Central Colorado in the summer was one of the most beautiful times of the year. Although some days it could be unbearably hot, as soon as the sun went down, everything cooled off. Starr was looking forward to the concert Friday night, which was being held at Red Rock Stadium, one of the premier venues in the country. Listening to her colleagues promoting the IED giveaway all weekend, she’d felt the usual rise of excitement that normally overtook her as a major promotional event was drawing near.
A few months back, when KSTR had participated in a charity event sponsored by KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver, she’d really been psyched because it was her first public event since the ad campaign promoting her rising recognition. She’d even been interviewed for a fluff piece about her grandfather owning a horse ranch and how she’d become a proficient rider and roper. KUSA’s general sales manager, Rebecca Downey, was head of the local chapter of the A.W.R.T.–American Women in Radio and Television. All the employees of Denver’s media outlets had been invited to participate in different sporting and rodeo events–bronco riding, stunt riding, tug-of-wars, a softball game. The event raised scholarship money for young women pursuing careers in media. Ad and PR agencies, network and cable affiliates and radio stations signed up their employees either as individuals or as teams to “open a can of whoop ass,” as KSTR’s local sales manager, Brent Jackson, described it, on each others’ business competitors and associates. It was a lot of fun and Starr made new friends and contacts through the event. She’d even received a few offers trying to tempt her away from KSTR, but Starr was nothing if not loyal and had graciously promised to “think about it” when each offer was presented. Hers was not an industry that paid to insult the wrong corporate execs.
She was looking forward to her first day back on the air after a very relaxing weekend. She’d taken the time to have her hair trimmed and the highlights touched up, get a mani-pedi and shop for two bad-ass outfits one for the interview in the studio on Thursday and the other for Friday’s concert. She met several music personalities in her short career in radio, especially since her career really took off several months before, but she had to admit, she was kind of crushing on Rohnan. And it wasn’t just because he was rock-star hot!
Zach Rohnan was very much into children’s causes, whether it was helping the ill, feeding and supplying orphanages and educating those in under-developed countries. Last year, he’d donated one hundred thousand dollars to building a school in South America and campaigned tirelessly for continual donations to keep it well-stocked with both educators and supplies.
She wasn’t quite sure why she wanted to look extra appealing for this particular studio guest. She’d promised herself years before when she’d gotten involved with a one-hit-wonder who’d spiraled down the dark, drug drain that she would never date a celebrity again. And she had managed to stick to her guns on that. But when one is “in the business,” one’s choices for companionship usually meant someone else in the business. So far her black book included two ad executives, one account executive from another radio station and a program director from the local PBS station, who was also a communication professor at her brother’s school. She wasn’t a virgin by any stretch of the imagination, but she made sure she never acquired the reputation of a slutty party girl either.
Stepping out of her shower, she grabbed a towel and quickly scrubbed at her head, her short hair almost instantly going from soaked to damp. As she wrapped it around her body and padded from the bathroom to her bedroom, the midday day news was broadcasting a breaking story.
“…David Moore on location with today’s top story. KRFX dj Michelle Thomas, of the Michelle in the Morning show, is in critical condition at Mile High Hospital this morning after a late-night attack at her apartment. A police spokesperson will only say that Ms. Thomas was found after a frantic 911 call in which she lost consciousness before the police and paramedics reached her. She was the apparent victim of a home invasion with injuries consisting of several stab wounds. At this time, the police have no suspects and are not releasing further details. Back to you, Laura,” a man is the customary suit and tie concluded from the front parking lot of the hospital. The scene switched to the studio as the female anchor concluded the segment.
“Thanks, David. This is the second media personality to fall victim to assault in the past several months. Our viewers will recall the violent and untimely death of one of our own, Elizabeth Wright, known to those who loved and worked with her as Betsy–commentator and program director here at this station. This case is still unsolved and the twenty-five thousand dollar reward we are offering will stand until her killer is caught. We will keep you informed on both cases as information develops. Laura Jaffe, Channel 7 News.”
Wow! Starr thought. Weird… and scary. She felt a small sense of satisfaction that she’d promoed the company that monitored her home security system. It had cost her next to nothing to have installed and as long as she regularly plugged them on her show, she didn’t even pay the monthly maintenance fee.
She knew Michelle Thomas and decided she would stop by the hospital on her way into work. They weren’t really friends, as the other woman worked at a station that played classic rock and was in her mid 40’s, but they were socially acquainted enough that Starr felt compelled to add her name to what she was sure was a long list of well-wishers.
Applying her deodorant and perfume, she donned her bra, panties, black jeans and a gray tee shirt with her station’s logo. She almost tripped pulling on her thong sandals as Bruja brushed against her standing leg while the other was mid-air, her finger hooked into the back strap to secure the shoe around her ankle. Hopping twice to keep her balance, she shooed the kitty away in annoyance.
“Damnit, Bruja. What is it going to take to get you to stop doing that?” she raged in exasperation. “One of these days, you’re going to make me break my neck!”
She finished getting ready by putting on her makeup and squirting some gel into her palm. Rubbing her hands together, she spiked the product through her hair and combed it out, curling the sides along the sides of her face against her cheeks, giving it a sleeked appearance. The last thing she did was grab a pair of sterling and crystal earrings that hung down almost to her shoulders.
Giving herself the final once-over in her dresser mirror, she was satisfied with the results. The black eyeliner and gray and purple eyeshadow made her deep blue eyes pop and the dusky rose of her blush and lip gloss complemented her dark coloring.
For what must have been the thousandth time, she thought, What does it really matter, you twit? You’re on the radio!
Ok, folks, as promised, here is Chapter 3. Too short? Too mundane? Let me know… am I going to slow? Should there be more excitement already? Or are you pleased with the build up? Waiting with baited breath for your input and comments.