I don't think it's quite right yet. The instructor kept asking questions about something that I didn't intend so I may have something in there that's misleading, but I didn't feel up to continuing to fix it -- especially while my attention is so scattered across these four other stories I've started right now and every day is full of headache.
“Impostor! Impostor! Wait!” It sounded a little crass without the British accent I’d grown used to. I turned, lifting my chin to better look down my nose at the small crowd of approaching teens, my expression full of pique. Really, I was thrilled to be recognized outside the kingdom, but it wouldn’t do to let on. Waiting by the escalator, I tapped my foot and glanced at my watch as if I had somewhere to be other than the empty hotel or emptier concert hall. I’d run to the mall to escape.
They moved like a miniature solar system, rotating around either the thin blonde in thick eyeliner or the shorter brunette with silver spikes on her collar who walked together in the middle. I waited to see who talked first, but it wasn’t either of the girls I’d expected. It was one of her groupies.
She had groupies.
I’d had groupies once.
“You’re Impostor, right?”
I tossed out a quick nod as I scanned the group again. They giggled and bounced off one another. More of them watched the brunette than watched me, but the blonde smiled with fluttering eyelashes. At least she seemed to notice me. The brunette watched the rising stairs rivaling my level of disinterest, but I wasn’t fooled. None of her orbiting planets would have had the courage to say anything if she hadn’t known my name.
They dug out slips of paper and soda receipts for me to sign without a single flash of recognition. One girl stood at the edge, not really part of the set, but not entirely out either. I’d been there too.
Maybe I was there again. I added my trademark line drawing, an oversized diamond ring circling my signature and was paid with a hesitant smile for my effort.
Once the last slip was signed I stepped on the lowest moving step, watching in the reflective ceiling as they proffered their small prizes to their Sun, the center of their small world. The brunette did pique and disinterest so well I should take lessons. My poor outlier was chosen as the obvious best and she grinned after me, nearly dissolving into happy tears as I looked on. The rest of my small effort became litter, scattered across the marble floor. One sheet might have made it to a pocket and I was happy to see the blonde duck away to scoop a scrap. From the next floor up, it looked like an early snow.
Maybe the hotel would be better; less embarrassing at least. Crowds filtered in and out of the many shops on the upper level, going about their business. I walked through them unnoticed without a paparazzi to be seen. There had been a time I had dreamed of doing this. Now it felt empty and flat.
Music boomed from the arcade at the end. Not my music, but not too far off. Maybe they’d change for a free cd? In my youth, I would have asked. One more floor, one more lap, and I’d go back to my hotel room where my manager would come and pretend I was still all I had been.