The Talent Agent
Raymond Wently leaned back in his chair, his pudgy fingers interlocked and resting on the top of his head. He kept his eyes locked on his car, safe in its parking space, a story below him.
Wently knew his next prospective client was waiting patiently for him in the reception room, but he liked to make them wait. Sometimes he went so far as to leave his door open, just a crack, just enough so they could watch him watching his car.
Eventually Raymond straightened himself out, and gently patted his comb over. He arranged some blank forms on his desk and scratched at his nose before buzzing the secretary. Raymond could clearly hear the conversation in the waiting room "Mr. Wently will see you now, I'll take the form from you, and good luck."
The voice that answered the secretary was soft, meek and very feminine. Raymond put his vast decades of experience in talent scouting to the test. He instantly had her pegged: she had a juggling act and probably just wanted a quick spot on the Ed Sullivan show. But when he glanced up at his potential client, his jaw dropped. She had to bend in to get through the door!
Raymond shot up from his desk, his smile growing wider and wider as he eyed up his potential client. Her body was large, wrapped in a homemade dress--a style that was popular among dowdy housewives, one which had the effect of flattening out the curves of the person who wore it. But this woman's body was too perfect. Her figure was a perfect hourglass. As she walked forward, the dress's fabric stretched out and smoothed back, revealing more and more of her generous hips and large breasts.
She dwarfed Raymond and not just in height. She did not look slim or frail, quite the opposite. The sleeves on her blouse were stretched tight, and not from fat--her stomach was flat. If Raymond had been intimidated at first, he quickly overcame this and found this potential client to be extremely attractive to his eyes. He looked into her face with an expression better suited for elementary school boy, chuckling in a goofy draw. She wore her raven black hair in a thick ponytail that brushed against her shoulders. Raymond inadvertently shifted back into a business mode while taking stock of her face. The cheekbones were too bold, and the nose, a bit curved, wouldn't photograph right. She'd have to wear a prosthetic.
Now the dollars and cents added up. She would be an easy sell to every movie studio in Hollywood, she wouldn't even need to read for parts, director's would just want her to stand in against the scenery. Not too much commission, but there would always be more work.
"Now stand right where you are, right where you are! God, you're fantastic!" Raymond couldn't hide his excitement from the client. "I want you to pick these up here." The Great Leboneno Brothers had left one of their personalized dumbbells to Raymond as a memento after he booked them on a particularly successful vaudeville revival. He rolled the dumbbell across the floor to the giantess's feet. "I want you to pick these up here, I can tell you're as strong as a mule."
The client protested, "Mr, Wently, I'm sorry… that's not the kind of thing…"
Despite her size, she spoke in such a timid voice that Raymond could hardly prevent himself from speaking over her. "Pick them up, pick them up!"
She relented, and lifted the dumbbell off the floor with her free arm in an easy motion. For the first time Raymond noticed that she carried a parcel, but it was no matter.
"You, can just set the weight down now, miss. You'll never be out of work in this town! As you're agent, I'll have you know that much! Such a display of strength and such a vision of femininity! Do you know, right across town they're ready to start on another Jungle picture? I can't think of it's name, but I'm sure the director'd hire you on the spot! No audition! You'd just have to get into a leopard skin unitard, I'm sure they can make one for you if they don't have you're size. Trust me, any director will want to get you in front of the camera!" Raymond spoke fast, it was a survival mechanism in the entertainment industry.
"Oh, but Mr. Wently!" the client had been trying to cut in all throughout his proposal, almost bowing down while doing so.
"Yes? Do you like that? How'd you like to be in the new Jungle picture?"
"Mr. Wently no, that's not what I came to see you about, sir."
"No?" Raymond waited a full half second for a response before continuing. "Its not television is it? You? With your physique? Television?" He suddenly remembered his original guess, and swallowed back some saliva in his throat. Raymond started to speak slower, more muted. Sweat beaded up on his forehead, he took out his handkerchief and dabbed his brow dry. "That's no problem no problem. Have a seat. Good. You probably don't know this, but I know one of the recruiters for the Sullivan show. Could you see yourself on Ed Sullivan, beamed out to the whole nation? Don't look so doeful! Last year I sent a full ten acts to the program. Ten acts! You see, I'll get you on. "
"But Mr. Wently, I'm not…"
"Don't be so glum. You'll lift those dumbbells up in the air, the audience will gasp. Say, how tall are you? I'd guess a good seven feet! Tell you what we'll do. We'll get you the unitard and a midget assistant, make you look all of ten feet tall when you're on camera together. Of course, you know…" Raymond sighed and sat down behind his desk, he continued in a low voice, not bothering to make eye contact while he spoke, "…you just won't make as much money doing television, but that's fine, you might just get more work anyway."
"But Mr. Wently, sir, that's not why I came today," she pleaded with an ‘aw shucks' apple-pie smile. Raymond paused to look her over. The chair was too small for her frame, so slid her hips in sideways. She sat with her knees together, hunched forward, as if she meant to curl up into a small ball. Raymond sighed again, looking over his client. He thought her a beautiful monster, no matter how hard she tried to hide her size, Raymond needed to look up to make eye contact.
"No?" Raymond was confused. She didn't have the voice for radio. "Modeling?"
"No, sir. I want you to look at this." The client unwrapped her parcel. With her long, thin fingers, she handed Raymond about two hundred sheets of paper, neatly bounded.
Raymond glanced at the top page: "-UNTITLED- by: Mildred Pushkin" and then sunk deeper into his chair. He couldn't mask all of his disappointment, he almost cried. "A script? You brought in a script?"
Mildred beamed like a school girl, her cheeks grew rosy, "Yes sir."
"Why did you come to me with a script?"
"Well, I read in a Ladies Home Journal that if you had any chance of getting your script made in Hollywood, you need an agent to show it to all the big producers and directors."
"You read that in Ladies Home Journal?" Raymond was hardly impressed and let his tone of voice become cynical. "And you have no desire to want to get in front of the camera? You might like it."
"Oh no, Mr. Wently. I'm too shy about that kind of thing, I wouldn't be able think straight."
"That a fact?" This Mildred could have been a decent meal ticket for five years, another oddity for the office that kept the new talent coming back. But now she'd up and turned into a giant deadbeat right in front of Raymond's eyes. Maybe he could make her part with twenty dollars, but not much more. No one ever bought screenplays. He'd been in the business for decades and knew that someone actually having both a good screenplay and a studio interested in producing it was a myth best saved for the movies. Still, he was a professional, and as such, assumed a comfortable position, and asked the necessary questions. "Well, what's it about."
"Oh, Mr. Wently, I'm really proud of it. You see, its about this girl." "Yes, go on."
"She's not from out here. She comes from the Midwest, westward from the Mississippi river. That's where the story's set."
"Well, you see, when she was just a young girl, she was very small and very weak and very very simple. So simple that none of her classmates never paid her much mind, even though she lived in a small town where the whole school, from first grade to ninth could fit in three class rooms, and everyone knew everyone else's name, no one really talked to her."
"That should be easy to film," Raymond chimed halfheartedly.
"I guess you're right, but that's not all of it."
"Of course it isn't. You can go ahead."
"Well, as soon as school ended this girl…"
"Does the girl have a name, dear?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, her name is Milly Mr. Wently."
"Well, like I was saying, when school ended, it seemed like every boy in town either was drafted into the war or went East to some city. It comes to a point where its just Milly and her folks and a few girls who'd never had much to say to her during school and had even less to talk about after they all graduated. Well, Milly gets awful lonely out there, nobody but her parents to keep her company so one night she does something real bad." Mildred stopped to give a dramatic pause, but Raymond didn't seem to notice. "She steals her father's money right out of his work overalls. And she runs a way, crying all the time cause of the bad she did. Milly'd been figuring that maybe things'll be better out west, maybe get herself a big house looking out on the ocean. She starts off walking the whole way, thinking she might hitchhike all the way to California. But she still feels awfully guilty, and afraid that maybe her parent's would have sent the cops to get her, so she doesn't hitch, but walks far from the road." Mildred gasped for breath. "She has plenty of adventures out there, plenty of good people help her along the way. Pretty soon though, she's reached the desert, still afraid all the while that the police will catch up with her, throw her in jail for stealing her fathers money.
"Well one day, when Milly's walking, she spots a whole slew of policemen and army men blocking off a road she's trailing. Milly gets afraid that they've all been sent by her parents to bring her back home. You know what Milly does? She runs clear around them, pretty deep in the desert though, so far in that she couldn't find the road by nighttime.
"Now this is the exciting part of the picture. When she wakes up the next morning, her face and skin's all dirty from sleeping on the ground, and while she's dusting herself off, there's a flash of lightning that fills the whole sky! And a giant boom! Then an earthquake comes and she's lifted ten feet into the air by all the dust running around her."
"Well that is exciting isn't it?" Raymond asked in a monotone. He reached into his desk and took out a vial of pills. He dropped two onto his palm and munched on them loudly as his client continued.
"Milly's all right though. She wakes up from it all in one piece a day or two later. But now she's really dirty, and her skin is just burning up from the dust and the sun and the bruises she got from the fall. Out there in the desert, Milly's crying harder now than she ever did before. She's screaming out: ‘I'm Sorry Mama' over and over again. It's so quiet where she is that she can hear her voice echoing back to her while she's carrying on.
"She thinks she's about to die, but instead there's a miracle! Milly starts shaking really bad, and coughing like nothing you've ever heard. She tries to steady herself out by grabbing onto a good sized boulder, just to keep from shaking too bad. Her whole body gets really tense and tight, she can barely move a limb, and she grits her teeth really hard. Milly's about to pass out, but she hears a loud crack. She turns her head and sees the boulder's been plum split into two pieces.
"And Milly looks down at her simple little fingers, and she can hardly believe it… They're covered with white dust from the boulder. She could move fine by this point, and she wasn't feeling bad anymore, but I guess she didn't notice. That boulder was just more interesting. She lifted up a piece that was about as wide across as her shoulders, but it was light. If Milly squeezed too tight, bits would crumple off. She started laughing for no reason. And you know what she did? She bit a piece right outta the rock, like it was an apple.
"It might not look good on camera, but she gets really happy here. She spits out the rock and starts whistling while she looks for her bags around the desert floor. Soon Milly's back on her way, walking and laughing and whistling. Every now and then she'd see another boulder, and she'd run up to it, cock her arm back and bang it into a million pieces.
"After the fourth one her arm locks up on her again. But this time, she ain't afraid because it's the best feeling she ever felt in her life. Milly's laughing and crying, sweating and shaking all at once. You see her arm starts to swell up like someone's pouring steel into it. She's looking down and watching the threads on her shirt sleeve either rip apart or just unravel, until her whole arm is exposed, right up to her shoulder blade, which is mighty big itself. You know what Milly does then? With her arm all big and massive? She looks at the other arm as if to say ‘your turn', and it gets bigger too! She can see the veins wrapping around her arm as her sleeves split apart like they'd all ready been cut before.
"Soon she's lying on her back again. Those big arms resting on her itty bitty little body would make anybody chuckle if they saw em. Well, Milly gets her laughs outta her system, and then looks down at her body, but she can't keep her eyes there for too long. Pretty soon she's tense all over again, but it feels so good that she can't pay anything any attention. Milly does notice her leg stretching out longer and longer, until soon enough they're longer than they have any right to be, and the fabric of her pants don't seem to rip, they just come right apart, clean at the seams, no hassle and no trouble. And underneath, her legs had bulged with muscles.
"Milly gets beside herself here, Mr. Wently, she just loses all reason. She takes those big arms and those long legs of hers, and she starts to beat them onto the desert floor like a baby with a temper tantrum. And Milly keeps on doing it and doing it until she notices that some of the cactuses and some of the far off weak little trees are vibrating whenever she hits the ground. That snaps her out of it quick.
"She sits up and gets to her feet real slow to look herself over. Her arms are really strong now, really really strong. And her back is as wide as it could be. Milly even tries to dance about like one of those ballet dancers she'd seen in pictures. She'd put her arm out front, keeping it straight to watch her shoulders bunch up really big. I don't know how they'll show it on camera. Well, they're smart boys, they should figure it out right?
"Anyway, she's just looking at herself, and feeling like you would open a present on Christmas morning, like she got a gift she'd really wanted and asked for. Well Milly's really proud of herself. Its right then that her breasts just start to swell up an up. It takes her by surprise cause its nothing she would have even thought of asking for. But they keep getting bigger and bigger. Even Milly's longer fingers can barely hold em all, though she tries to a lot while they're still getting bigger, cause her nipples feel soo.." Mildred cooed a bit, leaning forward while settling into a purr. If Raymond was still paying close attention, and not stealing a glance at his car parked below, he would have noticed two protrusions dimpling his client's strained blouse.
"I'm sorry, Mr Wently, I guess I got carried away… I took that last part out of the script, to keep it all clean, so don't worry. It picks up with Milly sprinting across the rest of the desert. She's done it all in a day, and soon she's climbing up the sides of the Rocky mountains like a demon! She just sticks her fingers into the rock face like it was made out of crackers. But when Milly reaches the top of one of em, and her bare legs are knee deep in snow and feeling no worse for it, she sees a clear little pool.
"She sees herself in its reflection… actually she doesn't see much at all. By this point Milly's so dirty that she's completely blackened. It seems like the perfect time for a quiet dip. She'd been completely naked save for a makeshift brassier she made out of the tatters of her old clothing. She'd put it together, so she could run faster and not worry about her new boobies bouncing up and down while she… wait well never mind, she would be fully clothed in the movie, just really really dirty. And when she climbs out of the fresh water pool, she looks down and takes in her reflection.
"More than that, Milly's huge and gorgeous, like nothing else in the world to be sure! Now she's crying again, but can't figure out why. She'd never really felt sad about her old body, but she'd become a super woman. It was all too much to think about.
"In rest of the movie, Mr. Wently. Milly walks down from the mountain and winds up in California after all. She finds that with her longer fingers, that the piano's become real easy to play, and that there's a bar that will pay her to do it and even give her a room that looks out onto the ocean. She's not anymore popular than she was before. It turns out that people are just as little to say to the bigger women as the do the really simple ones. I guess that's where it ends."
Milly smiled wide, but looked down to her shoes, a bit embarrassed for talking so much.
"And that's it?" Raymond asked.
He leant down on his desk, giving a bold expression. "Mildred, your script will never sell."
This hit Mildred hard, she almost gasped, and refused to look up from her shoes.
"It's a good start, really. The beginning reminds me of that James Dean movie the kids are going off to, but then it shifts to Science Fiction, the kind that's not selling." Raymond, tried to meet her eyes as an act of consolation but with no luck. "Look you say there's this Billie girl who turns into a monster. Well you got to expand on that. Either Billie comes from Mars or some red planet, and she shoots a ray gun that turns American boys into emotionless zombies, or she was a career woman with some long suffering husband who was a scientist, and she gets her revenge on him or he gets revenge on her. You've seen those pictures right? They're the kind that makes good money, they're the type that producers are interested in. For christsakes Mildred, you don't even have romantic sub plot in there!"
"I guess I never thought to put it in," Mildred spoke very softly.
Raymond saw his chance and seized on it. "Well, don't feel sad. Its easy to fix, you just obviously need more experience in the movie industry. Take for instance, that jungle picture being shot across the street."
Mildred sniffled, "Yeah?"
"Oh yeah, that's exactly what you need. You do a couple of these roles, get to know the directors, and how the movies are made, then you'll come back to me knowing exactly how to write a good sci-fi movie."
"Certainly! Mildred, you'll be a fine screenwriter once you've got some experience acting out a few. I'll tell you what. I'll take you over to the lot personally. I'll introduce you to the director, and he'll be sure to accept you on the spot! Just remember dear, and its only a little business formality that I have to mention up front, as your agent I'll be collecting fifteen percent of whatever they pay you."