A Star Is Born

A Writing Exercise

If you read Janet Fitch's Blog, you'll notice she participates in a weekly writing exercise involving a short short story based on a single word.  Thought I'd borrow the idea this week, using my own word:  Luck.

Please leave a link to your story if you choose to participate!

 This wasn’t at all what she’d planned.

There she was, sitting on the steps of one of the most impressive buildings in the city, a forgotten pile of tulle on a chilly October afternoon.  She had worn this vintage gold dress, with the brocaded bust-line, in hopes it would bring her luck.
She should’ve known: you never wear new clothing on a day you need luck.

You wear something proven and true, something already lucky.

That’s what the red shoes were for, right?  She’d stared in the mirror and called herself Dorothy, with her red shoes and her 1940’s matte red lipstick.  “I am Judy Garland, straight off Broadway,” she’d whispered to herself.

She’d played the part perfectly, the innocent, pretty little starlet just waiting to be discovered.  The interview had gone off with a bang, right up until the end when the big shot tried to hold her hand.  Where did he get off, ruining her evening like that?  Mickey Rooney wouldn’t be so brash, she was sure of it.

The men had worn suits, the women gowns; there were white linens on the tables and a baby grand, sleek and beautiful, at the center of the room.  She had almost convinced herself to slide onto its classy black bench and play a little tune.  She could sing like Judy, she knew that much.

If only he hadn't shattered the illusion.  She wasn’t a starlet trying out for a new part; she was Nora Harrison, straight from the backwoods like a fish out of water.  The interview was a test: how well could she and twenty other young girls pull off Judy Garland, one of the greatest female stars in American cinema.  It was the part of a lifetime.

And she had won.  He’d liked her best.

Which was why she was sitting out here in the cold, alone, buttoning a flimsy black sweater over her exquisite costume.  “What now, Nora?” she asked herself, quietly.  

She could finish playing the part, couldn’t she?  Wipe her lovely red mouth on a white silk handkerchief, leaving a perfect outline like Kiki De Montparnasse had on Man Ray’s starched collar, crumple it in her hand, and toss it to the ground while walking angrily – no, indignantly – away.  

But no, that would miss the mark.  The real Judy had spunk, didn't she?  She would march straight back into that building and demand the respect she deserved.  Like Jenny Bowman in I Could Go On Singing.  She could yell, “I don't want to be rolled out like a pastry so everybody can get a nice big bite of me!”  

. . . And then listen to them laugh her off the stage while the part – her part – was being given to the girl who didn’t mind.

Nope, that wasn’t Nora.  As usual, she’d have to settle for the part of Esther Blodgett in A Star Is Born.  

“All I need is just a little luck,” she whispered.  “Just a little luck.”


  1. i do like this post... made me feel like i was watching a movie. haha

  2. i do like this post... made me feel like i was watching a movie. haha


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