Mascara Saturday

Sneak Peak Sample Chapter

Chapter 1
Lights, Camera, Action

Rod Serling has taken over my life. The whys and hows remain vague. I'm scrambling to figure out the story line. All I know is he reached out from the grave, wreaked a little havoc and is probably having a major chuckle at my expense.

It's as if I woke up in a screwball urban comedy, one of those retro numbers with undertones of Franz Kafka or The Twilight Zone. Instead of a pleasant Saturday of coffee, hanging out and kicking back, I'm watching myself in the cameo role of an amateur production. Some grade Z thriller with the sound track out of sync.

Don't get me wrong. I'm mortified, but there's irony in all this. Who gets arrested for just walking through a department store? I mean, besides me?

Officers Sturm and Drang must be graduates of the Amateur Academy of Overacting. They really need to lighten up their delivery. Put a little more inflection in the lines. Pause for dramatic effect.

". . . you have the right to remain silent . . . " says one in her best Jack Webb imitation. Dry, tinny voice. Like a robot’s.

" . . . anything you say may be used against you in a court of law . . ."

Dum. Da, dum, dum. Did I just hear the opening chords to Dragnet?

"Ma’am, do you understand what is happening to you?" Her grip on my arm feels like a rope burn. “Ma’am, can you hear me?”

Sort of. But there are so many distractions around me. I'm stuck in a syndicated re-run. That guy over there in the dark suit with the fifties kind of square jaw? Looks like a New Wave funeral director? I swear it's Rod Serling. He's introducing a Twilight Zone episode. And I’m the story.

My arresting officers don't get it. I think the training academy must screen these cops for certain personality traits. Humor and compassion are definite no-nos. Then again, maybe they're just trying to be taken seriously and erring on the extreme side of Joe Friday. I keep reading how we women have trouble finding that certain balance these days. Well, at least they didn't insist on handcuffs or a paddy wagon.

I really should take notes. Maybe there's a movie in this. Perhaps they'll give me something to write on if I promise not to slit my wrists with paper cuts. I'll even refrain from giving myself lead poisoning from pencil stabs.

I'll pitch this as a Movie of the Week, one of those tragedy-driven themes programming executives charmingly refer to as Wom-Jep (Women in Jeopardy). I know exactly how to set it up:

A gloomy winter Saturday . . .

The heroine strides jauntily through a cheerfully packed store, when suddenly . . . .

Nah, they'd never buy it.

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