Purple pen, golden gloves

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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Purple pen, golden gloves

Sylvia woke up, trembling in rage, haunted by a horrific dream of yesterday’s events. Restless, she hastily rose and saw the curtains were half open. Who could open them at such an early hour? An unwelcomed visitor or sleep walking Sylvia herself?

‘It’s time ‘- she thought. She gathered all the strength she had within her and grabbed a comb from the nightstand. Slowly and with precision, Sylvia began to brush her light brown hair that fell down just above her shoulders, making a little elegant bun out of it. There was a noise in her head as the drug from the bygone day started to mess with her consciousness but Sylvia kept fighting the urge to fall back asleep. She simply could not afford to rest. She had to turn herself into a confident, beautiful woman in less than 30 minutes, the heroine of magazine covers everyone would obsess about, the product that consumers would want to obtain from the shelf before it has reached its expiration date. Sylvia was broken inside yet she knew it was her moment, when she had it all: the time she could conquer the world.

So there she was, putting together the elements of success that define a woman of 21st century: lace lingerie, sweet perfume of rose and bergamot, the mini black dress, red lipstick of a lighter shade, the golden Louboutins that matched her delicate golden gloves . The last thing to check was the old frayed Chanel purse that was lying on the nightstand. Sylvia picked up it up and opened it. There was a purple pen inside. ‘I must not forget this’– she thought to herself, zipping up the little bag.

It’s rare to find purple pens these days: there are only black or blue or red. But once you see one you know that nothing can look like purple ink.

…Walking quietly on her tiptoes, Sylvia slinked out of her room into the long corridor. It was 5 o’clock in the morning and all the other hotel rooms were still quiet and serene. The exit door in the end of the corridor was so far away that it reminded Sylvia of a tunnel she had to struggle through like in those action thrillers. The lights in the corridor were still on despite that it was an early morning and the woman could clearly see dusty and smelly shelves, doors, corners of the main hall that evoked a feeling of disgust in her. ‘I need to be out of here’ – she thought to herself, advancing closer towards the door, full of confidence and hope.

As she reached and grabbed the shabby door handle with her golden gloves that looked so perfect on her hands, giving her that pinch of charm only the women of her age were lucky to have, the air of autumn had flown into her thoughts, dissolving their essence, leaving one word behind: revenge.

Oh, hungry night! Why do you eat with your black mouth everything that has light in it? I saw you eating that beautiful woman who left the hotel at 5.06AM and caught a lonely taxy that stood beside the road near the hotel’s gates. Why do you take away the brightness of the souls?

…Sylvia entered a hall, illuminated by the grandiose lamps, pearls, tinsels and portico-style pale columns. It was an elegant chamber filled with hundreds of strangers of the night: glamorous women and alluring men of strong demeanour. A lot to choose from, however, Sylvia came with a target in mind, who was standing near the man-sized window on the opposite side of the room that was covered by large curtains embellished with snow-white crystallic designs. He saw her, she knew it. With so many people in between them that could easily measure the great size of the ballroom, just like years ago, she could feel his dark hair screaming danger, his hazel eyes revealing to her the darkest corners of her own soul’s desires – but in the end, knowing the risk, could she resist?

 Sylvia took a deep breath and began to approach the target. The mystery man did not move, continuing to chatter in a light-hearted manner to a pair of well-dressed ladies he seemed to know well yet his eyes revealed the lack of focus he displayed for their conversation: it was obvious, he was distracted by Sylvia’s figure that was moving towards him.

Step by step, closer and closer, Sylvia found herself next to the man. He touched her hand and his touch electrified her nerves and even the golden gloves could not shelter Sylvia from everything she felt.

They began dancing. The music started out slow and tender, letting dance partners to get to know each other and feel the rhythm of the music. Many other couples also started moving onto the dancing floor but all Sylvia could see were shadows of faceless people. As the music was taking up in the tempo, the shadows were becoming grey and then darker and darker, beginning to swirl in circles at high speed. She tried to look at the face of the man but she couldn’t see it as suddenly the music's melody grew deeper and faster, making Sylvia lose control and feeling her heart to become overwhelmed with hate and pain as if the music in the ballroom played in unison with the strings of Sylvia’s soul. The man spun her round and round yet his moves foreshadowed aggressive passion of Sylvia’s intentions. The man led Sylvia for the final turn as in the moment the beat changed, and Sylvia took the lead. It shocked the other dancers and the space quickly formed around Sylvia and her partner with terrified people watching the woman making her man go out of rhythm, losing herself in the mazurka-like crazy theme. She clenched his fist tight, reaching with her other hand for the purse to find the purple pen. The next thing happened was the shadows running around, bumping into each other, trying to escape the insane woman who just stabbed her dancing partner in his chest with a purple pen. No wonder they say that colours can scream.

….The doctor was surprised to see the girl fainted: he was a practising doctor for many years but he did not often get to deal with such sensitive girls. He splashed the water from his glass on her face.

The girl “awakened” from her state. She looked the doctor in the eyes: ‘Doctor, forgive me for being so stupid but are you sure this Sylvia medication will help me with the part?’

The doctor produced the sigh of relief: at least she was no longer unconscious. The doctor was used to work with young actresses, all you need is to convince them that they can do it all. It’s the reality of the medical practice in the Valley, you need to go extra mile beyond what you normally do in your field with the new actors on the rise.  

‘Listen, sweetie, – said the doctor –All Sylvia can do to you is to relax you a little, maybe sometimes you get the side effect of a dream but they are very short, it’s like a boost of confidence. And for that part you need to play, just think of yourself as a femme fatale, just for that little moment. You play your part, you kill the guy in the scene – done deal. It’s not real now, is it? No, it’s just a scene from the movie. You will be brilliant, I am sure’

‘I do know nothing is real here – the young actress sighed – I just don’t know if this role is for me…if I could ever be that woman and do the things she does, think the way she does’

The phrase was extremely familiar to the doctor: so many young actresses said it to him before. This phrase could only mean one thing: in 6 months, the little rising star would crash down from the clouds and be out of the game, crying to him as if he was her dearest friend (actors do think that doctors are so keen to listen about their problems), packing her bags to go home and give up on the dream of eternal fame. Another flower that was too compassionate to realise the cold reality that acting is just another business. But it’s not like a purple pen can ever be blue, not even with Sylvia that is placebo anyway, the doctor thought, looking into the girl’s eyes that begged him to give her a glimpse of hope, an ounce of reassurance.

‘Trust me…you will do great. Don’t you believe me? At least, believe in yourself…Come on now. For the medication, have three drops two times a day and put yourself to sleep before taking it. As I said, it might give you weird dreams but by the time, your confidence will improve…Now, go on, you can do it, seize it, go on…oh and leave the door open, let the other girl that was waiting after you know that she can come inside now’.


Submitted: December 18, 2015

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