It was a remarkable outfit

The zip slid up the back of the dress smoothly and effortlessly, like a knife cutting through cream.

 

The assistant stepped back, and she leaned forward to examine herself in the dressing room mirror.

 

She ran a tongue over her teeth – large, even and white. Turquoise eyeshadow glittered when she blinked, heavy eyelashes fluttering like black butterflies.

 

'You look amazing!' said the assistant.

 

'Thank you, darling.' She slung out the response with no emotion, apparently without even thinking about it – a casual line she threw over her shoulder.

 

'They are waiting for you.'

 

She nodded, and followed the assistant into a long, bare corridor. Naked fluorescent bulbs buzzed overhead as they walked along, her heels ringing out on the concrete floor.

 

Finally, the assistant turned and pushed open a door marked No Exit.

 

The roar of a crowd, pressed in around a barrier, blew in like a hurricane.

 

Her heart was thrumming in her throat, and her veins were pumping with what felt like white ice.

 

But, regardless, she walked forward and emerged through the doorway. Like jumping into a cold lake, the initial shock wore off as she quickly acclimatised.

 

Her smile was like the flash of a thousand bulbs. Something about her presence set the air alight with twinkling, wobbling stars as she faced a forest of autograph books and phones thrust out towards her.

 

'Who shall I make it out to, sweetheart?'

 

As she took hold of a pen and inclined to hear a name screamed into her ear, she thought about how much more comfortable she would have been in her slippers...

 

Pearl