sara.

She had already guessed. “You’re changing the plot again, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” I said as the white hair woman hobbled past me. “I got to thinking that having you help Kelly while you’re caterer isn’t that big of a change. And I’ve been giving the beginning some more thought. I got to thinking that the thing that would just kill you at the beginning is if you were on the outside of the movie production looking in with little means of finding out what is going on. So, I thought I’d begin with you looking out the window of Ellen’s café because something happened on the set outside, but you can’t tell what it was. You think it might not have been planned, but you aren’t sure. To make it worse, you aren’t even going to be the caterer for the movie. I’m considering whether that is because Ellen didn’t get the contract, she didn’t want the contract or it is because she wants you to do something that she feels is more important.”

“But we’re the best caterer in town. It wouldn’t make sense that we wouldn’t get the contract!”

“Perhaps not, but I’m going to keep you off the movie set.”

“That’s no fun.”


“You just love tormenting me.”

“That’s only the beginning,” I said. “David is going to approach you about nosing around a little, because he thinks Ada is in danger. So maybe we still need Ellen to have that contract, so you’ll have an excuse to be on the set, but you’ll have to persuade you mother to let you do that.”

“Isn’t that back to where we started?”

“No, because it’s what happens after that that is important. You find Xander trying to hide some cameras in Ada’s trailer. He won’t say who hired him, but there’s a danger that he’ll discover that Kelly is Ada. So, you Kelly and Cora decide that the thing to do is what while Kelly is disguised as Ada you will be disguised as Kelly.”

“Do you think I can pull that off? I’m not an actor like Kelly.”

“All you have to do is look the part.”

“There’s no way it can be that simple.”

“And that’s why I think it’ll make a good story,” I said. “While you’re being Kelly, you’re going to meet Kelly’s father and her step-mother. You’re going to run into someone who knew her in college. You’re going to have to take care of Kelly’s drunk mother. She’s going to start a fight with you and hit you.”

“There’s no way I’m going to let her hit me like she does Kelly!”

“No, you’ll lay her out cold after she hits you.”

“You bet I will!” Sara said, “But no one has to know about it? Right? I’ve already got a reputation for that sort of thing. Could that be why I don’t have a boyfriend?”

“There’s at least one guy who sees you in a completely different light.”

“You don’t count; you’re the author.”

“I was talking about someone else. You’ll be pleased when you find out who it is.”

“Can’t you tell me now?”

“It’ll have to wait,” I said.

When we parted ways, she was still trying to guess who it was. I didn’t tell her, but most of the guys she named think she is very attractive.

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