Day 145 – The Smear -Part 1

Wrote this one early in the evening, didn’t get a chance to upload it til just now.


Word count: 1094




“You can’t just go out there and demand attention – you’ve got to work them, warm them up a little! It’s just like foreplay, you know?” Mick’s voice poured into her ears like gravy.

Zoe was on the edge of her seat, attentive to his every dripping word. They were in a swish new restaurant, window seat. Her jewelry sparkled in the Autumn sunshine that was dazzling the world outside. She wore a short tight dress, making sure to show off her brand new tattoo half way up her thigh.

Hair falling sexily over her piercingly defined face, Zoe leant in further, “Tell me more.”

There were photographers outside, dawdling while they ate.  Half an hour previously they had been taking photographs and shouting out her name, but no sooner than she had winked at the waiter had he clapped his hands and had rounded them away from the doorway like the cattle they were.

“You’re clever, Zoe, you know your stuff. You’ve got to pretend you don’t know what you’re doing, like all this is natural. You’re rich – but only right now. They –” he shoved a thumb in the direction of the herd of journalists hanging around on the pavement, “are your paycheck. They are your work – it’s not your acting or your music that you work at – that’s your talent. This will be how you earn your living. You’ve got stories to tell, so tell them… a little bit at a time. You’ve been hurt by men, you’ve been treated like shit by your family – anything you’ve ever felt in your life you’ve got to summon up and wave your magic emotional wand at will. They are hungry for it – every row you’ve ever had with your dad – dad’s are big faves with them. Everyone loves their mum, dad’s are the ones that walk out. You know the deal.”

“My parents are still together though?”

“So he was never there for you when you grew up? Got any violent relatives?”


“And no boyfriend?”


“Not sleeping with anyone?”


Zoe scooped up her glass of Sauvignon Blanc and stole a taste. From behind Mick, she could see their food arriving.

“Ah! Good, I love this place.”

“It only opened last week!”

“I know, but I love this place.”

Two tiny plates of food in giant dishes were presented to them both. Zoe began eating delicately. With a horde of journalists and the ever-observing public eye watching her all the time, she could never be seen to be hungry.

“So what should we do? I’m very new to this.”

Mick pointed a forkful for food at her, “I tell you what you’re going to do. You’re going to do something fantastic – I don’t think it’s ever been done before!”

“What is it? Is it a film, is it a television show – a stunt? What, what, what?” Zoe was clapping her false-nailed hands with ecstatic excitement.

“I’ll tell you…”




Two hours later, Zoe found herself getting out of a taxi in South-East London. She did not live anywhere near here – in fact she had never lived here before in her life. Her red high heels almost slipped on the wet pavement. The glorious lunchtime sunshine had been swallowed by a massive black rain cloud. A neon sign light up the darkening street.

Deptford Mall, it read.

It looked as decaying as the dead skin she scraped off her feet every week at the beauticians. Black damp was streaming down the concrete walls. The building was no newer than the nineteen-sixties. People – who she could find no other word to describe them with other than scummy – were pouring out of the mall with their cheap clothing bags, hoodie tops and terrible acne. From a distance, she wondered how they smelled and whether they showered at all. Still, she tried to gulp down her disgust and walked casually into the mall, as if this was her favourite haunt.

Half the shops were closed down. Signs had been painted black, but underneath the shop names could still be read. This place would have been not that bad had it been twenty years ago, but in all that time an interior designer had not set foot inside the place. Of the few shops that were open, she spied the perfect one straight away.

Fate, she smiled to herself, was playing a perfect part.

Zoe toddled up towards the shop. It was a kind of convenience store. It sold cigarettes and chocolate bars. There was a slight queue, so Zoe had a few moments to work her magic. No one noticed her when she casually walked in and picked up a magazine, purposely bending low to reach the one on the very bottom shelf. It was at that point that she could feel his eyes staring at her behind. Allowing a slight wiggle upon straightening up again, she turned around to flick through the magazine.

Over the edge of The Steam Railway’s Enthusiast, she saw the boy glaring at her. He had just dropped the change he was giving a little old lady. He was a stubby sort of boy. He looked a good four years younger than her. He wore a thick chain of some sort of fake gold around his neck and a jumper that seemed as tired and as old as the place he worked in.

Zoe waited a few moments, til she was sure that she had caught him. She joined the queue with her magazine. There was only one woman in front of her. The poor boy was stammering his words now. At last she was the only one left.

“Hi,” she said softly, “Just this, please.”

“Wow, haha, haha, really?”

“Yeah, why?” She locked eye contact with him. Hook line and sinker.

“ It-it-it’s just really odd, for uhm…”

“For me?”


Zoe giggled, playfully putting her finger tips to her lips. “Well that’s just the kind of girl I am.”


“Unpredictable,” she winked.

Zoe physically saw him gulp.

“How-how-how come you’re here?”

“Oh, I err…” she mustered the blushing power, “I came here the other week…undercover – you know what it’s like… and uhm… I just had to come back…”

“Wh-why? I did-didn’t see you?”

“Well….hehe, there was this really cute boy I saw…”

“Oh,” he went white.

“Works in a shop here….”

He went red.

“I wanted to get his name… and number.”

The poor boy was trembling like an electric toothbrush.

“So what do you say?”


Zoe narrowed her eyes and blew him the tiniest of kisses.

~ by S.G. Mark on February 29, 2012.

2 Responses to “Day 145 – The Smear -Part 1”

  1. Waiting for the story

  2. Me too. is gud tho so far.

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