“L.A. sunset glows against the old muscle car. The L.A. Girls rule this part of town with their disintegrating beauty, always balanced delicately on the edge. Neon stiletto teases the beer can on the ground which in this hazy glow sparkles like diamonds. They are owned by no-one and their freedom is carried firmly in their beatnik sneers and dark red lips. They learnt a long time ago to trust no-one and to love only this wild urban landscape.”
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The New York Times wraps around her consciousness in the harsh NYC sunlight, like cheap trash caught in a gust. If only she could be as NYC as that beautiful rag? Leather cap on and attitude to match, she cleans up the graffiti with a saintly smile. She feels at home here, down on the sidewalk, cleaning up these mean streets but she hides a deep dark secret. By day, she is the NYC Commander but at night she spray paints a new identity on these poor city walls. Drips of paint brush against her rubber mac soul as she fights two identities on these NYC streets.
She is a true NYC street fighter. But she has only one enemy.
How many moves does it take to checkmate? Three, ten, fifteen? Maybe. But what happens when you don’t even know you are playing chess anymore? You have attempted checkmate on me so many times that I lost count of the moves and the chess games played. I tried so so hard not to play chess with you. Tried to move on and let it go but you were still there with the chess board attempting to checkmate me. With all the key pieces and the centre stage, you always assumed you would checkmate me. You hounded me across the board relentlessly. For years. I always had to watch my back. Always watching the board. Always anxious. Always worried.
Then, eventually, you forgot that we were playing chess. You took your eye off the ball. You looked around for a second and I seized my chance. I took your queen and checkmated you in one move.
It took me years of chess but I finally checkmated you. I did something you never could.
He woke up with sunshine on his mind and music streaming in through net curtains. As his eyes blinked, he suddenly remembered that he was in Malibu in the middle of the afternoon and that meant only one thing. He slid open the door and stepped out into a fluorescent green lawn, light bouncing off light. He shut his eyes and started to dance and dance and dance. Malibu daylight dancing was always the best and he had forgotten how good it felt. Break dancing in the back yard, he was lost in a world of flora and fauna; a blur of hedonistic dancing joy. He was in sunny Malibu and he could forget about everything for one more day…
‘She was something of a legend over on West Hollywood. It was well known that her skills lay in predicting the future through chipped china teacups. If she liked you…
You entered her small 1930’s bungalow, past golden gilded Indian statues that stared with expressions of wonder and helpless awe. She would glide through to greet you with the haughty air of a forgotten Hollywood diva. She was breathtaking in her beauty, dark crimson lips set off by the blackest of curls. It was rumoured that she took the souls of men that she loved and encased them in gold gilt statutes, forever to admire her, forever to love her. Every man who entered her lair forgot about the rumour as soon as they stared into her dark eyes of seduction.
Beware the West Hollywood It Girl. She may tell you your fortune. Or take your soul for eternity. Her choice. Never yours.”
The blackest of woven silk was her uniform for tonight’s performance. She admired her glance in the ornate mirror in the ink room. She hastily tried to pat down spiky pixie hair but it was standing up on end. Never mind, with her translucent red mask in place, she was fully armed for the outside. And fully disguised.
She knew that her sad eyes reflected far too much, but the crimson red saturated the desolation and gave them a rouge mystery that was hard to read. And that was all she needed in order to mix in the crowd unnoticed.
Haunting eyes sought comfort in the winding cobbled street, wet with rain. This was her home and she had travelled a long way to return to this wayward place. The stepping stones were still in place, hidden well. She would know her way, even in the dark. It was designed that way. Had been for centuries before and centuries before that.
She wrapped the Grey Mask up well above her face. It would not do to be discovered on this cold day. Not here. It was far too dangerous. There was only so much that magic could save you from. There was a power in this place which threatened so much more than raw magic and the thought of it sent shivers down her spine.
Her fearful eyes were swaddled in grey lace. A lace so fine that it looked like spider’s gossamer, spun by an ancient spindle. The Grey Mask was a beautiful shield and a protection like no other.
At this moment, on this cold day, it was all she had…
She still looked more pixie than female; something not quite of this world. She tried hard to disguise the light tips of her ears but even the red mask was no match for them. Donning a black ink feather cape and pearls, she stepped out into the foray, breathing heavily.
The red mask was strangely translucent and hurt her eyes so she stopped to rip a square in it, to allow her eyes to see. Other mask wearers stared at her insolence with disgust. She was well aware that blatant insubordination was a sure sign that she was an imposter but she had to risk it. It was important that she could see properly.
She did not realise that here, in this place, this action would reveal far too much of her pixie soul. An action that she would forever regret.