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Fiction: Paris Hilton Lectures On Dickens And Dostoevsky

July 29, 2008

ETA: This story was originally for a contest challenging the writer to take a title from a piece of spam and write a story to go with it.

She nervously shuffled her note cards. After dozens of reinventions, she finally had a chance to show that she wasn’t really a blonde bimbo. Model, movie star, musician… that wasn’t really her. She was a well read Vanity Fair, the tiny leather Persuasion in her bag, and moleskin notebooks filled with short stories and poetry.

Modeling was the original problem. She went from book nerd to New York’s Leading It Girl, the star of a romantic tale. But her hero was instead a video camera villain. After that, everything seemed to go wrong.

The arrests had finally woken her up. She realized she didn’t need another reinvention. She needed to go back to the real her. The geeky girl buried in her books.

So here she was, about to lecture at a prestigious literary conference. Daddy had pulled lots of strings for this and the crowd was mostly gawkers and paparazzi. But she’d show them.

Her thesis was on media’s corruption of celebrities, supported by Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and Dickens’ Hard Times, both heavy on temptation and the ruin of the soul. She hoped it might speak to young women like her, lost in this modern world.

The speaker finished her introduction, scorn in her voice. “And now… Paris Hilton!”

The audience clapped politely. Paris approached the podium, head held high, heels clicking sharply. She had dressed carefully, hoping that modesty would earn her a little respect. Light make-up, sensible pants, and hair in a bun. She thought she looked educated and well read.

Facing the crowd, she realized that didn’t matter. Only her words could help her now. She shuffled her cards again, and began.

“In each new era, society finds itself facing new challenges. To our hearts, our minds, and even our very souls. Thousands of books have been written…”

“Take off your shirt!”

Paris stuttered, shocked. The audience was tittering quietly. She tried to see who had shouted, but the room was growing restless. She was going to lose them if she didn’t hurry.

“Thousands of books have been written expressing the grief of the author at the changes being wrought…”

“Slut!”

“Bimbo!”

“Racist!”

The hostile audience threw insults like bullets. She tried to start again, but was drowned out by a sudden roar. Cameras glittered like fireworks.

She looked down, seeking the strength to begin again. The note cards blurred once, twice, then popped into crystal clarity. The tear fell, blurring the ink and destroying her hard work.

So this was it, she thought. This was her life. She hadn’t lost this audience. She’d never had them. She’d lost them a long time ago, before she even knew she wanted them.

Fuck it.

She looked up, glaring defiantly into the audience. Then she ripped her shirt off over her head, and threw it into the wildly cheering mob. She turned on her sensible heels, and stormed off the stage.

At least she had earned this bit of fame.

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