Sample text for Angels on Sunset Boulevard / Melissa de la Cruz.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


Copyrighted sample text provided by the publisher and used with permission. May be incomplete or contain other coding.


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After

Saturday night at the In-N-Out and a steady parade of drunken rockers, skater kids, Chicano families, frat boys, Beverly Hills princesses, East L.A. gangbangers, Hollywood hippies, artists, and stoners walked through the swinging glass doors, a microcosm of Los Angeles itself.

Nick Huntington sat alone in the front booth, listlessly watching the local citizenry and unconsciously eavesdropping on two hyperactive film types -- boneheads, in his humble opinion -- honing a movie pitch at the next table, dreams of Hollywood the backbone of every conversation within a ten-mile radius of the studios.

He was holding a fry in midair when he spotted the boy. Nick froze, and the fry dangled on his mouth, the ketchup dripping from the tip and burning the edge of his tongue.

The boy was shaking visibly, his entire body vibrating from an uncontrollable compulsion -- knees knocking against each other, teeth chattering, head twitching from side to side. His long hair was matted against his forehead and the back of his neck, and his jeans were torn and holey. After midnight at the In-N-Out Burger on the corner of Orange Drive and Sunset Boulevard and no one paid much attention as he shuffled up to the front of the line, dirt-black fingers trembling as they dug into his pants pockets for grimy dollar bills and change.

"The number one," he mumbled, so softly that the cashier had to repeat it. A flat chemical scent emanated from his pores as if he were sweating aluminum.

"Number one?" she asked again helpfully, breathing through her mouth so she wouldn't smell him but trying not to show it -- they got all kinds there.

The boy nodded. His hair was so dirty it looked brown, except for the roots, which were startlingly, shockingly silver, like a halo. He was so skinny his wrist bones protruded from his skin, poking out painfully. His skin was sallow, a drained, sickly, yellow color -- junkie yellow -- but otherwise it was clear, free of the acne scars and hollowed craters that typically accompanied a drug-induced complexion. He scratched at his three-day-old stubble, then picked at a cuticle on his thumb, watching as the cashier punched in his order.

He accepted his food and turned to look for a seat.

His eyes met Nick's, and a chill went down Nick's spine. It was like looking into the eyes of a ghost. Nick became conscious that his jaw was hanging open and made a deliberate effort to close it. He never did eat that french fry. He'd lost his appetite.

"Aren't you Johnny Silver?" he finally asked.

Nick couldn't believe it. Johnny Silver was supposed to be onstage at the Hollywood Bowl at that very moment, in a comeback concert that was already being heralded as the most important music event of the year -- if not the decade, if not the century.

Yet there he was, standing right in front of him. Johnny Silver, his violet eyes boring into Nick's skull, that otherworldly masculine beauty -- like David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust phase -- haughty and feral. Dirty and delirious, but alive. The famous Johnny Silver, the boy who would rock the world, standing underneath the fluorescent lights of a fast-food restaurant, looking as if the universe had just run him over.

For the longest time Johnny simply stood there. His eyes glazed, then focused. Tears sprung to his eyes, and they coursed silently down his cheeks, a river of white against the grime.

Nick stood up and approached him cautiously, as a lion tamer would approach his lion. "Johnny, man, what the hell happened to you?"

"I...I don't know," Johnny replied, and the shaking intensified. He looked around the fast-food restaurant as if he had no idea how he'd gotten there. "I don't remember anything, except that moment when I came out and strummed my guitar, and I looked out at the audience, at the lights...so many people -- they'd all come to see me -- roaring my name. I blinked, then in a flash everything was gone -- the club, the band, the stage, the hotels, Sunset Strip, palm trees, cars, everything disappeared. And I woke up, alone in the desert, as if none of this" -- he waved his hand to indicate the whole place and everything beyond it -- "had ever existed."

Copyright © 2007 by Melissa de la Cruz

After

Saturday night at the In-N-Out and a steady parade of drunken rockers, skater kids, Chicano families, frat boys, Beverly Hills princesses, East L.A. gangbangers, Hollywood hippies, artists, and stoners walked through the swinging glass doors, a microcosm of Los Angeles itself.

Nick Huntington sat alone in the front booth, listlessly watching the local citizenry and unconsciously eavesdropping on two hyperactive film types -- boneheads, in his humble opinion -- honing a movie pitch at the next table, dreams of Hollywood the backbone of every conversation within a ten-mile radius of the studios.

He was holding a fry in midair when he spotted the boy. Nick froze, and the fry dangled on his mouth, the ketchup dripping from the tip and burning the edge of his tongue.

The boy was shaking visibly, his entire body vibrating from an uncontrollable compulsion -- knees knocking against each other, teeth chattering, head twitching from side to side. His long hair was matted against his forehead and the back of his neck, and his jeans were torn and holey. After midnight at the In-N-Out Burger on the corner of Orange Drive and Sunset Boulevard and no one paid much attention as he shuffled up to the front of the line, dirt-black fingers trembling as they dug into his pants pockets for grimy dollar bills and change.

"The number one," he mumbled, so softly that the cashier had to repeat it. A flat chemical scent emanated from his pores as if he were sweating aluminum.

"Number one?" she asked again helpfully, breathing through her mouth so she wouldn't smell him but trying not to show it -- they got all kinds there.

The boy nodded. His hair was so dirty it looked brown, except for the roots, which were startlingly, shockingly silver, like a halo. He was so skinny his wrist bones protruded from his skin, poking out painfully. His skin was sallow, a drained, sickly, yellow color -- junkie yellow -- but otherwise it was clear, free of the acne scars and hollowed craters that typically accompanied a drug-induced complexion. He scratched at his three-day-old stubble, then picked at a cuticle on his thumb, watching as the cashier punched in his order.

He accepted his food and turned to look for a seat.

His eyes met Nick's, and a chill went down Nick's spine. It was like looking into the eyes of a ghost. Nick became conscious that his jaw was hanging open and made a deliberate effort to close it. He never did eat that french fry. He'd lost his appetite.

"Aren't you Johnny Silver?" he finally asked.

Nick couldn't believe it. Johnny Silver was supposed to be onstage at the Hollywood Bowl at that very moment, in a comeback concert that was already being heralded as the most important music event of the year -- if not the decade, if not the century.

Yet there he was, standing right in front of him. Johnny Silver, his violet eyes boring into Nick's skull, that otherworldly masculine beauty -- like David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust phase -- haughty and feral. Dirty and delirious, but alive. The famous Johnny Silver, the boy who would rock the world, standing underneath the fluorescent lights of a fast-food restaurant, looking as if the universe had just run him over.

For the longest time Johnny simply stood there. His eyes glazed, then focused. Tears sprung to his eyes, and they coursed silently down his cheeks, a river of white against the grime.

Nick stood up and approached him cautiously, as a lion tamer would approach his lion. "Johnny, man, what the hell happened to you?"

"I...I don't know," Johnny replied, and the shaking intensified. He looked around the fast-food restaurant as if he had no idea how he'd gotten there. "I don't remember anything, except that moment when I came out and strummed my guitar, and I looked out at the audience, at the lights...so many people -- they'd all come to see me -- roaring my name. I blinked, then in a flash everything was gone -- the club, the band, the stage, the hotels, Sunset Strip, palm trees, cars, everything disappeared. And I woke up, alone in the desert, as if none of this" -- he waved his hand to indicate the whole place and everything beyond it -- "had ever existed."

Six weeks earlier: A Star Is Born

"Here we are now going to the Westside, weapons in hand as we go for a ride."

-- Moby (with gwen stefani), "South Side"

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Copyright © 2007 by Melissa de la Cruz




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Singers -- Fiction.
Fame -- Fiction.
Cults -- Fiction.
Drugs -- Fiction.
Web sites -- Fiction.
Missing persons -- Fiction.
Los Angeles (Calif) -- Fiction.