Image Credit Pixabay.com
Prompt: A man comes home and finds his wife has turned into a cat.
From @mctiller’s writing contest. For more information please see the link:
4:20 PM @ NBC Studios, Los Angeles, 1985.
A corner office on the second floor overlooks the hustle and bustle of little golf carts carrying people that play an important role in most people’s lives on a daily basis. From Soap Opera to SitCom, many of the world’s favorite shows are made right here at this sunny television studio lot.
“Frank, it’s just not going to work!”
“Look Dan, you’re going to have to make it work. This decision got made at the top.” Frank says pointing to the ceiling. Only the blue Southern California sky looms overhead.
Dan covers his nose with both hands as if praying. Still sitting in front of Frank’s desk he takes a moment to gather himself. He’s the longtime star of a primetime television show and he’s been in this situation with the Producer before.
An office assistant could see her celebrity crush, Dan Danger, slide his hands down his face before flashing his bright clean smile. Only she couldn’t hear what he told the Producer behind the shiny glass. His hands still clutched in front of him pleading.
“Look Frank, people like to see Alice on film. We’ve been doing this show for a longtime. We’re married on the show for God’s sake. This just isn’t right!”
“Dan, Alice is onboard. Do you think I’d call you in late afternoon to give you a new show script without it already being approved? You’re just the last to know!”
“Well I thought you were calling me up here for martinis and a game of golf Frank.”
“We can still do that Dan. Take it easy. We’re all friends here.”
“I’m the last to know Frank? I’m the last to know that I’m starring opposite a fucking cat!”
“Alice will still be doing the voiceovers. We’ve done the focus groups on this. Cats are hot Dan. Everyone loves cats. We can’t let go of this. We got to boost our ratings.”
“Jesus Christ Frank, this is a family show, and now I’m married to a cat and everyone knows it. It’s just a big joke! What are we going to do next? Cat litter ads!” Dan yells.
“That’s actually a great idea Dan. That’s what we’re looking for here.” Frank says.
Dan launches the pages of the script into the air before rising to his feet and slamming his fist on the desk.
“GET ME THE GRINGO!” Dan screams furiously, his face red with veins on his neck showing.
“The Gringo made the call Dan,” Frank says coolly.
Dan’s teeth remain clenched a foot from the Producer’s face. Only the anger vanishes in an instant when he realizes the game has been lost. No one changes the Gringo’s mind.
“Why Frank? A cat?” And right on cue a tear drops from Dan’s eye.
“Let’s get a martini Dan. And scratch the golf game.”
A swanky beachside resort bar has the Producer and Star of one of America’s favorite shows drinking their sorrows away. The news of costar Alice Loveme taking a backseat in the voiceover chair, with a fancy cat doing her on camera work, a development just too much to bear for both of these gentlemen.
As the cool ocean breeze plays off the palm trees Dan lifts his 6th martini in salute.
“Cheers!” Frank says clinking glasses, once again winning his actor back with some drinks over bar food.
“I’m married to a fucking cat.” Dan says smiling and laughing in a deranged way.
“It’s not that bad Dan. People will always enjoy seeing you on television. Women love you!”
They both drank to that. Dan had always been a favorite of women across the globe. He’d been on the cover of many fan magazines. He’d even been voted ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’, twice.
“How’s your wife doing?” Frank asks.
“Sabrina? Fucking witch. She’s got it out for me. Shit! Should have called her,” Dan says pushing his palm into his eye socket.
“It’s alright. They’ll bring the phone out here.” Frank says before turning toward the bar inside and calling out, “Phone!”
A moment later, a waiter brings a phone on a silver platter with the cord dangling all the way back to the kitchen.
Dan dials his home number, and waits as the phone rings, all the while sandwiched between Frank and the waiter. Finally, the phone picks up.
“Sabrina?” Dan asks.
“Meow.” A cat replies.
“Ha, ha, funny dear, guess you heard it through the grapevine. Alice told you right?”
“Meow,” again the reply.
“Right Sabrina. Get your licks in. See you when I get home,” and Dan hangs up the phone.
“What did she say?” Frank asks.
“Come on Frank. Did you put her up to this?” Dan asks and stands up. He walks toward the beach and lights a cigar.
“What did she say?” Frank asks again.
“I’m sorry sir, but you can’t smoke cigars out here,” says the waiter still holding the phone.
“I’m Danny fucking Danger!” He yells throwing a chair into the sand.
“OK Dan, calm down man. Let’s call a cab or something. We got to get you home.”
Dan fumbles with the front door keys of his Beverley Hills mansion as the Yellow Cab turns the circle driveway. Headlights flashing through the glass door illuminating the bronze staircase railing accents. The lights inside the home: off.
Somehow drunk men always find the key inside and Dan Danger proves to be no exception.
He walks through the greeting hall puzzled in the darkness. It feels unfamiliar.
“Sabrina. What’s with the cat on the phone? We don’t have a cat.” Dan’s words a little slurred as he traces the wall with an extended hand.
Suddenly he kicks a cat with his foot as it moves forward into the unknown, the collision with the cat enough to derail the already fragile balance of Dan, and he plunges to the marble floor. The cat races out ahead with a loud screech.
Dan’s face presses against the cool marble floor. Drool runs out the side of his mouth like spilt water. With one eye he looks at his hand trying to pull him along the floor without success. Until a cat emerges just out of reach and takes focus.
“Sabrina? Why?” Dan says in a stupor.
“Now you’re really going to go bonkers,” the cat says telepathically.
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