Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Callback

This story was written as a follow up to a previous Friday Flash called The Audition which can be viewed here.
© Susan Cross

The phone rang. Her mother answered and called to her, “It’s the agency, dear.” She couldn’t believe it—she had gotten a call back from her audition! After setting the appointment she went and packed her satchel to head out to the train station.

Before she knew it she was seated comfortably heading for the city. She followed the same rituals as last time, using the toilet, washing her face, pulling her hair back. She wore the same white blouse tucked into straight-legged jeans with her red belt pulled tight accentuating her waist. Truth be told, these were the only clothes she had that didn’t give away her small town origins.

Before she knew it she was walking toward the office and opening the door. There was only one other girl in the small waiting area. She took a seat and shyly struck up a conversation with the other woman. This woman was wearing a suit and looked much older than she was, maybe in her mid 30s.

“Hi. I’m Mary Jane. I’ve never been called back after an audition before,” she said to the stranger.

“Don’t be nervous Mary Jane. I’ve been here many times. I’ve even gotten a few jobs for my troubles. My name is Abigail. Perhaps you’ve seen some of my TV spots although you probably wouldn’t know it if you did.” Abigail laughed at that notion, and then continued. I like your red belt. Do you have lipstick to match?” she asked.

“Well, no. I don’t usually wear makeup. I just focus on my hands, keeping the nails trimmed and lacquered,” Mary Jane replied.

“Well, I think you might look good with some lipstick. You should try it some time. Red would be a good color, sort of like mine. It would make the color in your belt pop, as they say, and perhaps you would be considered for other ads if you got noticed.”

Mary Jane only wore lipstick on special occasions. A local square dance; a movie date with James and occasionally when she and her mother went to a mother-daughter luncheon at the local women’s club. She chose the softer, more delicate shades.

“Mary Jane Tomlinson?” the receptionist said, her voice lilting into a question mark. She had assumed that Abigail would go first since she had been waiting longer. This didn’t seem to disturb Abigail, though. Mary Jane rose and followed the receptionist into a hallway.

She was ushered into a small office and a man invited her to have a seat. There were no family pictures on his desk or walls. The décor consisted of posters for various ad campaigns.

“I’m Mr. Ballinger. I assume you’re Mary Jane?” he said as he reached out his hand and took hers gently. “You really stood out in the audition. Your hands are very special and the way you applied our product was just perfect. I would like to see that again if you don’t mind,” he said.

“Of course, Mr. Ballinger.” Mary Jane felt her heart beating a little faster. He had noticed her!

Mr. Ballinger had a bottle of the moisturizer on his desk and handed it to her offering her a seat. She sat down.

“I’d like you to put a small pea-size dab on the top of your left hand and rub it across your skin slowly and sensually. Look down at your hand as you’re doing it and make your facial expression match the feel of the lotion.”

Mary Jane did as she was told.

“Now turn your hand over and put a little bit larger dab onto the palm of your hand. Yes, just like that. Look down and rub the lotion liberally on the palms of your hands.”

Mary Jane’s eyes were closed as she felt the warmth of the lotion on her skin. As her eyes opened just a crack she saw that Mr. Ballinger had unzipped his pants. She saw his ‘thing’ standing up high as he moved towards her. She was afraid she was going to be sick.

“I want to feel the lotion now. Are your hands still moist? Place your left hand in my pants under my balls and hold them, not too tight.”

Mary Jane was horrified! What had she gotten herself into? She wanted to run out the door but she also wanted the job.

“Now with your right hand stroke my cock from the bottom to the top and back again. Yes, just like that. Keep moving your hands like that. It feels very good.”

Within a few minutes, she couldn’t maintain her calm disposition and she pulled her hands away. “I’m sorry Mr. Ballinger, but I just can’t do this. I thought you called me back because you liked my audition and I was going to get the job as a hand model. But I can’t do this.”

“Wait Mary Jane. I think you’ve done a wonderful job. If you’re able to come back next week, we can shoot the commercial and possibly some stills for print magazines as well. Would that be alright?”

“I-I guess so. You’re serious? About the job, I mean? You wouldn’t ask me to do this again?”

“No, no. Next week is the photo shoot. You can make the appointment with my receptionist on the way out. Really I was just testing the product and I believe it’s good. Thank you for coming in.”

Mary Jane moved quickly past him to the door and into the reception area. She glanced at Abigail and wondered if she had been asked to do the same thing in order to get her jobs. Maybe Abigail was his girlfriend and had held back that information. She made the appointment and as she turned to leave she asked Abigail what she thought about the hand lotion.

“Hand lotion? I’m here about the lipstick commercial, sweetie. Did you get the job?”


Tony Noland said...

Ah, so dies innocence. I hope that rotten bastard gets a solid set of fingernail wounds next time.

Heh, the captcha is "fails".

Susan Cross said...

Ah, the things we do for fame...I mean, they do, not me, them.

You're kidding? The captcha is 'fails'? I had a little problem signing into the blog tonight but it's working now. Your comment came through fine.

John Wiswell said...

Oh, play along with him for another day. Next time he asks you to reach down there, tear them off. Should have done so at the start, but we can always make up for our mistakes later!

ganymeder said...

Lipstick commercial? Am I the only one hearing rim shots with the last line? Bada dumbum pow!

Susan Cross said...

I intentionally listed it as humor but I'm not sure anyone got the punchline. Hand lotion? Lipstick? Uh, duh...?