Star had a literal heart of gold that had cost thousands of dollars. One of Star’s parents had lost $5092 several months ago and was still mourning. Star’s sibling Journey was obsessed with consuming chocolate. And Star’s other parent had run away with a rich person and had been exceedingly happy since.
Star wanted to be rich too--and famous--like the actor who voiced John Quincy Adams at the Dasney Amusement Park Malls, Clint Gabble. Star wanted to have a love affair and to have periodicals follow it. Star was ten years old, and the time in which such things could happen was fleeting.
At the audition, Star practiced his or her lines as others lined up to try out. These others included a person in a plaid jacket whom Star found vaguely familiar, as if one of his or her parents had worked or run away with the person. Another would-be actor was a guy who brought with him a wheelbarrow worth of toasters, as if profligate spending could seal the role. Then there was a woman with very tall hair who kept sticking knitting pins inside it as if the hair were a voodoo doll representing the other auditioners. Star felt vaguely intimidated and calmed him- or herself with these words:
Sir, if ye in the world have sorrow or adversity,
That can I help you to remedy shortly.
Goods was a fine fellow. Star felt ready.
And then a more familiar form came into Star’s purview: his or her twelve-year-old sibling Jody. Jody was wearing a jumpsuit covered in dollar bills. The dollar bills amounted to $5092.
Star had ridden to the audition with Sam, a coworker of one of his or her parents. Sam was the one who had first inspired Star to audition by taking Star to see the John Quincy Adams animatronic robot at the Dasney Mall.
Seeing Jody was a surprise, and Star was uncertain how or why his or her sibling was here. Given Jody’s costume, Star worried that Jody was trying out for the role of Goods as well. Star had worked hard to memorize his or her part, but Jody, being two years older, was much more worldly and conceivably would be better able to render Goods as a full person who engendered passion from those who would act in and attend the play.
Both Jody and Star had learned about character from their friend the Internet. The Internet had told them that character was made of three things: trust, faithfulness, and hard work. Add to that experience, action, and consistency, and a character’s true portrayal was assured.
Star had conceived of Goods as cold and objective the way Clint Gabble had rendered John Quincy Adams, as well as Gina Monrovia’s love interest in The Real Mr. Keen. Goods was to be cool. Star had invested in Goods all the way down to his or her heart of gold. Goods was to be an amalgam of all the relatives who were part of Star’s life.
Who got the part, Star realized, would come down to which characterization of Goods prevailed with the directors.
But Star could not help but worry about Jody. Jody had all the same relatives and was known to be something of a snot and could quote a full lexicon of fart jokes. If Jody managed to quote one at the audition and made the producers laugh, he or she might manage to steal the role.
Desperate situations require decisive action, Star recalled from the advice he or she had received--namely, violence.
Star covered his or her face and strode toward Jody. When within a few feet, Star leaped, hands held out to snatch as many dollars from Jody’s costume as possible.
“Sir, if ye in the world have sorrow or adversity,” Star yelled as he or she came up from the dive, twenty-two dollars in hand, “That can I help to shortly remedy.”
Jody, full of sanctimonious talent, stood firm and calm as he or she rendered the following lines:
In wealth and woe will you hold,
For over his kin a man may be bold.
With that, Jody turned away from Star, tilted his or her bottom into the air, and let one rip.
Star had not known one of his or her parents was at the audition.
Others joined in the laughing too. Somehow, Jody had managed to merge sanctimoniousness and slapstick.
A man in a black beret ran over and hoisted Jody’s arm above his head. “Brilliant,” the man said, taking a few dollars from Jody’s costume and stuffing them into his pocket. “Absolutely brilliant.”
Others in berets strode up then and surrounded Jody.
A woman stepped out from among them with a cap, put it on Jody’s head, and took a few dollars. “You are Kindred,” she said. “You are Kindred.”
Star wished he or she could rip out his or her heart and hand it over. As it was, Star had only twenty-two dollars to offer.