WeWriWa—Death of Valentino

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. In honor of my favorite actor’s 89th Jahrzeit (death anniversary), I’m sharing something from The Twelfth Time: Lyuba and Ivan on the Rocks, Chapter 23, “Death of Valentino.” You don’t have to tell me I have extremely dinosaur tastes.

Even though Anastasiya Voroshilova (an Estonian in spite of the Russian name) is the secondary antagonist, she’s not really a cruel person, and she’s always been so fun to write. When she’s on the page, the scene practically writes itself, since she’s so predictable. In this scene, she’s returned to New York in the middle of a heat wave, leaving her not-so-secret bastard son Dmitriy with her friends on Long Island.

terry-valentino-horsemen

On Monday, shortly after noon, an official comes out of the hospital where Anastasiya has been standing vigil with a group of other fans since Saturday.  She wonders if Lyuba would still make fun of her for doing this if she knew her own stepsisters Vera and Natalya are among the women and teenage girls gathered to pray for their favorite actor and watch for any glimpse of him through the open window on the eighth floor.

Anastasiya sees his lips moving and hears words coming out, but can’t process anything after she hears the word “died.”  Like a chain reaction, many of the people in the crowd start screaming and fainting.  She grows numb as she utters a loud scream and falls to the ground in the August heat.  Everything starts spinning around her, and she hears a ringing in her ears and sees a bright light in her eyes.  She’s barely cognizant of the weeping and screaming surrounding her.

“Would you like me to help you get home?” she hears someone asking her after she comes back to herself, by which time some of the crowd has dispersed. “Surely our presence here isn’t needed anymore.  God must’ve wanted Rudy more than we wanted him here on Earth.”

Cobra

Rudolph Valentino, né Rodolfo Pietro Filiberto Raffaele Guglielmi, 6 May 1895–23 August 1926

The sound quality here isn’t as good or accurate as it would’ve been had he stepped back into the studio in 1925 or 1926, but these are the only two known recordings of his voice

P.S.: Happy heavenly 69th birthday to Keith John Moon, the greatest drummer ever!

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12 comments on “WeWriWa—Death of Valentino

  1. That totally sounds like mass hysteria. I wonder what really happened when she sort of blacked out.

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  2. P.T. Wyant says:

    I’m curious as to who’s speaking to her. And I agree with Linda — definitely sounds like mass hysteria.

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  3. Ed Hoornaert says:

    This would be like attending, say, a Beatles concert only to learn that Paul had just died.

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  4. Interesting sidelight on a moment in history. I always enjoy the way you bring unexpected scenes to life. True story: the day it was announced that Elvis Presley had died, co-worker at major department store screamed and fainted in the middle of the sales floor! So the essence of the really devoted fan remains unchanged, I think. Great snippet.

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  5. Arlee Bird says:

    Good that Valentino was in silent movies. Don’t know that he would have much of a career in musicals. Interesting to hear the recordings though.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  6. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Starstruck. Such a realistic scene when a actor is so well loved.
    I’m curious who is speaking to her too. 🙂
    Love Valentino. A few years ago, my friends and I took a tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetery where Valentino is buried. Supposedly, on the anniversary of his death, a lady in black and wearing a veil to hide her face brought roses to Valentino’s crypt. Though many claim to be this mysterious woman, most believe the woman was Ditra Flame.

    Valentino was a friend to Ditra’s mother. Ditra had been seriously ill and in the hospital. Valentino visited the girl and brought her a single red rose. “You’re not going to die at all,” Valentino told her. “You’re going to outlive me by many years. But one thing for sure—if I die before you do, will you please come and stay by me because I don’t want to be alone either. You come and talk to me.” Ditra did get better, while Valentino died a few years later. Ditra wanted to honor his request and brought red roses to his crypt every year. She passed away in 1984, but others have taken up the tradition of leaving flowers. Our tour guide, Kari Bible, who loves the history of Hollywood and the legends who lit up the screens, has decided to carry on the tradition of the well-known Lady in Black by leaving red roses at Valentino’s crypt.

    Just a little tidbit, I thought you’d enjoy. 🙂

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  7. Alexis Duran says:

    I probably would’ve been one of the fainting ladies on that day. Thanks for sharing this interesting tidbit.

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  8. It is a shock to the system, and hysteria is contagious to a degree. I hope no one was hurt–really fainting can end in some bumps and bruises, or worse.

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  9. Allyson says:

    Very interesting!

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  10. Well done snippet. Very believable reaction. But who walked up to her? Is it even someone she knows?

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  11. I wonder who’s speaking to her? I loved hearing the recording of Valentino’s voice.

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  12. Love the old pictures and recordings–fascinating stuff!

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