DEAD RINGER By David R Graham
‘Stan Whitman. I’m Jack Shackler’s agent.’
‘Bobby Holler. What do you want?’
‘You look just like Jack.’
‘I know. What do you want?’
‘How’d you like to be Jack’s stand in?’
‘Are you serious?’
‘Very. Jack’s in great demand. He can’t be everywhere at once. He needs a double.’
‘I don’t sound like Jack.’
‘No problem. It’s strictly a walk-on role.’
‘How long for?’
‘Until the pressures off.’
‘How long will that be?’
‘Difficult to say. He’s a popular guy.’
‘What exactly would I have to do?’
‘Appear where he can’t. Parties, receptions, premiers, etc. No TV, no interviews.’
‘What do I get in return?’
‘An all expenses paid lifestyle. A grand a week. Plus Jack’s identical wardrobe. To keep.’
‘…Is this legit?
‘…I’d want a contract.’
‘No contract. Strictly cash.’
‘When do I meet Jack?’
‘…When do you need me?’
‘Saturday. An A List party in Juan les Pins.
‘South of France.’
‘…Ok. Strictly cash. No cash, no show.’
‘That’s the deal.’
Bobby still found it hard to believe his luck. He had been banking a thousand bucks a week for the past nine months. Now, wearing a two thousand dollar suit, he was being chauffeured to Grauman’s for the latest movie premiere in company with a well-known actress. Ok, so she was off limits. Who knew?
THE stalker wanted an audience when he took down Jack Shackler. So he chose this particular red carpet event for maximum publicity. Bobby Holler’s feet had barely touched the famous forecourt when the stalker moved in, swiftly pumped four .38’s into Bob, and turned to flee. In the ensuing confusion and panic he was cut down by a hail of .45 slugs fired by four members of Mr. Shackler’s personal bodyguard. His body was handed over to the LAPD.
Bobby Holler was rushed by private ambulance to a private hospital, where he was pronounced DOA.
JACK SHACKLER MAKES REMARKABLE RECOVERY
After being gunned down outside Grauman’s just eight week ago by Guy Montelle, the superstar is said to be have made a remarkable recovery.
Immediately following his attack Montelle—who had been stalking Jack and making death threats against him for the past year—was shot to death by Jack’s private bodyguards.
‘You got the creep, Stan.’
‘We got him, Jack.’
‘It worked like a charm. I can come out of hiding now.’
‘Sure can. Just play the part, until the spotlight shifts. And you’re in the clear.’
‘No comebacks, Stan. No loose ends?’
‘None whatsoever. It was a sweet operation, Jack. We’re clean.’
‘Missing male. Robert Anthony Holler’, the Chief said handing over a glossy colour photograph. ‘Been missing ten months.’
‘This is Jack Shackler!’
‘The superstar! Got shot outside Grauman’s! Couple a months back!’
‘No way! That’s a picture of Robert Anthony Holler! Just came through from his ol’ man in NYPD Homicide!’
‘Well, Chief. Robert Anthony Holler sure is a dead ringer for Jack Shackler.’