Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reflections

Staring in the mirror at the wrinkles forming on her forehead and around her eyes, she suddenly remembered the tales her father had told her. She had just thought of them as silly ghost stories as a child, but now they were one final hope. Even after sleeping with three star-struck casting directors, the best she could do was a walk-on part. She needed something, anything, to keep going.

He was surprisingly easy to find. She located him hiding from the sun in the sewers under Paris. He had only wanted to be found and put out of his misery, but he agreed to her pleas; he had seen her movies, too. It was much gentler than she had expected and far less erotic. When she woke, it was dark. She was cold, afraid, and covered in sewage, but alive in ways she couldn't describe.

A few calls to and old director friend got her a visitor's pass. A quick trip to the leading lady’s trailer, a muffled scream, a splash of blood, and the same old friend begged for her help. Of course she would step into the part and save the production. Of course she could start right away. She was a quick study and her radiant beauty calmed the fears of the producers.

The dailies had came back blurred in every shot of her and she remembered that cameras and production equipment needed to reflect light to focus the image properly. Later, shattering every mirror in her dressing room that she realized it was worse than that. Her memorabilia was ruined. Videotapes of her old films showed static whenever she was on screen; her Playbills were blurred on every page where she appeared.

In tears, she called her father; it took him ten minutes to remember he even had a daughter. The next day, he hung up on her, thinking it was a prank call.

The sunlight didn’t burn, but she wasn't surprised. Nothing about her transformation went like the old stories said. Instead, she found herself quickly aging in the cool dawn light. By ten o’clock, she looked fifty. By noon, she was eighty. Gritting her remaining teeth, she prayed for the strength to stay on the park bench.

If there was a God, she would be dead by three.

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