The first thing you noticed on her face wasn’t the lace carnival mask – no – it was her scarlet lipstick. They call it Parisian red, and it colored gaudily her slightly pouted lips. With her meditative dark blue look, she caught a glimpse of a well-built, charmingly-smiling, black-haired man, who was leaning on the wall in the corner of the bar looking at her intently. He was what the German people called “hübsch” and the English people called “elegant.” He looked like he had just gotten out of the cab, in rainy London, and he was a new face at Ritz’s weekly high-tea event.
Right then, she saw Leo, entering the hall and leading in a very young, blatantly innocent girl with a mask. She looked sincerely cheerful, and Angelic immediately hated her cheerfulness and sincerity. She approached the man at the bar, very certain that he would not refuse and asked him quietly: “Would you please pretend we are a couple?”
“Me…? – said Anton – “This is as if a regular citizen goes abroad on a trip, and when he comes back – they welcome him at the airport like a national hero, since while he was away, the Medias have invented stories for him, so that the circulation goes up.” He said surprising her with every word.
She looked around and at the kissing couple near the door. “We have to look as if we are kissing” – she said and leaned towards him, as if for a kiss. However, her eyes were open and very much implied that she shouldn’t be kissed for real.
Anton looked in the same direction and met the enraged gaze of the man entering the hall. One look at him and he knew that was an open warfare between them.
“My name is Angelic. I am a literary character.”
“I am called Anton and I am certain you came from a weird fairy tale. – he joked.”
“It is even worse. I come from paperback romances. In the stories about me, I am doomed to games of power and jealousy, with my lovers, and I am trying to break the spell but I cannot do it by myself!”
“Would you like to get some fresh air” – Anton proposed. He took her elbow gently and led her into the garden, and couldn’t but notice the look full of mist she threw at the man at the door, who looked busy kissing the girl. They entered the moonlit garden which smelled of red roses.
The smell of roses alleviated her mood a little, but she was still biting on her scarlet lips. She didn’t know where to start. Obviously this stranger – Anton – was impressed by her, they all were, even behind the mask, she was awfully enchanting. Still, most of them did not believe her that she was a literary character – and she sometimes felt that this world was so frigid, that the very opportunity to share how she felt with a stranger filled her eyes with even more drops of dew.
“Well. I am enamored with this man. He believes I am as mad as the Hatter. I come from a world full of magic, love, and beauty, and very often, I don’t feel I belong with people. It’s a beautiful lineage that I carry inside me. But when people reject me and fail to understand me, I sometimes feel tragic.”
“Tragic, yet so appealing!” – he thought, and he felt the unfamiliar urge to protect her colorful insanity from the world.
“Well…” he said. – “The least I can do listen to you. Tell me your tale.”
“I came here from a beautiful planet called Alpha Gem, where the characters from human tales and reveries dwell. It has got portals to the Earth protected by inexorable guards; I had to bribe them with a lot of golden coins, and a curl of my golden hair. I am made up and my creator has made me crave for love-making the entire time, but in the stories and fairy-tales with me, love was never requited, or if it was – that was only for a short time. So I came here to find a place to belong, to solve the ancient mystery of my existence, and to experience this world. But…While I was trying to mingle with earthlings, I went to a salsa dance class…and messed it all up in the most unfortunate way, for I met Leo and he is a leading figure in the club. I started craving for him day and night. But he thought I am crazy.”
“He must be a fool” – Anton thought. He did not verbalize his intentions, but one of the first thoughts on his mind was that he wanted to ravish her sensually. By the look on his face, she judged she can continue with the conversation.
2 years had passed from the time Angelic went through the secret portal, which connected both worlds. She was a descendant of a noble, aristocratic family, and through her entire life, lovers had abused her and mistreated her, even if she was insanely attractive, for she was created romantic by a merciless author – and romantic literary characters are prone to suffering. She remembered all the lovers from her dreams – she had never had a “normal relationship” for various reasons. She had come to Earth to meet the prototypes of the literary characters from the paperback stories with her – only to find out that they are as hard to get as the heroes based on them. Leo was one of the first on the list.
“This is truly a fascinating story. Obviously, you have to reinvent the stories about yourself to get different outcomes. I happen to be a writer, and I can help you. Writers create mysteries and conflicts, which they then resolve… it feels you have fled from your planet before the resolution of your conflict has taken place and you must be miserable.”
“Even if that is the case, I haven’t been unhappy and miserable the entire time. These men gave me their attention, and I am quite certain I have been every second thought on their minds, or at least that’s what my author wrote about me. But they avoid me like a leper.”
“And the reason for this is, that no human can readily believe your story. In fact, I am quite sure, you simply have got a wild imagination and in pick-up lines such as: “Would you please pretend we are a couple” – you are simply excellent.”
“You think I am lying to you?” – and even behind the mask, he felt she frowned.
“I simply said that you handle pick-up lines freely and effectively.”
“But before that, you said no human can believe my story?”
“Well… I am of the writer’s kin, and we are prone to believing all kinds of things. In fact, I think I might be dreaming. So tell me what happened between you and Leo in the book.”
“I am enamored by default.” – Angelic sighed. – “I went to dance-classes, to try to mingle with earthlings. I pay attention to details. I never made eye-contact with the men; I read the inscriptions on their T-Shirts instead. The first time I raised my eyes to look at someone…a pair of blue eyes was staring at me with the wonder, God gives to only the young at heart. I knew that man. He kept giving me a signal, that I had to turn, well I was ready to break my arm, but didn’t get the signal. Indignant I redeemed my hand from the intruder, stepped away and then looked at him again with something like helpless disgust, or rather disgusted helplessness. Yes, there he was, as handsome as in the paperback story. Two months later I had forgotten everything in the world – there was more breeding than dancing in the club hall. Dancing and me – it’s an old love story… and there he was the Beloved of the Gods, the Prince from the Dynasty of the Dragons from Alpha-Gem, who was attractive for the female gender and knew women well… and therefore he never trusted me.”
“I am also a noble woman. The place that I come from is replete with princes and princesses, for human mind breeds more royalties than the London underground does rats. We are used to gathering in the ball-room and tearing 12 pairs of dancing shoes every single night. 12 dancing shoes every single night! We float in our crinolines and touch our hands, and look at each other above the shoulder of our partner…and all that makes me a dancing goddess. This is why the moment I stepped on the London sidewalk, I looked for a dance club. Leo, as I call the physical counterpart of the Prince from the Dynasty of Dragons is my soul mate. But he rejects me, because he knows that I star in a lot of paperback novels…and he is jealous as a lion.”
“Tell me the story of the Prince from the Dragon Dynasty.”
“The paperback Prince or the Earthling?”
“It seems that these novels have deep influence on your entire being. So start with the royalty.”
“In one of my tales, when we were both 18 years old, and innocent, we met for the first time in the dancing hall of the Castle of the Noble Throne. I came from my own kingdom, to be presented to the fiancée, whom like in millions of tales, the King – my father – had chosen for me. As in the most banal of stories, I was enamored with a ubiquitous lover, and opposed the idea of getting engaged to a man I had not met. When we were presented to each other in the dancing hall, we were not on speaking terms. I bowed, and he bowed, he took my hand, he carried me to the dance floor, the entire time he was staring at the wall two feet above my head. There was no chance I would give in to a stranger in a strange land and forget about the caresses of my lover.
When I presented myself to him I said nothing. We danced without “good evening.” We parted without “good-night.”
When I was alone in my room, I sent to him a note by the maid:
“It is not my desire to betroth you, you are loved by my father the King.
Even if you looks are fabulous, I still believe I am under a spell.
This is not love, for I already know true love.”
He replied to me:
“The story of your lovers has travelled around my kingdom.
I will not tolerate a woman, so wanton to be my bride.
I know your kin, you use men for your own satisfaction and then leave.”
He was afraid of me, and I was afraid of him. But I gazed at him in the dancing hall, and we quarreled with each other in letters, and I sank, and I delved deeper into him…knowing him, betraying myself.”
“Wait!”- Anton said. – “If you felt you betrayed yourself, you were partly into him already.”
“I was. But I denied every sentiment. I took the life of every sensation he caused me. I stepped back and tried not yielding to him… but then he was the Prince of Dragon Empire, my destiny.”
“I saw him. Very confident, soulful man, one could say from the first glance, he exudes the nobleness of a lion.”
“Yes and out of jealousy he despised me. At some point he refused to dance with me. He said: “I am simply not that into you!” That was rude. I felt a gush of pain.
“Is this the prince from the tale, or the physical reality?”
“That’s for “real” although I find it very difficult to discern the romance from reality.”
“I believe if we are able to change the tale, everything will fall into its place. So I want you to imagine that the Prince of Dragon Empire has no romantic power over you. It’s all in your head.”
“It has been written in the stars.”
“Then why hasn’t it happenned yet?”
“But it will!”
“What must be done?”
“I don’t know. I may have to lose 5 kilos. I may have to conquer a foreign country. I may have to tell a thousand and one stories. I don’t know what must be done, but it will be done!”
“And you tried to kill him from jealousy?”
“I am just showing what he does to my heart. I am trying to look independent.”
“For what sake?”
“Is it better if I just crawl after him?”
“You are an attractive woman. You should behave as one, not as a rattle snake. Or are you described like this in the stories written about you?”
“My author was merciless to me. She made me come across all the men she has loved in her entire life. She made it certain these men would not venture near me. Now she is writing the sequel, in which through me, she intends to experience the sensual catharsis of being happily in love. But I decided to take things in my own hands. It’s hard to live in somebody’s head. So I found the portal from the Planet of Alpha Gem, the planet of literary characters, and here I am in London, after the last man she has met. So far I haven’t been lucky. She is trying to govern my behaviour, but here on Earth it is much harder to do so. So actually, she is now rewriting the stories of me to a more pleasing effect. For I have caused her side effects, and she is no longer among the sane.”
“You are one rebellious character!”
“I am a woman, who is enamored.”