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.
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.”
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!