Stephen unlocked the door to his apartment. Ling Ling burst thru the door ahead of him still full of energy. The girls were all involved with various tasks. Judy was busily scraping that last few grains of a secodnal capusle she had found. Norma was carefully scanning an old yellowed review for anything she might have missed the first millions times she read it. Bette was lying in bed blowing imagianry smokerings muttering how bored she was in this godforsaken town. Marilyn was sitting at the kitchen table staring at a tabloid she had managed to sneak in to the house. Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed Ling Ling, said Stephen. You were a good girl and my hard little worker today. I brush mt teeth ! I brush my teeth hard!! cried Ling Ling. That child is an over adchiever, said Bette staring up at the ceiling . "There is nothing wrong with striving for perfection" , said Joan as she stabbed another peice of what seemed to be raw steak. " There all done," Joan cooed. "What is all done?" Stephen asked" Why I just finished my Christmas cards up to the year 2015. " replied Joan with a smile of satifaction. Is that why the studio had to do so many takes because you were striving for, what did you call it ? Perfection!! Bette taunted from the bedroom. Stephen knew this was a catfight in the making. Let it go Joan, stephen said firmly. I am going to bed anyway I want to get an early start on those kitchen cabinets. They are postively filthy! said Joan. I might as well turn in myself , Nothing ever happens here. Said Bette. Judy piped up I don't think I can sleep tonight . Well go lay down and close your eyes. said Stephen. Why does everyone try to tell me what to do Judy cried as she stomped into the bedroom. Norma was afast asleep. Ling Ling came running out of the bathroom. "I brush my teeth and already for bed," she crowed. Well come over here and give Marilyn and I a big hug , then scoot off to bed.
Alone with Marilyn Stephen pulled a package out of his backpack. I got something for you , he said. It was a 1000 piece puzzle of Marilyn on the postage stamp. Marilyn gave him a weak smile and whispered thank you. I 'll do the border , What part do you want to work on? Stephen asked. I guess I will work on my cleavage. They both giggled at the unintentional joke. Working Stephen asked timidly . Marilyn , what is wrong? you have been acting strange every since we got here. Marilyn looked up with eyes brimming with tears. She pushed the tabloid towards him. The headline read. UNDISCOVERED PHOTOS OF MARILYN In side where early photos of Marilyn takin at some park in Hollywood. Why these are beautiful!! you look so young and happy,cried Stephen. I remember when these were taken. Marilyn said with a wistful lok crossing her face. the phtographer and i were both just starting out in our careers. We spent the entire day in the park talking and taking photos. You know I wanted to be a star so badly. I never reliazed the price at the time. Stephen took Marilyn's hand into his. We never know the cost until its too late. You know I would have been 83 years old in a couple of days? Marilyn unlike the others had never reliazed the full potiental of her career. for all the ups and downs they had had they had all lived fulled lives. You know I did'nt do it Marilyn said softly." It had just gone to far." I never believed you had said Stephen gentley. I am tired I think I will just go to bed now. Sleep well dear and we will talk later.
Stephe sat alone in the kitchen going thru the mail and thinking of all marilyn had said. An envelope fall to the floor. It was typewritten adressed to Stephen with no return address. A cold chill swept over Stephen as he read the contents. It was an old newpaper clipping : BELLYDANCER/STRIPPER/COSTUMEDESIGNER DIES IN MYSERTIOUS FIRE the headline screamed. The article went on about the fire and services for Gladys Hearne marred by some socalled christian protesters who did not want Gladys buried in the local cemetery. But is was the last few lines that caught Stephen's eye and sent the article fluttering to Joan's newly scrubbed floor. Gladys was survied by a 5 year old child that was recused from the burning trailer.
Who sent this article? How did this connect with marilyn's strange behavior. Most important ! Why oh why did Stephen's hips twitch everytime he saw or heard the name Gladys Hearne?