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Observation Two

Standing Divided

by Michael E. Lloyd

Table of Contents
The story to date
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
appear in this issue.
For my family and friends,
and with a lasting debt to
Janis and Corinne,
who through their music
will remain forever young

Chapter 1: Beverly Hills, California

The once silver-haired star of the post-Depression silver screen glanced briefly into her hand mirror — for reassurance, she supposed — then braced herself and swallowed the small glass of tangy, bitter salts in a single disgusted gulp.

She followed it up rapidly with the bourbon chaser which, as usual, stood ready on her bedside table.

Once her taste buds had returned to what she judged, these days, to be near-normal, she picked up the mirror again and took a longer, harder look at her face and her flowing auburn hair.

She nodded to herself in quiet satisfaction. Even her worst enemies would have to admit she didn’t look a day over fifty-five ...

She flopped gently back against the pillows and thought carefully for a few moments. Then she picked up the phone.

Her first call was to an old Hollywood co-star, whom she had come to know very well again in recent months.

‘Stevie, honey, it’s me.’ ... ‘Yep, I’ve decided I want some more. Pronto.’ ... ‘What? You’re kidding me!’ ... ‘Sheesh! Well, I guess it makes sense. At least I can see the upsides! OK, then — make it two hundred grand’s worth. Personal delivery?’ ... ‘Thanks, pal. See you soon! Bye-eee!’

The second call was to her stockbroker.

‘Good morning, Frank. Listen — if the price is still below $145, I’m still investing. Another five million bucks, immediate.’ ... ‘Yes, I’ll wait.’ ... ‘Deal? Thanks, Frankie!’

Proceed to chapter 2 ...

Copyright © 2006 by Michael E. Lloyd

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