"WHAT?!?" ROB WOCKFORD, renowned director and president of Zeenana Pictures,
spat a mouthful of Juppie Java across the desk and in the general direction
of the nervous yellow Techo opposite him.
"Aletra the cooking Aisha's agent says
she doesn't do movies," the Techo repeated, as he delicately wiped a trace of
coffee from his spectacles. Mr Wockford, tortured genius, slammed his cup down
on the polished marble-effect desk, and the whole office seemed to tremble -
from glaring lights to plush carpet. The boss was not happy. The Wocky smoothed
a stray emerald hair on his forehead, and began to tug at his pink goatee beard.
He stared down through the vast window behind him, down at the Neopian streets
below, searching for inspiration. Suddenly, his gaze flicked up to meet the
"Well... if we can't hire a big star for
this film," he muttered, a plan forming in his head, "then we'll just have to
The coffee aroma filled every nostril in the tiny, half-empty café; where elderly
Pteris huddled in corners around cups of hot borovan, and beatnik Nimmos in
black berets sat at the counter and spoke in poetry. The atmosphere was generally
chilled - except for today. Around one glass-topped table in the centre of the
shop sat two Aishas - a six-eared half alien, unique and graceful; and a chubby
faerie Aisha with bright eyes and a wide smile. Their combined total of 6 earstalks
dangled tensely over a fresh copy of The Neopian Times, open at the ad section.
"This is terrible!" Wyndchyme, the half-alien,
"Terrible? What do you mean? Wyndie, this
could be the big break we've been waiting for!" The other Aisha, whose name
was Quatringa, stared at her friend in disbelief. The two were fame-seekers;
promising actresses and musicians who often met in the coffee shop to share
gossip and song lyrics over pinanna cappuccinos. Today it was different.
'WANTED - A STAR!
Young, talented actresses required to audition
for female lead in Wockford's latest masterpiece.
Pay high. Fame guaranteed.
Must have star quality!'
"It's too good to be true," murmured Quatri,
repeatedly poking herself in the arm to make sure she wasn't dreaming, "Couldn't
it be another one of those password scam thingies?"
"I doubt it. They don't let just anyone
advertise in the NT," Wyndie's eyes were still firmly fixed on the page, but
her expression was not one of joy. She turned to her friend.
"You've got to audition!"
"Me? Why not you, too?" Quatri stammered.
"Look at the audition dates! I'll be on
holiday at the Space Station at that time!"
The two Aishas looked at the paper again.
"But Wyndie, you're a much better actress
than I am!"
"I know," Wyndie grinned cheekily, "So
you'll have more of a chance without me to compete with!"
After the two friends parted ways for
the day, Quatri returned home and sent off her application and portfolio.
She passed the first audition - sorting
out those who could act from those who just thought they could. She also passed
a second audition, where pets had their personalities assessed for 'star quality',
and scripts were read. Now, there was only one thing standing between Quatringa
and her dream - the third, final and most challenging audition. She was one
of a select few, chosen to be assessed by Rob Wockford himself, at the very
recording studios where such screen gems as 'Takamatsu Empress' and 'Aisha of
the Neopian Mafia' were filmed.
Anticipation bubbled within Quatringa
like a fountain, as she sat on a battered plastic chair watching the first auditions.
She couldn't help feeling a little nervous, but hoped the adrenaline would help
her performance. In her hands, a damp paper ticket bore her audition number
- number 3. She would be called up next... "Good luck..." mumbled a shaken little
Shoyru in the seat next to her. Quatri smiled back, as she prepared to walk
before the acclaimed director and act her heart out.
Rob Wockford yawned and clapped half-heartedly
as a grinning Chia - obviously used to auditions - skipped back to her seat.
He sipped his sixth cup of Juppie Java and glanced down at the clipboard on
Smiling, a chubby little faerie Aisha
trotted into the spotlight. She knew her lines; she had studied the script and
knew exactly how her character would speak and move. She had no more time for
nerves - she was ready. "In your own time, Miss... er... Number 3..." said the
director, tugging at his goatee again.
This was it. Quatringa opened her mouth
to speak, and -
"STOP!" Suddenly she was being pushed
aside by a bespectacled yellow Techo, who had burst into the studio as if it
were some kind of national emergency. "Sir! Wonderful news! Aletra's agent just
called - she's decided to take the job after all! You can send all these, er,
'other' people back to where they came from!"
Quatri saw a dream crumbling before her
eyes. So close and yet... now it was all over. Some of the other pets cried;
some got angry and started kicking random objects; Quatri just stood and tried
to think. Her mind was numb. What now? "Well, you'll just have to try again
next time. You'll make it some day!" For a moment, the small Aisha thought the
voice had come from inside her - until she looked up, and saw the Shoyru that
had wished her luck earlier. She hadn't even had the chance to stand in the
spotlight, Quatri though, and yet she still sounded cheerful. The faerie Aisha
resolved to take that advice and keep trying. We can't all live a faerie tale,
but she was sure - one day, her star would come.
A couple of weeks later, Quatri got a call from Zeenana Pictures, inviting
her to appear with all the other auditionees as an extra in the film. Wyndie
was able to come, too, and they both enjoyed this start to their professional
acting careers. Aletra, though a lovely person, couldn't act for Neodrops -
but the movie was a success anyway. Hey, that's show business!
Author's Note: Greatest thanks to Starsintheskies, for giving me permission
to use her half-alien Aisha Wyndchyme in this story. Thanks to everyone who reads
this, and a big 'HELLOO!' to the LJ Gang!