Shirley Temple: A Short Story

Words: 1069
Pages: 5

“Quite nice, isn’t it?” I turn to look at the suave voice, a wispy sound floating through the air to grace my ears. The woman regards me with a tilt of her head, a narrowing of her sepia eyes, a thin smirk upon her pomegranate lips. Her tawny tresses, curled delicately to invoke Shirley Temple’s trademark locks, fall to the side on her shoulder as she raises a champagne flute towards me. “Cheers,” I murmur as I hold up my identical glass to hers and knock the rim of it to hers. I lean on the balcony rail and stare out over the party guests, grasping my masquerade mask with a lax grip. I bring it up to cover my eyes as she does the same. The airy, lilting scent of chardonnay and overpowering cologne fill the room, enough to make some …show more content…
Dropping my champagne flute onto a passing waiter’s tray, having barely taken a sip, I grip my mask to the extent that my knuckles turn a milky white. “Why is he here?” The words scrape past my gritted teeth and tightly pressed lips moments before he shows up next to me.
Looking through the arch windows, the sky is tinted a deep indigo, faint dabs of cotton candy pink and pastel blue clinging to the final vestiges of light. A small expanse of black dotted with flickering stars is visible through a gap in the cloud covering; the moon hangs precariously in the sky, a pale circle casting an off-white light on its surrounding area. The chandeliers overhead flicker on, their soft golden glow illuminating the area and casting fairy lighting upon all the guests. “My lady,” his smooth, velvety timbre rings out, cutting through the thick veil of music separating us from the rest of the guests. “Might I have this dance?” He extends a hand out to me, splaying his fingers out in an open
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His eyes, swirling water in murky ocean caves, reflect the quiet dusk outside; the twinkling lights of the diamond chandelier overhead illuminates his sharp features and his lips, pulled into his trademark erudite smile. The male casts his gaze at me, his fringe of black falling over his diamond-studded mask. Vesper glances at me, but I take out my iPhone and scroll through my Instagram feed in my final, desperate attempt to ward him off. “No thanks,” I say, biting my lip and gnawing at it to the point where I almost draw blood. My body stiffens, my eyes darting around the ballroom before falling on him. Dressed in a deep blue suit, ironed and creased at all the appropriate places, a lighter periwinkle blue bowtie rests at his collarbone. He cocks his head at my response. “Are you…?” “Oh, Vesper, can’t we dance a bit?” I turn abruptly to Vesper. Clasping her hand in mine, I drag her down the mahogany stairs, almost falling down them in my haste. “Who invited him here?” I hiss. She shrugs. “Don’t ask me. People just come.” “Do the bouncers here not check the invitation list? I need to hire better ones. Speaking of which...” I snap my fingers. A man dressed in a sharp black suit and ruffled dress shirt, his hair gelled back and aviator glasses covering his eyes, appears