Monday, 12 September 2011

Magpie Tales #82 The Revenant

Thanks go to Tess Kincaid who organises and hosts this meme J To read more Magpies please click here.
 The Revenant by Andrew Wyeth, 1949

He looked at himself critically in the full-length mirror.  Not many men his age could boast a physique like his. He patted his stomach proudly. He still had all his hair, too, notwithstanding it was turning white and receding slightly. That made his forehead appear more prominent and gave him an intellectual air so he wasn’t displeased with that. There were a few lines around his eyes and mouth but they added character to his face and drew attention away from his pointed ears – his ears had always been a cause of vexation to him, but wearing his hair slightly longer helped to disguise them, he thought. There was a little too much chest hair for his liking but he disapproved of waxing – that was something for the younger generation.

He had been slightly surprised and not a little gratified when his agent had contacted him recently about some work. It was a few years since he had been active but he was pleased that he had not been completely forgotten. He had made his name – and his fortune – in a series of coffee advertisements. He wondered if they were to be updated. He liked the idea of recreating his persona as a mature man. Perhaps he would be expected to introduce a subtly mellow coffee for the connoisseur, like Monsoon Malabar or Old Brown Java. He breathed in, imagining the aroma, and smiled slightly.

His agent had been quite evasive but enthused that he was definitely well qualified for the work. He accepted that – she had always treated him well. At the studio he was greeted with courtesy and offered refreshment while the story line of the advert was summarised. When they reached the part about the wheelchair and the nurse he had been startled. He was perfectly able to walk, he said, and he really didn’t think he was old enough to be advertising a retirement home. They told him he looked the part, frail but alert, intelligent and engaging, and there would be a series and a sizeable fee.

Reluctantly he agreed and was soon enjoying a whole new career as the face of care homes throughout the country, wearing a white ensemble that became his trademark. Eventually he became known as the Man in White, fêted as the representative of the elderly. He became a minor celebrity once more and was booked to open summer fayres and new supermarkets. He was invited to take part in quiz shows and light-hearted debates.

He knew what his fellow thespians thought of him. Less fortunate than him and envious, they called him the Comeback Kid or, more unkindly, the Revenant, a reference to his spectral appearance in the advertisements. Little matter – he was happy enough. 


Let them call him what they pleased – he was being paid for being old. 

25 comments:

  1. fascinating...and i am glad you gave this chap a new lease on life...and not another ghost story...ha...nicely told

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right, a gig is a gig. I wish someone would pay me for looking old -- perfect casting.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. So who had the last laugh there?! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ahh... a lovely tale and creative take on the prompt. I think the women would consider him handsome. Now off to get some coffee...

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was great, Janice! I like it that your character was able to age gracefully. (And got paid for it too.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved this, an original and clever take on the prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice work if you can get it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I summised it would be a church advertisement or something to do with the afterlife... smiles. I like your take much better.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another very creative take on the prompt. I haven't read all the magpies, but I'm sure yours is unique!:-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great short story. I wish someone would pay me for being old!
    I guess we all have to reinvent ourselves somewhat to suit our age.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are a few niches out there in the acting world if one is willing to remain open. This was a fun take on the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A very different take on this prompt, I like the personality you created for the character. I'm glad he got the last laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great description, and a well-told story. I'm glad things worked out for the character ...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love the detail of the pointy ears. I actually had a look, but couldn't see if they really are. Great story ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's clever in the very best sense of the word. A real joy to read, and the end did not disappoint - my guess was way off!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think I should also become model for false teeth maybe ? I'll prepare my press book right away !

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wish somebody would pay me! Ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I Love the last line!

    Coming by here from Arlee Bird's blog.

    Would like to invite you (and your readers) to The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza in October with some great prizes, and of course, some great writing practice and networking.

    ReplyDelete
  19. A wonderfully unique take on the prompt!

    ReplyDelete
  20. So accutely observed - character pinned and wriggling!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very nice ... I saw him as an attractive older man, someone I could be interested in. You made him come alive for me.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate that some people like to give awards but for me your comments are reward enough.

Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments and really appreciate you taking the time to respond to posts.

I will always try to repay your visit whenever possible.