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My Fair Planet   By: (1927-2000)

My Fair Planet by Evelyn E. Smith

First Page:

My Fair Planet


Illustrated by DILLON

[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction March 1958. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: All the world's a stage, so there was room even for this bad actor ... only he intended to direct it! ]

As Paul Lambrequin was clambering up the stairs of his rooming house, he met a man whose face was all wrong. "Good evening," Paul said politely and was about to continue on his way when the man stopped him.

"You are the first person I have encountered in this place who has not shuttered at the sight of me," he said in a toneless voice with an accent that was outside the standard repertoire.

"Am I?" Paul asked, bringing himself back from one of the roseate dreams with which he kept himself insulated from a not too kind reality. "I daresay that's because I'm a bit near sighted." He peered vaguely at the stranger. Then he recoiled.

"What is incorrect about me, then?" the stranger demanded. "Do I not have two eyes, one nose and one mouth, the identical as other people?"

Paul studied the other man. "Yes, but somehow they seem to be put together all wrong. Not that you can help it, of course," he added apologetically, for, when he thought of it, he hated to hurt people's feelings.

"Yes, I can, for, of a truth, 'twas I who put myself together. What did I do amiss?"

Paul looked consideringly at him. "I can't quite put my finger on it, but there are certain subtle nuances you just don't seem to have caught. If you want my professional advice, you'll model yourself directly on some real person until you've got the knack of improvisation."

"Like unto this?" The stranger's outline shimmered and blurred into an amorphous cloud, which then coalesced into the shape of a tall, beautiful young man with the face of an ingenuous demon. "Behold, is that superior?"

"Oh, far superior!" Paul reached up to adjust a stray lock of hair, then realized he was not looking into a mirror. "Trouble is well, I'd rather you chose someone else to model yourself on. You see, in my profession, it's important to look as unique as possible; helps people remember you. I'm an actor, you know. Currently I happen to be at liberty, but the year before last "

"Well, whom should I appear like? Should I perhaps pick some fine upstanding figure from your public prints to emulate? Like your President, perhaply?"

"I hardly think so. It wouldn't do to model yourself on someone well known or even someone obscure whom you might just happen to run into someday." Being a kind hearted young man, Paul added, "Come up to my room. I have some British film magazines and there are lots of relatively obscure English actors who are very decent looking chaps."

So they climbed up to Paul's hot little room under the eaves and, after leafing through several magazines, Paul chose one Ivo Darcy as a likely candidate. Whereupon the stranger deliquesced and reformed into the personable simulacrum of young Mr. Darcy.

"That's quite a trick," Paul observed as it finally got through to him what the other had done. "It would come in handy in the profession for character parts, you know."

"I fear you would never be able to acquisition it," the stranger said, surveying his new self in the mirror complacently. "It is not a trick but a racial ableness. You see, I feel I can trust you "

" Of course I'm not really a character actor; I'm a leading man, but I believe one should be versatile, because there are times when a really good character part comes along "

" I am not a human being. I am a native of the fifth planet circulating around the star you call Sirius, and we Sirians have the ableness to change ourselves into the apparition of any other livid form "

"I thought that might be a near Eastern accent!" Paul exclaimed, diverted... Continue reading book >>

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