She was a recluse - and an ugly one at that - but in her heyday she was a star. A glamour queen. No one missed her films. She was in every column. She couldn't walk the streets without being mauled by autograph hungry hounds. There she was - Lana Lawn - Queen of the silents. Marvelous, absolutely marvelous. Until the movies began to speak and she faded quickly into obscurity - but not until she paid hefty money to create a well-known studio to take advantage of those who could talk and talk well. Lana Lawn - Queen of the silents, Mogul of the studio - and now a recluse and forgotten, except for a monthly check - and a nice one at that - from the studio she had founded.
In all of this, she received perhaps one or two letters from fans every ten years. She had received many when she retired but they were reduced to a trickle when newer generations arose. It had been almost five years since she had received her last letter but, one day, a letter arrived from a young university student who had, out of sheer despair, decided to pick her for a school film class term paper. He had watched one silent film that she had made and then decided for extra credit to write her a letter in the hope that he would receive a reply so he could include it with his report. Lana opened the envelope slowly. No one ever wrote. Who was this? Timothy Dwight III?:
Dearest Lana Lawn,
I watched your movie. I was deeply moved. You were great.
Timothy Dwight III
Lana had never written a reply to any of her fans during the height of her career. Her staff had done all that for her. She didn't have time and didn't care to correspond with them anyway. However, as time moved on, and as the letters grew scarce, Lana began to change her mind and every once in a while she would write back a little note saying 'thanks' and sign her name. The past few letters she had taken the time to write several long replies, talking about the weather and describing in great detail how hot it was and the unexpected rain that had come down one afternoon just before she was going to take her afternoon nap. She even included the weather report from her morning paper. The very last letter she received she went into great detail about a fishing trip where they gutted the fish. For an enclosure she put in the guts.
< 2 >
But for Timothy Dwight III she was going to do something different. This time she was going to do something that would have been any young man's ambition during her golden years. She was going to sit down and write an invitation to dinner and when he came over, she was going to kiss him.
Timothy was having difficulty trying to fill in his paper when he received Lana's invitation. He couldn't believe it. Here was an old movie star - in the flesh - asking him to dine with her.
"Wow!" he said.
At first his roommates didn't seem to care that he was going to dinner at some old lady's house, but after Timothy explained to them in great detail who Lana Lawn was and showed them her film and what others had written about her during that time, all his roommates could say was:
"Wow! Lana Lawn - and in the flesh."
"Timothy, what are you going to wear?"
The old mansion had seen its days of mirth. It stood stately on a hill overlooking many other such posh past paradises, but the great iron gates were not used as frequently as they had been, so that the rust caused them to creak as they opened. Timothy Dwight III became a little nervous when he heard this and saw the grand home silently sitting waiting for his arrival. He had only dreamed of ever being in the home of a movie star. He never expected an invitation - even from a has-been such as Lana Lawn.
After he rang the doorbell he waited for what seemed like forever as he heard a door, from inside, open and then shut and soft footsteps walking ever so slowly. One step at a time as though the action was...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document