Friday, 23 December 2011

Venus versus Mars (Chapter 1)

written in April 2011
This was previously titled 'Confessions',
but the story itself has undergone so much improvement that title no longer

sums up the story, even though it does reflect a major part of it. Dedicated to
Flash Cam, Camara Mascara, of which 'Camara Mascara' does not rhyme in
her accent. :P
Also to N'Talia, who has been my literary rock when I needed one, and who
should really write a lot more often. Kiss Kiss xx

 


A woman wants proper alliance with a man, a man who is of better stuff than herself.
She wants to be free – she wants to be legally and economically free so as not to be
subject to the wrong man: but only God, who made the world, can alter things to
prevent her from being a slave to the right one.
-- Ann Veronica.

One
Insincere

With every generation, the human race manages to produce a legion of arrogant, ignorant and idiot people. Camara had now been in the fashion industry for just under a decade, since she was fourteen years old, and she’d honestly believed that she’d seen it all; the insincere smiles of fashion advocates who merely saw her as another contact who’d get them introduced to bigger and better people, women who willingly put their bodies through torture to be idolised as the next fashion icon, men who climbed to the top of the food chain by collecting fashion moguls and business tycoons like trophies. Greed. Pride. Lust.

As she climbed out of her brother’s Jaguar in a midnight blue Calvin Klein dress, she constantly reminded herself not to take anything personally when she got in there. After all, business was business. Every lady and gentleman was too busy stabbing other in the back to care when they themselves were being double-crossed, they just understood that it was the nature of the game; you leave your ass exposed, sooner or later somebody will kick it. With that thought in mind, she fixed her smile to its brightest intensity and relaxed. She shouldn’t have been at all worried. Tillers were elite at verbal confrontations and therefore always ready to react to whoever decided to test their patience.

“Just keep your temper. You ready to go in?” Cameron murmured, slinging his suit jacket over his shoulder. Camara pressed her lips together, irritated at how accurately he could read her emotions.

“Shut up and let’s go.” she said shortly.


Her brother was an urban knight, half-blinded by pride, but his advice was rarely misplaced. With a sigh, she firmly told herself not to lose her cool as she titled her face upwards, squinting her eyes against the wind that tossed her dark hair, and slid her eyes up along the silver staircase that joined the sidewalk and the entrance of Trem Gallerium. She’d never seen anything that radiated such proud magnificence. Almost everything about it sparkled; soft white lights shone onto the stone staircase, making the tiny shards of glass and marble in the concrete glow silver. There was a net movement of men and women in sharp suits and sparkling dresses moving along the sidewalk to the Gallerium where the Celebration of Fashion evening was being held, and the moment they set foot on the stairs it made even the most horse-faced woman look like an angel.

‘Neat trick,’
 Camara thought, her lips then forming a small pout, ‘- if not a cheap way of getting people to like you.’

She headed inside, hearing Cameron’s footsteps close behind her, but once past the glass-stained doors she was hit by more shining marble floors, dazzling chandeliers and a wide display of modern furniture across the whole hall, that only served to illuminate the whiteness of the walls. Camara’s awe soon became sceptical. It took her a total of three seconds to realise that if it didn’t sparkle, it wasn’t in the Gallerium. Trem Harrison clearly wanted the rest of the world to look dull in comparison but she had a feeling her eyes would soon start hurting.

“This Trem doesn’t seem to know any degree of modesty.” she said under her breath, and felt rather than saw her brother smirk, but heard nothing. The fact that he didn’t have a scornful remark to add to that surprised her. When they joined the queue at the podium where guests were being received, she chanced a glance at him.

Cameron Tiller had the same rough dark hair as his sister and a similar temper, but tonight he was strangely subdued. His trademark faint, mischievous grin had been replaced by a thoughtful pout, and his eyes that would always twinkle cheekily now looked mildly inquisitive – but it was all a show, his best actor’s face. Only Camara could stare right through it and see his dull, flat boredom. She looked away as they moved a few paces forward in the line.

“You didn’t have to come.”

“Neither did you.” he pointed out. Camara didn’t reply. Point taken.

When they reached the podium they were greeted by a woman whose dress had so many jewels that Camara mused they would all roll off her if she took a step. She was sure the woman was from Trem’s company, the Trem Consortium, but she often worked freelance for major fashion artists. “Camara Tiller,” Rita-Aria beamed, taking one of Cam’s hands in both of her own. “How wonderful to see you – and how beautiful you look tonight, love.”

“Thank you, Rita.” Camara said softly, with her most radiant smile. “Although your dress…”

“Isn’t it soooo beautiful-!” she exclaimed, letting go of Camara’s hand in an instant to hold up the skirts of the dress. The corner of Camara’s mouth turned upwards; no diamante had fallen off yet. “Trem had it made for me, I tell you I was simply stunned when I saw it, I’m pretty sure Ricky LaCosta designed it but it’s just incredible I got to wear it –” she paused, a tiny grin on her face. “Anyway do enjoy yourself, Mr Harrison has some fantastic things lined up for tonight, catwalks and auctions and all sorts. Oh, I have a message for you,” she added as an afterthought, catching Camara by surprise. “Miss N’Talia Levine requested you join her at her table, the Guests Of Honour’s table with Lucky Baylor, and Staani Thom, and most likely Mr Trem Harrison himself towards the end of the evening.” Rita-Aria’s eyebrows raised. “It’s really is a privilege to be invited to sit with them.”

Camara pressed her lips together. She didn’t need to be told that, especially by this busybody. N’Talia was her boss at Gold Model, and of all the fake people Camara had befriended Tal was the only one she would care to call ‘friend’. The woman had nurtured and continuously promoted Camara to the highest position in her power, and after she could do no more in the company she still granted her invitations to functions just like this, so she could introduce her to more agents, photographers and tycoons. Her latest and most appreciated gift was recommending her to Staani Thom - fondly nicknamed Star by those gracious enough to earn her friendship - a highly influential woman who seemed to have endless smiles to give, her celebrity status gained by her long-term 'friendship' with the basketballer Lucky Baylor.

Cameron just smirked and said mockingly to his sister, “Well well, rubbing shoulders with celebrities are we? I’m impressed.”

Rita-Aria suddenly turned her gaze on him, sweeping her eyes across his apparel like she was drinking the sight of him. It had been said countless times that if Camara was a boy she would have been her brother’s twin; they looked so alike. But still Rita-Aria decided to play dumb, to Camara’s utter annoyance.

“And who’s this? I’m sure I haven’t seen you before – and I know aaaaall the fashion advocates in the industry.” she inquired, her shiny peach nails on her hips. Camara was certain that was true; as charming and as influential as she was, Rita-Aria was known for sticking her pointed nose in everything whether it concerned her or not.

Cameron said nothing, either because he felt he had nothing relevant to say or he simply considered this whole evening a waste of his time. “This is my brother, Cameron.” Camara said eventually, forcing a light jest, “He’s my entourage tonight. Fashion mildly interests him.”

“Aha, well!” Rita-Aria clapped her hands with enthusiasm, “I’m sure that after tonight your thoughts will drastically change, Mr Cameron!” Her face lit up with surprise and she laughed at the ironic similarity, like dozens had before her, “Aw, Cameron and Camara! Cutee.” she beamed. Camara fixed a false smile on her face, displeased, but to her relief Rita-Aria soon turned to the next guests in the queue, curtly deciding their conversation was done.

Cameron and Camara.” she spoke under her breath, her smile pained as they finally moved away, “If I had a dollar for every time somebody said that…”

“… Bill Gates would be kissing our asses.” Cameron muttered back, equally irritated.



Camara as she might look in 'V vs M'.


I promised I would post fiction.
Like I said in Star's First Venture, my aliases introduce themselves. =)

Peace, Love,
Staani xx

________________________________________

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