Snowcase #5 • 14 August 2007 • The SnowBlog
Extra points to Nora Blonde for getting a reference to snow in her Snowcase submission. Nora is an author (35 books published), former journalist, rocket science author, scriptwriter, artist and (sometimes) photographer - a skill picked up somewhere along the line.
"Oops! I'm the Paparazzi" is contemporary fiction. "Very loosely based on my experiences as a former newspaper journalist (but you'll never get me to admit it)." Chapter 1
Be Careful What You Wish For
'I'd rather run off and join the circus than take a cheap handout of money from you!' These were the last words I'd screamed at Finlay as he left me completely broke, financially and in every other way.
In hindsight, fate proved to have a sense of humour, because there I was, standing in the centre of bedlam, in the heart of a media circus, otherwise known as a New York newspaper office. One year on, I'd left Dublin city behind and was working in Manhattan in the depths of winter. Though for how much longer I'd actually be employed as a journalist was open to debate.
'Malory! Where the hell's that editorial?'
Ah, the call of the ringmaster. Royce was the editor who cracked the whip in this particular circus. Then there was the high-wire acts performed by the wannabe celebrity hacks precariously clinging on to their careers by their fingernails. No safety nets in this job.
Over near the window where some real daylight shone in mid-morning were the tenacious tabloid sub-editors whose cages you rattled at your peril.
Royce rushed out of his office, grabbed my editorial and charged off again.
All was fine for twenty minutes - a record in that office. Then Royce emerged and took another run at me.
'Malory, I need you to do a job for me. All my paps are down with the lurgy'. He paused, suddenly focussing on me. 'Is that your hat?'
I was jolted into replying, 'Yes'.
'Hmm,' he said, thrusting an assignment into my hand.
I read the jist of it. Movie premiere, mega celebrities, get exclusive pics of the lead stars.
'A paparazzi job? I can't do this. And what's wrong with my hat? It's Baltic out there.' Okay, so my colourful, fuzzy wool monstrosity was fashionably challenged, but it was cosy.
'It's just so not Manhattan,' he said as he stomped off.
I wished they wouldn't keep talking backwards. So not Manhattan. Grrrr!
'I'm soooo not bloody doing this job,' I shouted after him.
Everyone stopped and stared at me.
Royce turned and snarled. 'Give me three valid reasons why.'
'Well, I haven't had my conscience removed. I'm a journalist not a photographer, and you've given me a complex about my hat.'
A camera was sitting amid a pile of several others on a desk beside the coffee machine. Royce snatched one, pressed a few buttons and checked the flash.
He thrust the camera into my paws. 'There's the camera, there's the assignment, and there's the door.'
It was snowing at the movie premiere. I was glad I'm worn my woolly hat.
Crowds were gathered and hoards of big, burly paparazzi were prowling the red carpet area.
I tightened the loops on my hat, and then did something outrageously out of character. Anyone who says a leopard never changes its spots has never worked in the media. As I got ready to run, I swear my hat grew devilish little horns.
That photograph was mine...
Author: Nora Blonde
email: nora.blonde [at] googlemail.com