I lit the scented candle. As the scent of the lemongrass slowly dispersed around the room, I inhaled the glorious scent, deeming myself worthy of such an expensive gift. Today, I had signed a contract for a piece that may be my masterpiece, turning me into an international actress. Although hours had passed since the contract was signed, I was still unsure how this piece would bring me success: I had paid a huge sum of money to the managers, I had paid more than a hundred dollars just to be starred: ‘The Empress’s New Clothes’. Frankly, it was ridiculous, but I believed whatever they said; I was desperate. They talked in such a believable and fashionable way that I could not mistrust them and I had to give it a try — but now I wasn’t sure what I had done four hours ago in that stuffy office.
Ring! My train of thoughts was disturbed by the stupid laughter of the telephone. Grumpily I got up, knowing it must be Gil waiting to pick me up. It had to be. With hesitance, I trudge toward the telephone. For a reason I still do not understand, my hands shook violently as I picked up the phone; it may be that I knew what was happening before it happened.
“Gil? God, where on Earth were you? I’d been waiting for over an hour and it’s such a bore!” I cried over the phone, my voice echoing.
“I’m sorry, I’m not Gil, but I have something urgent to say — I should introduce myself shouldn’t I? Name’s Lave, I work as an assistant to the people who you’re starring for — yes, those people you’ve given millions to, just to get famous —. So, to get to the point, they’re stupid idiots, they’re trying to simply steal your money.” I frowned. I never even heard of such a name.
“I’m sorry, but how the hell can I trust you? I’ve never even heard of you, you know. And if what you’re saying is true, how am I to trust you?” I think I’ve won this; she sighs, and there’s a silence. Soon, though, I can hear her clearing her throat, meaning she was evidently about to start ranting.
“I know your full name is Diana T. Javier, I know you hate it — I was there during your interview. You’ve been a nameless actress for — and probably will be also for the next — 6 years. I also know that you like colour red, and hate yellow because it’s bright and shiny; I read that also in your report. I know that your ‘employers’ think of you simply as a green little girl. On that note, I also know you’re alone in the world — I read your file website I’ve seen. I can go on like this, trust me, I can…” I cut her off:
“Okay, so what, I get it — I’m ruined. I get it. So what?” She smirks.
“I knew you’d get to that. There’s going to be a white Avante out in the streets, and from there two men in suits will appear — so unoriginal, I know — and they’re going to head over to your house. You’re going to open the door, and they’ll be the people you’ve been expecting: your managers. They’re going to ask you for about, well mostly exactly, five-hundred and thirty-five dollars. If they ask you for that — I know as little as it may sound — then you’ll know that what I say is true. Now, here comes the fun part. If you hear those magical 535 dollar word, then you kill him. Simple. Then you get 10,000 dollars from me. Simple. Real simple.” I was shocked. Did she just… ask me to murder a man?
Before I go on, I must repeat that I was desperate for money, and what I tell you, reader, what I did, was done because I was almost at the depth of starvation and homelessness. This, I realise, is not a great excuse, but it is what I have to say for myself. Now, proceeding with the story.
What Lave said turned out all perfectly; consequently, too. When the men came, I was using my kettle to boil tea. They knocked, they came in, I invited them for tea. They sat, nodding agreeably, reacting passionately at all my words. All their reactions angered me further. So I killed them.
I was talking about the sum of money, at the same time pouring their teas. When I asked why they picked me, they started clamouring about my greatness, my ability, and my knowledge. That’s when I hit them. With the kettle.