Day 25 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Lucky by Britney Spears
Shannon: “You’ve won the lottery of lives my friend,” Jack observed as he brushed his hand down a rack of clothes inside my huge walk-in closet. “I envy your world,” he moaned dramatically. He was still the same guy I knew in high school. If I was still the same girl from high school, maybe we would have reunited sooner.
“Trust me, you don’t want my life,” I shook my head.
“Are you kidding me? I know you deal with a lot of crap, but itsn’t it worth getting everything you ever wanted,” he put up his arms to display the enormity of my place.
I sat down on the couch, “I thought it was what I wanted, because I thought everything about this would make me happy. People love me, people listen to me, I have a job that people respect, and I have more money than I know what to do with. Being honest, that person who has-it-all isn’t even me. She’s not real. She’s just a shell,” I felt lifeless as I told the truth, as if it didn’t matter to keep it hidden.
“But you seem like you’re being so real on camera,” Jack sat down next to me, calmer and willing to hear me out.
I huffed, “Yeah with my fake celebrity boyfriend who I only have because I told the guy I actually love to take a hike, pretending he never mattered to me at all. I walk on eggshells in every interview trying to remember what I can and cannot say. I wear outfits that I hate and protest against, but in the end it’s never my decision. I’m not just criticized by strangers, no I’m criticized everyday by people who are looking out for my career,” I ranted, releasing it all as if he were my shrink. “And worst of all I never see you anymore,” I broke down. “You were my best friend. I could tell you anything. It’s been four years and I never got back to you.”
He shrugged, trying to hide how much I’d hurt him. “It’s ok. You’ve been busy,” he looked away.
“I’ve been ashamed,” I corrected. “And you didn’t even get mad at me. It’s like I’m not even worth your real emotions anymore.” I bit my bottom lip as I wiped my eyes.
He thought for bit, leaving us to sit in silence. Then he furrowed his brow and scowled. “You bitch, you think you’re too good for your friends,” he spoke through his teeth.
I immediately cry-smiled. “What was that?” The way he said it sounded so ridiculous, especially coming from his mouth.
“Did it make you feel better?” He started smiling proudly.
“Yeah a little,” I nodded.
He smiled bigger. “Maybe you’re still in there then,” he pointed with a flick of his wrist, and I believed him.
Erin: “I quit,” she screamed threating my entire career.
“You can’t quit being a famous singer,” I argued.
“I never asked for this and I don’t like this,” she ripped off her $1655 gown in a fit of rage.
“You don’t know how lucky you have life,” I rolled my eyes ready to storm out.
“I had a normal life, I had normal friends, I was happy at one point. Don’t act like I am an idiot,” a tear dripped out of her eye and I realized she was actually serious.
“You have friends, I’m a friend,” I tried to make up for my harsh reaction.
“You’re my employee, I pay you. I pay for everything that makes everyone jealous. No matter how much things and people I buy, they don’t bring me any joy.” I would have been insulted, but I just felt sorry for her.
If Britney Spears can’t inspire you to write… I don’t know what will?
A woman stared at me through the mirror; her wavy auburn hair was pinned up in a perfect bun atop her head with extensions trickling down like a waterfall over her shoulder. Where any normal person would have hidden the fact that she was pale as a ghost she painted every scrap of skin showing with ivory powder and ringed her eyes with silver and black. This total goddess wore onyx-coloured contact lenses to keep up the terrifying charade while her dress, a torn and burnt Victorian laced gown, made her look like she stepped out of a grave.
She carefully adjusted the long, filigree gloves with intricately slit seams to expose her white skin. At her throat her ruby pendant glowed in the brightly lit bedroom, extenuated by the long tear from her collar of her dress. Tilting her head she leaned in to apply more blood red lipstick and checked her pallor up close.
When the final preparations were completed and she was pleased with her appearance she knocked on the ornate wrought iron door lightly. The gentleman, who happens to be her legal husband Zak, cracked it open a smidge. Peering inside, he frowned with his entire body and hastily slipped into the room. As the door creaked shut the man sighed dramatically, grabbing my hand to whisk me back to the terrifying woman in the mirror.
Twirling me to face him roughly, his sweaty palms slipping about my shoulders, he breathed, “Jeeze, Tess, why can you not get this right? They’re gonna eat us alive if we don’t at least get rid of these bags under your eyes.” His fingers handed me the tiny compact as he went to work searching for my wedding ring. Seething, he roared in his customarily muted tone, “Where the hell is your damn ring?”
Slowly I turned to see his handsome features red and blotchy. I resisted the strong urge to laugh and pointed, “In the little ring box there. I took it off for my swim.” When he dropped the ring in my gloved palm, a sizable ruby in an exquisitely ornate silver setting, I sighed and slipped it on my bare ring finger. There was something very silly about cutting holes in clothing to show just what you wanted to, but the public couldn’t get enough of it.
I took one last look at the wealthy woman in the mirror before Zak was ushering me out the door and into the brightly lit hallway. At eye level, the great chandelier was aglow with a million sparkling lights over dozens of guests who milled around in our marble foyer. Casually I linked my arm through Zak’s and he strode toward the stairs, my legs half a pace behind him. When we arrived at the top of the ebony treads a few keen observers noticed us, hushing their conversations.
As we took our first step down the staircase the lights all around the room dimmed unperceptively and by the time we reached the bottom shinning step, along with a deathly silence falling on the previously raucous guests, we were in half darkness. This was the big entrance they craved, they of my adoring public.
We made our way along the usual path, through the gilded dining room, across the immense living room and through the secret door hidden behind the bookcase. Through that entire journey the house was in a sort of dreamlike state with the dim lights, an ominous piano and violin soundtrack playing faintly from the corners, and the two of us acting like we were alone in our breathtaking house.
Once we’d made it to the safe confines of the secret room we waited; another appearance was due with me, playing the character of famous actress Tess O’Malley, wandering around until we found one of my fashionable assistants. Casually I would convince her to return to our room with us and the crowd wouldn’t see her again. It always turned into a great production; occasionally they even made me wear fake teeth. For this town it wasn’t enough that I was an amazing actor (debatable), I also had to be terribly special in some way.
Sipping on a goblet of white wine I rested against the panelled wall to gaze out the window; we looked down on the city, lights twinkling like stars caught in the net of streets. As I relaxed hands encircled my waist and breath whispered past my ear. Hair fluttering lightly I moved to put the glass down and turned on the owner of the hands. A pout reached his lips as the light above the oak door buzzed faintly.
I swore under my breath, fitted my features with a bored expression and nodded to the man I barely knew. When he opened the door I stepped through, my stiletto boots echoing around the room, and we padded forward at a wedding march pace. Somewhere in the crowd someone screamed when we reached my assistant; all eyes were on us as we conversed benignly. After we’d convinced her to come back to our room, me staring ravenously at her neck and Zak holding me back, we ascended the staircase and entered my room.
Outside in the house the hush would have lifted, the music would be rising steadily to get the party going again and people would be gossiping about what they thought was happening. Somewhere in the crowd my other assistants would be giggling and crowing about how they’d seen me drain a fan of blood just for looking at my wrong. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate everything people did for me, but my manager went a little far sometimes.
Occasionally we’d switch up the stunt, though, and in a little while the assistant would sprint, screaming, through the house with fake blood gushing from her neck for all the guests to see. There was major coverage whenever the press thought I’d hurt someone but the one time we tricked them into thinking I’d killed one of my guests was the best. After three weeks of suspicious front-page photos they’d basically given me a public pass; they didn’t believe I’d killed anyone but they couldn’t prove it.
Having a badass on the books made my manager very happy, even if I did take on acting roles that attempted to sabotage that. Behind the scenes I seemed to be this glorified villain who threw enormous galas in her gorgeous mansion on the hill but in front of the camera I’d played a superhero, a Nobel Prize winner and Juliet in a Shakespeare remake.
Back in the room, my assistant was changing out of the drab attire of a businesswoman and into a slinky gold dress. She didn’t even want to be at the party; she had a date scheduled for half an hour ago so she slipped out the backdoor and was gone. Before I could thank my husband he’d stalked through the closet and into his rooms. The commandment would have been false anyway, I didn’t want to do any of this stuff. It was his job to make sure I did, whether he wanted to or not.
Deliberately I removed any trace of Tess O’Malley; her expensive clothes, her perfect hair, her alabaster makeup, her bloody jewelry and, lastly, her wedding ring.
When Tess was finally gone I flopped back on my king-sized bed in sweats and a tank to check my phone like any normal person. I’d received eighteen messages from my real friends. All of them were at a concert I’d desperately wanted to go to, but lately I hadn’t been able to do anything at all. Gradually it dawned on me, after reading all the amazing comments about this concert, that lately was four years ago.
Four years ago a young woman named Tess had come out here with lofty dreams to become a superstar actress, marry a hot guy and live in a spectacular mansion. But after actually achieving all those goals I realized the Tess that had made that terrifying journey had died and been replaced with a vampire who just did exactly what her manager told her to. Tess didn’t live to see herself succeed.
“Mr. Murphy? How are you feeling?” A soothing electronic voice gently whispered. Groggily I open my eyes to a pink robotic sphere with a singular warm ember eye. “You took a nasty fall when walking down the stairs. Doctor Valentine wants you to wait for him first so he’s scheduled to have an appointment with you.”
“DAMN IT!” I sprung forward from my cot, white velcro straps holding me down. “I just stepped out of the door when…when…” I was in the hospital bed from last night. White plastic veils divided me and my patient that slept beside me. The wallpapers were painted a ghastly pale lemon yellow. A bulky ancient tv hung in the corner of the room.
“There, there it’s all right. I will put on the TV for you while you wait. Doctor Valentine will be with you shortly.” The TV flashed on; the set of some over budgeted film studio and cheering audience blared through. “Their interviewing Lucky Starlight, oh she is so talented!” The electronic nurse chirped as it floated away to the other patient.
“Hey wait! I don’t want to watch this.” I crane my neck to look at it but the…robot nurse? Yeah, robot nurse, didn’t notice me. I begrudgingly craned back to watch the TV. The set was over garnished with genuine leather chairs, a royal violet background and what I can only assume was also real wooden floors. Geeze, all that stuff must be at least a small fortune with tariffs and exchange rates taken into consideration.
The show host, a woman of mid adulthood who didn’t look a day past twenty-three, waved excitedly to her audience. “HellooohoOh everyone! Tonight, on Cathedral Live we’re going to interviewing the fabulous Lucky Starlight who is the house right now!” The audience’s excitement was palatable. I morosely sunk back into my cot bed prison and watched with feverish disinterest. The spokeswoman continued. “Also, tonight we have Peterson Graves of New Age international to talk about their recent operations to help with the boarder worlds with a new partnership with Greensafe interplanetary!” The crowd’s response was muted but they applauded regardless.
The door opened and whom I assumed was Doctor Valentine stepped in. A disheveled mop of oak hair and a recently clean shave chin were the first things I’ve noticed. He dragged a stool nosily on the ground before parking right in front my bed. “Your Mr. Murphy?” He asked. He took a sip out of his water bottle before clipping it back on his waist. “That has to be the most fitting name I’ve seen in awhile.” He took a clipboard hanging from the wall and started jolting notes down. “Leaves the hospital without getting accustomed to his new prosthetics and falls down a flight of stairs because of it.”
I groaned. “That’s supposed to mean?” I glared at this doctor as the Lucky Starlight walked onto the stage on the TV screen.
“Oh nothing.” He lifted the covers and whistled at my new legs. He whistled. “That is some nice improvements, how much did you have to cough up for them?” He jolted another note down. “You didn’t agree to that new offer, right?”
My heart raced. “What do you mean?” I asked hoping for a convenient answer.
“There’s a minimum five-year term agreement and you have to become a part time employee here to help train new doctors and test operations.” He rose his hand up. “If it helps, I think your in a shitty situation. Just think about the pay you’ll get you’ll get through this all right.” The cheery interview of Lucky’s voice chimed unironically as I gaped silently at my situation. “I’ve already had that nurse bot check on your vitals and you’ve suffered a minor concussion from the fall. I’m prescribing a one-month adjustment period to see if your body accepts your new implants.”
“Accepts?” Oh no please do not screw me over again. I turned back to the TV, tuning out the doctor’s advice as I fixated on the interview. I speak half attentively. “I have work to go to, my boss wants me in tomorrow.”
“He’s probably fired you.” Valentine cut off my wishful thinking. “They always do that once an accident happens.” He turned to look at the TV. “To be honest you’re probably doing a lot better than Lucky.” He leaned back on his stool as the dreadfully cheery interview continued.
I shook my head. “Considering I have you as a doctor I don’t think so.” I tugged at my restraints as I tried to break free.
Valentine laughed. “Allot of my patients say that as they walk out of the hospital.” He unamusedly looked at the Velcro straps holding me down. “I also think you’re exactly qualified to say that either.” He got up from his stool and wrote down a final note before leaving the clipboard on the wall beside me. “Well that was a good check up. You’ll be starting rehab tomorrow then.” He started over to the other patient beside.
“Hey Doctor Valentine!” My voice alot louder than I intended. “When you said I was better off than Lucky, what the heck was that supposed to mean?”
Doctor Valentine turned to me sadly. “Nothing. Nothing really. I prefer Doctor Valen personally.” He pointed a thumb at the patient beside me. “I’ve got another five hundred to go before to shift is over. Rest up okay?” He walked off and greeted my fellow captive.
I turn back to the show playing on the TV as Lucky and the show host continued to chat. The show host leaned forward in interest. “What was it like to break up with Terry West? The magazines have been raving about you two for the last month! It is the biggest thing to happen since John Drywall became the first ever actor to portray life as a modified. What is it like?”
Lucky did her best to smile cheerfully. I could see how plastic that smile was. Looking over her it was obvious there was something akin to a supernatural beauty about her. Holy damn is she hot. Flowing copper hair with the clearest ocean eyes I never thought I would see. Now only if I was that handsome. Still, I watched with curious interest as Lucky replied politely as she could to the show host. “Oh! Um, it was unexpected for sure. I was not really prepared for him to break up with me.” She brushed her hair back, glancing off stage at something. “I…I’ve been finding ways to deal with it.”
The crowd “oooed” as the show host smiled ravenously. She gasped dramatically. “OH my! What sort of ways have you been getting over break up?” She drummed the side of her chair in anticipation. “Come on now girl, spill out for us! We want to know more!” She turned back to the audience. “This already turning into one of the best nights we had so far am I right?” The audience cheered in pitched excited screams as Lucky shifted uncomfortably in her chair. The host continued. “So, what you been doing? Getting busy lately with those gorgeous aphrodition hips dancing away at the clubs?” Lucky was visibly squirming when I turned away.
I whispered to myself. “Give her a break. Geeze. How the hell does a show like that even run?”
Lucky spoke up. “Look I have to go, it’s getting late.” It was at once followed up the booing of the crowd. I turned back in time to her storming away as security escorted her off set.” I could only watch the show with distain when the robotic sphere hovered back to my bed. It hummed unaware of what just happened.
The sphere spoke up. “I’d be so jealous of her. Everyone I’ve spoken to wish they had her looks!” She hummed a lullaby absently. “So many parents pay to have their kids to be as beautiful as her!” She hoovered out of the room.
I quietly tell myself to never ask to never my own child a curse like that.
Author’s notes: This is one of my first attempts of handling something like this. I think I’ve overdone certain aspects and I’ll admit the part where the show starts to turn on Lucky really made me queasy. If anyone is reading I’d like to have some feedback as to how I could handle subject matter. I want to tackle big topics and I want to make sure I test the waters with anyone who is reading.
I know Kayt would be fine but for anyone unaccustomed to our stories, they can range from fruit juice to hard alcohol.
I think Mr.Murphy’s comments would probably make sense as it seamed realistically tame. I would like to eventually crack open some of the harder drinks and see where everyone stands. I personally think such topics are natural uranium mines of knowledge but are poisonous to handle without the proper precautions. Tell me I am horrible bellow or something bellow, I’m all open ears. – Russell
Created to Write:
Heather wakes up, the rooster not even up yet. She brushes her hair as she finds her clothes for the day. She pulls her hair into the braided bun. She switches her pj cotton pants for jeans. She stares at her metal foot, then tugs on the plaid shirt and vest. Her hat is snug on her head. She grabs a quick bite from the lonely kitchen, then tugs on her boots and goes out to the stable. She walks over, the sunrise coming over the forest.
She’s wanted this for a long time. She’s finally home, with her family and her farm. She’s so different, but she finally got what she wants. She tells herself that until she reaches the stable.
She walks in, her footsteps slowing. Her metal leg makes a louder noise on the ground. She leans against the post between two stalls.
‘If this is all I wanted,’ she asks, ‘then why am I not happy?’
Heather looks at Blaze, who nickers sleepily at her head. Heather nickers back, then gets to work on leading the horses outside. She gets to Atlas, and pauses. He looks sad, and motions with his head to the door she came from, not the one that leads to the pasture.
Heather sighs, knowing what she’s missing, “I know,” she whispers, “I miss him too.”
(Not exactly a girl from Hollywood, but it still fits, right?)