- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
The Fax By Holly Searle
Pixie Watkins had been a full time extra for the past ten years. Now however she was a part time extra and a full time mother to a 16 month old baby.
Although she loved being a mum, she was knackered and so when her agent had called her to say that she had a job for her, she jumped at the chance of a day away from it all.
She had been in the business for what seemed like a lifetime and although she reasoned that she would probably never win a BAFTA, she had been invited by them to attend the screening of a film that she had once had a small part in. How many people could make that claim she thought as she finished applying her make-up. She smiled at her reflection and thought with all things considered, she looked acceptable.
With her baby in the care of her mother, she made her way to the airport, where she boarded a small plane that took her on the very short blink or you'll miss it flight from London to Plymouth.
On arriving in Plymouth, she hailed a cab, gave the cabbie the address of the location and they set off to find the film crew.
A local regional news reporter's busy schedule had been her gain it would seem as her role for today was to act as her stand in so that the reporter could be released to read the early evening news.
Pixie didn't mind. It was just good to be able to have some time to herself for a few hours and to be part of the familiar buzz of a film set.
She always loved the way the passing public would stop to look to see what was going on. Did they wonder who she was she thought and smiled to herself. She was no great actress, but they didn't know that and it didn't really matter in the scheme of things, it was just exciting to be part of it all.
The filming was taking a little longer than anticipated and the assistant director came over to inform her that as it was now too late to fly back to London they had booked her into the local four star hotel for the night. She knew him from other jobs she had been on, so he suggested that she join him and some of the crew for dinner and drinks later that evening at the hotel.
After they wrapped, cabs were called and people were ferried to the hotel. Pixie checked into her room and plonked her bag on the floor and gave the en suite a quick once over before sitting on the bed.
She picked up the telephone to call her mother to see how the baby was and to inform her that she wouldn't be home until tomorrow afternoon.
She then called her boyfriend Stan, a photographer's assistant, life long Smiths fan and practical joker.
After two rings he answered. "Mark Redman and Associates, Stan speaking, can I help you?"
"Hellllooooo Stan, I am sure I can think of a few ways that you could."
"Well helllooooooo Miss Watkins, I am sure I could if I so wished, but I have to warn you that I am very expensive and charge by the hour. Whats up?"
"Oh, not much. The filming ran over sooooo, I am staying in Plymouth for the night. Shame you're not."
"Oh, I see, that's exciting for you. Are you in a hotel?"
"Yes I am. Why?"
"Oh nothing, just wondered. What are you going to do then?"
"Have dinner with Sean and the rest of the crew from Reels and enjoy myself."
"Oooooohhhh, get you! Well don't enjoy yourself too much."
"Oh give me a break!"
"Oh alright then. Look have a great time. Mark and I are off for a mince in the local, what's the number there? Actually, do they have a fax number?"
"Oh, never you mind. Maybe a fella might want to send his gal a special something later."
"Stan, don't muck about."
"I am not mucking about, I am being serious, just give it to me doll face."
"Okay, but I am trusting you not to do anything bloody stupid. It's 01752 661 610 for the hotel and the same for the fax accept that there is a one at the end of that number instead of a zero."
"Cool beans. Yeah, don't worry, I promise I won't."
"Okay. Don't drink too much. Love you."
Pixie replaced the handset and laid down on the bed. I am going to regret that she thought.
Later that evening she joined Sean and the others for dinner. It felt bloody odd to be sitting at a table with other adults instead of sitting at one and feeding the baby. At least this is evening she wouldn't end up with food all over her.
Sean told her to order whatever she wanted. She sensed that he felt at bit responsible for her being there, but after a few glasses of wine, she didn't mind. Just relax and enjoy it, she told herself, it's an evening off and when was the last time you had had one of those?
She couldn't remember. As a consequence, she ate and drank far too much. She thanked Sean and excused herself from the table and even though they wanted her to stay for more drinks, she doubted that she would still be upright after one more, so she made her way up to her room where she just managed to make it to her bathroom, before throwing up.
She sat on the bed. She had succeeded, she thought, in over doing it and that wasn't enjoyable. She turned her attention to the tv, staggered over to it and switched it on. There was laminated card resting on the top of it. She picked it up and returned to the bed which she proceeded to lay on in order to read it the card.
The card listed a selection of movies that could be accessed via the in house hotel film channel, most of which Pixie had seen. Her attention, however, was drawn to those listed under the Adult section and one in particular entitled Pinocchio made her raise her eyebrows. Curiosity got the better of her and she pushed herself off of the bed and gently made her way back to the tv. She found the remote, sat back down on the bed and followed the instructions on the card.
The film started just as the telephone rang.
She press pause and answered the phone.
“Oh, Stan, it's you. I am a bit drunk, no, I am a lot drunk..and I am just about to watch a film, so..”
“A film eh? Did you get my fax?”
“Are you drunk, you sound it. No, what fax?”
“I sent you a little something, just like I promised I would.”
“Oh God! No! I haven't had a fax. Where did you send it?”
“To the number you gave me.”
“Well, I have no fax, but I have a film too watch. I shall let you know if I ever get it. Bye!”
Stan was laughing “Yes do, as I want to hear what you think of it. Byeeeeee!”
After several attempts, Pixie successfully replaced the handset. Where was I, ah, yes. She turned back towards the tv, located the remote and pressed play.
She focused her attention on the film. Porn was probably the best kind of genre to watch especially if you found yourself alone and drunk in a hotel in Plymouth as the storyline was pretty thin and the end result a given.
She was quite looking forward to it when there was a knock at the door. She frowned. She looked at the tv grabbed the remote and swiftly ended the movie.
“Hold on, I am just coming.”
She caught a quick glimpse of herself as she passed the full length mirror on the wall. God she looked rough and contrary to her earlier thoughts, she had ended up with food on her clothes post throw up. Jesus, she thought, one night away from home and your attempts to tick every box on the form entitled Human Degradation and Embarrassment is nearly full.
She opened the door to find two police officers standing there, one WPC and one PC.
“Yes, is everything okay?”
“Good evening Miss, no far from it. Do you know a Mr Mark Redman Miss?”
“Yes, my boyfriend works for him, why?”
The PC looked as though he was going to break out into fits of laughter, the WPC didn't.
“Well Miss, they have received a rather offensive fax in reception and they called us.”
“Offensive? Do you have it with you?”
“No Miss, but if you could speak to your boyfriend and ask him not to send any further faxes Miss, we would appreciate that Miss.”
Pixie mentally ticked another box on the form.
“Yes, I shall do that right now officer.”
The WPC just looked at her.
If looks could kill Pixie thought, I would be toast. “Thank you Miss.”
She looked from one to the other and nodded at them both and then shut the door.
She made her way back to the bed and sat on it and dialled Stan's number.
“Hello, what exactly was in this fax you sent me?”
He started to laugh.
“Why, haven't you got it?”
“No, I haven't got it, but two members of the Plymouth Police force have just paid me a visit and have informed me that it is rather offensive.”
He was still laughing.
“It's not funny Stan, now tell me what was on it?”
“Oh it was just a photo I thought you might like, that's all. A nice young man, just your type.”
“Right, well, what can I say other than cheers for embarrassing me.”
“Oh, come on, don't be like that Pix, I thought it would make you laugh.”
“Laugh? Yeah, it's hilarious, enjoy the rest of your evening!”
She hung up. She was furious, not so much about the fax, but due to the fact that her evening off had been ruined with her over indulgence and because she would never get to find out what Pinocchio was capable of.
She decided just like Scarlet O’Hara that tomorrow was another day and went into the en suite to get ready for bed.
After cleaning herself up, she felt a little better. Snooze time she thought. She turned off the lights and snuggled down until she found her favourite sleeping position.
She was just starting to relax when she heard a shuffling sound outside her door. Her heckles suddenly went up. Then came the sound of muffled laughter as something was pushed under the door.
She got up and walked over to the door. There on the floor was a plain brown envelope. She returned to the bed, sat down and opened it. Inside there was a folded piece of paper. She unfolded it and there sitting on an Emmanuel styled round backed wicker chair was a man, a naked man. A naked man with a huge erection that you could have hung a coat on. Written across the top on the fax in magic marker were the words How about this boy then? Stan xxxxx
Everyone’s a comic she thought. She folded it and pushed it back in the envelope and went to sleep.
The following morning when she woke up, she suddenly developed a healthy attack of paranoia as she recalled in the cold light of the morning the events of the previous evening. God The team on reception would know all about the activities of the guest staying in her room and the fact that she had tried to watched Pinocchio. God The film crew that would be paying for her room would know about it as well. God
She switched on the tv. On the breakfast show they were running a feature on the 80's pop star Yazz. They were playing her hit The Only Way is Up.
Life mocks me once again she thought.
She got dressed and packed her things away and decided that the best course of action was to adopt the guise of a fleeing criminal. So she called reception and asked them to arrange a cab for her. When it had arrived, they called her to let her know, at which point, she made a dash for the lobby, left the keys on the front desk and jumped into the waiting cab.
She arrived home to find a bunch of flowers waiting for her from Stan.
The note with them simply read "Forgive me?"
She called him.
"Thanks for the flowers, you are forgiven, although I am still slightly annoyed with you."
"Ah, don't be annoyed, it was a well intended joke. I am sure you'll look back on it in a few days time and laugh about it."
"Yes, be guided by your conscious."
"What? Are you telling me to that I should always let my conscious be my guide?"
"And why exactly is that funny?"