Thursday, October 22, 2015

Roses Are Red Dahlia's Are Black (Short)

Roses are Red Dahlia’s are Black

Rose and Alex stepped out of the car and ascended the walkway to the house. Instead of being greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Hodell as expected they found a note taped to the front door instead. 

Sorry to have not been here to give you both a proper greeting but Mrs. H is a little under the weather. Perhaps we can all have dinner some other time. The key is near and safe. Welcome to Hollywood loves. See you all soon, we hope you love our home as much as we did when we stayed there. You’ll find she's full of surprises.

Mr and Mrs H.

“Dude really?” Alex read the note over Rose’s shoulder.
“Guess we have to find the key.” Rose sat down her suitcase and began wandering around.
“I mean it get it that they’re white, and white people do stuff like this but-”
“Alex, you’re white.” Rose laughed as she knelt near some plants looking for a hiding spot for a key.
“Yeah well...I’m not on the inside.”
“Sure.” Rose laughed.
Alex found the key taped to the inside of a faux mailbox off to the side. Anxiously Rose fumbled to open the door to their new home. Finally she got the door open and was in awe of the beauty her eyes were witnessing. It was like the home was frozen in time, straight out of her dreams. She took a step inside and found a light switch. At once she gasped as a cold chill swept over her body and she found she couldn’t move. Her vision clouded and when she blinked it were as if she had went to another time.
Suddenly rose found herself in the middle of a room at what seemed to be a party. Looking around at the men and women there it had to have been in the 1940’s. The women had wavy hair fashioned like Marilyn Monroe would have and the men were dressed sharp in suits that made them all look like they belonged on a movie set with Lloyd Bacon or Desi Arnaz. Out of all the commotion going on around her Rose’s attention was drawn to a man in the far corner leaning against a grand piano. Everything about him read ‘lady’s man’ or ‘playboy’. He was tall and had a slim build with a very thin but perfectly lined moustache, drink in hand and a look that said ‘be mine’. With his dark wavy hair and ultra white smile Rose could see why the women were gathered around him hanging onto his every word.
As if he noticed she were in the room, the man looked up and locked eyes with Rose. He winked at her and Rose felt another shudder. She didn’t know why but she had the strong urge to run away but it were as if her legs were planted firmly on the floor.
“Run away.” A voice said directly into Rose’s ear.
Rose looked again and now the mystery man was making his way over to her. The music playing loudly throughout the party stopped and all that Rose could hear was the sounds of his footsteps as he grew closer. With each step the voice warning her to run grew louder. Rose’s heart pounded faster in her chest. For some reason she still couldn’t move. Just as the man stood in front of her about to reach out and touch her the voice screeched in her ear and she blacked out. Alex had been watching her stand there trembling in a trancelike state for about five minutes trying to snap her out of it. He caught her just in time as she fainted, landing in his arms with tears streaming down her face.
When she woke up Rose was in a strange bedroom. She sat up in the middle of a large bed with plush bedding. The room was dimly lit by a small old Tiffany lamp on the bedside table.

“It took you long enough.” A woman laughed and suddenly appeared at the foot of the bed.
“You.” Rose felt dizzy as she stared at the woman she had seen earlier in visions that had been polluting her mind.
“I’ve been waiting for you.” The woman slid closer to Rose and gently brushed her hair away from her face.
“What?” Rose’s hand trembled as she pushed her away.
“Shh. We’ll talk later.” The gorgeous dark haired woman disappeared seemingly into thin air as Alex opened the double doors to the bedroom.
“Rose? Hey umm this is weird but some guy named Charles Gordon is here. He says you’d be expecting him.” Alex leaned in the doorway and frowned.
“Not funny Alex why would Charles Gordon be here for me?” Rose laughed at her friends cruel joke. Charles Gordon was a director Rose had only dreamt of working with. He mostly did movies with an old Hollywood theme to it.
“Seriously. Here’s his card. He’s waiting for you in the room out front.”
“Holy shit.” Rose looked at his card. “Umm I’ll be out soon.” Rose shoved Alex out of the room and tossed her suitcase on the bed and began rummaging through it for something to wear.
“Come here.” Again the woman appeared. This time she stood by the closet at the opposite side of the room.”
Rose was about to scream but before the sound could come out the woman was in front of her, she placed one finger to her mouth shushing her. Suddenly it came to Rose who the woman was.

“You’re....the Black Dahlia.” Rose’s mind was filled with images that she had seen all over the internet pertaining to the beautiful woman’s demise.
“Or you can call me Beth.”
“No fucking way. I’m dreaming.” Rose backed away.
“Here does this make it clearer for you.” Beth aka Elizabeth Short stood in front of Rose. Her face morphed the gorgeous made up face to the grotesque, sliced from ear to ear face Rose had seen in multiple pictures online about her murder.
“Oh my god! I don’t know what you want but don’t kill me.” Rose started pleading for her life.
“Shh. Shh silly, beautiful creature you.” Elizabeth silenced Rose by giving her a full on kiss on the her lips. “All I want is a second chance. Through you. I’m going to make you a star baby.”

Slowly Elizabeth guided Rose towards the closet. The doors flung open revealing a large walk in. When they stepped in Rose noticed the clothing, while all fabulous and clearly expensive, it all had a pinup, Marilyn Monroe/Dorothy Dandridge vibe. Unable to speak of fully process what was going on Rose stood still as her clothes fell from her body to the floor. Elizabeth buzzed around the closet happily grabbing random dresses and tops holding them up to Rose trying to decide what she wanted her new Barbie doll to wear. Finally she decided on a tight black wiggle dress with black pumps that accentuated Rose’s calves perfectly.

“Now what would you be without your dahlia.” Elizabeth pulled a black flower from her hair and placed it into Rose’s coiffed hair.
“I look so pretty.” Rose looked at herself in the floor length mirror.
“You’re breathtaking.” Elizabeth walked and stood next to her.

It was quite the eery site before the two in the mirror. It's like Rose was an African American version of Elizabeth. Both standing there in there slim fitting black dresses and black pumps, wavy hair drawn back on one side with the signature dahlia adorning the side. Elizabeth smiled, very pleased with what she saw. Time for the show to begin.
Side by side they strutted out of the bedroom into the front sunroom where the two men were waiting. Alex nearly spit out his drink as he set his eyes on his roommate. He’d never seen her look so different before. Mr. Gordon’s eyes danced all over Rose’s body. He knew from then on out whatever he was working on the woman that stood before his eyes would have to be a part of it. Rose took a step into the room and heard Elizabeth whisper “Show time baby.” A cold and somehow fulfilling sensation came over Rose as she felt Elizabeth enter her body. It's like she was present in the room but Elizabeth was taking over her body.
“So how did you find me?” Rose asked.
“Well Mr. Hodell mentioned he’s and his wife had seen an amazing singer in New Jersey on their vacation last year and they told me that you would be coming
Alex stared suspiciously at Rose while the three of them sat chit chatting together. He knew that something was up with his friend but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. She moved differently. It's like every hand gesture was especially careful and delicate. It was such a turn on to watch. Even as she casually crossed one leg over the over it was driving him crazy. And now her voice, it was Rose speaking but she sounded like one of the women he had seen poolside in some old movie set in the 1930s or something. What was going on?

“Alex?” Mr. Gordon tried getting his attention again.
“I was asking if you mind if I steal your girlfriend for a walk around the gardens to talk some business.” Mr. Gordon and Rose stood near the door.
“Oh sure. But she’s not my girlfriend.” Alex laughed nervously.
“Yeah Alex is too good for a silly old goose like me.” Rose laughed and lightly hit Mr. Gordon’s arm.
“Son, if someone mistakes this gorgeous woman for yours I wouldn’t correct them if I were you. It leaves her open to old predators like me.” Mr. Gordon laughed.
“Oh Mr. Gordon!” Rose giggled again.

They made their way down the hall and veered off to the right towards to sliding glass doors that led out into the beautiful gardens. At first it was just casual talk of what Rose was hoping to accomplish in Hollywood and who were here favorite actors and actresses. But then Rose took a seat on a bench in front of a small koi pond. What are you doing? Rose asked Elizabeth in her mind. Trust me, we’re going to get what we want.

“Oh Mr. Gordon you have something on your lip there.” Rose/Elizabeth leaned in close and took Mr Gordon’s face into her hands. Slowly she brought her lips to his and kissed him softly. “There.” She smiled.
“Wow.” Mr. Gordon’s breath quickened.
“Forgive me but. I just find you so attractive.” Rose took his hand.
“I think you missed a spot.” The older gray haired man pulled Rose closer and pressed his not so soft mouth onto hers.
“Oh Charles.” Rose purred softly into his ear as he began to place kisses on her neck.
“I don’t want your roommate to see us.” Mr. Gordon looked around and nervously adjusted his neck tie.
“You’re right.” Rose stood to her feet and held out her hand. When she caught a glimpse of her reflection Rose saw Elizabeth smiling lustfully at her.
Quietly they tiptoed back inside and into Rose’s bedroom. Rose shoved Mr. Gordon down onto the bed. Elizabeth lowered all the lights in the room and Mr Gordon looked around wondering how that happened since Rose stood in front of him. Slowly Rose sauntered over to him and laid him back on the bed.
“Now lay back and let me take you for a ride.” Rose said.
Luckily for Rose her new sponsor only lasted for about 5 minutes once she climbed on top of him. Seeing a beautiful young woman’s breast bouncing up and down over his body was too much for him. He grabbed onto her hips and grunted like a wild animal as his release took over his body. Rose felt so disgusted as she watched him dress. We did good. Elizabeth whispered in her ear as they walked him out to the car.
“I’ll have my driver pick you up tomorrow afternoon princess.” Charles stroked the side of her face.
“Okay darling. See you then.” Rose smiled and blew him a kiss.
To Rose’s advantage Alex had been too engrossed in a book he found in the library to notice or hear anything. As Rose walked glumly back into her bedroom the door that led to the master bathroom opened and she could hear water running. Sitting next to the large garden tub was Elizabeth sprinkling rose petals in the tub.
“We did great. He’s practically in love with you. Did you know his next movie is going to be about me?” Elizabeth giggled while guiding the zombie like Rose towards the tub.
“Okay.” Rose still felt disgusted.
“What’s the matter darling? Don’t you want this?” Elizabeth gestured around the grand bathroom. “How would you have afforded this house working in the hole in the wall in Jersey? See what’s in front of you. There’s no room for weakness now baby.” She kissed Rose’s cheek and undressed her. “I’m exhausted. I’m going to go for now.”
“But you’re a ghost.” Rose couldn’t figure out how she would be tired if she were dead.
“You’re so cute little Rosie.” Elizabeth giggled, her soft tinkling laughter fading away as she disappeared.

The next day it was all new for Rose. Her entire style had changed. It was very sexy vintage. Her makeup was kept simple sexy cat eye with dark blood red makeup and a black dahlia in her hair. She went to do a reading for Mr. Gordon’s new movie and immediately got the part. Its like she cast a spell over the director and producers. She couldn’t believe her luck. She would be playing the Black Dahlia in a movie that would actually be in theaters. The movie came out to a wonderful reception. The idea of a black girl playing the Black Dahlia turned out to be genius. Quickly Rose became one of hollywood’s it girls. She owed it all to Elizabeth. Or so Elizabeth would not to subtly keep reminding her.
“Oh my darling Rose. Look at what a star I’ve made you. I’m glad I waited so long for you.” Elizabeth sat across from her in the jacuzzi.
“Thank you.” Rose smiled as Elizabeth began to place kisses all over her body.
Her mind wandered back to the night in the club back in Jersey where she first saw Beth. She had been singing a rendition of Why don’t you do right by Peggy Lee. There was a woman sitting at a table in there very back that caught her eye. She seemed so out of place there in her all black attire. And when Rose took her eyes off of her for a moment she had gone. Fast forward a year and 3 movies later Rose was on top of the world. For a small price though.
In order to keep Elizabeth’s power strong every so often Rose would have to kill. Most times she wouldn’t even realize what she had done until she woke up covered in blood standing over a body. The first time it happened Rose actually threw up everywhere. She had invited another actress who was up for the same part over for dinner one night while Alex was out on a date. Halfway through dinner Rose felt a strong sense of dread and she blacked out. She woke up to the girl lying on the floor next to her dining room table bleeding out. Rose screamed and dropped the carving knife from her hand.

“Calm down and give me a hand.” Elizabeth smirked while lugging the body towards the back door. That night was just the first of many. Surprisingly after a while Rose found herself giving in to Elizabeth’s random killing sprees. I’m doing this for you, for us. You don’t need her/him standing in your way. Elizabeth had brainwashed Rose into thinking the only way to get where she wanted was to kill her way up the ladder.
One evening after a long night of partying with the cast and crew from her latest film Rose and Elizabeth had stayed in bed until Rose got a call from someone in Mr. Gordon’s office letting her know that a car would be at her home in thirty minutes. Rose groggily wiped the sleep from her eyes then showered and dressed quickly. She swiped through twitter as she sat in front of her large vanity while Elizabeth did her hair and makeup. Alex heard her finally moving around and decided to pop into Rose’s room to tell her good morning/afternoon.
He froze in the doorway as he saw Rose sitting in the chair with apparently no one behind her but the brush was going through her hair. His jaw dropped and he rubbed his eyes. Elizabeth suddenly vanished and the brush hit the floor. The noise made Rose jump and she turned to see what was wrong with Elizabeth.
“Beth what the-” She saw Alex standing in the doorway and prayed he hadn’t seen anything. “Hi Alex! Oops I dropped my brush.” Rose giggled nervously.
“Uh hi. I must still be tired.” Alex felt silly thinking he imagined seeing the floating brush.
Rose began to panic as she saw Elizabeth appearing again creeping up behind Alex. Her face wasn’t the beautiful glowing warm one Rose was familiar with. Instead it was that horrible, dead, sliced morbid one. In her hand was a large knife.
“Alex!” Rose screamed louder than she had meant to.
“What?” Alex’s eyes grew big as he random scream had scared him.”
“I think I saw a rat in my bathroom. Please find it and get it out.” Rose quickly ushered him into the bathroom.
“Such a big baby.” Alex laughed and headed off to find the rat.
“Beth no! He didn’t see anything!” Rose pleaded in a whisper.
“I told you there was no room for weakness. He saw. We can’t let him live. Tough luck toots.” Elizabeth shoved Rose to the floor and headed for the bathroom.
“Elizabeth I won’t let you!” Rose reached out and tried to grab her but her hand went straight through her and hit the floor.
“Hey Rose I don’t see any...what the fuck!” Alex screamed as he saw Elizabeth’s ghastly figure approaching.
“Elizabeth!” Rose smashed the handheld mirror from her vanity. “You told me you loved me. So let’s be together forever. This is no way to live. I’m sorry Alex.” Rose tilted her head back and slid a shard of glass across her throat.
“No!” Elizabeth let out a roar of a scream as she flew across the room trying to stop Rose.
“Rose no please. Rose? Rose!” Alex ran to his friend’s side and took her into his lap.
“I just wanted her to be a star. Help her please.” Elizabeth screamed at Alex as her face returning back to its normal beautiful state.
“What the fuck!” Again Alex screamed still very confused and scared.
“Move you’re worthless!” Elizabeth tossed him to the other side of the room with just a gesture of her hands. She placed Rose’s head onto her lap and began to hum to her softly. As Rose’s life faded the more translucent Elizabeth became.
Alex sat in the corner frantically trying to explain to the 911 operator what was going on. Rose’s took her final breath and everything was silent. Suddenly there was a cold breeze that seemed to caress his cheek as it passed by.
Two weeks later Rose sat in the garden tub in her bathroom listening to Billie Holiday on the radio. She rubbed the scar on her neck which somehow was already fading. The more she thought about how lucky she was to be alive the happier she became. Before she realized it tears were flowing down her cheeks. Somehow the media got it in their heads that she was attacked by a crazed fan in her home the night she tried to kill herself and the movie she had been filming was a huge success and already they were writing the script for a sequel.
Suddenly her music stopped and over the radio she heard an eerily familiar voice calling out to her. Quickly Rose got out of the tub and put on her robe. Her heart began to speed up as she felt she was being watched. She turned to run and there in front of her was Beth. She had a warm smiled on her face and quickly pulled Rose in for a hug.
“I knew you’d make it. Now we’ll be together forever my darling.” Elizabeth cried while hugging Rose tight.
“How?” Rose felt the tears again.
“Darling how do you think you pulled through? I poured all that I had into you that night. I just couldn’t come back because you were too weak. But now baby you’re back. We’re back.” Beth took a step back and smiled.
“I don’t believe it.” Rose cried as Elizabeth took a dahlia and placed it in her hair. 

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