Scene Sixty Nine
In which a character becomes too famous for her own taste.
Clare woke up late. Her house was a mess, and smelled slightly of unwashed dishes. She had a groggy feeling in her head and an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach, but at least I’m not tired anymore, she thought.
There had been a full debrief for Rowind last night. He had been very upset about a lot of the things that she had done. He wouldn’t fire her, she was sure of that, mostly sure of that, though he had kept coming back to the thought that the difference between Genius and Hubris is success, and success is an unreliable thing.
Anyway he had gotten a bit better when she had pointed out the papers share of the payout which was now in their accounts, but only a little bit better; Rowind was one of those people who believed strongly in journalistic ethics.
Clare got a glass of water from the sink and gargled with it, before spitting it away. Rowind had suggested that it might be a good idea not to come into work today, and that if at all possible she should prevent the other news outlets from knowing that she was back in the country. Clare thought that he was just being paranoid, and she decided that she would definitely be in for work today, although she had every intention of being in a little late, owing to her need to ‘recover from her stressful expedition.
Clare smiled to herself and pushed her hair around, she could feel that it was a tangled mess, but it didn’t really matter, she had known that she would have to wash it since she had come back from the Amazon.
Before she did anything else she wanted to get a look at today’s paper, to see if they had forgotten about her already.
She walked to her door, wearing nothing but an unwashed pair of pants and a tight grey tee-shirt that she had really grown out of when puberty had kicked into high gear. She opened her door and took the paper off her door step.
This was when the whole thing went a little bit nuts.
Reporters came from everywhere, jumping out of vans or out of bushes, or simply jumping. There were so many cameras going off that Clare felt like she was in the middle of a fireworks factory. And absolutely everyone and everything was collapsing on to her, like water rushing to fill a hole in the ocean.
Clare didn’t have the hard won survival instincts of Tony Tony, and so she just stood there, mouth gaping. When, at the last possible moment, she slammed the door, she could hear the sounds of several people running head first into it.
Then there was only the sound of their questions; so many questions that it sounded like a particularly aggressive brook. Clare sunk to her knees, her legs apparently checking out for the day, and she listened with numb horror to the sound cutting through her walls and spreading through her whole house.
Then her instincts finally caught up with her. She moved quickly back into the house, making sure to duck under windows. She made it back to her bedroom and pulled on a baggy jumper. Before pulling her phone down from her bedside table and calling the one person that she thought might be able to help her now.
The phone crackled and spat, and then a voice sounded down the line
“Hello?” it said
Clare was so relieved to find that she recognised this voice, “Sandra” she said clinging to the voice like a lifeline. “Sandra”
“Clare, Is That You?” asked Sandra, “Do You Have Any Idea What You’ve Unleashed Girl? I’ve Been Fielding Calls About You All Morning, I Think I Might Have A World Leader On Hold“
Clare sank against her bedside cabinet, “Sandra,” she managed to say, “I think that I’ve gotten in way over my head.”
Sandra laughed, and Clare was reassured to notice the gleeful edge to her tone. “Damn Right You Have Girl, But Don’t Worry; Mama Sandra Is Going To Make This All Better, And Maybe Next Time You’ll Follow My Advice.”