One of the things I’ve done on a semi regular basis, is introduce blog readers to stories I’ve read recently, written by other people. Now, to be fair, if people want to read any of my stuff they’re free at https://mcstories.com/Authors/Robotunit8.html or for those feeling kind, there are a few that earn me money at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks as well.
But what I’ve never done here, is post something that isnt going to appear at either place, as its too short for the former, and not good enough for the latter! Oh yes, and way too short! So, to get it more than a tiny audience (maybe?), I’m going to post it here.
Right, to fill you in on details. The challenge behind this was a person of mature years (ideal for me), on their birthday, and surprise events surrounding it. I ended up coming up with this piece, in about 90 minutes, a fortnight ago. Some of it is autobiographical, some of it bares a vague resemblance to me, and some of it is pure fiction, and no, I’m not telling you which is which! 😛 As to which ending she chose, I’ll leave that decision to you!
Right, warning time, its not erotic, but shock horror, there is definitely mind control involved. There is also a very cheeky fairy godmother, but anyway…so be warned before reading!
Yeah, I know, the retirement age for women in UK is no longer 60 (will be 66 when I finally retire, health permitting I last that long), but it works better for this
Looking Back At Life
So this was it, after a long career, working, and acting, the big day had come, retirement. Well, strictly retirement related to work, but given that my health was beginning to go, it probably was time to call retirement on the acting front too, as I was no longer as active as she used to be. The big six-oh, and all that.
The early years were all about acting. From the age of 8, I’d appeared in plays, first at school, and then in drama groups, until I left college, and then practicality kicked in. I was a decent enough actress, but not one that was ever going to make it big in the movies, or unless I struck lucky, on TV even.
So, in my early twenties, I took the decision to get a boring day job, maybe work with a few amateur dramatic groups and the like, and just get on with life. I did just that, and at 30, surprising myself, and most definitely shockingly for my mother, I didnt settle down with my ‘little man’, and produce several children, I settled down with my ‘little woman’ and we didnt bother with kids, much to my mother’s disgust.
For about 15 years or so, when work permitted, I appeared on more stages than Wells Fargo. None of them glamorous, well, apart from one, maybe, but I worked, steadily. Most of the directors liked my attitude, though I never got to play leads, but the main supporting role (female) seemed to be my designated part.
Then I split up with my ‘little woman’, moved away, and lost touch with the groups that I’d worked for, over the years. My new life, and job made doing shows a bit more complex, but I did a few more, before deciding it wasnt really practical, and settling for watching the odd show, and not taking part. Some remembered me, for a couple of perfect cameo parts that I could do, but then I moved away again, and unofficially called it a day on my acting career.
Not that I’d wanted to, but the hassle (especially as I was no longer perfect for younger parts) of finding a new group local enough to me, that I could get on with the people there, and everything else, I didnt bother. But that didnt mean the ambition went away.
So when, at the grand old age of 59, someone had mentioned to me about helping out at festivals locally, in Blackpool, I asked myself whether I wanted to bother. Then someone mentioned it was period dress, playing a flapper, so I bit the bullet, and went for it. And yes, loved doing it. No lines to learn, just ad lib, and one night only. So I did more, and will probably do more, but actual acting, learning a script, and all that, probably not. In fact, I was due to do another festival at the end of the week, though I wasnt sure quite how much of a glamor kitten I could be at 60, but it was fun, and for one weekend only, so…
“Happy Birthday!”, I heard a voice say from somewhere. I looked up, initially couldnt see anyone, so looked down again, assuming it was someone on the TV that I had on in the background.
“Happy Birthday!”, the voice repeated, “Over here, by the window.”
I looked in that direction, and could see something glimmering in front of the window. About 6 inches tall, with wings.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Your Fairy Godmother.” was the answer.
When I finished laughing, I asked the same question, and got the same answer.
“So why are you here, on my birthday, when no one else is?”
“Well, this is actually Thursday, your retirement day, but your birthday isnt until Saturday!” the fairy replied, pointing out her tiny tongue.
“Fine, so why are you here?”
“To give you, what I believe they call your birthday gift.”
“Very seriously. You always wanted to make it as an actress, but it never really happened, did it?”
“No, it didnt. Not likely to happen now, is it, at my age?”
The fairy looked at her coyly, and said “And what age would that be, my dear?”
“Why, 60 of course, and I look it!”
“Tried looking in the mirror recently?” she asked me, and winked.
“I prefer not to, but fine…” I responded, “Oh good grief! What have you done to me, I look about 20?”
“22 actually, the year you left college. Fancy trying that acting career again?”
I laughed, “Whats the point? Small parts, small productions, and struggling from week to week with money? I might as well just retire gracefully, do a few fun jobs, and draw my pension.”
“Suppose I ensured you got more than small parts, ‘convinced’ a few people to give you big parts, big break, and all that?”
I laughed, “How do you plan to do all that?”
She just grinned, “Oh, thats easy, a bit of magic, and a bit of mind control, and I’ll make a star of you yet.”
I finally stopped laughing, and asked her, “What if I say no?”
She smiled, “No issue at all, I’ll just mind control you too.” She waved a wand in my direction, and then… “See?”
And reader, she did! And just to spite me, or I assumed that was the case, all the parts she got me for 5 years involved me being hypnotized, mind controlled, or turned into the thrall of a vampire, or the like. Fine, the last was fun, though my new cute girlfriend wasnt quite convinced when I felt the need to bite her neck while filming that role. Even more so when later rumors suggested the vampire might not have been acting the part, but anyway… There may not have been a whole ton of roles, but I was a star in the genre, as I acted it so well (didnt feel like acting, it felt real), that I earned more than enough to live comfortably, until…
I woke up in the morning, after a good night of sleep, to find myself alone in my bed, but not on my own in the room. Yes, that fairy was there again, grinning at me.
“So how was that? Ready to officially retire?” she asked.
I looked in the mirror, I was old again.
“So how old am I now?” I asked her.
“65. Back to the age on your birth certificate, and the day you can officially draw your State Pension now, not just your work one.”
“Dont worry, she has fond memories of you, but accepts that you had to move to Hollywood, as the big studios demanded, and she didnt want to leave her home town.”
“I know!” the fairy grinned. “So, one last choice before I leave you, do you want to stay here, and grow old gracefully, or do you want to go to Hollywood, as the fresh new movie star?”
“Well, lets see…”
Oh, and what is more, you still get a video too. This is from a 2004 BBC Series set in Blackpool, which unfortunately I never saw at the time. Not that Blackpool was anything special as a place to me at the time, but when it showed, I was in a job involving weird shifts, so getting into a series would have been out of the question. But fine, now, it would be fun to see, as I would know so many of the locations. Just to add, if by the vaguest miracle, David Tennant sees this (yeah, I know…), I will be working in Blackpool from March 15th to 17th at the film festival, and I’d love the chance to swoon at him there. Especially on the Saturday, which will be my birthday! I also have a wonderful Aussie friend who might turn up if she knew David Morrisey, if she knew he would be there. She might anyway, because the thought of me, in a chorus girl outfit might yet tempt her, maybe? 😉 Yes, Nancy, sorry, Diane, I mean you!
There are actually 23 songs in the series ‘sang’ by the cast, all on You Tube, if you want to find them! 😉