Mya adjusted the red dress for what could have been the hundredth time. She shifted her shoulders so the fabric touched in all the right places. Now it was simply a matter of staying in exactly that pose so she would look perfect when she made her grand entrance. Not that Mya wanted everyone looking at her. There was only one person whose gaze she cared about.
On the mirror-screen was a news article Mya had dragged off her phone. It showed a picture of SNM at the premier to her latest film. The actress was wearing a deep green trouser suit, her long black hair flowing freely over both shoulders. On one side it was tucked behind an ear, an emerald earring caught the flashes from the paparazzi. Large images of her movie hung behind her; stills of SNM wielding a sword as if she had trained to be a ninja all her life.
There had been many actors and actresses in Mya’s life. It happened like that when your parents were directors. Throughout her teenage years Mya had grown used to lavish parties, coming home from school to find someone famous sat by the pool or reading on a gossip site about events that had happened at her house. Not once had she been star struck. That was until now.
Sara Niomi Mason, SNM to everyone, was different. A couple of years older than Mya, she became a film star at the age of twelve and Mya had been in love with her ever since. Ten years later and her feelings had not changed, no matter how hard she had tried to ignore them. The two had never met, but this year SNM had broken into the action genre and so she had been invited to the studio party being held tonight. When Mya walked downstairs the actress she had dreamed about for all these years would be there. A mix of excitement and nerves was making her feel queasy.
“You look stunning,” Mya told herself. “She’ll want to talk to you as soon as she sees you.”
The words pushed away the nagging doubts Mya had. They helped steady her stomach. She let her gaze settle once more on the news article. Her eyes lingered on the picture before dropping to the quote below.
‘SNM has said this was her most enjoyable film to date. A source quoted her as saying, “What really gave me a thrill were all those extras dressed as merpeople; who can resist a pair of webbed feet?”’
Mya took a deep breath and turned towards the door. It was not until she was at the top of the sweeping staircase that she stopped. The sounds of the party drifted up. They were comforting, something she had grown up with. The conversations merged into a low buzz. Music drifted into the house from the speakers placed around the pool.
Mya plucked at the fabric on her shoulder one last time, making a pointless adjustment to her dress, then she set one foot on the stairs and started to descend. There was no turning back now. She knew if she stopped she would lose her nerve. Not for the first time did she wish she had taken a stimulant to help overcome her nerves.
Halfway down the stairs, just before they turned back on themselves and reached out to touch the ground floor, Mya heard SNM’s voice. The sound made her heart race. In her stomach the butterflies became more agitated.
Two more steps and words became clear. Mya used the handrail to keep her steady.
“That film’s raised your profile, if nothing else,” someone said. A male voice. Not one Mya recognised.
“Oh, for sure.” The slightly nasal East coast tones of SNM.
“The gossip hacks certainly loved the quotes you were dropping. I don’t read those sites but the copy was everywhere.”
Light, sweet laughter. “Oh, those. I wouldn’t believe everything you read.”
“You mean you’re not into fish people whose fingers and toes are joined?”
“Yuk! No! I’d love to know which douche bag started that one. You don’t know how many fans have had webbing done just to impress me.”
Mya stopped. One more step and she would be able to see the partygoers. Her eyes dropped to where her hand grasped the stair rail; white knuckles set in sun kissed skin. The webbing between her fingers stood out against the white marble of the banister. Tiny pink scars could still be seen where the work the cosmetic clinic had done earlier that day was still healing.
29 October 2010
A new species of snub-nosed monkey has been discovered in Myanmar. The animal has unusual upturned nostrils that fill with water when it rains. This causes sneezing and so the monkeys spend wet days sitting with their heads between their legs.
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