Star struck, p.1
A Star Kissed Book
Copyright © 2014 Jamie Campbell
Jamie Campbell asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.
The soda machine sprayed everywhere, just like confetti. I covered the spout with a cloth, trying to get the darn thing to stop. Nothing was going right today, not one stupid thing.
“Can someone switch the machine off? Please?” I called out, hoping one of my co-workers would actually be awake and mobile.
The fountain stopped its relentless spurting and fell into silence. I released my hands slowly, not wanting to get covered in the sticky syrup any more than I already was. There wasn’t one part of me that wasn’t contaminated with soda, salt, and fast food grease. Welcome to Saturday at Burger Nation.
“What’s all this mess, Melrose?” My manager, officially named Pete, otherwise known as Creepy Pete, stood over me.
“The soda machine is broken, the off switch isn’t working. It’s going to need to be fixed.” What on earth did he think the mess was from? It wasn’t like I casually threw soda on myself for fun. That would be his fantasy, definitely not mine.
“It’s not broken, you’re just not doing it right. Here, let me do it.” He pushed me aside to flick the on switch again. I gave him a wide berth, letting him get covered in syrup and see how he likes it.
But, then again, Creepy Pete would probably like that too. I shuddered, heading to the counter and the long line of angry customers. I bet every one of them wanted a soda too.
“Welcome to Burger Nation, what can I get you?” I asked, wiping a fake smile across my lips.
“Two king burgers and super-sized cherry cokes, please.”
“Our soda machine is broken, sorry. I can offer you a free water instead?” Behind me, the soda machine hissed before a bang loud enough to rattle the windows rung out. Good old Creepy Pete wasn’t as handy as he liked to believe.
“Water’s fine, thanks.”
I repeated the same conversation with each of the next nine customers, all with Pete swearing under his breath behind me. He should have listened to me, he could have avoided the smoke fanning out of the machine, and the subsequent fire alarm it caused.
Halfway through my shift, I found a moment of solace to wipe down all the tables. I was already dirty, I may as well be filthy at the same time.
“Hey, Rosy.” I straightened up to see the smiling face of my best friend, Dallas Love. Yes, that was her real name. Her mom was really into pageants when she was born, she wanted a name to really stand out. Unfortunately, she never quite lived up to expectations.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” I asked, casting a look Pete’s way to make sure he didn’t catch me talking instead of working.
“I’ve come to talk some sense into you. You look sick, I think you should tell your manager so you can leave and come with me.”
I rolled my eyes, we had already had that same conversation twelve times in the past week. “I’ve got to work, Dal. I can’t go chasing down some boys. We’ll see them tonight at the concert.”
“But every rumor I’ve found says they’re staying at the Royal Carousel Hotel. You’ve got to help me stalk them. Come on, Rosy, I can’t do it alone,” she begged, sticking out her bottom lip to pout.
“I need the money. And I’m sure you wouldn’t be the only one at the hotel waiting for them. Every teenager in Meadowbrook will be there with you.”
“Except you. Do you really want to miss out on seeing them? Up close and personal?”
I laughed. “We’ll see them tonight.”
“Yeah, from the nosebleed section.”
“Melrose!” Creepy Pete called out from behind the counter. Damn, he caught me.
“I have to go, Dal. I’ll see you tonight. Have fun stalking.” I didn’t wait around for any more arguments.
Dallas was completely obsessed with the boy band Two Dimension, who happened to be in town ready for their concert tonight. It was the biggest thing to happen to Meadowbrook since, well, forever. It didn’t get bigger than Two Dimension.
The five-strong band were massive. They had blitzed every record ever held by a group and they literally made girls faint on a daily basis.
I was obsessed too, but I wasn’t going to let it show like Dallas did. I was cooler than that, at least in my mind. They were all completely gorgeous and their songs felt like they were written just for me. I kept my shrine to them hidden in my closet at home. I kissed their poster every day but I would die if anyone found out.
Sneaking away from work to stand outside their hotel, hoping for a slight glimpse of them, was more than tempting. But the reality was I had to work. The only way to get the Saturday night off was to work the day shift. It was as close to a compromise that Pete and I could reach.
“Take the trash out the back, it’s starting to get stinky,” Pete directed me. I felt like telling him the stink was probably him, but I held my tongue. He would probably make me work a double shift. I’m sure child labor laws didn’t apply to Burger Nation.
I gathered up the black plastic bags, overloaded with garbage, and headed out the back. At least a moment out in the fresh air would be a nice change to the scent of frying oil that lingered everywhere inside. It stuck to my clothes, following me home after my shift too. The first thing I always did when I got home was change. And then I burned my clothes – well, that was my fantasy anyway, I actually put them in the washer.
I threw the bags into the dumpster one by one. They made a decisive thud as they hit the bottom. No scavenging animal flew out this time, that was a nice change from my last trash run.
Footsteps pounded behind me as I closed the lid. A slight breeze graced my skin. I spun around quickly, trying to work out who would be behind the fast food joint.
There was no-one there. I shrugged, obviously my mind was playing tricks on me. It was probably the garbage fumes, finally getting to me.
I returned back inside, pulling the doorstop out and helping the heavy security door to close again. Pete considered it a sin to leave it unlatched, he was paranoid about robbers getting in. I don’t know why, there was a McDonald’s across the road which probably took in double what we did every day.
As I turned around, I was face to face with a guy. I jumped back, my heart stopping from the fright.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized.
I couldn’t speak. Not one part of my body would do anything I wanted it to. Because standing in front of me was one-fifth of Two Dimension.
Star Struck by Jamie Campbell / Romance & Love have rating 3.7 out of 5 / Based on33 votes