She had her brown hair tied up tight in a bun, as she sat, legs crossed, in front of her armoire, puffing a cigarette and putting on her concealer. She had picked up a pin and was fastening her robe tighter by the shoulder when she pricked herself accidentally. Her cigarette fell to the floor as she put her hand on her shoulder, cursing quietly. She bent ever too slightly to pick up the fallen cigarette as her door opened to the young PA, informing her that places has already been cued. She asked him to help her with her robe. He swiftly complied, pinning her costume efficiently as she dragged lipstick across. She puckered and took a drag. Her PA left and she rested her elbow on the table, her index finger caressing her forehead. The notes on the mirrors all telling her to break a leg seemed more mocking than reassuring. She took another drag and carefully flicked the ashes onto the black bottle beside her. She heard a loud rap on her door, she yelled out to wait just one second. She opened the dresser and picked up a small orange bottle. Carefully opening it, she dropped a singular pill onto her palm before popping it inside her mouth. She gulped down a drink of wine, took one last drag, and threw the cigarette butt, crushing it with her heel.

Minutes later, as she made her entrance, the audience went wild. She smiled, trying ot to break character, walking with statuesque grace across the stage. It will only be after the show is over that the stage hands will notice a tiny tiny trail of cigarette ashes scattered where she walked.


This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.

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