—–She was late. It had taken a year to get into the shape she needed to be in for someone, anyone, to hire her for any fashion shows. She hadn’t eaten for nearly a week just to prepare for Nomeda’s show. ‘It was all right,’ she thought, ‘I hardly have enough money to feed my baby, he needs food more than me.’
—–After a long drink from her water bottle, she entered the back door to the dressing rooms. Mirrors, costumes, flesh, and the smell of chemicals; normal things infiltrated her senses. She hurriedly looked for an open beauty station, but couldn’t find one.
—–“Dreana! You’re late,” Nomeda called.
—–She rushed across the room, “I’m sorry! The babysitter was in traffic. It won’t happen again!”
—–“You’re a broken record. That foul beast at home is a problem!” Nomeda accused before continuing, “I have something special for you. Come.”
—–Nomeda disappeared into the wardrobe room, and Dreana had no choice but to follow. ‘At least she seems to be letting me walk,’ she thought dejectedly. “Shouldn’t I be getting my face ready?” She asked, confused, as they made their way through one abstract outfit after another.
—–Nomeda laughed, seemingly more to herself, “Don’t worry about makeup.”
—–Dreana felt the malicious raised corner lip of Nomeda’s wrinkled face. The room grew darker being away from the hanging lights in the center as they approached the far corner. She shivered, not because of the temperature. Nomeda had scared her from the moment that she had her interview with her. Nomeda was the only one to hire her, though, and more importantly, pay her so she could keep her son fed and housed. Nomeda’s deep inset eyes turned to her as she stopped, hollow sockets with black orbs for eyes.
—–Displayed in front of Dreana, alone, away from all the other outfits, hung a dark maroon dress with a white cowl. A side table showed a solitary wooden mask, the grain of the wood spiraling from each cheek into the empty holes where eyes should be. Bone white spikes, a quarter the size of her little finger, curved down towards the chin of the mask, evenly spaced along each edge and where lips would be.
—–Nomeda motioned to a chair next to the side table. Dreana sat, shying away from the monstrous mask displayed next to her. Distracted by the mask she, for the first time, noticed she was at a beauty station next to the side table.
—–“Put it on,” Nomeda said, her nasty smile having faded into a frown seemingly drawn down with anchors that hung to the floor.