Vol. 3 Issue 9, "20/20"

Page 75

Flash Fiction

Uptalk and Vocal Fry MATT MCHUGH

"Oh my god, I'm, like, so over people's crap, you know!" For the love of heaven, will you shut up, you whiny little twat! On the inside. Out loud, of course, I say, "Oh, I know exactly what you mean." "People are just so selfish. I mean, Jenni was supposed to tell Sapphire about Lina's premiere, right? And then, like, the morning before Lina gets a call from her agent who's all like 'Hey, what's going on.'" Good lord, that voice! The drawn-out vowels. 'Like' peppered in every other phrase with a froggy croak. And the ascension at the end of each sentence, as if everything were a question. A twenty-fouryear-old supermodel who talks like a toddler with a two-pack-a-day habit. Does she think it's sexy? Does she think of anything but the last post she read on her phone? All I know is we've been driving for nearly three hours and if this doesn't end soon I'm going to aim the Jaguar hood ornament at a telephone pole and floor it. "And now Lina's getting all pissy and texting Mom. Like, leave Mom out of it, you know! Oh my god." It started innocently enough. Crystal had to be in Las Vegas by sundown and—her beliefs to the contrary—she's not quite worth chartering a private jet. So, I volunteered. I've been a production assistant on Model Home for three years. Not the first time I've had to play chauffeur, but first crack I've had at Crystal's custom XJ. It is a magnificent beast, I must admit. Purrs like a kitten, roars like a lion, sprints like a cheetah. It's a bit surprising she bought it, being as she hates to drive, but it's a brilliant status symbol. "I mean, seriously, if Sapphire can't be bothered then, like, why should anybody care about her stupid things, you know." I nod and say 'Oh?' and 'Uh-huh' at the proper intervals—even toss in a 'No way!' I've picked up listening to Americans—but inside I'm screaming. On set, I don't have to interact with "the talent" very Boyan Dimitrov