From Soupy’s Library

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Just a quick burst of micro-fiction that I wrote a few years ago.  Enjoy.

DEATH IN LA

“What do you mean he’s dead?”

“Go see for yourself.  I went up to see if he wanted something from Jamba Juice, and he was just…  dead.”

“Dead?  Mike’s Dead?!” said Neil, one of Mike’s two roommates, standing up from his seat at the kitchen table. “Well that’s just great.”

Neil and Kevin, Mike’s other roommate moved toward the stairs and headed up to Mike’s room.  The room was a mess, but showed no signs of foul play.  As far as the two could tell, it was just as Mike had left it.  The blue glow from the television illuminated the room, which was littered with DVD boxes, X-BOX game jewel cases, and fast-food cups.  Neil turned his attention to the bed, and there lay Mike, not in the contorted position that he had imagined.  He looked like he was sleeping. 

“Get a mirror,” Neil barked.  There was no shortage of mirrors in this apartment shared by three actors so Kevin returned in under thirty seconds. 

“Here give me a hand,” Neil said trying to roll Mike over.  He realized from the feel of Mike’s cold skin that a mirror would be unnecessary.  Mike now lay facing his two roommates, his mouth and eyes agape, and he was clutching five or six papers in his hand.

“What’s this?” Neil asked aloud prying the pages from Mike’s dead grasp.

“They’re the sides for his audition today,” Kevin responded.

“Shit.  Is that today?  Well, unless he’s auditioning for a Weekend at Bernie’s sequel, I don’t think he’s gonna get it.  Better call 9-1-1.”

Within twenty-five minutes an ambulance pulled up to the curb of the West Hollywood apartment, two EMTs rushed in the front door, and were led upstairs to Mike’s room.  Upon surveying the scene and the body, one of the EMTs turned to Neil and Kevin.  “Was your friend an actor, by any chance?”

“Kind of,” Neil replied, a hint of jealousy rang in his voice at the thought of this paramedic recognizing Mike and not him, who had starred in two national commercials and had more than a bit part on an episode of CSI.  “He was really just starting out.”

“Was he taking a lot of classes?” paramedic #1 asked.

“Yea, definitely, all the fu– , all the time,” Kevin answered this one.

“I thought so.  We’ve been seeing a lot of this lately.”  Paramedic #2 nodded his head.

“What are you talking about?  A lot of what?”  Neil asked.

“Breathing exercises,” paramedic #2 interjected.

“Breathing exercises?” Kevin and Neil asked in unison.

“Yep,” paramedic #1 said.  “All these acting classes start out with like fifteen minutes of breathing exercises, where they teach you how to breathe the right way, using your diaphragm and all, which is great, don’t get me wrong.  But these young kids start concentrating so much on their breathing and training their bodies that it no longer becomes an involuntary thing, and the moment they fall asleep and stop thinking about breathing, they suffocate.”

“Get the fuck out of here,” Neil tried to hold back his laughter, but a small giggle escaped.

“I’m serious, we got called to the set of Days of Our Lives just last week for the same thing,” said paramedic #2 as they loaded Mike’s body on the gurney and left the room.

“I guess we better call his parents,” Kevin said turning to Neil.

“Let me know how that goes.  I’ve got an audition to prepare for,” Neil said leafing through Mike’s pages.

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