Wednesday, January 18, 2012

KekahJ Week 87: The Fan


Picture 1

Picture 2

KekahJ's Choice: Picture 2

The Fan

Rosalie sighed and scrubbed a hand over her face. As her fingers slid down her cheeks she opened her eyes and peered at her reflection in the mirror, watching the trail of pink the pressure from her tired fingers left behind. Tired. That was the perfect word to describe her. She felt tired from the tips of her blood red fingernails to the soles of her perfectly pedicured feet.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of the rose again and a chill ran through her. At first glance it seemed so innocent, romantic even. A single fresh red rose in a crystal bud vase. For a split second when she’d approached her vanity and saw it sitting there, she’d smiled. Until she realized who it was from. There was really only one possibility. The smile had slid from her face and her hand had trembled as she’d read the card, the simple sentences burning themselves into her brain. How had he gained access to her dressing room? She shoved the thought aside and turned to the task at hand.

The lights that rimmed the mirror seemed brighter than usual, almost brutal in their intensity. They were meant to mimic the lights on the stage, and Rosalie couldn’t help thinking that if that was true, she was in trouble. Today the lines on her face seemed more pronounced than usual and the bags under her eyes darker than normal. She glanced down at the top of her vanity. It was littered with the various cosmetics she used to create the illusion that sold out audiences nightly. She sighed and surveyed the giant cup full of brushes of all shapes and sizes before selecting the one she needed. She picked up a bottle of foundation. Pushing down her feelings of exhaustion and despair, she focused on transforming herself into her alter ego.

In the background her laptop chimed, alerting her to an incoming email. Pausing for a moment, she moved her fingers over the mouse pad and the screen hummed to life. A few clicks later and she was staring in disbelief at the email she’d received, those same simple sentences burning themselves into her brain once again. How was this possible? How had he accessed her personal email? Another chill ran through her. With a surge of anger, she slammed the laptop shut and returned to her makeup. With a trembling hand, she selected another brush and got back to work, focusing on making her breathing as even as possible as she worked.

Slowly, her face began to look a little less haggard; the circles under her eyes a little less dark as she applied layers upon layers of creams and powders. Again, her laptop chimed, but this time she ignored it. When it sounded a third time, her hand shook slightly, causing the thick line of black eyeliner to swerve slightly. She cursed under her breath as she snatched a tissue up and tried to repair the damage.

As she was affixing thick black eyelashes on top her own thin ones, her phone rang, causing her to jump slightly. After staring at the screen for a moment, she answered it. The voice on the other end was like velvet; strange and familiar all at once. She felt her heart jump into her throat as he uttered the same words that she’d stared at twice now. Pulse pounding, she slammed the phone down onto the vanity, ending the call with the push of a button. She made a note to herself to get her phone number changed first thing the next morning.

Shaken, she returned her attention to her reflection and finished applying the eyelashes. Sitting back in her seat, she examined her reflection again. It really was an amazing transformation. If only her audiences could see the difference. If only they could see what was under all the layers of make up and paint. If only they knew the real person left behind when the lights dimmed and the curtain came down.

Surrounded by the silent calm of her empty dressing room, Rosalie felt a little more calm. It wasn’t the first time she’d dealt with something like this. It would pass, just like the rest of them had. His fascination would die down, and she’d hear from him less and less until he disappeared altogether. All she had to do was ignore him.

A knock sounded at her door to remind her it was time and five minute later she was standing on stage, blinking under the bright lights. It didn’t seem to matter how many times she stood beneath their glare, she never could get used to their blinding intensity. The time went by in a blur. Before she knew it, the show was over and she was back in her dressing room. She panted slightly, a sheen of sweat coated her face and arms. She pressed a water bottle to her forehead, her eyes fluttering closed at the cool sensation.

The knock at her door puzzled her. Most of the other performers had already gone home and the cleaning crew wouldn’t be in for at least another hour. Most people knew Rosalie usually stayed late and she was very rarely disturbed after the show ended. With the frantic rush of the pre-show commotion, she revelled in the relaxed silence of the deserted theater late at night.
She called out her permission for the visitor to enter. The door swung open slowly and she stared in disbelief at her visitor. How was he here? How did he get back here? She hadn’t seen him in his usual spot in the front row tonight and she’d assumed his interest had begun to wane already.

Clearly it had not. His interest was anything but waning as he walked towards her, one hand still on the doorknob as he locked eyes with her. She heard the door click closed and something silver and shiny caught his eye as it glinted from his hand. She took a deep breath and locked eyes with him, lifting her chin in silent defiance as he moved closer to her. She had no idea what would happen, but she knew one thing for sure: she wouldn’t go down without a fight.