Monday, November 7, 2011

"The Life and Times of Rebecca Walker" by Rachel Hanson (Novelette)

Genre:  Fiction

Short Story Type:  Novelette

Summary:  This coming-of-age story follows Rebecca Walker as she goes on a journey of self-acceptance following traumatic events.

"Hello, my name is Rebecca Walker. I used to be your average burger joint waitress by day; and by night (and my days off) I was a budding photographer. I used my time at the diner to give me ideas. Well, I guess I had plenty ideas. The problem is that nobody ever wanted to see my photos. I had a show about a year ago and it was so awful that my agent could hardly stand to stay for the whole thing. And yes, I know that not everyone wants to see kittens gnawing on flowers. But it really spoke to me, so I thought it would probably speak to at least one other person.

So, I was just lying low and trying to be a good waitress. I thought that maybe I'd developed an idea- but I decided to run it by my most loyal customer. His name is Stephen and he comes in to get a plain cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake every day right before the dinner rush starts. I've gotten to know him pretty well and his opinions of my ideas are usually right. I still think the kitten and flower idea will take off but Stephen thinks I'm wrong.

It was a Thursday night and Stephen walks in and seats himself right in my section. I walked up to him, pen in hand.

"Hey Stephen, the usual today?" I inquired with my usual cheery demeanor.

"Yeah, I think so. Thanks." This is Stephens' usual reply.

I walked away to give his order to our excellent chef, Big Dan. Big Dan is famous for his speed and seven and a half minutes later I was walking back toward Stephen's table with his plain cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake.

"Stephen, are you in an advice giving mood today?" I asked with some trepidation. Sometimes he won't give me photography advice.

"Yeah, I think I am. What's your latest idea?" He asked with genuine interest. At least I sure hope it's genuine. He's doing a good job of faking it if he's not.

"Okay, I'm thinking legs." I said with dramatic flair

"Legs? What about them?" Stephen was definitely interested now.

"Just legs, in different positions. Some of them could be walking. Maybe kicked up in the air. Some of them in stilettos, some of them barefoot. Women's legs and men's legs. Just all kinds of legs." I was getting pretty excited at this point.

"I really like this idea. Definitely better than kittens destroying flowers. I could see your idea being very cool, very edgy."

"All right. . . thanks for the advice," I beamed, "I'm definitely going to run with this one."

Customers started flooding in for dinner time and I have to go. I'm so excited about my legs idea that I'm way more perky than usual and I get tons of tips. I can tell that this is a good omen.

The next morning I went to my friend Aiden. He's a “real” photographer and sometimes he lets me use his models. He knows what it's like to be a struggling artiste. I tell him my legs idea and he got even more excited about it than Stephen did! He was so excited that he told me I should come to his photo shoot tomorrow and we can share his models.

"Ya know, this is way better than your kitten idea Becca," Aiden said knowingly.

"I know. . . but the cuteness and the destruction really spoke to me," I said in despair. Maybe everyone is right, kittens destroying flowers is not going to take off. I suddenly feel really sad and discouraged. Luckily, Aiden pulls me right out of my depression.

"Don't worry! People love legs, this will be awesome," Aiden says, cheering me up considerably.

I went in the next day after all the models arrived. Aiden has already explained my idea to them and that we'll be sharing them today. All Aiden's models are very relaxed and they didn’t mind that we were sharing them.

I decided to start with Tiffany. We've worked together before and she's really sweet. She started in her regular clothes (DKNY jeans, Chanel top, and Jimmy Choos. She does pretty well for herself) and I asked her to pick up her feet like she's about to take a step. We did a few of those and move onto some motion shots. She does a regular walk, a model walk, some dance steps (she's really good at swing dancing by herself) and some super awesome kicks. I then ask if she's comfortable taking off her (fabulous) jeans and doing some bare leg shots. Tiffany sportingly obliges. I asked her to lie down and lift her legs up. After a few of those shots we're done and Tiffany goes back to Aiden. I did similar shots with all the other girls before we're done for the day. I went home giddy with excitement.

Over the next few days as I was developing my photos I become mesmerized by the beauty of the legs. I was especially impressed that some of the models had slight hairy legs and they bared them for me anyway. Talk about courage! Unfortunately I'm superficial and Tiffany's lightly tanned and smooth legs are my favorite.

My next step is to talk to my agent. Hopefully he’ll like my legs as much as I do and he’ll help me get a show together. Wish me luck; I'm going to need it!"

Buy this short story on Amazon.

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