Austin arrives for his first interview. As he walks on stage, someone throws her panties at him, which he manages to dodge. He’s somewhat taken aback by the enthusiastic greeting he gets from the audience.
The audience erupted again. Fortunately, no more panties flew on the stage.
“I think the question burning on everyone’s lips—is this: Is that really your bum or a very buff body double?”
Austin sat down again, smirking saucily. “I don’t like to brag, Liz. But I do think it’s well known that I perform all my own—stunts.” He winked wickedly, smoothing his tie.
“I don’t suppose we could convince you to give us a peek?”
“I would, love, but I’m afraid it would cause a riot.”
“So, tell us about all this Irving business. What really happened?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. I thought we got along well, but our styles didn’t mesh. I regret what’s happened. But things don’t always work out as we’d wish.”
“I hear that you’ll be taking the director’s chair soon and that you wrote some of the episodes?”
“Yes, to both. Actually, my assistant, Dwight Wales and another gentleman, Paul Shrove, co-wrote the episodes. They’ll both be assisting when I direct.”
“What direction do you see the show going?”
“We’re hoping to try a few new things. We’ve decided to keep the same companion for a bit. We’ve just hired a lovely young lady who will be playing Morgana, The Magician’s latest. She’s from his home world, so they get along splendidly. The actress is such a good fit, we decided to keep her.”
“And she’s here today,” Liz said grandly. “Everyone please welcome Liat Fogleberg, Morgana!” She stood, clapping.
Austin smiled and stood. He stepped forward to help Liat up the rise to the platform and waited until she’d seated herself before sitting down.
“A little bird tells me that you two are an item,” Liz said. “Do tell!”
Liat glanced at Austin, smiling shyly. “Not exactly—yet. We’re giving it some thought.”
“Is he as yummy as The Magician?” Liz leaned forward excitedly.
“I’ve only ever kissed her,” Austin admitted. “I’m nothing like The Magician. He’s a horny old sod.” He blushed. “Can I say that on television?”
Liz laughed. “You just did! Is this relationship what prompted you to ask Liat to stick around?”
“Not entirely. She and I work well together and are really in sync. Her character also clicked with mine. Besides, I’m tired of getting used to new people every few weeks. It’s far better for the show to have someone more permanent with whom I can build a rapport.”
“We’ve taken the liberty of putting together a few clips from the show.” Liz directed their attention to a large screen.
They started with part of the first season’s gag reel, then started a montage of Austin’s ass shots. The audience went wild. More panties flew onto the stage and Austin dearly hoped that they weren’t recently worn, but suspected some may have been. Hiding his face behind his hand, he shook his head. Liat squeezed his fingers. They ended the clip with the dance he and Liat had done a couple days ago. The lights came up to more cheering and whistling.
“Thank you for that humiliation,” Austin said dryly. “Forty years from now, when I’m old and gray, there will be, preserved for posterity, my posterior.”
“Is it true you were living on the street before you got this job?” Liz asked unexpectedly.
Austin had anticipated this question, so he didn’t let his feelings show. He didn’t like talking about his former life.
“My early years weren’t easy,” he replied quietly. “My parents died when I was little. My father was drunk and ran them off the road into a tree. I was with the sitter at the time. I went into foster care and I left when I was fifteen, struck out on my own, and eventually ended up living in a hovel. The term starving artist would apply.”
Liz nodded, her eyes holding a multitude of emotions.
“So, when people make a fuss, toss their panties at me and cheer at the sight of my bum, I can’t help thinking how lucky I am. This is a dream job, so far separated from reality—Nothing about it is remotely real. This job, this arrogant, self-centered, butt wielding character with a saucy smile and great hair, saved my life.”
The audience was quiet for a moment before erupting into applause. They stood, clapping long and hard. Liz was so stunned, she didn’t even tell them to sit down for over two minutes. Liat clapped along with everyone else. She and Liz stood. The backstage crew came out of the wings and the band started playing The Magician’s theme song. Liz took him in her arms and kissed his cheek.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “Please stay through the next portion. I think you’ll like my next guest.”
“Thanks,” he replied, kissing her cheek.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes