Meeting Hunter Rose

December 14, 2014: Zatanna and Hunter Rose have a discussion whilst waiting to appear on a TV Talk show.

TV Studio Waiting Room



  • None

Mood Music:

It was the third Monday of December, and many people were off for the holidays. But some industries continued, and Hunter Rose found himself at just such a place. He had been asked to promote his new book, and the publisher said it would help sales, so he came. His ward, Stacy Palumbo was sitting in the crowd, front row, centre section, third from the left. She wore a new dress for the occasion, a pretty red one with green and white highlights. But Hunter, he was in the back waiting to be introduced. It would be a while. They had a comedian working up the crowd. He would be the second guest, apparently having been bumped for some Magician named Zatanna. He had heard of her, but never been to one of her shoes. When he found his way to the waiting room, he took off the soft white scarf he wore around his neck, and placed it on the armrest. Then he sat down, cane leaning against the wall, so as not to trip anyone who might wander in.

Zatanna has no idea that one of the other guests has been bumped for her and she's relaxing in the waiting room as well. Dressed in her famous costume, knee high boots, fishnet stockings, leotard with a white shirt over the top and a tail coat that buttons around her waist, the raven haired woman is sitting on a couch, her legs crossed and an arm slung over the back rest. Looking up as Hunter Rose enters, she smiles brightly at him and watches as he removes the scarf and places the cane.

Hunter returns Zatanna's smile and regards the young woman for a moment. He reaches down to rub at his right ankle, as he had a chronic pain there. It is an act. After a moment, he retrieves the cane and rises again. Her costume is rather striking, and does not go unnoticed. "Hello," he begins in a distinctively English accent, probably something from Oxfordshire if she's familiar with them, though it's also false. "My name is Hunter Rose, and it is my great pleasure to make your acquaintance Miss Zatara." He recognised her, both from her celebrity, and from the list of names on a piece of paper taped to the door. He extends his left hand, as his right currently clutches the cane, hoping to take her hand in his. "As incredulous as it may sound, you are more captivating and radiant in person than in your photos. I would not have thought that possible, but it is."

Zee, who is no stranger to compliments, still blushes prettily even with that self confident air she carries. Holding out her left hand, she shakes Hunter Roses hand a little awkwardly. "Mr Rose, a pleasure to meet you." Her blue eyes have not missed the ankle rub "Thank you for such a pretty compliment" For a 19 year old, the woman is really quite self possessed. "You're an author, aren't you, Mr Rose." She remains sitting, relaxed on the couch.

His fingers are soft against her skin, as if he regularly receives manicures, but there are few traces of calluses. He works out, but he works just as hard to conceal that fact. So depending on how perceptive she is, especially tactilely. "Oh, Mr. Rose sounds all wrong coming from your voice. I imagine that Hunter would sound so much better." It's nice that she's asked if he was an author, though there are a few copies of his books set up in the room, presumably should he want to bring them in, or for the other guests. Tonight, it seems to be only these two. "Why yes, I've written a few novels. Would it surprise you to know that I wrote my last one in one night?" He says it so confidently, so calmly, that he seems to be selling it as the truth. He doesn't give off any vibes of lying, though the idea is impossible to fathom. People, not even prodigies, can write books in such a short period of time. It's just not done, and the smile he offers, sly, would suggest he's joking. But perhaps the joke is that he's telling the truth, knowing nobody would believe it as such.

Zee smiles again "Hunter then" as she retrieves her hand from his. "In just one night, you say? You must be incredibly talented… or have a knack that no one else is aware of." The magician looks up at the rather attractive young man before continuing "Care to share the trick?" The smile, the sly, is noted and catalogued for later reference.

While the scarf is left hanging on the side of a chair, he notes the space on the couch next to her, and decides to take a seat there. He plays up the ankle issue, looking every bit the man who is in pain and is just sitting in the closest chair. It's something that he has practiced for the past eight years, and has become second nature to him. "Oh, there's no trick. I just don't edit. I begin writing, I continue writing, and then I finish. The only problem is the twelve months of writer's block in between. But I suppose there are worse things to do than work one day, perhaps a weekend, every year." Then noting that he's talking about himself too much, he says, "but where are my manners? You're the true talent here. I've wished to attend one of your shows, but thus far, I've been unable to arrange for tickets. My ward, Stacy, has been a particular fan of yours ever since that YouTube video with the flat panel television and the elephant."

Zee makes sure there is sufficient room on the couch for them both to sit comfortably. Nodding at his explanation, the young woman grimaces at the mention of 12 months writers block "Yes, I imagine that's a major issue…" Waving away the compliment "Talent manifests in different way, Hunter… neither is more or less important. However, perhaps I could arrange some tickets to my show for your ward and yourself." she chuckles "It would be my pleasure."

"It," Hunter referring to the writer's block, "does come in handy at times. I know I couldn't possibly hold a real job and raise a girl on my own." It's been eight years, but Hunter Rose had a much publicised battle to become Stacy Palumbo's legal guardian about eight years ago. He was only eighteen, and he released My Little Chickadee, which helped sway public support, during the court case. He had to fight to have the right to adopt Stacy, who was six at the time. That would make her fourteen now. "I can say with confidence that Stacy would absolutely love that, and I would be indebted to you. I must find a way to demonstrate my gratitude."

Zee, being only 19 is not really aware of Hunters custody battles. "How old is your ward, Hunter? If you don't mind me saying, you seem awfully young to have that responsibility." She hasn't moved much from her initial position, legs still crossed, arm across the back of the couch although it's a little closer to her now. "There's no need to demonstrate your gratitude, it truly will be my pleasure." Zee smiles brightly.

"Fourteen," he replies easily, "and I'm twenty-six," he offers before she even asked. "Her Uncle was a close friend of mine," and it was true, but then Hunter went and killed the man. "I had to fight, but I eventually won the right to be her legal guardian." Pointing to the small patch of white in his otherwise black head of hair, he smiles, "and I have this to prove it." But as for the tickets, he frowns, "Oh no, I must show you how much it means, or else it would serve as a disincentive for your to perform a similar act of random kindness."

That has Zee thinking and nodding "I can't imagine doing that… I'm 19 and taking on a ward, let along having to fight to do so… it's mind boggling." This from the young woman who fights crime and runs her own magic shows. Noting the white in his hair, she frowns "Was that due to stress or did someone bang you on the head?" The issue of the tickets, is left for the time being.

"I'm certain that if you found yourself in a similar circumstance, you would adapt to it. You have a level of confidence about you that belies your age" he offers. He looks at her for a moment, and his eyes dart to her legs. He remembers the line from a comedy program he once watched, and how it jokes that there are only a few pairs of stockings in the entire world. They are shared among the female species. He jokes to himself that Zatanna must have the stockings this week, and he chuckles at the private joke. "Oh no," he easily transitions, "I assume it's genetic. Not that I would know. Like Stacy, I no longer have any family, except her."

Zee notes the look and the chuckle and rolls her eyes subtly before raising an elegant shoulder "I'm sure I would but that doesn't mean I can imagine it." Whilst Hunter is a good looking young man, Zee doesn't seem to pay much attention to that, she seems more interested in the person than the package. "And thank you again, for the compliment… my confidence comes from being on stage for so long." Pausing, Zee considers Hunter Rose and she looks apologetic "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up sad thoughts." Another slight pause "May I ask why you started writing?"

Hunter Rose is merely a facade, a mask, just like Grendel. His real name was Eddie, but he left that name, and that life, when he was fifteen years old. The thought suddenly dawns on him that Stacy is nearly at that stage herself. What will fate have in store for her, he wonders. "I consider myself lucky that I never had to change a diaper, go through the terrible twos, or any of the other early ordeals of raising a child." He toys with his cane in his left hand, his fingers rapping along its handle. "Oh, they aren't sad thoughts anymore. I had to grow up fast." He pauses, not wanting to get into the details about how his parents mysteriously died when he was fifteen years old. "But writing, oh, I'd dabbled with it in school, but I don't think I ever seriously considered it until I was in my late teens. I suppose I have a vivid imagination and it seemed like an suitable use of it."

Zee smiles "I suppose that's one way of looking at it." in reference to taking on the ward but she notes his hesitation and lets the topic change, happily "Finding a way to use your imagination so productively, it's commendable." She shakes her head slightly "Please forgive me for not knowing your titles, what was the first called?"

There are several copies of his books in the room, so Hunter leans away from her, towards an end table, where he'll find a book titled 'Creon'. It has some glowing recommendations on it, and says that it was the 2003 New York Times #1 bestseller. There's a photo of him on the back, looking much younger, but it's still him. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he'll pull out a pen, and write a note for her, as well as his signature on the first page. He'll also sign the book jacket. "There you go."

Zee blushes… she'd noticed the books but wasn't sure of the chronology. "Thank you Hunter" Zee flips the book open to read the note he's written for her. "You were very young, when you did this." 15 if her calculations are correct. "What was the motivation?"

"The challenge," he answers honestly and with a hint of boyish charm. "I wanted to see if I could do it." He also needed the money. "So I began work, found a publisher, and people seemed to think it was worth reading. But nobody likes to see how the sausage is made. Publicly, I'm supposed to say how hard it is to write, to compose thoughts, to craft ideas, but the truth is, very few writers are successful, and those who are, do very little to earn that success. It's quite sad really. But then, the film and music industry is much the same."

Nodding as Hunter Rose speaks, Zee's expression turns thoughtful "Yeah, " she agrees "I think it's the same across many professions… mine included." Gesturing to her costume, she continues "No one knows how much practice goes in, how many mistakes are made… and few in my industry make it either."

When she gestures to her costume, Hunter considers it. "I have read that distraction is a key component of magic, and in that regard, I have no doubt of your capabilities." But when she talks about practice and mistakes, his brow arches, "it may sound terribly forward of me, but do you that perhaps I might be able to attend a practice show. It sounds interesting, and I may even base a book on it, though I could keep your name out of it, if you wished."

Zee does laugh at the response "My costume isn't necessarily about distraction, people have responded more positively to it… yes, I've polled." At Hunter Roses' question, the raven haired woman frowns "I'm not really sure, 'practice shows' can go for 12 hours or more… I would need to consider that more. Perhaps, instead, I could consult on your book?"

He didn't buy her response, until he heard the last part. She's got polling data on it, and that cracks him up. "I wonder if every visible celebrity polls about their attire? I shall have to look into that." It's a rare gift when he is given something to study and consider. And he frankly never bothered contemplating about what goes into deciding what a Magician might wear. Are there industries that don't bother vetting their outfits? "It's up to you, but I can think of worse things than spending half a day with you."

That actually sobers Zee for a minute or two. "I'm sure every visible celebrity does polling but I'm positive it's the women who get the most schtick over what they wear." she shrugs "We're entertainers, if our audience can't connect with us, we're not doing our job. It really is that simple." To the show and book question, Zee gives another shrug and a small smile "That's very kind of you to say, Hunter, but you wouldn't be. You'd be stuck watching as I and my crew discuss what does and doesn't work."

"Again, novelists get it easy. A lot of people may know my name, maybe even my face, but I could walk out there," and he gestures towards the door to the stage, "in a burlap sack, and I'm not sure if it would negatively affect the sales of my books." Looking her over again, he says, "and for the record, I approve of your outfit. It is very fetching on you, and in the right lighting, it would create reflections that would draw attention towards your eyes and your smile. And, that discussion would be interesting to me. Sometimes my interests can be.. off."

Zee nods. "Thank you for the pretty compliment Hunter" a small flush appears on her cheeks. "I hadn't really thought about how authors and the like are considered, but I believe you are correct. As to my practice, please, let me think about it some more. Where may I contact you, to deliver the tickets and my answer?"

Hunter calmly says, "may I have that back for a moment," and it's clear he's looking at the book he signed for her. He'll take it back when handed to him, and rise to his feet, using his can for added support, and walk over towards a countertop. There's some paper there. With his back to her, he'll go to work, using no tools. He cuts the paper by bending it, pressing his finger against it, and them separating it with carefully applied weight. He'll also use a pen. When he turns his back towards her and returns the book, it will now have a simple piece of paper, a little oddly shaped, and it seems to have been folded into different pages, rather like a bookmark, but still different. If she opens it, it will pop up like origami, and is an elephant's head with his information written on the trunk. "There you go," he says as he resumes his seat on the couch beside her.

"Very cute" Zee says as she opens the paper. "You have a flair for the dramatic yourself, Hunter Rose." Examining it carefully, she notes the details he's provided and she smiles, that bright bubbly Zee smile "I'll get the tickets to you in a few days." Her publicist always has some to spare for cases like this. "When you come, I'll arrange for you to bring your ward backstage, we can chat then."

He seems quite happy with himself when his little trick pleases her, and she calls it cute. "If I had handed you a business card, I doubt it would have had the same effect, and I've been experimenting with origami, so why not?" "Thank you Ms. Zatara, both I and Stacy will be there, with bells on, if it's not too distracting."

"The bells may well be distracting, Hunter but I will look forward to playing the host." Zatanna stands and stretches slightly. Picking her hat up from the table beside the couch, she places it on her head "Please, call me Zee."

"Then they'll be left at home," he cheerfully adds as he watches her rise. "That's a very nice hat, Zee," in fact, he may have a similar one at home. He does favour tuxedos. But those are reserved for other engagements. And before he can add more, a young woman with a clipboard and a headset arrives to inform Zatanna that she's scheduled to be on in a moment.

Smiling brightly, Zee looks back at Hunter Rose "Why thank you, I'm partial to it myself and everyone expects a magician to have a top hat." Nodding to the young assistant, Zee casts an apologetic look to her male companion "I'll be in touch very soon" and moves to the door to wait for further instructions.

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