The television broadcasting studio near Broadway was bustling with excitement because the number two network programming department had landed the fabulous “Lilith” from Hollywood as their newest stellar entry for the late-night sweepstakes. The struggle for number one on the ratings was more important than ever this season because all the big networks were talking about their most important issue. That issue was the pressure to make a successful merger across the media landscape.
The lattes were flowing hot and heavy and the risk-taking millennials were lighting up covert weed in the corners where they thought nobody could see them.
Even the camera men and the lighting experts felt the pulse of excitement because top-notch ratings would mean extra bonuses for one and all and a lot less pressure to be “perfect” in every little detail once Madison Avenue knew which network was on top of the heap.
There had been a series of “shakeups” lately and all of the network heads were relatively new faces. A strange malady of introspection had determined most of the big-shots were perverts of the worse sort and had committed numerous offenses against the sacred cow of “women’s rights” in ways that required both Civil and Criminal proceedings. The political bias of the three top networks known as MSM (Main Stream Media) was fairly well exposed in recent years by the glaring headlights of Cable News.
One unsmiling face stood out in the crowd and that was the celebrated new writer known in the tightly-knit studio circles as “Angela, the wise-ass”. She was fairly new to the late-night television production scene but had been there long enough to be a latte recipient and not a latte “go-fer”.
That trio of studios that prided themselves as being in the “top three” in ratings constantly changed their strategy to keep up with a fast-changing world. One of the problems that spurred their panic-driven response was the advertising demographic that ruled the ratings world.
It was generally accepted in the broadcasting world that youth drove the ratings game and their programming constantly strove to cater to youthful preferences.
Unfortunately, their world seemed to be centered in a tight radius around lower Manhattan or way out on the left coast in the vicinity of Hollywood and Vine.
Everything else was the “wastelands” of uncool America or the funny-talking realm of foreign types used only for comic relief to make ignorant watchers feel good about themselves because they were more “normal” than them.
Angela was a foreigner at one time.
That was a long time ago, when she lived out in Brooklyn in a God-awful artist studio that was really a converted warehouse with no hot water. It forced her to take showers at work in the real city like some homeless tramp without any future. It was a humbling experience and one that she did her best to shove behind a brick wall in the corner of her devious brain.
She was late the morning that the announcement was made about the signing of the world-famous Lilith to a two year contract with options. Several of the tech types were suddenly nervous because the rumor was that she would be bringing a retinue of her own “people” from Hollywood to insure continuity in her unique image for late-night viewing pleasure.
Angela wasn’t concerned about that because she was one of the lucky ones with a full one year contract that insured she got paid full scale for the full duration unless she got fired for cause. That “for cause” clause was usually defined as meaning she had gotten caught doing hard drugs on camera or wouldn’t put out like a common whore to one of the studio “big-wigs” when it was her turn on the meat market. She didn’t mind those degrading episodes, because she tended to use the new contacts a lot more than they used her, all things considered. Besides, she was a master at manipulating the pricks better than most and she used her physical assets to her advantage at every opportunity.
Sally, the newly hired editor from New Jersey, handed her the perfectly prepared promised latte and Angela patted her nicely padded ass to show she appreciated her excursion into the unwashed herd of common folk to help satisfy her regretted addiction to the steaming liquid.
The new girl smiled up at her with baby blue eyes filled with a wistful look.
She was probably remembering the party when they both shared opposite ends of Mister Gold’s grossly overweight body like a team of female wrestlers intent on winning.
It was the first time either of them serviced the studio head at a party of such magnitude. The more experienced Angela had guided the virginal Sally down those depraved corridors with capable tricks learned in places of ill repute and they worked together like a well-polished team in mutual accord when the going got tough.
Actually, Hymie Gold was not a bad sort in the scheme of things. He had a caustic exterior, but underneath, he was a soft as pudding pie and he generally disliked treating any female with disrespect, even at those times when he was forced into that mode by a chain of circumstances.
The poor schnook was on his third wife and was already looking for a replacement number four, because the stuck-up Ruth (third wife) refused to offer her mouth for anything other than stuffing it with candy or some of that Russian caviar that cost so much dough, even at wholesale.
In all honesty, he regretted marrying her, but her father’s offer of a bridge loan, when he needed one desperately, sealed the deal beyond any chance to renege and get away with it. Hymie mounted her on the wedding night with drunken enthusiasm conceiving his beloved little darling, Marjorie Gold.
The little charmer was already five years old this season.
It was that fact alone that caused him to let Ruth hang around like some kind of third rail in his life.
The fact of the matter was that she wasn’t getting any younger and the studio private investigator informed him recently that she was a little too close to her lesbian hairdresser.
The appearance of Lilith on the set was more exciting than Angela was willing to admit, not that she was inclined to let anyone see the turmoil raging inside her. They were mortal enemies over the ages and she hoped her deep-cover invisibility was enough to hide her immortal light. This situation was more than she had bargained for and her faded memory of the last encounter was not a happy one. A lot of humans had left their pitiable existence because of their conflict and Angela felt no sense of pride in the chaotic dead-heat that resulted.
She had taken refuge in mother church claiming Sanctuary like some minor player in celestial warfare. That seemed like it had happened ages ago and here they were at it yet another time. This time, she vowed to finish it off, no matter how risky the confrontation.
Angela knew her cover was working because Lilith swept right past her like she was chopped liver on rye and she was not in the least bit hungry. It was a bit of a relief and a let-down at the same time because she was primed for battle at the drop of a hat.
In fact, the no-longer-blooming Lilith was hitting on the virginal Sally with a directness that made her want to smite her with her righteous left boot. Sally, the little fool was falling all over herself, with a pathetic transparency that revealed her lack of experience in such matters. She was exceptionally intelligent in most matters, but when it came to affairs of the heart, Sally was ever the giver and never the taker in typical female submissive fashion. She was probably destined for nocturnal use and would be in no shape for effective work in the morning.
It was Lilith’s entourage that Angela found exceedingly interesting.