Key Twelve: Ballerina:
Ophelia isn’t the only one who can see her now.
Allen had a drunken smile across his face. The silhouette of a dancer danced across the ceiling. He wanted to reach up and grab her ankle.
Road’s face popped up in his vision.
“Hm? Oh, it’s you,” Allen said. Right now, he wasn’t fully gone again. The monster smirked at him.
Allen had a drunken smile on his face. “Hit me harder.” Road kept her gaze on him. Her handprint formed on his cheek.
“Oh?” she asked. “You want me to hit you again?”
“Yes!” Allen shouted. Why was he saying this? Aizen wasn’t even moving around. The angel’s face turned redder. Road put her hands on her hips.
“Well then,” she said.
Allen howled aloud. He grind his teeth together. He thought he cut his tongue on his teeth. A little bit of blood escaped in his mouth. Road leaned in for a kiss. The whole time, Allen could see the ballerina dancing behind Road’s head.
Ophelia can see her again. It only happens during sex. But there are some conditions that have to be met. She’s touched herself before and nothing happened. It has to be with someone else. What did she want from her?
“I know you are there,” Ophelia whispered. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” She never answers. Just gives off that cold stare.
“I don’t even know who you are,” Ophelia said. “Why can’t you just leave me alone?” That’s another thing. The ballerina is always following her. Even in the 1980′s.
She had just started back them. Didn’t know how much the world worked. Ophelia was tall for her age. Could almost pass as twenty. She needed money. Home life was less than ideal. The less said about that the better. Still, she needed to go to the city for work.
So here she was.
It didn’t take her long to be scouted. Ophelia wasn’t the most beautiful girl in Paris. But she did look somewhat attractive. Cleaned up, she would look better.
The madam knew how to work her girls. Ophelia would be no different. She could work this girl into a beautiful flower. It was a good thing that Ophelia was still a virgin.
The madam knew the right words to work her. She has to. It’s how she’s able to stay in business in the shadiest parts of Paris. The madam rescued Ophelia from a group of bikers looking for an “morning delight”. This one was too easy. Another farm girl who needs money. Those were a dime a dozen. This was like picking up fruit from off the ground. All she had to do was offer the girl something to eat and that was all she wrote.
Ophelia happily took the meal. She was a hungry girl after all. They always were.
The ballerina stared at her with empty, cold eyes. Ophelia despised her. This ballerina could’ve been her. Grace, purity, privilege, beauty, and prestige. None of those things that Ophelia could ever have. None of those things she could get now. The angel narrowed her eyes and girted her teeth.
“Why do you hate me so much?” she asked. “What did I ever do to you?” She never got an answer. That ballerina just stood there being everything that Ophelia could’ve been. The self-loathing formed in her thought again. The angel felt like screaming.
“What do you want from me?!” she yelled. She picked up a hair pin and threw it at her. That damned ballerina didn’t speak. She never does.
Ophelia had a fancy lunch for the first time in her life. The madam paid for everything. The young comely farm girl almost felt guilty. The older woman smiled and patted her on the hand.
“It’s fine,” she insists. “You can order what you want.” Ophelia looked up in shock.
“Is that okay?” she asked.
“Yes!” the madam insisted. Ophelia didn’t know what to think at first. She finally picked up the menu and started looking. So many options on the pages. It took her a minute to pick something settle on it. The madam looked down at the menu.
“That’s what you want?” she asked. Ophelia sheepishly nodded.
“Alright,” the older woman said. “I will get for you.” The madam stuck up her arm in the air. A waiter came by their table. He took their orders and left. The madam turned her attention to Ophelia.
“So,” she said. “What brings you to Paris?” Ophelia squirmed in her seat.
“I need a job,” she said. The madam leaned back in the booth.
“What did you have in mind?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Ophelia said. “I will take anything at this point. I’m really good with my hands. I will even take work in a slaughterhouse.”
“Aw, sweetheart,” the madam said. “That is no good for you.” The younger woman gave her a strange look.
“What do you mean?” she asked. The madam took her by the hand.
“Baby, you look took beautiful to chop animals in butcher shop,” she said. Ophelia gave her a strange look.
“Me? I’m not beautiful by any means,” she said.
“Don’t be silly,” the older woman said. “You look a little bit rough. But cleaned up you could look so beautiful. I can help you get a job.” Ophelia stared at her with big eyes.
“Do you mean it?” she asked. The madam gently stroked her head.
“Don’t worry, darling,” she said. “I can help you out.”
“You can?” Ophelia asked. “How?” The madam gave her a hungry smile.
“Come with me,” she said. “After we eat, I can help you get started.” The waiter came back with their lunch.
The whispers started last night. Ophelia doesn’t know what’s going on. How could an old hallucination be spreading? She never told anyone about the red ballerina. Unless…
“What are you?” Ophelia asked. The red ballerina was now close to the cage. Ophelia resisted the urge to touch her.
“Why are you here now?” she asked. “What are you doing here?” No answer. The ballerina didn’t let up on her cold gaze. The angel felt her rage boiling inside of her.
“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she asked. “How can others see you too?” The ballerina didn’t speak. Ophelia clenched her fists at her sides.
“Leave me alone!” she shouted. This time, she picked up a golden cuff bracelet and chucked it at the menacing figure. The ballerina vanished into thin air. Ophelia panted hard.
“Can’t you keep it down?” another angel asked in the cage. “You’re going to get us busted.” Ophelia said nothing. She knew that the red ballerina would be back.
Ophelia never had the chance to wear pretty clothes when she was child. She stood in front of the mirror in her new room. The madam gave her this long red dress. It hung too loose around her body. The madam smiled as she looked her up and down.
“It’s okay,” she said. “We can have it taken up to fit your figure.” The older madam pinched at Ophelia’s hips.
“Hm… You could stand to gain some weight too,” she said. Ophelia had a confused look on her face.
“Huh?” she asked. The young girl looked down at her pale, thin body. Until now, she never thought about her looks. The madam stared deeply into her eyes.
“Do you want this job or not?” she asked. Ophelia drew her mouth closed. She needed the money. But something didn’t feel right. The girl should just turn around and walk away. It would be better to find another job. Cutting up meat doesn’t sound too bad. But would they even take her? She could get a low-paying job easily. But it would be easier if she had a higher education and was a man.
“Yes,” she mumbled. The madam smiled.
“Good,” she said. “Let’s get that dress taken up, shall we?” Ophelia had a nervous smile on her face. This would all be for her mother. At least that’s what she told herself. She noticed something out of the corner of her eye. When she turned around nothing was there.
“Something wrong?” the madam asked. Ophelia quickly looked up.
“Oh, nothing,” she lied. “Nothing at all.” She would be telling herself that lie for many years to come.
The rumors make Ophelia nervous. She can tell that something is wrong with the red ballerina. How does more than more person have a hallucination that she kept private to herself? Could they read her mind?
The angel shook her head to herself.
That wasn’t possible. Only Leda could see into the angel’s minds. She wouldn’t even let it slip about Ophelia’s past. The angel rubbed her forehead.
“What the hell is going on?!” she asked aloud.
“Shut up!” another angel shouted. Ophelia glared and clicked her tongue. If she knew what the situation was she wouldn’t be telling her to shut up. The angel turned and looked out at the corner. She couldn’t see the red ballerina but she knew she was there.
After all, if she followed her out to this damned city, then something has to be going down.
Allen lay stared up at the ceiling as the ballerina did her dance on the ceiling. His eyes were empty along with his drunken cat smile. Meanwhile, Road slowly started to go down on him.