This was a Flash Friday submission for 23rd January. Thanks to Giorgio Grande for the photographic inspiration.

Dolly had always wanted her own action film franchise but, as an osteoporotic octagenerian, she lacked the necessary box office pull. Instead, she carved out a living as an extra in European Art House films. She never quite broke through, but she managed to get a couple of Kieslowskis and a Fassbinder under her belt. Something in her bone structure lent itself to hackneyed symbolism. To impress young women, earnest, slightly older, men would feign amazement at her performance as Wizened Crone #3, “See her in the background,” they’d say, “She’s a proxy for Stalinism,” as their girlfriends yawned and wondered if they’d be able to make last orders at the Student Union.
If Dolly was disappointed at her lot, she was enough of a pro not to let on. But with the advent of internet piracy, it became progressively harder to make a living in cinema. She tried to reinvent herself as street artist but there was no call for elderly woman personifying abstract concepts. She tried her hand as a busker on Brighton Pier but the audience tired of her meaningful silences. Destitute, she threw herself into the English Channel. Everyone who saw agreed, it was a tragic ending, but what a perfect allegory for Sebastopol.


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