Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 9 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 17 – FROM BAD TO WORSE
Twin was still on the street just about every night. Her “career” making porn was almost over; she knew she was getting way too old for them so there went that money. Younger was in the same boat as Twin but her situation was worse. The Pimp Dealer had already let Younger go, something about her ears and her mouth being too big, something she’d heard maybe that was none of her business. Something about Twin.
So Younger was out on the street alone and unprotected. At least her money was her own, for the time being anyway. And one night things began to look up. A car slowly came down the street, a sign there might be business done. The late-model Benz had New York plates and the chubby man inside looked like someone who’d need her services and be willing to pay generously for them.
He stopped the car alongside her.
“Hi, big guy,” Younger said in her most alluring, husky voice. “Baby, you look like you could use some company.”
“I sure could, mama,” came the chuckled reply. “I’m looking for a date. You busy?”
“Depends on what kind of date you’re looking for, sugar. What’d you have in mind?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I’m not particular. I was thinking you might be hungry, looking for a snack or something. You had dinner?”
“No, sugar, as a matter of fact I haven’t. Hmm, let me think. This an awfully nice car. If I let you take me to dinner, should be someplace nice, don’t ya think?”
“Depends on what you think of as nice.”
“Well, if you can afford a car like this, I can show you some really nice places to eat. It’ll cost you, though. You’ll have to order a la carte.”
“Oh, that’s not a problem. I gotta a good job, I can afford a nice place for us.”
“A good job, huh? What kinda good job you got?” asked Twin, coming up behind Younger.
The TV Producer worked on a weekend entertainment show and was dumb enough to show the press credentials to prove it. Once they saw that, both women perked up.
“So I could actually take both of you to dinner if you like. I know I’d like that.”
“Sorry,” said Twin. “I was just, uh, checking up on my girl here. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to her, you know what I mean? Especially since you been so generous with your ID. Are you feeling me?”
“Hey, I’d like to feel you both but yeah, I get it. You were just looking out for your, uh, ‘girlfriend’, right? You know, you could come along. I really wouldn’t mind and I tip real well, almost as much as the bill. Even a couple of bills.”
He reached in his wallet and pulled out ten $100 bills. “I’m sure we’d all get a fine meal for this, even in this expensive town.”
Younger reached through the window, grabbed the bills and gave them to Twin to hold for her. Then she got in the car and drove away, but not before Twin got the license plate. Even with her drugged-out mind, she immediately knew to write it down.
In the car the TV Producer seemed a little pre-occupied. “What’s wrong, sugar?” asked Younger. “You thinking about the fine meal you gonna give me or the one you gonna get?”
The answer was neither. “You know, your friend sure looked familiar. Not like we’ve met or nothing, but she sure did remind me of somebody. I just can’t remember who exactly.”
Talkative Younger could hear an opportunity when it presented itself. By the time “dinner” was over she had an extra thousand and the TV Producer knew a lot about Twin’s business, both illegal and not, including the name of her twin brother. And for someone who liked appearing to be “in the know,” information was gold. The only question was, in whose mine should he go prospecting?
The more he thought about it, he remembered there was a big mine in Idaho.
He’d seen her as he drove by, just where his sources told him she’d be. Man, she did look like him. The same almond eyes, café au lait complexion, same slight build. She was a little shorter but that was to be expected for a woman.
He’d done his homework. Research was one of the things he was best at. It had gotten him into this mess and it was going to get him out of it, even if it had taken him a couple of years to track down this story.
There’d certainly been some interesting questions. Why is it that, in a family of high achievers, one a billionaire even, his twin sibling was hooking, hooked on crack and making porn? Everybody else in the family had gotten out of that kind of thing. Why hadn’t she left, too? And why did all the reports on the wedding say that she was dead when she obviously wasn’t? Somebody was holding something over her and he was going to find out what it was.
Not that she was the target of all this. She was just the weapon.
He was on his computer when the phone rang. He picked it up, annoyed.
“Hey man, it’s me. It’s been a while. How you doing?”
He recognized the voice right away. “I’m busy, man. Whataya want?”
“Hey, it’s not about what I want. It’s what I know you want.”
“Stop playing games, man. I don’t have time for this shit.”
“Oh, you’ll have time for this, my friend. Remember when you were trying to find out where that rumor started about the Rock Star coming back and how his music was gonna blow everybody away?”
“You never would have found out it was Lover if I hadn’t told you about the Exec. I think that counts for something, don’t you?”
“Oh, don’t tell you grew a set of balls and now you wanna get paid or something? Man, ain’t you heard? I practically got banished behind that shit. Besides, that was three, almost four years ago. Let it go, man.”
“Oh, yeah, I heard something about that. So how’s life in old I-dee-hoe these days? You let that go yet?” An ugly chuckle crossed the wireless phones.
“Hey, don’t go places you don’t know what’s waiting.”
“So where are you?”
“I’m in D.C. right now. Where are you?”
“Oh, man, you’re not gonna believe this. I’m in D.C., too, for that thing at the Kennedy Center.”
The man from Idaho heard a lot of laughing on the other end.
“Look, I’m really busy right now. Doing some research. Just tell me, why’re you calling me?”
“Oh, you’re gonna wanna hear this, believe me. I just found somebody related to somebody you don’t like very much.”
“Oh, you mean Twin Sister? That’s old news. I found her a while back.” He chuckled. “She’s gonna make a pretty ugly picture on the cover of whatever tabloid makes the right offer.”
The TV Producer was disappointed but not quite finished.
“Yeah, well, maybe you found her but have you talked to her yet?”
This made him sit up. “You talked to her?”
“Yep, Just tonight. Now you wanna buy me a beer or two? She’s quite an interesting lady.”
“Yeah, OK, if it’s worth it. Where are you?”
They set the place in the Flower Alphabet, a block up Georgia Avenue from the old Walter Reed Army Hospital. It was the Reporter’s favorite bar. He grabbed his jacket. This was one meeting he was definitely going to make on time.
And so was the man following him, in fact, determined to get there first.
Chapter 18 – TREASURE HUNT
The bar was dark, dank and relatively quiet, an old player in the corner squeezing out old-timey R&B, jazz and blues, old beer and liquor in the air and old posters on the wall, just the way a neighborhood bar oughta be. The TV Producer was already there when the Reporter stepped in. He waved him over to the high-backed booth behind some drunk snoring a couple of booths over.
“Didn’t think you’d be seeing me, didja?”
“Hey, it’s always good to see an old friend. I’ll even buy the first round.”
The TV Producer noticed how the Reporter’s attitude had changed during the drive in from Bethesda.
The two men made artificial small talk while waiting for the waitress to bring their beers. Once they were served and she left with the bills and tip, they got down to business.
“So you say you talked to Twin tonight?”
“Yeah,” said the Producer. “We had a little conversation. That wasn’t the most interesting part of my evening, though.”
The Reporter was beginning to wonder if he was getting the runaround.
“Aw, man, I don’t wanna hear about your escapades.”
“Hey now, do you really think I’d bring you way into town for some pillow talk?”
“Just don’t fuck with me, OK?”
“No sir, this is the real deal. You wanna hear it or not?”
“Tell me whatcha got.”
“No, you show me what you got.”
The Reporter had come prepared for this. Nobody in D.C. gets something for nothing, from the President on down.
“I’ve got ten large for the right stuff.”
That was twice what the Producer had planned on.
“Let me see it.”
The Reporter slid the envelope out of his jacket and down under the table, the flap opened. He let the Producer see what was inside but he sure wasn’t about to let go of it. Even though he could outrun the fat little bastard any day of the year.
“OK, you’ve seen it. Now what you got for me?”
The old drunk snorted and turned his head to the over side, almost losing his hat.
The Producer took his time, wanting to string it out as long as possible. The Reporter wasn’t so accommodating this time.
“Look, you son-of-a-bitch, you waste my time I swear I’ll waste you.”
“Funny you should say that,” the Producer said, full of swagger. “You wouldn’t be the only one who’s wasted somebody.”
Now he had the Reporter’s attention.
“Tell me, mothafucka.”
“Well,” said the Producer, “once upon a time there lived a poor Cuban woman with her four beautiful Afro-Cuban children in the Anacostia ghetto right here in our dear old Nation’s Capital. Now, the oldest child was a bright, gorgeous little boy nicknamed ‘Peanut Butter’ who loved to read up on the roof of their building in the projects. It was a real tough neighborhood and the little boy used to go up there to, you know, get away from the crime and violence and stuff. He’d stashed some cash up there, too, that he made being a lookout for the local Pimp Dealer. And one day …”
By the time the complete story had been told a few weeks later, the Reporter had paid the Producer a whole lot more than ten large. It was delivered in bits and pieces, which was a pain and really expensive. But this was what he’d been waiting for. He hadn’t known exactly what it would be, but he knew it when he heard it. What was that old saying? If you can’t get them directly, go for what—or who–they love? And it was beginning to look like he could get them both (and maybe few extra, extra large) if he did it right.
Tomorrow in “Children” – On the other coast making babies