Hey hi my lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and welcome to TanyaTale! I post here on this blog every Friday at 7pm with everything and anything creative. Be it a real life embarrassing story, or be it a short story i just couldn’t wait to share, if you are a fan of stories then this is the place for you. If you are new to the blog please be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons – you’ll get notifications with every post! And if you are returning hit that like button to let me know you’re back.
This week we are returning to Short Stories. Now if you follow my blog you are probably aware that I haven’t shared a short story for a while. There is a reason … i cant tell you what lately but there is a reason… and it’s good. But today i’m returning to my Short story routes. This story explores the conspiracy theory that pop singer Avril Lavigne is dead. Now i’m not saying i believe the conspiracy but i thought it would be a fun story to write. So settle back and enjoy …
“Get me Mellissa now.” Shauna said as she walked from the bedroom into the kitchen. As she entered she headed instinctively towards the cupboard below the sink. Opening it she produced a bottle of whiskey and poured herself a glass. As she finished pouring Shauna looked up to see a crowd of three stood around a kitchen counter. Each girl was paler than the last.
“Don’t make me ask again. I want Mellissa here now. You can be shocked later.” She continued. As she spoke she threw her phone across the kitchen counter indicating for one of the girls to use it. For a moment no one moved until finally the young brunette on the end took the phone and walked away from the counter. There was a moments silence as she dialled but in less than a minute the young girl was on the phone to Mellissa.
“Oh my god.” One of the girls muttered. As she spoke she seemed to snap out of her vegetative state and her eyes began to well.
“Please, no tears. I hate tears.” Shauna said. As she spoke she returned to the bottle and poured a second glass. “Drink this. It’ll help.” The girl did as she was told and drank the whisky in one. She squinted for a moment before breathing out. It was clear instantly that this girl was not used to drinking, her mannerism was all wrong, Shauna thought. As the crying girl calmed down she looked up and Shauna for hope, yet there was none.
“What do we do?” she asked, gesturing towards the bedroom, “Avril Lavigne is in that room, dead. You tell us no police and to call Mellissa. We are either a part of this or we aren’t. I want to know everything or nothing.” The girl demanded.
Shauna laughed. For months she had been trying to get her intern to become more confident and to stand up for herself and, although it took seeing a dead body to reach this moment of personal growth, she still had to admire it. Shauna stood for another moment, not saying a word. The truth was, she didn’t know what she was going to do. She thought she had a plan but the more she thought about it, less of a plan she had.
Shauna had only been Avril’s manager for a couple of years, she had never expected her life to be cut so short. She was a gold mine and so as she saw the overdosed body of a pop star not only did she see a lost life, she saw a lost opportunity and a lost pay check.
“Phone.” Shauna demanded. The girl speaking to Mellissa turned around. She opened her mouth as if to protest but soon realised that Shauna was the only one who had the slightest idea of what to do and so doing exactly as she asked was all she could do.
The girl simply said “see you soon” before hanging up and throwing the phone back to Shauna. “She’s on her way.” She confirmed.
“What’s your name?” Shauna asked.
“Lilly.” The girl replied.
“I like you Lilly. Remind me to give you a promotion when all of this is over.”
Shauna hesitated for a moment before dialling a number in her phone marked HK. She had been given this number years ago at the start of her career. She had been at a publicity event for a new film when a man had approached her. He had not told her his name and he gave very little indication as to how he knew who she was. He just slipped her a piece of paper with a number on it and the words House Keeping.
At first Shauna had been confused and alarmed until she spoke to her mentor a few days later. He told her that this man was a House Keeper and it would do her well to keep his number handy. “You never know with celebrities.” He had said. Shauna didn’t take long to realise that the type of House Keeping this man did was not generic room service. She never thought she would have to use it. Never dreamt of using it. But none the less she kept it because it’s always better to be prepared. As she dialled a man answered.
“Yes.” He said.
“I need a House Keeper. Is this the right number?” She said.
“Address.” He replied.
“Suit 100, Beverly Hills. I was wondering how…”
“10 minutes. 2 knocks. Don’t speak to anyone.” He said before hanging up.
Shauna’s heart was attacking her chest from the inside, but she knew she had to remain calm. She had to be the guide through this turbulent time. Five minutes later and there was a knock at the door. Lilly moved as if she was going to answer it, but Shauna stopped her. She was going to remain in control. She was determined. She walked over to the door and looked through the peep hole before letting off a sigh of relief.
“Mellissa. Come in. The girls are in the kitchen. Go straight in, sit down.” She said, patting the girl on the back as she passed her. After Mellissa had left, Shauna double locked the door and checked the girl had not been followed. To her surprise and joy, she had not.
“Listen girls. Tonight, is going to make you very rich. All you must do is stay quiet. You tell no one, and you forget this ever happened. Okay?” She asked. Mellissa, Lilly and the crying girl nodded, while the third looked unsure. Shauna closed her eyes as she realised that this girl was going to be a problem. “Yes?” She said once more, looking at the girl.
“No. Its wrong. We need to call the police. I don’t care about money. She was a person.” The girl said.
“Go and wait for me by the pool. We can discuss this in private.” The girl did as she was told and left. Shauna watched as she disappeared off into the darkness of night. The room fell silent, no girl wanted to say a word and despite it being clear that Mellissa wanted to ask what was going on, she daren’t. The silence was broken however, by a knock at the door.
Shauna returned to the door, repeating her cautious ritual of checking the peep hole and unlocking and relocking the door with great haste.
“Let me make this clear, I don’t want to know any names. They aren’t important. If this is going to work I ask the questions and you answer. You then let me do my job. I need to know where the body is, how they died, how many people know about this and how many of those people are going to remain silent with what they know?” The man said.
“Um, Av … The body is in the bedroom – I suspect overdose. There are five people who know, including myself. Four are going to remain silent and one I’m not so confident about.” She replied.
As Shauna spoke her voice tremored. Everything had happened so quickly. One minute she and her apprentices were checking up on a client and the next they are covering up a death for the sake of their careers. She took a breath and the tall dark man nodded at the information she had just given her. He looked different to how she remembered. Maybe it was the lack of soul in his eyes or the darker general appearance of the man. But he looked different.
“Who’s the problem?” He asked.
“She’s by the pool.” Shauna replied.
The man nodded before sending her into the kitchen to keep and eye on the other girls. He said he would sort it and do it free of charge, so long as she passed his number on to any manager friends she had. Shauna agreed and did as he had said.
“Shauna, what the hell is going on?” Mellissa asked.
“Avril’s dead. She overdosed and if you want to be very rich and very famous you won’t say a word.” As Shauna said these words a gun shot was fired from the back of the house. It seemed to make everyone jump yet no one said a word. They just sat, still.
“You are now Avril. Cut your hair like hers, go through her closet and wear her clothes and I need you to move into this house. Clear?” She asked. Mellissa nodded, she had always wanted to be famous but of her own accord. What about her life? Her family? And if she became Avril Lavigne what happens to Mellissa? “It’s done.” The house keeper said before leaving.
“Right.” Shauna said. “Let’s get back to work. Avril, you’ve got a tour to rehearse for.” Shauna said to Mellissa. “You’ve spent your life being a look alike, well, now you’re the star.”