Something New – Part 33


something new cover

My apologies. This is what happens when I post things late at night. I got this all out of sequence. The correct post should have been Part #24, which I will now post for you. Look for Part #33 at its correctly scheduled date, September 30, 2015.

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Something New – Part 24


something new coverWaking a little late Saturday morning, Austin is greeted with several phone messages, including several from Liat. He calls her first and finds out there is a press conference at the studio, to counter the charges levied by Irving. When he gets outside his apartment building, he’s greeted by reporters and cameras.

“What was that?”

“Fame.”

“That’s all Irving’s doing?”

“Mostly, yes.”

“Bastard.”

Dwight and Stu laughed.

“Do I have lines or am I winging this?”

“Lines.” Dwight handed him his phone.

Austin flipped through the e-mail his friend had been sent. He read it through twice, making sure he had all in his mind.

“Don’t ad lib,” Dwight cautioned. “Stick to the script.”

“Right.”

They arrived at the network building and drove into an underground garage. The building was surrounded by rival networks converging upon them. They all headed to the front door and were guided to an auditorium. Austin and his entourage went to the back elevator reserved for executives and others too important to brave the public places.

Dwight did a last minute primping, making sure Austin’s tie was straight, his hair contained and his handkerchief suitably fluffed. Liat waited in the wings stage right. Her mother was already on stage, talking to the press.

“Without further adieu, I present Austin Templeton.” She gestured to the wings, clapping.

Austin entered, shoulders back, chin up. He worked the crowd like a politician on the election trail. Smiling and waving, he stood with Elaine, posing for pictures. He kissed her hand before she stepped aside. Cameras clicked, people jostled. He winked at her when his back was turned to the audience, before stepping on his mark, exactly center stage. He didn’t have a microphone, that anyone could see, but he spoke with confidence.

“Good morning, everyone. I trust you slept well.” He paused a moment, smiling. “Seems that there are ugly rumors flying about and I’d like to put those to rest, if I may. I’d like to begin by saying that I am, quite frankly, deeply concerned about Irving. I strove to keep our relationship professional, but perhaps he misinterpreted that as being aloof.” He shrugged. “Who can say? In any case, if he wishes to believe that I was rude to him or insulted him, that’s his choice. I wish him the best of luck in his professional career and appreciate the direction he gave me.” He bowed, turning to exit.

“Austin!” one woman up front called. “Show us your bum!”

He leaned forward, hand to his ear. “Excuse me?”

“Your bum,” she repeated eagerly.

Austin walked to the front of the stage, crouching in front of her. “Have there been any robberies this morning? Muggings, murders? Stock fraud, car crashes? Are there people sleeping in boxes in ally ways because they can’t afford a home? Do people starve to death and wander the streets because they lost their jobs to outsourcing?”

The woman stared at him, dumbfounded. Some of the reporters caught on, but most of them stared too.

“Because I find it hard to believe that this petty argument between me and Irving Childers is worth this amount of air time. How much money did you spend getting over here for this? What is this press conference costing the network? Tomorrow, over coffee and bagels, will the American public be talking about the war, the homeless, the starving or the terminally ill? Or will they, in fact, be talking about this tripe as they sip their seven dollar lattes and chow down on expensive pastries?” He glared at them, standing suddenly.

“This is a farce and I no longer want to be party to it. When you have important things to ask, I’d be happy to chat. Until then, go home.” He spun angrily and strode off the stage.

Shocked faces greeted him in the wings. Dwight followed, with Liat trotting behind.

Elaine watched him, smiling. “Good lad!” Putting on a solemn face, she went back to the stage. “I apologize, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Templeton has left the building and will be unavailable for contact. Any questions may be directed to my staff. Please pick up the press kit on your way out.” She, too, exited.

Chaos ensued. No one had ever been dismissed from a press conference so precipitously. They weren’t sure whether to be insulted or respect the hell out of the kid. The more perceptive chose to look closely at his statement. Others chose to feel insulted. Either way, Austin was the talk of the town.

By the elevator, Austin waited for Dwight and Liat to catch up. Dwight smiled, holding out his hand. Austin smirked, grabbing it. They exchanged a brief hug. He turned to Liat, tugging her into his arms, kissing her surprised mouth.

“How was I?” he asked Elaine, as she approached.

“Bloody perfect! You were wonderfully condescending. It doesn’t hurt that you feel strongly on the subject. I happen to agree with you. It’s a wretched nuisance and a waste of everyone’s time. Thank you.”

“Did you plant her? Because that was almost too perfect.”

“Oh, no. She’s really a reporter. But before the conference, I had people chatting the reporters up and one of them made a remark to her, and others, on the subject of your magnificent derriere. Couldn’t have done better if we’d said it ourselves.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Dellani’s Alphabet Challenge Letter R – Road Trip!


Originally posted on writemindsauthors:

ABC ChallengeWhen I was a child, we traveled a lot. Sometimes, we were moving, other times we were taking road trips. Since my family consistently lived far away from everyone else, we were the ones who hit the road every summer for our family vacation. My father didn’t enjoy making the extended trip, so my mother, sister and I hit the road.

Since we lived in western Nebraska and the family units lived in Tennessee and Ohio, we’d head east. We were able to save money on accommodations by staying with friends along the way. My mother was a sensational planner and would plot out our trip carefully. My sister and I, when we got old enough, acted as navigators—a job I eventually took over, because it was apparent fairly early on that my sister couldn’t read a road map to save all our lives.

Mom liked to try new routes…

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Something New – Part 23


something new coverAustin didn’t realize what a shit storm had been stirred up by Irving being fired. Now, everyone wants a piece of him, but not in a fun way.

When he turned his phone on the next morning, there were 30 new messages, mostly from networks wanting comments about Irving. He also heard from Irving’s lawyers, saying that he’d defamed Irving’s character and they were filing charges against him. He heard from the network lawyers wanting to know what he’d said to or about Irving. Radio and TV stations wanted him to do interviews. The last few messages were from Liat, Dwight and Elaine. He chose to call Liat first.

“Austin? Oh, thank God! Can you believe the shit storm that’s sprung up?”

“No. I’m stunned. I never said a word about him to anyone. He may be a turd, but I’m not going to bad mouth him.”

“He says you insulted him to his face.”

“I barely spoke to him. When I did, I was polite. You heard me.”

“I know, I’m just letting you know what he’s saying.”

“Does he think it’s my fault he was fired?”

“Yes.”

“Bugger.”

“It’s all right. Mum has the lawyers armed and ready. They’ve got a statement for you to make. They want to do a press conference at eleven this morning. Can you do it?”

“I guess I’ll have to.” He glanced at his watch. “I’ll need a shower. I just got up a little while ago.”

“Okay, we’re sending a car to pick you up at ten forty-five. Do you have a suit?”

“Yes.”

“Wear it. Don’t worry. I’ll be there too. He’s gone after me as well.”

“The dirty bugger.”

“See you soon. I have to go.”

“See you. Bye.”

“Bye.”

He hung up and headed for the bathroom to shower and shave. His front door opened.

“Where are you?”

“Naked in the bathroom.”

Dwight appeared at his bedroom door. “Who have you talked to this morning?”

“Liat. I’m getting ready now.”

“Great. Stu’s picking us up in thirty minutes.”

“Then get out so I can bathe.”

“I’ve seen your arse.”

“But not the other bits. Go.” He pointed to the door.

Dwight huffed out. Austin heard the door open and close again as he got out of the shower. When he walked into his bedroom, he saw a new suit lying on the bed. It was navy blue and far nicer than anything he’d ever owned. A dark red shirt and a silver and blue tie lay next to it. There was a handkerchief in the pocket, fluffed and flared like a fan. A pair of new, expensive shoes, sat on the floor.

Austin dried his hair and got dressed. He was just doing up his tie when Dwight returned. He stopped in the doorway, admiring his friend.

“You look great. Very impressive.”

“Love the suit.”

“I knew you would. Early birthday.”

“Thank you. Must have cost a fortune.”

“I was owed a few favors. A friend of mine makes suits. He’d love your endorsement. He’ll keep you in suits for life.”

“I can do that. Is Babs okay with it?”

“Sure is. Time to go.” His phone beeped. “Stu’s downstairs. Walk right to the car. Don’t stop.”

Austin frowned. “I know how to get in a car.”

“Not like this, you don’t.”

Chaos greeted them. There was an aisle cleared between the door and the waiting car, the crowd held back by police officers. Stu stood beside it, back door open. Austin and Dwight dashed across, dove in the car and the door slammed behind them. Frantic reporters, cameramen and photographers followed them into the street. Stu sped away, neatly avoiding the ones too stupid to stay out of the street.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Something New – Part 22


something new cover

A few minutes later, his phone pinged showing a text. It was Liat’s number, sent by Dwight. A second one followed.

“Any action?”

“Little bit. Progress.”

“Good. Go watch yourself. You’re about to be executed.”

“Bugger all. Who cares?”

His phone rang. He’d barely said hello when Dwight started talking.

“I’ve never met anyone as uninterested in his own career as you are.”

“Are there really web sites devoted to my bum?”

“What? Yes. So?”

“So, there are people starving and living on the street and they’re waxing pornographic about my ass? What’s wrong with people?”

“You got me. Nothing better to do. You do have a very nice ass, Austin. But it’s not worth the attention it’s getting.”

“Precisely my point. Am I doing the talk shows and so on?”

“Yes. I’ll coordinate with Sandy and Robert so we can schedule around you. They may want Liat too. Babs is following up on that.”

“What days?”

“I’m sending a schedule. The next week will be rather tight, but we can manage.”

“You take such good care of me. Do I thank you properly for that?”

“All the time, my friend.”

Austin smiled. “Yes, you are my friend. And thank you for that too.”

Dwight cleared his throat. “You’re a good guy, Austin. Don’t ever lose that.”

“If I tried to be an arrogant prick, you’d kick my magnificent bum.”

Dwight laughed. “Yes, I would. Oops, there’s Babs again. Need to go. Night!”

“Goodnight.”

Austin clicked on the TV and channel surfed until he saw his own face staring into the camera, eyes wide, mouth open with surprise. An alien dictator had him prisoner and he’d attempted to escape, but was caught at the last moment. Things were about to get ugly when he worked his technological magic and managed to escape with the dictator’s beautiful daughter in tow. She’d helped him escape, of course, after a night of unbridled passion with The Magician. He dumped her in the next episode, kiting off with some other winsome lass.

“Where do they go, do you suppose?” he mused. “Is there a home for The Magician’s abandoned companions? Do we every fully explain their disappearance?” He thought back to the scripts and decided they didn’t. They skipped time and took him to another location, sans companion. “What a bastard he is.”

He fixed himself some tea and warmed a few leftovers. He wasn’t terribly hungry, but he wanted something to do while he watched The Magician’s antics.

“People actually like this?”

He switched channels and watched a marathon of Bones. He liked the show. At least the characters served a useful purpose. Aside from dropping his pants and, occasionally, saving the human race from their own stupidity, The Magician did nothing noteworthy.

The news came on at eleven. He rarely watched it, since he had to go to bed early.

“The lead story tonight, director Irving Childers storms off the set of The Magician.”

“That’s their lead? There are people dying in the war and they lead off with that? What’s wrong with them?”

Magician producer, Elaine Vogel, had this to say.”

The picture cut over to Elaine. She was outside the sound stage, smiling. “Mr. Childers is extremely difficult to work with, often changing his mind and having to reshoot frequently. He keeps the actors and crew on edge. After he verbally attacked the show’s star, Austin Templeton, I told him to leave. Austin is a lovely young man, very talented, with a stellar reputation. I couldn’t allow that to continue.” She ended the interview and went back inside.

Austin clicked it off. He couldn’t believe that story was considered that important. His phone rang. He answered, not really paying attention to it.

“Mr. Templeton? Channel Seven news. Could we get a statement about Irving Childers?”

“No. And stop calling. I’m going to bed.” He hung up.

The phone rang again. This time, it was Channel Three. He blocked the call. In the space of five minutes, he had calls from all the major local stations. Disgusted, he turned off his phone and went to bed.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Dellani’s Alphabet Challenge Letter Q – Questions for Authors Like Me


Originally posted on writemindsauthors:

ABC ChallengeWhy do you write?

I dunno. Why do you breathe?

There are a lot of questions authors don’t like being asked. Why? Because we don’t always have a satisfactory answer. At least, it’s not satisfactory for the person asking the question. To us, it makes perfect sense. I’ve been asked the above question and, at the time, couldn’t really see giving the answer I first thought of (my response, also above). It didn’t seem quite the thing. So I came up with something a little better. Next time I’m asked, I’ll use it.conduct unbecoming front cover

Why do I write? Because I can’t imagine myself not writing. I can’t even think of giving it up. It’s as much a part of me as breathing. If you can stop breathing and survive, I’ll stop writing.

Where do your ideas come from?

Everything.

Here’s another hard one. I can get an idea from a TV…

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And Itza Danced – Part 5


Originally posted on Lone Wolf by Dellani Oakes:

And Itza Danced coverElveric thinks he has found a loophole in the deal. He doesn’t come against them directly, but he kills their livestock, figuring to starve them out. Itza has her own doubts about letting him live, but she is a woman of her word. Unless Elveric violates their agreement directly, she hopes to honor it.

The men were already gathering up the dead animals, lining them up for dressing as the women set up cook pots, brine barrels and smoke racks. It wasn’t going to be a happy day, but it would be a busy one. Even the children would work.

They were just setting up the smoke houses, stoking them with hardwood for a slow, long burn, when they heard it; the rumble of hooves. What was making the racket? They could not imagine what it might be. Terrified mothers grabbed their children, running for the village hall in the…

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