5. The Breakfast Club
Dierdre sat upon her window sill that overlooked the gardens and contemplated her lot in life. A steady drizzle ran down the glass panes and glazed the world in gray. Was this to be her life then? A drafty castle, a grumpy, brooding husband, and rain?
She sighed, put her head in her hands and watched the time pass. Given her position in the window, and the fact that she hadn’t moved for hours, she had a prime vantage point by the noon hour when Mr. Henry Bootes and Lord Whillowford, came bursting out into the gardens, trampling the azaleas as they went, yelling and bantering about with their fists.
Dierdre, overcome with morbid curiosity and the sense of her own doom, quickly opened the window latch and took in the cold spring air with a gust of fat rain drops.
“Don’t presume with me, Mr. Bootes.” Lord Whillowford’s voice bellowed in over the rain, and Dierdre watched, shocked, as he took a jab in the face for his hollering.
“Don’t underestimate me, my lord.” Henry spat back facetiously, ducking a return in kind. “I have no wish to fight an old man.” He laughed, stepping away and out of Lord Whillowford’s reach.
Lord Whillowford, who was, of course, not that old, and in possession still of his youthful vigor and romantic twinkle about the eye, grunted in reply and grabbed the man by the collar, swinging him around toward the gate. “Go!” He growled. “If that is what you want to do. Go! And kill colonists and take back the rightful land for the throne! By all means, go!” He hollered, gesturing toward the gates in the distance.
The sky was a beautiful mottled gold as the sun peeked above the countryside. Anabelle had already been writing for hours and grumbled about the sun being rude enough to blind her so viciously.
There were roosters crowing, just like where she grew up. Looking out the window at the alien castle around her, and knowing there were hollywoodized aliens dwelling somewhere within, Anabelle felt an acute pang of longing for her small run down little farmhouse in the middle of Calfornia happy cow fields.
The sooner she got the script done, the sooner she could find her way back home.
Having waited as long as humanly possible before her stomach began to devour itself, Anabelle descended from her room the next morning to find her host and company in the breakfast hall, enjoying eggs and bacon.
“Ah! My little vegetarian!” Mr. August hailed her as she walked in, frumpled, stomach growling, and caffeine deprived.
“Mr. August, good morning.” She said as politely as she could, patently ignoring the other Mr. August in the room and hovering somewhere between the door and the table, where Karina, Mr. Dileero, the prune faced man (whose name was actually Henry Castor, but would always be Prune Face to Anabelle) were already masticating happily.
“Come! Come join us, my dear, I’ve had them make you a rabbit breakfast, do sit!” He smiled jovially, pulling out the seat next to him and gesturing her over.
“You eat eggs, I hope?” Mr. August added.
She gave a small nod and sat down a little reluctantly, as the elder Mr. August’s choice of seat put her just across from the other, but her worries dissipated and her stomach took control once they put a steaming veggie omelette in front of her. Shoveling fork loads into her mouth, she put her attention on the sauteed mushrooms and joined the ranks of happy masticators. Coffee, tea, and juice were all proffered up to her and she greedily devoured them, feeling more fortified than she had in days and eagerly accepting a second helping of omelette.
“For a rabbit, you sure have an appetite.” Mr. August laughed.
Anabelle tried not to give him a baleful glare as she shoved another mass of egg and veggies into her gaping mouth.
“I must apologize for my father,” Theo said above his cup of tea, “he believes it is his mission in life to say as many passively rude things in a day as possible. He must hold the world record by now.”
Anabelle looked up briefly into Theo’s face, his fine brows were drawn together and the corners of his eyes slanted upward in admonishment. He looked sexy when he was moody. Anabelle blinked, blushed, and looked away, last night’s catastrophe still fresh in her mind.
“I prefer to think of it as an aggressive propensity to say exactly what I think at any given moment. It is called actualization, my son, you should try it.” The elder Mr. August commented offhandedly.
“It is quite liberating,” Dileero interjected, spearing a bit of egg with his fork and holding it up like a trophy, “to say what one means.”
“Right then, Darren. Too true.” Mr. August agreed robustly. “Can’t let the opinions of others keep you down.”
“It is not the opinions of others that concern me.” Theo said quietly. “But the feelings thereof. You know what those are, father, yes?”
“Of course!” Mr. August said, aghast. “I have them every day. I feel like eating bacon and eggs, I feel like having a brandy, I feel like sticking my wanker in a hot woman I don’t have to pay, but just now I feel like taking a piss.”
There was only a moment for everyone to be shocked silent by Mr. August’s behavior, even Theo, who was used to such crass displays of impropriety) before Jennifer Starling walked in, as she was wont to do, and took all the attention of room onto herself. “Keep it in your pants, Gregory.” Jennifer said dryly as she made her way around the table. “You wouldn’t want me to cut it off in the night, now would you?”
“Try me woman.” Mr. August answered boisterously, laughing like a mall Santa after a few too many vodkas.
Theo rolled his eyes and looked back down at his tea, wishing himself as far away from his father’s castle as possible.
“So, Theodore.” Jennifer changed the subject, planting herself next to her co-star, and picking up a cup of coffee. “Are we going to do this thing, or what?”
“Of course.” Theo answered. “Whenever you like.”
“Good. In an hour, then.” She said tartly, and turning to a passing waiter, summoned them with, “Prester would like his meals in his room today, thank you.”
“I trust you slept well, Miss Starling.” Mr. August said, folding his arms over his chest in some kind of absurd insinuation.
“As well as I could in a drafty castle.” She said with an arch of her perfectly manicured brow, and sipped her coffee.
“Hmm.” Mr. August answered cryptically.
“Miss Anabelle, how are you enjoying your first visit across the pond?” Dileero asked with a twinkling smile.
“Oh yes, it is the writer.” Jennifer added blandly before Anabelle could answer. “Do tell us oh so prettily.” She flashed Anabelle a dangerous smile as she said this, a smile that, if Anabelle were the sort of fanciful person to imagine such things, she might well have described as sinister.
Anabelle shrugged, “It’s alright,” she answered, forking more food into her porker, remembering silently to herself how it was she came to call Jennifer “starlette” Starling Djinnifer Helldemon Fartlette, instead.
“And how are the new edits?” Djinnifer prodded, picking gently at her boiled bacon bits. “Freeguyl said I should expect the river scene from you soon.”
“He said that, did he?” Anabelle asked dubiously, eyeing a tiny little pepper that had managed to hide from her beneath the orange rinds. Skewering it with her fork, she devoured it whole, leaving her plate sadly empty.
“He did.” Jenifer insisted, “He said you had conceded to the kiss, which is good, considering I asked for it six re-writes ago.” She almost growled.
“I’m working on it.” Annabelle said, which was writer-speak for don’t fucking question me about my creative process, or I have no fucking clue what to write next, or I haven’t even begun it yet, so back the fuck off, depending on the situation. In this situation, it meant all three.
Anabelle had no interest in writing a cheesy make out sesh by a cheesy moonlit river. It so wasn’t Diedre’s style. Who the hell did this tart little fartlette think she was? Marilyn Monroe? For Marilyn, maybe, but for Jennifer Starling? No.
“Yes, but that is what you said last time. And the last time. And the time before that.” Jennifer complained. “How can I be sure you ever even plan on doing it.”
“Never say ever.” Interrupted Karina with a wickedly lovely smiling scowl, that also, if you are the kind of person taken on such whims, looked deviously sinister.
“She’ll do it!” Came a voice from the hall as the tall, bulky producer was shown in by the maid. “Good morning Gregory, Theodore, Dileero.” Freeguyl burst in, nodded to the guests he passed. “Castor.” He grunted to Prune Face as he took his seat. Anabelle couldn’t help but notice Freeguyl didn’t address any of the women.
“She’ll do it.” He repeated, “Because it’s her job. Right Greeves?” He barked at Anabelle who dropped her fork and gave a startled gasp.
“Excuse me what?” She said, her cheeks feeling hot.
“We have a lovely little stream, just below the oaks, if you’d like some inspiration.” Mr. August offered between sips of his tea. “Perhaps Theo can show you.” He added.
Anabelle didn’t even bother looking over or acknowledging that one, like that would ever happen, she thought to herself.
“August, Starling, you run lines,” Freeguyl ordered, pulling out a cigar, “I want to see smooth products here. Greeves, you write the damned river scene and be done with it. Gentlemen, if you will, I’ll have a brandy.”
“Just my thought.” Mr. August agreed.
Waiting until the attention was off of her and after shoving the rest of breakfast forthwith into her chomper, Anabelle ducked out the side door and made an escape.
She rounded the last turn before the ridiculous ghastly staircase and sighed a breath of relief one moment too soon.
“Hey! Writer!” The fartlette herself, clicking heels and all, rounded the corner after Anabelle.
Anabelle briefly considered running, her medulla oblongata firing off at a high rate, she meant to stop, she really did, but her feet kept walking.
“Hey!” Jennifer called, her heels clicking faster in time with Anabelle’s heart rate. “I’m talking to you!”
Anabelle made it to the staircase and gripped the banister, her fingers turning white, and stopped halfway up the first stair. She turned to the helldemon with what she hoped was a look of mild disinterest, not part abject horror, part utter irritation.
“Hey!” Jennifer repeated, catching up to her.
Anabelle involuntarily took one more step up the stairs. “Yes?” She squeaked.
“I need more spice in this film, my character is boring!” Jennifer asserted, putting her hands on her hips and staring up at Anabelle with an arched brow.
Anabelle bristled. “Your character is well written and shows remarkable depth and perseverance through all the her troubles.”
“She’s boring!” Jennifer insisted. “Give me a sex scene or something! Duldra needs to get banged chika, I know you might not understand that,” Jennifer paused and gave her the once over, “seeing as you’re a complete disaster and all, but–“
Anabelle sucked in her breath. This bitch didn’t just. “This is not one of those kind of movies!” Anabelle felt her cheeks getting hot. She hated confrontation. Almost as much as she hated self centered delusional hollywood helldemons.
“I’m starring in this movie!” Jennifer shrilled, her voice reaching staccato. “It will be one of those movies! People like me because I bang so good on camera! Free the banging!”
Anabelle thought she might reach down and actually smack the lunatic actress but gripped the banister tighter instead.
“Im not having any banging.” Anabelle sputtered.
“Clearly!” Jennifer spat back. “Little Miss Cock Block is on the Prude Patrol. Gotta’ be a little–“
“I bang guys!” Anabelle yelled at the top of her lungs like 13 year old on the playground trying to prove to her friends she is a badass. And of course, Theo rounded the corner at that exact moment.
Anabelle paled, or possibly turned green, she couldn’t be entirely sure which.
“You sure you’re not talking about Ben & Jerry?” Jennifer replied caustically. “They tag team ya’ huh? Chunky Monkey style?”
“What is going on?” Theo asked, whatever amusement was lurking under his stoic british ass disappeared and his eyes darkened when he saw Anabelle’s distress.
“The writer wants us to have a boring, shitcan artsy highbrow university nerd movie.” Jennifer scorned.
Anabelle wanted to come to her own defense but didn’t know what to say. She was spared effort though, by Theo who turned his dark eyes on Jennifer severely.
“That isn’t true.” He said flatly. “I chose this project because I believe in it.” He glanced at Anabelle. “…In her. If you don’t like it you can leave.” He held up his arm and pointed down the hallway.
Anabelle shifted uncomfortably. She wasn’t sure what was more mortifying, that she was the subject of such heated discord, or how incredibly hot this hollywood neurotic looked, all manly and shit, telling off Slutina the demoness, for her. Or maybe, just maybe, that he said he believed…in her…
“But we do need a romantic scene by the river.” Theo added, narrowing his impossibly deep eyes on Anabelle. “You do need to finish it. Perhaps today.”
Anabelle crossed her arms and bit her lip and remembered silently to herself why she called this delusional actor TheoWhore Aghast! He wasn’t hot at all, she reflected. It had only been a trick of the light.
The look must have shown on her face because Theo turned to Jennifer. “We need to run lines. Now.”
Jennifer let out a petulant sigh. “Fine.” And walked down the hall, her heels clicking annoyingly.
Theo spared Anabelle the barest nods before following Jennifer.
“Two helldemons.” Anabelle muttered under her breath as she watched them go. “Perfect for each other.” She ignored the bitterness in her voice and as she climbed the staircase to her room, secretly blamed it on not having smoked enough weed yet that morning.