Alice laid on the floor, holding the proof sheet up to the light. After hours of scanning photos, all the images looked the same. The model’s smile slightly bigger or smaller, one foot an inch farther ahead or behind, her white skirt billowing more or less in the artificial breeze created by the fan. Alice wondered why she spent so much time fretting over whether number five conveyed the whimsy she was going for better than number forty-five. Time wasted sweating in the studio with no air conditioning when she could be on a beach working on her tan.
She rose, hands on hips, and arched her back to reverse the stoop in her shoulders. She slung forward at the hips, her hands grazed her toes, her nose touced her bare legs. A pair of 3-D glasses on the floor caught her attention. She slipped them on as she swept upwards, turning the world red and blue and fuzzy.
Alice leaned over the work table and looked at the proofs through the glasses. When she scanned the proofs fast enough, the model began to move with staccato steps.
The model’s hand reached up to brush at the magnolias woven in her hair. She whipped her head, panic on her face. Alice grabbed her magnifying lens. A tiny bee buzzed around the model. Alice squinted. The bee wore a black cape and crown and held a scepter with a red heart. The bee jabbed at the model with its stinger. Faint laughter broke the sweltering silence of the studio. The model gathered up her flowing skirt and began to run, faster and faster, looking over her shoulder with the bee in pursuit as the field gave way to a dark forest.
Alice flipped through the proof sheets, tracking the model’s progress. Alice watched the model stumble over a large root. She scrambled to get up, half running, half crawling, pushing branches out of her way as she fled her pursuer.
Alice raised her hand in the air, smashing it down on the proofs. The bee splattered.
Alice tossed the 3-D glasses in the trash.
Play time was over. The queen was dead.
She looked back at the proof sheets debating between number five and forty-five.
Concrit very welcome and appreciated.