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The Last Minute Reporter



“You’re up buddy!”

“What the hell do you mean I’m up?”

“Rick is stuck in an elevator, you’re going on live!”

Nathan bit his lip. He’d only been an intern at the station for a month and half. In his mind live television was a good two years away. Sweat began to roll down his forehead, large salty drops. The station manager grabbed him by sleeve of his gray wool coat, while shouting across the room at a woman pushing a makeup cart.

“Barbara, fix Nathan’s face. He’s live in ten minutes. And for God’s sake get him another jacket. What the hell are you wearing kid?”

The red headed woman with cigarette stains around her lips pulled him down the hall.

“Barbara’s going to fix you right up sweetie,” she said.

Her voice was harsh and spoke volumes about the hard life she must have lived. She had large pink swirls on both cheeks, dark purple eyeshadow painted over her irregular shaped eyes, and scarlet red lipstick, so glossy you could see your reflection, she was a clown. Nathan had a hard time picturing how she could possibly be a makeup artist. As she began spackling his face with base tone, he imagined himself looking like a preppy Marilyn Manson.

The stage manager returned. “Is he ready yet?!”

“Almost done just trying to cover these God awful pores. You really need to see a dermatologist kid,” said Barbara.

Nathan followed the stage manger and flinched as he shoved in the cold plastic ear piece.

Just read the prompter Nathan. You get stuck, I’ll be right in your ear to help you out.”

“Any questions?”

Before Nathan could reply the stage manager answered, “No questions, good. Now don’t screw up.”

The hot lights beat down on Nathan’s head and he could feel the makeup melting and starting to run down the side of his face. His best fake smile was in place by the time the promo music was playing and the teleprompter lit up. Without hesitation he began to read. As if on auto pilot he flawlessly delivered the news. He was a natural. With a smile he signed off. This was what he’d dreamed of his whole life. He’d found his calling and from that moment on there would be no turning back.