Happy Tuesday! Please welcome this week’s guest judge for 5 Minute Fiction, Felicia York, a New York City make-up artist and writer. We had only a few entries tonight, so Felicia opted to choose three finalists instead of our usual five. And here they are:
And now…the finalists’ entries:
Michael D. Hansen
“So, Janey Jane, are you having fun at the party?”
“Don’t fucking call me Janey, Richard. It’s best if you just leave me alone tonight – I’m known to be dangerous on Halloween. Ask Sean’s balls, if you don’t believe me.”
“Oh Janey, do you have designs on MY balls?”
Jane looked him up and down, glitter scintillating off of Richard’s pale skin as he smirked under his Robert Pattinson hair. Richard was pretty to begin with, but the effeminence was glaring with the Twilight garb. “I’ll let you know if it ever looks like you get some of them.”
“Oh Janey Janey Janey… Just because you haven’t seen them doesn’t mean they aren’t real. You may not believe in them, but they believe in you. What are you supposed to be anyway? Some sort of Helena Bonham Carter lost in the woods?” He wrapped an arm around her, his hand less-than-accidentally brushing against her slightly-visible cleavage.
She wheeled away from him, eyes shooting daggers as he froze in the fire of her wrath. His eyes grew wide as she advanced on him, before they grew still in fright. She gave him a nudge and he tipped over, shattering. She was determined to look the part of the rubble pile that most closely resembled his head in the eye. “No,” she snarked as she brushed stone dust off of her shoes. “Medusa.”
She was determined to look the part of the devoted sister. Standing at the alter, clutching two bouquets, she smiled wide. Underneath the ugly yellow taffeta, her heart thumped feebly and began to splinter.
She’d known this was coming. She’d had seven months to prepare for this. She thought she had.
The photographer click-clicked away, his lens pointed straight at her. She forced her spine to stretch tall, forced herself to keep smiling. She shifted on her gold stiletto heels–they were uncomfortable, and clashed horribly with the dress, but she wore them like squished toes and aching arches would atone for her sins.
Looking at him, it wasn’t so hard to smile. Looking past the layers of white tulle, she could pretend the adoring look on his face was aimed at her, that the tear that slid its way down his cheek was for her.
If she just pretended her sister wasn’t standing between her and the love of her life, she could be happy.
His eyes met hers for just one moment. Flickering across her face before he focused again on his bride.
And that’s all she was. That one moment. That one tipsy-sloppy kiss, before he met her sister and fell head over heels, taking her heart crashing to the ground with him.
Hair, dress, make-up. It all had to be perfect.
No mistakes. No going back.
She was determined to look the part of the rich widow. It was the chance of a lifetime, a one of a kind opportunity, and he had chosen her.
Not just chosen her, but selected her, groomed her, rehearsed with her until she knew the look, the walk, the talk, and every nuance. She had practiced every waking second, even out in public, parks, the library, even restaurants. She had fooled them all.
But today, today was the big day. The grand performance.
One last look in the mirror (he did demand perfection, with good reason) and now it was time. She had to be at the bank precisely at 2 o’clock. She left her crumbling apartment, for the last time.
Her part was simple really. Fool the manager into thinking she was a rich widow, and make sure to be in the vault with the manager right at 2:20.
That’s when her man would show up.
And when they were done cleaning out that bank, they would jet off into the sunset and never be seen again.
Congratulations to the finalists! The prize du jour: the winner gets a copy of Felicia York’s novel Counter Girls:
Delve into the secret world of the makeup artists that work at your favorite brand at the largest department store in NYC. Kelly, Lexie and Pilar are in various stages of their careeer but face a monument of drama in love and lipstick. Sweet Southern belle Kelly tries to live her happily ever after with the love of her life. She believes she has it all together but one mistake unravels the life she’s trying to build completely. Was it self-sabotage or just plain circumstance that left her alone picking up the pieces? Liable Lexie always plays by the rules but when she tries for a promotion, she realizes that nice girls finish last and decides to play to win. If she thought climbing the ladder was tough, finding a boyfriend in NYC is even tougher. Once she finds out just how ugly the beauty industry can get, she plays by her own rules to get the job and the man. Poisonous Pilar, the twelve-year veteran, thinks she’s the puppetmaster behind the scene. As she faces the fact that she’s only getting older and the new artists are only getting younger, she finds herself looking over her life and realizes the pretty wall she’s put up around her has cracks in it and eventually comes tumbling down. She must ask herself if she is willing to leave behind the life she has to pursue the life she really wants. Counter Girls reveals the secret life of the women (and men) who work for your favorite makeup brands. Deeply analytical, light-hearted and chock full of makeup tips and tricks; it is a great read for everyone from the cosmetics connoiseur to the person who doesn’t know their lipstick from their eyeliner. Root for the underdog, despise the villain and then realize that they may be one in the same.
And now it’s time to vote for your favorite finalist entry…