In a grand, dramatic gesture Martin said, “It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to “Forever Fashion.” He turned and screamed harshly, “May I have the first model please!”
A lifeless model entered the studio wearing a cone-shaped Styrofoam brassiere. “The bust of the new millennium,” said Martin with gleeful pride. “Light weight, enduring—a bust that will never, ever disintegrate. It will be bust that will be admired until the next Millennium!”
Suddenly Venetia stumbled inside. Frizzed hair surrounded her face like a lion’s mane. Soot smudged on her cheeks and nose. She looked absolutely primal. “Sorry, I’m late,” she said, gasping for breath.
Martin gave Milo an apologetic grin and stepped toward Venetia. He cupped her soiled cheeks. “Darling,” he whispered, “I don’t expect you to be able to tell time; I just expect you to be pretty and prompt.” He noticed her red swollen eyes, her dirty face and mangy hair. “And now, you’re not even that. You need to get yourself into makeup pronto.”
Venetia nodded obediently as she entered the dressing room where models meandered about in various stages of dress. Bashfully Venetia disrobed behind a curtain away from the spying eyes of her model colleagues.
Suddenly black leather-clad claws ripped open Venetia’s curtain. Venetia gathered her clothes to protect her nakedness. Medusa held out a cellophane dress to Venetia. “Here’s your dress sweetie,” said Medusa with a cigarette perched between her wiry, dry lips.
Venetia stared at the dress with reservation. “This dress is…well, it’s transparent. I might as well be,” she whispered, “naked.”
Medusa grinned with the cigarette erect between her lips. “Honey, it’s only natural. You were born naked.”
Venetia stared at the cellophane dress limp in her hands. Natural, there is nothing natural about this dress. Doubt flooded Venetia’s rosy optimism, but then today seemed to be a change of all things. Today, nature fell from the sky and died in her hands.
“Medusa!” called Martin from the studio. “We are ready for you, gorgeous!”
Medusa puffed smoke in Venetia’s face. “I’m wanted,” she said and strutted in her spiked heels toward the studio. She paraded around the studio before Martin and Milo wearing a hard, plastic bustier.
“Hard, impenetrable, and permanent,” described Martin with daring conviction to Milo. Milo nodded his leather faced approval without a wrinkle of expression, while Medusa strode across the studio floor satisfied.
With his well-manicured hands pressed together, Martin called for his next model. “Venetia, darling! We’re ready for you!” Venetia did not come forth. Martin chuckled nervously. “Venetia sweetheart, don’t be a little prissy.” Venetia still didn’t appear. “Venetia!” Martin howled angrily, stepped behind the curtain and pulled Venetia out before Milo.
Venetia stood before Milo covering her revered private parts visible behind the clear cellophane dress. Martin wrestled Venetia’s hands away and exposed her to Milo. “Expose, Display, Reveal,” Martin demonstrated Venetia’s nakedness to Milo, “Taking something natural, beautiful and preserving for eternity—forever.” Milo grinned smugly; Venetia lowered her head ashamed.
Venetia returned to the dressing room and released a few tears of pride as she changed back into her clothes. She had been modeling for a few years, but never had she been so humiliated. It was something about the modeling industry she didn’t understand, if models were considered to be the epitome of human beauty, then why try to make them look so hideous. Why adorn natural beauty with artificial embellishments?
While she dressed, she spied Medusa through the curtain. She had never worked with Medusa before, but she definitely heard about her modeling reign, her affairs with rock stars, athletes and politicians. Any model who tried to compete for Medusa’s spotlight was run off the catwalk, blinded by high-powered camera flashes, or poisoned with tainted make up. Danger surrounded Medusa and Venetia knew very well to keep her distance.
Behind the curtain Venetia watched with curiosity as Medusa lit another cigarette and strode confidently toward the door. She waited to come out from behind the curtain until Medusa was gone. Last thing Venetia wanted was any confrontation from the most terrifying woman on the planet.
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