A buzz swept over the Sunset the next morning as news spread of the audition posters stapled to all the telephone poles. Clusters of people gathered in yards to trade gossip about the movie and about Grady’s cancer. No one had the guts to be first in line, however, until Patty Schuster and Nicky Coles, both fourteen and fearless, brazenly strode into the driveway and announced that they wanted roles.
“Great,” Doug said. He looked at the blank sheets of paper in his clipboard and tried to figure out if he should write something on them.
“Well,” Patty asked, “what are we auditioning for?”
The question hadn’t occurred to Doug. He turned to where Grady was sitting in a lawn chair with his sunglasses on and a red, unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, and bent down to confer with the director. “What are they auditioning for?”
“They can have any role they want,” Grady whispered back. “Everybody gets one.”
“Then what’s the point of the auditions?”
“People will like it better that way,” Grady answered. “It’ll be more fun”
Doug tried to get a look at Grady’s eyes to see if he was joking, but could see only his own expression reflected in the dark lenses. He turned around to find half the eyes in the neighborhood on him, as people watched tentatively to see what would happen before diving in themselves.
Doug took a deep breath and steadied his nerves. “You’re both in an Old West mining town,” he said, “but the town is on an asteroid a hundred years in the future. Patty, you’re the sheriff. Nicky, you’re an outlaw with a robot alligator for a pet.”
The girls watched Doug for a couple moments to see if he was joking, shrugged, and acted out their roles. With that, the Sunset Matinee auditions had begun.
Copyright 2020 Jeff Suwak
Continue to Part 7