-- by Sher Baker --
Cary dusts off his black dinner jacket and pants as he
stands up , managing a wan smile in the direction of Mrs. Parker and her daughter
Brooksie. Brooksie does not look amused. She hooks one arm around his and guides him
toward her mother. "Yes, mother, I know it hard to believe right now. But THIS is my
fiancé, Cary Grant."
Cary looks bewildered, " Uh, fiancé? Well, yes..
that's right... Her fi.... she's my... We're... uh, sooooo glad to meet you Mrs.
"Oh really, Mr. Grant?" says Mrs. Parker,
looking at him with suspiciously. "I was beginning to think you didn't want to meet
me.... We DID have a luncheon date on Wednesday that you never showed up for."
"Oh, that, " notes Cary, still caught off
guard about the news concerning his impending marriage ... He looks at Brooksie
quizzically and then gives Mrs. Parker one of his most beguiling smiles." I should
have called. But you know how movie sets are.. I mean , with Brooksie being an actress and
Brooksie isn't buying it. " No, dear, I DON'T
know... maybe you could enlighten us..."
"Well, it's like this darling. Work, work , work.
We were supposed to be through shooting that scene -- you know the one in the Geisha house
with all the geisha girls -- but it took us right past lunch, all night in fact."
"Stanley, that's the director, Stanley
Donen," he says in an aside to Mother Parker," is such a task master. Work. Work
. Work ! Retake, retake, retake. I didn't' realize how late it was until I had missed our
"Excuse me darling, " says
she's REALLY not buying it. " This is the first I've heard about a Geisha house scene
....... aren't you playing a professor in New York? What do Japan and Geisha girls have to
do with it???"
"Not much really, dear. I agree with you. It's
a.....dream sequence...that's it! Stanley's idea.. can't say I think it will work,"
Cary is obviously nervous. Out of the corner of his eye he sees his "angel", the
elusive blonde, peering around a menu at a nearby table. She is trying desperately to keep
from dissolving into giggles.
Mrs. Parker is looking at Cary from head to toe, and
clearly doesn't know what to think. But her darling starlet daughter is about to MARRY
this gorgeous and RICH creature, so she shakes herself slightly, letting any doubts she
has fall away like leaves from an autumn tree.
Meanwhile , Brooksie has seen where Cary's eyes keep
wandering -- to the mystery blonde.
"Ah- hum, " says Brooksie, dripping with
sarcasm. "Are we ever going to sit down, or do you just want to keep standing by the
door looking at the ..... um.... scenery?" She guides him to a particular table that
is backed by a row of potted palms.
"Besides," she adds, "you haven't
opened my gift to you yet." Now it is BROOKSIE who is looking over at someone....
someone hidden at a table nearby, behind the palms. The only thing visible is some sort of
fake flower/lace/straw concoction peeking over the top of the plants -- a huge hat. Worn
Cary doesn't notice. But his 'angel ' does. She gets
up, peeks around the palms and recognizes the person wearing the hat. She looks at Cary --
he's still oblivious to what's in the package as well as to the person secreted behind the
palm tree and the fact that Brooksie is obviously in cahoots, somehow, with the hat
"You shouldn't have, darling, now what could it
be?" he says, opening the present.... and finding a small black box. He is obviously
nervous and hoping whatever this trifle is, he can say thanks and get the heck out of
there. Marriage! He is still in shock that Brooksie has told her mother they are getting
married.... It has crossed our hero's mind... and in a weak romantic and champagne filled
moment, he did agree that MAYBE they would marry some time, perhaps in the far, far future
.... But now he has a feeling he'll be roped, tied and deposited at the alter before a
judge and saying "I do" before he's had time to think...... And before he even
gets to know his "angel's" name!
Speaking of his "angel", she's put two and
two together.. the box, the marriage announcement, and the mysterious hat wearing person
hidden behind the palm: Brooksie --- a B movie star forever looking for publicity
thinks she's found her way to wealth and stardom and it's spelled Cary Grant!
The Angel grabs a pad for taking orders from a
waitress. "Sorry, need this," she whispers loudly to a startled waiter.
"Emergency! Life or death!" She thinks, well, that's only a slight exaggeration.
She can't even imagine the charming Cary married to that conniving, Hedy Lamarr
Cary's angel rushes up to the table where he sits with
Brooksie and Mrs. Parker. He has just opened the box. It contains wedding rings -- two
"Wedding rings?" says Cary, trying not to
sound panicked. How is he going to get out of this????
"You shouldn't have uh... darling... I mean we
haven't...... I haven't even had time to buy you an engagement ring... I..."
Mrs. Parker and Brooksie are smiling. Their quarry is
"Ah-hum. May I take your order?" says the
Cary is miserable. How is he going to escape? He
doesn't want to marry Brooksie! He wants to find his angel.
"Ah-hum ! I SAID can I take your order???"
repeats the female voice. Cary realizes it sounds familiar.
He looks up, startled, "YOU!"
Brooksie and her mother are paying no attention.
They're already discussing lavish wedding plans and an expensive honeymoon -- on which
Mrs. Parker will accompany the "happy" couple, naturally.
The "angel" puts her finger to her lips to
"May I suggest our specials... the
Hedda Hopper Ham sandwich" she says, pointing a finger to the hat behind the palm
tree, the hat which is rising higher and higher.....
-- by Debbie Dunlap --
At the mention of Hedda Hopper's name, Brooksie's head
snaps around. The look on her face, a sickening-sweet, love-struck facade. When she
realizes she is facing only the waitress', this look is quickly replaced by one of
"Lobster bisque, house dressing." Brooksie
hands her menu to the waitress and turns to back to her mother. A fleeting look between
the two relays the message, "False alarm! Phase Two hasn't come to the table
"Mother?" Brooksie asks.
"Oh, I don't know" Mrs. Parker scans the
menu and ponders. "Maybe the filet mignon, medium rare, baked potato."
"French, Italian, bleu cheese, or house dressing
with your salad?" the angel continues the ruse.
"House, I suppose," dismisses Mrs. Parker.
She hands over her menu and turns back to Brooksie. They return to the wedding plans.
The angel looks down at Cary; a flicker of amusement
twinkles in her green eyes, "Sir?"
Cary looks up. His first close-up look at his angel.
Those mischievous green eyes crinkle at the corners. Her nose is long and thin, with just
a hint of imp about it. And that smile! Enough of an overbite to expose each perfect tooth
in a dazzling smile. Her hair, short and sassy, with a natural curl both soft and
feminine, completes a PERFECT picture.
"Your order, sir?" she repeats.
Cary is jolted back to reality. A quick glance assures
him that his scheming 'fiancée' is still plotting with her mother.
He looks back up at his angel, a pleading, puppy-dog
look. "Hedda Hopper?" he mouths, then says aloud, "The house special, is it
"VERY fresh!" the angel assures him. She
hitches her shoulder and nods her head toward the palm tree.
Panic is in his eyes now. "Help!" he mouths
this time. "I'll have the turkey platter, baked potato, no butter, vinegar and
oil," he says aloud.
"Iced tea for everyone?" the waitress asks.
"Please," Cary answers. Why does it sound as
if he's pleading for iced tea?
The angel turns on her heel and is gone. Cary feels
Brooksie turns to Cary, "Is that okay with you,
"I'm sorry, dear?"
"I was asking if a trip around the world would be
all right with you?" Brooksie asks sweetly.
"A trip around the world?" Cary asks,
puzzled. When had her smile become so uneven?
"Our honeymoon, silly!"
"Oh...yes, my dear, that sounds fine." Had
her eyes always been so calculating, her skin so...sallow?
Brooksie purrs, "Fine? My darling, let me assure
you that our honeymoon trip will be divinely romantic." Brooksie places her hand
possessively atop Cary's.
Cary smiles wanly.
"Iced tea?" The angel was back! She hadn't
deserted him! In her hand is a large pitcher of ice cold tea.
"Yes, please," answers Mrs. Parker.
A secret smile lights up Cary's eyes. So this is how
she'll do it. Brilliant! Spill the tea on Mrs. Parker and then Brooksie will have to drive
Cary settles back into his seat crosses his legs,
crosses his arms and waits.
The angel reaches for the upturned glass, fills the
glass to the rim and then... settles it perfectly in front of Mrs. Parker.
Cary cocks his head to one side; one eyebrow tilted at
an angle. Even better! Spill the tea on the designing Brooksie! This will surely cool her
But as the angel calmly places the second icy glass in
front of Brooksie, Cary begins to wonder, "How IS she going to rescue me?"
Suddenly, he jumps to his feet, his chair flying out
from beneath him.
He stares in astonishment at his angel. His angel?!
No! This demon has just spilled half the contents of her iced tea pitcher in HIS lap!
"Oh! Mr. Grant! I'm so sorry! Oh! Oh! I'm so
She grabs his napkin from the table and makes a motion
toward his soggy trousers. Then decides against that move.
With a snicker, she hands him his napkin, "I
guess you'd better handle that yourself."
He gives the 'waitress' a surly look, turns toward a
speechless Brooksie and snaps, "Brooksie, dear, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut
short our dinner. Since your mother came in her own car, you two please stay and enjoy
He nods at Brooksie's mother, "Mrs. Parker."
With as much dignity as he can muster, he turns and
leaves the restaurant.
His angel stands starring after him. Her emerald eyes
fill with tears.
Cary simmers as he drives home. First, one conniving
woman tries to trick him into marriage. Now, another assumes the guise of an angel of
mercy, but reveals herself to be just another vehicle of humiliation.
Or had she?
Cary smiles. Now that he thinks about it, if the iced
tea had landed on either Brooksie's or her mother's lap, at best, he'd still have been
left to face Hedda Hopper alone. It was certain that the old busybody had overheard all of
the wedding plans. How would he have explained that? Or worse yet, he'd have been roped
into driving Brooksie and her mother home. That carried the risk of being drawn deeper
into their wedding plans.
Cary breaks into laughter. His angel has removed him
from both his dinner partners, as well as the syndicated gossip!
His angel's green eyes sparkle in his memory. Who is
this angel, and how will he find her to thank her?
A sudden chill raises goose bumps. Is it
the damp clothes? Or is it the thought of finding and getting to know his angel?
-- by April Parrish --
Cary arrives home reminiscing about his angel. He
thinks about how they met, the little "adventures" they have shared, and of
course, her beautiful smile. Oh ... that smile.
The doorbell rings and he is startled back to reality.
Cary immediately thinks it could be his angel. Running to the door he opens it with his
best happy-to-see-you smile. "My ang...el ... hello Brooksie." He finishes the
statement with a terribly disappointed look.
"Hello Darling" she purrs, undaunted, as she
attempts to enter the room, with Cary doing his best to stop her. She easily maneuvers
around him while Cary peers out the door to see if his angel was there to save him once
again. He is met with darkness and an involuntary sigh escapes him.
Brooksie, recognizing a man with a forlorn look
quickly tries to get his attention focused on her. "Darling, are you feeling well?
You have been acting strange all day."
Cary shuts the door and turns to face his
he stands there he remembers how he used to feel about her. He used to love to be alone
with her and play with the curls in her hair. Now he hates to be alone with her. He is
noticing imperfections about her physical beauty and her character. He knows that this is
not someone he could be with for the rest...
"Cary? Did you hear me darling?"
"Yes, dear. I heard you. I, well, I suppose I
have been acting in an odd way. I am sure you can understand my odd behavior. Things have
been happening so .. uh, fast and ..."
Brooksie, sensing her victory of roping Cary into
marriage slipping away jumps in. "Well, of course I can understand your behavior.
Mother and I both understand your behavior. It is perfectly natural to be nervous about
getting married. Darling, you will see ... everything will work out marvelously. There is
no reason for you to be nervous."
"But Brooksie, that isn't the only thing. In
fact, that isn't really it at all. See, I don't want to mar... well, no I don't want to
say that. Uhm, let me try to explain this a different way."
"Darling ..." Brooksie quickly chimes in,
not quite ready to give up her Mrs. Grant title yet, "there is no need for
explanations. You have had a an exhausting day. No wonder you are so worried and confused.
You must think of me as terribly rude to drop by unannounced when you need to be resting.
I am sorry. I just wanted to make sure you were feeling well after the terrible incident
at the restaurant.
"Brooksie .. no .. I need to tell you ..."
"Shhh .. there is nothing you need to tell me
that is more important than you resting. I don't want to hear another word about it. I
will leave you to rest so please just lie down." With that, she turns on her heels
and strides to the door.
"Brooksie, dear, please ... there is something I
Brooksie stops at the door. Turns back to Cary and
with the sweetest smile she could muster and replied, "Darling, I know. I already
know. I feel the same way. I love you too. Now, please just relax and get some rest."
She is out the door before the end of
her sentence, leaving Cary alone and quite agitated. He can't help but wonder what he is
going to do? How can he hurt Brooksie after they have spent so much time together? But how
can he deny the fact that he is not in love with her anymore? Feeling hopeless he goes to
sleep, dreaming of his angel.
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