[For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Carrie gave me this prompt: Open a new Google search window. Close your eyes and hit three random keys. See what is 'suggested' by Google. Pick one and write a 500 word story inspired by it. Don't forget to tell us your inspiration!. I gave kgwaite this prompt: " 'How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?' -John Lennon"] [I hit the keys "loh", and for reasons that escape even me, "Lohan" was what spoke to me. This story is called "Encounter"]
One of my contacts told me it would be worth hanging out outside a bar/restaurant I had never heard of somewhere in Topanga. He gave me the address, and after a few missteps, I found what I thought had to be the place. "El Grandita", it was called, and it was quaint. It looked old, but the new kind of old, weathered by design instead of actual usage. There was a perfect alley for my purposes- cluttered by a high hedge on top of a low wall and enormous green metal trash bins. If she went out the back, I would have a clear view, able to get some good shots in before dashing up the alley and away. They wouldn't be able to see me until they were right up on me.
I tucked myself in there good, my back against the stone wall, opened my backpack and took out my bottled water and my camera. I didn't fool myself into thinking I was Jill Krementz. I knew I was feeding the lowest common denominator of our culture, adding slime to the swamp we were drowning in. But the merciless computers at the District Court were going to look for $348.17 Friday morning, and if I didn't come up with something good to feed the sharks in the next couple of days, their payment request was going to echo inside my empty account.
I heard the back door open, and I tensed. I could see from the ankles down, and I caught a glimpse of two sets of men's shoes. The men stepped back inside, and then emerged again, first the two of them, then a pair of bare, skinny ankles above expensive looking sandals. I let them walk. The men looked big, like they were failed walk ons at USC. I waited a beat as they went past. The sandaled feet were moving slower than the two men.
I stepped out and saw Lindsay Lohan, the celebrity felon and would be movie star. She looked like someone's kid sister. I was about to start shooting when she looked at me. I heard the two monoliths start to move. They went to step past me. She looked at me curiously, like she had never seen a sketchy looking guy with a camera before. I realized why people were fascinated by her. She was quite attractive, of course, but she had a delicate face, a face men wanted to protect from harm.. I could imagine splitting the Sunday Times with her, eating bagels and drinking strong coffee. Her eyes darted away to her two handlers, and as I stared, they were hurrying their way past me, guiding her into the car and away, and I wondered, as I often did, why it was I spent my life hunting for things I didn't want to find.