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Grade
11

Perhaps it was due to the rise of cinemas or mainstream television, but the men and women of Rolling Hills in the late 1900’s seemed to prey on bold news, bold accessories, and bold clothes - though on a much lower scale in liberality.

 

And through the chaos that encased them day after day, a young man held onto his lifelong dream of being amongst the world’s handful of finest writers, in hopes that he could quit his job at the local newspaper office.

 

The man had just arrived to work and began hastily flipping through pages of the trending news to reach a small section on page seven, wherien authors paid to have excerpts from their latest books published.

 

A rotund figure approached him and tapped his finger lightly on top of his head.

 

“You are but a rookie writer at best, Theo! It is time to focus on a real job - would you go make some calls for me?”

 

His boss proceeded to push him out of the door, placing a cigarette in his hand.

 

He paused at the door’s frame and looked down at his palm then back up. His boss quickly replaced it with a rolled up piece of paper and motioned to the telephone booth across the street.

 

Theo rushed out and waited patiently for a group of businessmen to cross before him, only to hear noisy chatter grow increasingly loud as he approached the telephone booth. Behind the booth, a woman clad in a red vest too loose for her small frame exited the Rolling Hills theatre.

 

“Excuse me miss, but what’s all the fuss about?”
“Boy, are you a writer?” she asked.

“I would like to think so - “

“A fine young writer like you must enter the competition. I hear the prize is a fruitful one,” she looked up at him with bright, child-like eyes.

“It seems our world is much too busy with new Hollywood today,” she called over her shoulder as she bustled away.

 

And so the young man began devising a plan that would distract his world from the hustle and at the ripe age of twenty-two, Theo created a pen name.

“Angus Schlep,” he revealed to his youngest sister.

 

“Like Guy de Maupassant!” Marline exclaimed.

 

He paused for a moment and nodded, “Yes, I suppose. Marline, you’ll visit me when I become famous, isn’t that right?”

 

“Theodore,” she laughed to herself, “if you manage to win this I shall be the first fan knocking at your door.”

Marline reached over and fixed a stubborn strand of hair atop her brother’s hair and urged him out the door, “There are only three hours left of the day!”

 

Theo, with a couple hours left to write a fruitful prize-winning story, walked briskly into the spare room located in the back of the theatre when a blinding flash stopped him. He looked around - numerous young men were having their photos taken and being urged towards rows of tables messily set up. He sat down in the far corner and wrote what he already considered his greatest work, a rather sarcastic tale of a man who achieves unwanted fame because he had the same name as a successful writer’s pen name.

As the red-vested lady had mentioned the morning before, large letters had been sprawled across the next day’s newspaper: “Congratulations to Rolling Hills’ own Angus Schlep!”

Theo’s boss’s eyes met his own and with a confused look on his face, his boss shouted “My glasses - quick! Here boy, how is it that this one here has your face?”

Theo repeatedly scanned the black-and-white photograph plastered onto the front page and frantically crossed the street to phone Marline.

Yet, to his dismay, his eyes surveyed a freshly-painted Ford resting outside the theatre. A lean man in a solid blue suit coat scurried out to shake his hand.

The man resembled a cane, Theo thought to himself, with the way his long body hunched over the steering wheel.

After a drive that seemed to surpass hours, Theo was taken to a hotel he did not know the name of, on account of him being rushed inside to avoid reporters. Without a doubt, hopeful men and women everywhere were all anticipating a word from Angus Schlep himself.

From behind Theo, a muffled voice similar to Marline’s called, “Mr. Schlep!”

He turned around to face a pale young woman instead, who whispered into his ear, “Do not worry, Angus! You will have plenty of time to address all the reporters at the dinner tonight.”

Theo imagined a dining hall larger than any he had seen before. This one was filled with important men, packed like sardines, whose biggest problems in life were most likely deciding between a corduroy jacket with leather buttons or a double-breasted suit.

The woman introduced herself as Annelise and informed him that she was to be his first assistant. He hesitated to shake her hand and instead asked, “Miss, how am I supposed to be dressed for this ... dinner tonight?”

She was looking at him with the same childlike eyes as everybody before had been.

“I believe the suits in your closet are equally as fashionable as the jackets, Mr. Schlep,” she motioned to the suite behind him and smiled softly, “but corduroy is of desire these days!”

Theo managed a weak smile in return and watched as Annelise carefully closed the door behind her, leaving the now famous writer alone in his room. He sat by the door and eavesdropped on the excited small talk outside until it died down.

Though having finally acquired a promising career, Theo found himself lonely without a Marline. He missed a comparatively quiet Rolling Hills, where he was known as the humble and conservative man.

 

But Angus Schlep, who had been ushered into the fanciest hotel room in all of the city, seemed to be the most famous and boldest man emerging in Hollywood.

State
NJ
Zip Code
07650