Thursday, January 19, 2012

Severance Pay

She was Vanessa Montaigne, the legendary grand dame of stage and screen. The trademark phrase that distinguished her was: "You look great, and yeah, you’re worth a million bucks."

The iconic film producer Hugo Kaine first uttered those words when young Vanessa had queried him as to the likelihood of her making it big in the cinema.

That had been some fifty years and one helluva lot of water under the proverbial bridge ago. Vanessa Montaigne was unlikely to be a household name anymore unless, for instance, your household was the Sunny Glen Retirement Community.

Tommy regretted hitching his star to Vanessa's creaky old wagon. For five years he'd been her bodyguard and confidante. His plan had been to insinuate himself into her graces and secure a spot in the old bat's will.

His hopes faded with each year of no work offers for her and the need to liquidate more and more of her dwindling assets. The final straw came when the mansion had been sold out from under her.

He found her in the screening room, lost in her past glory. Under his coat was her jewelry box containing treasures garnered from five husbands and countless long-dead suitors.

He stroked her withered face and she smiled dreamily, "Dear I still as lovely as I once was?"

His strong hands snapped her neck with ease. Thinking of the box, he whispered,
"You look great, and yeah, you're worth a million bucks....give or take the cut to fence this stuff."

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