Cold Open, A Tale of Modern Hollywood // Chapter 8. The Headshot
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: THIS IS MY FAVORITE CHAPTER, THE ONE THAT MAKES ME LAUGH OUT LOUD. GIRLS, IF YOU EVER WANTED REAL REVENGE ON A REAL HOLLYWOOD WORM THROUGH YOUR FICTIONAL WORK, TAKE HEART.]
Teddy’s adventure began a little less than three hours before his desperate call to Nina. He had stopped by his apartment just long enough to throw on his lucky brown corduroy jacket and pick up the Colt revolver he intended to intimidate Justin Rodenko with, and by about eight he was driving through an unfamiliar section of Downtown LA toward the Frink Building.
The street on which it was located was particularly dark and foreboding so Teddy was relieved to see the bright lights emanating from the far corner of the block. Driving towards them, he noticed a garish neon sign which proudly proclaimed “24 Hr Tacos”. Luckily there was an empty parking space on a brightly-lit portion of the street just around the corner and Teddy wasted no time pulling into it.
He opened his glove compartment, took out the revolver and tucked it into the waistband of his Dockers, then buttoned his jacket, smoothing it down to make sure no bulge appeared. He got out of his BMW, made sure it was securely locked, then walked down the street to the Frink.
The Frink was an old faded brown brick building four stories high that looked entirely unprepossessing on the outside. To the left of the door were four buzzers. Teddy studied the buzzers for a moment before spying one that read “Rodenko Productions” and then pressing it.
A harsh-sounding voice answered, “Yah?”
“Is Justin there?”
“Who vants to know?”
“Tell him Teddy Sunnegaard of Seesaw Productions is here to see him.”
There was a pause and then the voice answered, “Okay. Take the elevator up to the fourth floor.”
The buzzer sounded, the door unlocked, and he pushed it open. He looked around the dim lobby. It appeared to be a largely unused area, although stacked against the wall were a number of frayed canvases surrounded by old cans of dried paint and a number of glass jars containing opaque liquids in which paintbrushes of various sizes stood stiffly. Wrinkling his nose with…