Mr. Sprinkles

This Tweetplay is dedicated to my best friend and partner in tech despair, Vinnie, and his wife Hannah on their anniversary.

This evening we pull back the veil of feline mystery, revealing the life and times of the inimitable Mr. Sprinkles:

Mr. Sprinkles was not amused.

He had been waiting in his trailer almost two hours for the crew to prepare the set for his closeup.

And now word had arrived that his latest co-star, a young starlet on loan from Disney had flaked again.

Apparently upset with her billing, she had thrown a tantrum on set and, while flailing around, had knocked over a camera.

The PA glanced timidly at Mr. Sprinkles as he delivered the news, as if unsure of the reaction he would receive.

But Sprinkles was tired. Tired of the endless delays. Tired of the petty egos. Tired of the picture. Tired of all the shit.

“Get Mickey on the phone,” he sighed, “And have my driver bring the car around. We’re done here today, anyway.

The PA made the call, and passed the phone over before quickly shuffling off to find the driver.

Sprinkles eased himself onto a cushion, and stretched out a paw to smooth back his hair.

“Mickey,” he said, “I guess you’ve heard the news by now. I’m calling it day here and heading back to the house.”

As he listened to Mickey’s voice on the other end of the line, he stretched his back legs forward and flexed his claws.

“I know, Mickey,” he said, “But there’s not a hell of a lot I can do when the Little Mermaid goes off the deep end.”

“Tell Saul that I’m perfectly willing to shoot around her while this gets sorted out, but I’ll not work with a lunatic.”

He smoothed his whiskers as he listened to Mickey think out possible avenues for handling Saul.

“That’s what I pay you for, Mick,” he said, “It’s not like they’re gonna shut down the picture; they’re in too deep now.”

“I’m gonna have Roscoe drop me on Sunset so I can do a little shopping for Rose before heading home. Feel like a little walk.”

“Tell Saul I’ll be here in the morning, just like always.” He hung up the phone, then hopped to the floor and arched his back.

Leaving the script on a table, he locked up the trailer and made his way to the limo, where Roscoe awaited smoking a cigarette.

“Come on Roscoe,” he sad to the driver as he hoped into the back seat, “I want you to drop me on Gower, near the old studio.”

“Sure thing, boss,” said the burly man, slipping behind the wheel, “You gonna take another walk tonight?”

“Think so,” said Mr. Sprinkles, “All this ‘drama’ today has got me thinking of the old days. Nostalgia, I guess.”

“Understood,” said Roscoe. He eased the car out of the studio lot, turning onto Olive, then Barham to Camino Real.

As they passed beneath the mountains, Sprinkles glanced up at the Hollywood sign, and remembered the first time he saw it.

How enamored he’d been, he thought with a smile. Hollywood, the land of dreams and miracles made from flickering light.

He remembered walking the streets, looking for stars, charged with the energy of hope that his dreams were about to come true.

The town had been different then – the wannabes hungry for work, eager to prove themselves. Now… it was different somehow.

Roscoe pulled into the Denny’s at the corner of Sunset and North Gower, and Sprinkles hopped out onto the warm asphalt.

After giving Roscoe the rest of the night off, Sprinkles continued down Sunset, aiming for Pete’s Flower shop.

As he walked, he noted the changes. Buildings that once housed agents and costumers, now converted into hi-tech effects shops.

So much technology, so very little of the human.

He passed a few tourists, obviously lost, jabbing fingers at a disastrously folded map, and arguing over where they were.

He smiled again, remembering his own initial confusion as he made his way to his first meeting with Mickey.

They’d met at an after-party for a play, back in the days when after-parties were trolled by agents seeking fresh faces.

Mickey had been impressed with Sprinkles’ performance, and had… Truthfully? Hustled the kitten into a full contract.

Mickey’s had been a far cry from today’s agencies, which commanded a power Mickey could have never conceived.

These new agencies bought and sold talent so fast these days, it was a wonder anyone could even develop a career.

He continued walking until he reached Pete’s. Joseph, not a Pete, smiled as Sprinkles sharpened his claws on the doormat.

“Sprinkles!” he shouted, coming from behind the counter, “So good to see you again! Are you here for your wife’s pickup?”

Sprinkles smiled as he rubbed against the man’s legs, “Sure am, Joe. Is everything ready?”

“That it is, that it is,” said Joe. “Jesse delivered everything this morning, and Mickey called earlier to cover the account.”

“And did Rose like them?” said Sprinkles. “She LOVED them,” he beamed, “Especially the Delphiniums! She purred like a kitten!”

“Now,” he continued, “Come over here so I can pin on your boutonniere.” Sprinkles did so, tipping up his chin to Joe’s hands.

“So how was the shoot today, then?” Joe asked. “About the same,” said Sprinkles, “Another tantrum, another delay.”

“That’s too bad,” said Joe, working the pins into his collar, “I wonder what makes that girl so unhappy all the time?”

“I don’t know,” said Sprinkles, “It used to be the new kids tried so hard to be professional. Reputation was everything.”

“I think,” he continued, “that the studio is pushing them too hard, too fast. This poor girl’s had little sleep these days.”

“TV in the morning, radio after, then hair and makeup all before 10:00 AM. Then shooting ’til 7:00, and parties ’til midnight.”

“It’s a wonder she can even function,” he finished. “If they’re not careful, they’ll burn her out,” said Joe knowingly.

“I know,” said Sprinkles, nodding, “I remember what happened to Rose. She still refuses to speak to her handlers.”

“Well,” said Joe. “Tonight is not about the past. Your boutonniere is ready, and you’re as handsome as the devil!”

He took a mirror from behind the counter and let Sprinkles take a gander at himself. Sprinkles purred, Joe had outdone himself.

They said their farewells, and Sprinkles left the shop feeling much lighter and happier than before.

He continued down Sunset, turning the corner North on Vine – one last stop to make before finally heading for home.

Just a bit up the block he stopped at a tea shop, suddenly struck by an inspiration.

One of the starlet’s chief complaints had been the lack of sugar-free drinks on the set.

Thinking he could smooth troubled waters, Sprinkles stopped at an herbal tea shop and ordered a case of fine teas for delivery.

The next morning, upon her arrival, the starlet would find a gift from her co-star, with a note offering support and kindness.

He left the shop in even higher spirits, hopeful that his gift would bring peace to a troubled soul, and a lonely heart.

He remembered that once, he too, had been difficult to deal with. Moody and temperamental when he couldn’t get his way.

If it hadn’t been for Rose, he would have surely been just another of the almost famous. Burned brightly and brief.

When he reached the jewelry store, his love for Rose swelled yet again in his chest, bringing tears of happiness to his eyes.

He went in, picked up his package, then returned to the street. This time walking with even more purpose.

Rose. Who had held his hand when he was afraid of failure.

Rose. Who had stood by his side with encouragement when the critics unleashed their hatred.

Rose. Who had given him love when his heart was at its most empty.

He realized that the life he’d been so weary of that afternoon, was really a blessing that brought him to his greatest gift.

As he reached the little house they had come to call a home, Sprinkles came to understand that his dream really had come true.

Hollywood really did have a little magic left in its heart.

He ran to the door and entered, meeting her as she stood in the living room admiring her flowers.

He caressed her face, stroking her cheeks as she laughed and asked, “Well how was your day, dear?”

“Oh, you know,” he replied, smothering her in kisses, “Just another day in Tinseltown.”

~~THE END **Dedicated to Vinnie and Hannah on their Anniversary**