This week I warmly welcome author Eleanor Prescott, who has kindly provided an extract of her second book, Could it be I’m Falling in Love?
The link is open as usual if you would like to add your own story (published or unpublished). Just follow the link at the bottom of this post. Alternatively if you would like to appear as a guest on this post, please get in touch.
In the blue-lit nightclub toilet, Roxy peered into the mirror. Several Roxys squinted back. She was a mojito or two drunker than she’d reckoned. The check list was going to be tricky tonight. She closed one eye to blot out the extra Roxys. She needed to concentrate – this was important stuff…
HAIR. Hah! She didn’t need twenty-twenty to know her hair rocked; it was blonder than vanilla ice cream! She teased the ends with her fingers – missed – and ended up teasing an earring.
MAKE UP. Tricky – but she could definitely spot some lippy in there. That was the thing about scarlet; maximum beer goggle visibility. She leaned closer to spot anything else.
Her nose bounced painfully off the glass.
Blinking, she rooted for her eyeliner and applied an extra layer. “Ifinn doubt…” she advised the empty loos.
TAN. She was loving this new Winter Clementine! Although – was it her imagination, or was the blue light tingeing her green?
TITS. Well, she could see two, so she wasn’t that drunk! She plumped them like St Tropez cushions.
“An last but not leasss…” she bent over and looked up her own skirt. This was the trickiest bit of the checklist, particularly in heels with a skin-full. Many a time she’d wobbled, head-butted porcelain and given her forehead a shiner. But, it was worth it. The mags were desperate for cellulite. Last week’s Heat had had four pages of knickers wedged into celebrity bottoms (complete with pimples arrowed in pink). It was all very funny but it had turned getting out into a taxi a minefield. Photographers used to be grateful if you smiled… now they lay on the pavement to get a shot of your arse. Personally, Roxy had no problem with her arse being in the papers – but only with apricot airbrushing. A pap-shot didn’t qualify.
At last, the check list was over. Dizzily, Roxy straightened up. She looked hot. Hotter than hot – Viagra in a mini-dress! She could see her work diary filling up already.
She pushed through the door of the ladies and strutted wobbily towards the front door of the club. This would be child’s play, she grinned. Yes, the world had partied itself stupid last night, but the smart girl-about-town partied cleverer. Today was January 1st – officially the deadest night in the celebrity calendar. And if you wanted to shine, you had to make sure you wouldn’t be eclipsed. Only amateurs partied large on a Saturday; the big guns waited for Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Just before she stepped outside she slapped on her sunglasses. She never went anywhere without shades – especially at night. In the dark, the flash of the paparazzi’s cameras was blinding. It seared your retinas so you couldn’t see straight, let alone walk straight. Even if you’d stuck to water all night – which, admittedly, in all her years of clubbing, Roxy never had, so this bit of her theory was untested – you still looked like a bleary-eyed alco. Everyone knew Roxy was a rock’n’roll kind of gal, but she fancied herself more as a young Debbie Harry than a wasted Courtney Love. Sexy rebellion was employable. One-drink-from-wipeout was not.
“Evening lads!” she greeted the waiting paparazzi and paused in the doorway for their shots. A collection of miserable looking blokes clasping Burger King coffee cups chain-smoked in the cold night.
“Slow night?” she sashayed towards them. “Cheer up! This’ll help pay the mortgage!”
She thought she heard someone snigger, but ignored it. It was tougher than it looked – smiling seductively whilst simultaneously rolling your hips, dangling your arms three inches from your body and sucking in your tummy with more force than the Hadron Collider. Roxy ignored the freezing cold (good for the nipples), and worked it for the cameras. This was what she’d come out for. She vamped everything up to 11 and channelled maximum cool sexy fun.
“Damn these glasses are good,” she thought as she strutted past the final photographer. They were so dark she could hardly see the flashes!
And then stilettos scraped as it hit her.
She couldn’t see flashes because there were no flashes.
She spun around. Her mouth fell open in disbelief. She’d just worked the pavement in a dress short enough for the top shelf. There should have been a throng of activity behind her as photographers rushed to laptops to wire their shots to the picture desks. But the night was oddly silent.
“Anyone got any sweeteners?” someone asked. “The wife reckons I need to lose a few pounds.”
Somebody tossed him a Canderel.
He slowly stirred it into his coffee. And then more silence. Roxy was incredulous. Had they even seen her? Should she go back and do her exit again?
“Who was the wino in the glasses?” someone piped up. Roxy quickly scanned the group to see whether he was important but he was sixteen and spotty – an apprentice.
“Her? Oh, just Roxy Squires.”
“Before your time, mate. She used to be a TV presenter, years back. Not worth firing any rounds for now, though. She’ll only clog up your hard drive when you’re trying to send through shots of a real celeb.”
The apprentice thought for a moment. “What a muppet, wearing sunglasses at night!” he sniggered. “Desperate, innit?”
Silently, Roxy slipped off her shades. A discarded burger wrapper whipped against her ankle. What was she doing, she thought with a sudden lucidity that sliced through the fug of the mojitos. It was 2am. She was coatless and freezing on a scuzzy London street, seventy-four miles and a ninety quid cab-ride away from her bed! Suddenly she had an overwhelming urge for her PJs. She staggered towards a mini-cab and threw herself inside.
As the cab pulled away a roar went up and the nightclub steps burst into frenzied action. The night filled with the echo of a woman’s name and the street exploded with the light of a hundred flashes. A ‘real celeb’ was leaving the club.
On the dark side of the street, Roxy shivered.
It was time for a new strategy.
Could it be I’m Falling in Love? can be purchased from Amazon in paperback, e-book and audio book format.
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