Olivia Hildebrand drained the bottle of beer. She took a long drag on a cigarette and stubbed it out on her expensive Armani dress.

She tripped, one of her Gucci heels had broken, and landed on the ground. She looked up at the Hollywood sign looming brightly over her.

‘This is how it ends then.’ She stared at her own face. ‘Not even a big enough star for a wax museum anymore.’

Well, it had been an exhilarating ride while it had lasted.

She hurled the head away and watched her younger face smash to pieces on a rock.

© Liz Young

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Feature photo – © Richard Lund

95 responses to “FADING STAR”

    • Thanks Liz, I always find the waxworks look a bit dead behind the eyes anyway, quite sinister. Speaking of sinister, thanks for the photo prompt this week!


  1. Very well written and poignant, Iain. You’ve captured the feeling well — the feeling of somebody resigning to despair and defeat after a life of striving (and self-destruction). It made me think of that line from Eliot: ‘This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story full of passion.
    My only thoughts would be to re-visit the second paragraph. You have two sentences starting with she and could mix it up a bit.
    Liked the reference to the wax museum.
    xx Rowena


    • Thanks Rowena, and thanks for the suggestion. I like the repetition of ‘She’ as it is, I like to try and keep it plain and simple. Iain 🙂


  3. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson. Swanson plays a formerly famous actress who has “aged out” but dreams of a big comeback.

    Some of the cast include silent film stars Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Anna Q Nilsson, and H.B. Warner. Your wee tale reminded me of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I sensed an older actress, unsuccessful auditions, rumours in the tabloids. I felt her resignation alright! Maybe if she had built her career on more than just her looks, she could be Betty White, or Meryl Streep, or my favourite, Helen Mirren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Sadly I think even talented actresses (and some men too) can be cast aside when their looks fade, maybe she just needs to start auditioning for different kinds of roles.


      • No, it’s not. I had a good job in sales with an electronics retail store, and after my accident (and facial reconstruction) the District’s GM fired me. Reason given: “You’ve lost the “cute” value.” Had nothing to do with the fact that I was at top sales that earned me $10K @ 2% commission on sales in only fifteen minutes that morning. I haven’t been able to find any steady work since.. That was 21 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a horrendous story. Hopefully things have changed in the last 21 years to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore. And the District GM is no longer in a position of power.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, the entire company has been sent into virtual non-existence, shutting down 98% thereabouts of their stores. Karma bites! She laughs.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I was caught up in this dark tale, then the last line made me smile, until I realized that this is a still a tragedy. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some Hollywood actors less reliant on good looks for stardom, seem to command leading parts right up until the end of their lives.
    This story is a wonderful example of how cruel the whole scene can be to those who are no longer useful.
    Such a fickle world.

    Liked by 1 person

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