Friday, August 5, 2011

Third (write anything challenge, August 5)

Hi all, this is my two cents for a writing prompt site. Hope you enjoy.

Julie walked into a room full of people. Everything went uncomfortably silent and all eyes narrowed in on her. She crossed the room, taking a seat at the hair and make-up station in the far corner. Sure, don’t talk about this week’s casualty in front of her, she thought. Georgia gave Victoria a smirk and a wink, implying the Julie-bashing would continue at a later time. Hair stylists and make-up artists scurried around the stations. She could hear the crowd through the walls; she could envision the leggy blond hostess in the wings, preparing to commence the show. The dreaded elimination show. Three girls remained. Georgia: a quirky dancer and crowd favorite since the start of the season. The tough childhood neighborhood, the abandonment from her father, the face of overwhelmed graciousness... how could the audience NOT vote for her? Then there was Victoria. Not Vickie. She was not a Vickie. She started dancing at three, no, in diapers… or was it while she was in the womb? Ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, she’s been trained in them all. What is she now? Contemporary, naturally. She danced a hip-hop routine this week that Julie hoped would finally show a sign of weakness. Of course not. She aced it. The judges loved her. The crowd loved her. Julie was certain the voters at home loved her too. She never performed hip-hop before. Her skills were superhuman.

Victoria asked Georgia in a mutter which of two dance outfits would be a better choice for the finale show. Georgia gave her a ‘not in front of Julie’ face. At least Georgia was still humble. Julie felt her skills were par to Georgia but Julie had not once received the same level of praise from the judges. The head judge declared Georgia his favorite. Julie was never a favorite. She had outlasted seven other girls since the show began, hundreds in the pre-show cuts and tens of thousands in the initial auditions. She should be happy to have come as far as she had. Millions of Americans have helped her get this far. The week before the finals. And here she sat in the company of the two that would best her tonight. Victoria, incredible. Georgia, unstoppable. Julie, vulnerable.

Applause raised then diminished as the blond spoke her first greeting to the audience. In moments, the three girls would be called to the stage. Julie felt like she were preparing for her own execution.

Georgia hugged Julie, “you look beautiful.”

“Thanks,” Julie feigned a smile.

Victoria offered a consoling rub of Julie’s shoulder, “I hope we can still be friends after tonight.”

“Of course, Victoria. Always!” I hope you fall off a bridge, Victoria.

A rap on the door preceded a disembodied male voice. “Ladies, you’re up.”

“Good luck,” Georgia said.

“Break a leg,” Victoria added.

Julie walked in silence. A theater of thousands, several cameras, and the blond host came into view. She squinted as beaming lights of the stage met her eyes. Lights that would highlight every tear that would soon roll down her cheeks.