When Holly parked her car and got out, everything felt surreal and familiar. She started walking out of the parking lot and towards the Homestead set, nervous and excited, just like the first day she’d come here, only this time it had nothing to do with Homestead. Her nerves were all centered on Antigone and McCall.
She was touched about everything he’d done for her and felt a responsibility not to let him down. If she were being honest, there was a small little part of her that wished he had just let the movie die but once he’d bought the rights she had to go through with this. Her heart sunk a little though as she looked at the uphill battle in store for them.
The concrete road onto set turned into the dusty western one and she turned off to the left and walked towards the costumes department. She knocked on the door and went in.
Matilda was alone, bent over a dress she was running through a sewing machine.
“Holly? Holly what a wonderful surprise!” Matilda hurried over and hugged her. “I haven’t seen you in ages. You’re not back on the show are you? We’ve missed you!”
“No, I’m not.”
“What a shame. It hasn’t felt the same since you’ve left. Though it’s probably for the best. I doubt the show will have a very long run.”
“What? I thought it was doing well.”
“The ratings have dropped ever since…well,” Matilda looked apologetic, “Alan left so, er, abruptly.”
“I’m sorry I mentioned it.”
“Don’t be. I’m alright. I really am. So the show is going to be canceled?”
“Not right away. I suspect it will limp through another season or two. But everyone has been scrambling a bit since then. The writers of course had to write out the character rather abruptly and they’d lined up the next season’s story arc all around him. They had to come up with a lot of last minute changes and they didn’t do it very well I’m afraid. Ratings are flagging. I suppose Ian could pull it back together but I doubt he’s got it in him to be honest.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It happens.” Matilda shrugged. “Shows come and go. It’s the nature of television. Evelyn is acting like it’s the end of the world, but then she’s Evelyn. But you never know. Ian could always leave and the network would replace him. I rather suspect though that they find the show awkward to deal with now and will be relieved to see it go.”
“Ian hasn’t been successful as the show runner?”
“Oh he’s very good at running successful shows. It’s problem ones he’s got the issue with. He tends to lose his head. Actually fired Walsh this morning.”
“What? Walsh? You’re kidding? Walsh was always so good.”
“I know. He was only the assistant director but he was always good at picking up the slack. Especially Ian’s. Which ultimately ticked Ian off. So, he fired him.”
Matilda frowned. “I agree. So why are you smiling?”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it the way it looked, it’s just I got an idea. Tell me, is Walsh still on set?”
“Yes. I think so. Wrapping things up. Filling out paperwork, collecting his things, saying goodbye to people. Why?”
“I want to talk to him before he leaves. But first, Matilda, there’s something I want to discuss with you.”
Holly left the costume department fifteen minutes later, satisfied and with her mission complete. Matilda had been more than willing to take over the costumes for Antigone. In fact if it had been up to Matilda the whole thing would have been settled after five minutes. But Holly had felt it her responsibility to make sure Matilda understood about Grant. Not only was Matilda risking getting on the man’s bad side, but if she understood the full situation now, there was less chance she would back out later.
As Holly should have expected, Matilda had been fully briefed by Evelyn on the Grant situation. She waved away every one of Holly’s warnings and happily agreed to take on the job.
“I always enjoy a challenge. Jumping in halfway through, dealing with the previous costumer’s mistakes? I’ll love it! Besides it will be a joy to spend time with you again.”
“You can manage it? Even with your work here?”
“Of course I can! Just have McCall, or whoever the director is now, send over a script and I’ll come over as soon as the set is back up and running again to look over everything. I’m awfully flattered you thought of me.”
Holly had thanked her profusely but excused herself fairly soon after and was now hurrying deeper onto the set. She flagged down a passing cameraman who said he had seen Walsh over by the trailers not ten minutes ago and she walked quickly off in that direction.
She found the man talking with one of the actors and given the tone he was using, he seemed to be more than a little ticked off. She put on her brightest smile.
He turned to her and there was one brief moment before recognition dawned. When it hit, she could see the curiosity enter his expression.
“Holly? Nice to see you again. What are you doing on set?”
“I came by to see Matilda. But then I heard you were around and I wanted to talk to you about a job.”
Walsh gave a snort of laughter. “I’m in no position to offer anyone anything. Matilda seems to have neglected to tell you I was fired this morning.”
“No she did tell me. And you misunderstand me. I want to talk about a job for you.”