I’m adding on to another story I wrote for the Red Dress Club. The first time you met Blair Weathers, her art studio needed a new plate glass window, and she was led to a dark alley to help a girl’s mother who had just been shot. Today, I am going to take you to a time before that scene, before the opening night of the art gallery. *Note: I changed the main characters name from Gail to Blair. I did not realize there was another popular character with this same name.
Blair sighed as she stepped out of the taxi, smoothing her wool skirt about her legs, pulling the pale pink jacket of her suit closer to her body, and running the flat of her palm over the severe bun of her dyed black hair, tucking in any loose strands. She was annoyed that she had to be here, yet again, as set back after set back had kept her art studio from opening on time. She had a deadline to keep, and her artists were getting antsy as the opening date kept getting postponed. She put on an air of confidence and entered the city building, knowing she was as prepared as she would ever be to finally get the city approval.
Her meeting was scheduled with the Board of Supervisors at 1:00 pm. She looked at the small diamond encrusted watch on her wrist. The diamond tipped hands told her it was 12:45 pm. She took a deep breath as she looked around the spacious lobby for Bill, her business attorney. He was meticulously late, and she worried that today would be no different, despite their fling at his apartment the night before. She knew it was in poor taste to mix business with pleasure, but it was gaining her the results she wanted. This was another reason she was glad that it was almost over.
She caught the cadence of her black, open-toed patent leather heel as it tapped on the granite floor beneath her feet. Another hasty glance at her watch told her she could wait no longer. She headed for the elevators, anxious over the long ride to the 34th floor in such tight quarters. At least it was the express elevator, so there would be minimal stops along the way. The doors slid open and she steps in, pleased to find it empty. So much better, she thinks to her claustrophobic self.
Just as the doors were almost completely closed, a hand shot through them, and they whipped open, revealing a slight brunette in ill-fitting clothes, covered in various shades of paint. With the distaste written all over her face as the woman steps into the elevator and the doors close behind her, Blair speaks. “My lawyer has advised me not to talk to you.” She tried to prevent her lip from curling up but was unsuccessful.
“I don’t really care what your lawyer has to say. If you weren’t screwing him, maybe he’d be able to see beyond the fur between your legs,” the woman said. “My art deserves to be in your show and you know it. The fact that you stole my idea and ran with it….” Her long fingers were covered in paint and made fists at her side.
Before Blair could try to respond, the elevator slowed to a stop and the doors slid open. She glanced at the ceiling and noticed they were only on the 12th floor. She would have to suffer Regina’s presence for at least another 10 floors before she could get out and take the stairs. Otherwise, she would be late. She felt like the White Rabbit from Wonderland all of the sudden, and found herself wishing she were Alice, and there was a vial that said “Drink Me”. She wanted to escape this elevator so very much. The rancid odor of her unbathed carmate had surrounded her nostrils and she was beginning to taste it, and her stomach turned. The doors slid closed again, and as the elevator began its ascent, she silently cursed herself for not getting off.
“I don’t have anything to say to you, Regina. No, I do, but I’ve been instructed not to. Besides, I have the patent to prove everything. You? You have nothing.” Blair glanced at herself in the polish of the metal walls and straightened herself up to her full height. She could be intimidating when she wanted to be.
“I do have something. I promise you that, Ms. Blair Weathers,” she spit as she said her name, “Mark my words. There’s a special place in hell for thieves and liars like you. And what’s even better is, you won’t be able to screw your way out of that one. I can guarantee that you will be screwed though. An old whore like you, you will probably get off on it.” Regina quickly caught her breath as she said more then she had meant to. Damn her for provoking me! This is not going how I dreamed it would, she thought to herself. She ran her hands through her greasy, paint streaked hair, resisting the impulse to reach out and smack someone.
“You do know that there are cameras in here that record everything, right?” Blair laughed in her high pitched over indulgent cocky way. “I think your goose is cooked with that comment right there.” Her confidence rising, she glanced at the lights again. The 20 was lit up. She was beginning to relax as she realized that she only had a few more minutes to put up with this woman before she could make her escape.
Just as quickly as the elevator had begun it’s ascent, it stopped. The groan and shriek that came from the cable, along with the jolt, was enough to force both women to their knees on the elevator floor. The elevator stopped, no lights on the wall to say exactly where they were. Blair frantically hit the buttons, trying to coax the car back into action. When it did not, her cool composure started to visually crumble. She put her hands over her face for a few minutes to regroup, then picked up the phone receiver in the elevator. There was no dial tone. She whipped out her cellphone, but it was no use. It was a dead zone in the elevator, one of the hazards of taking the express. She tried to control her emotions; falling apart in front of Regina was not on her list of things to do before she dies.
She slowly started to stand up, retreating to the opposite corner from where Regina stood watching her. She glanced at Regina, who seemed to be waiting for something from her.
“Did you do this, Regina?”
“I’m not going to answer that.”
“This is stupid. Start the car back up.”
“That’s not my call. I have no control over it.” A wicked smile appeared on Regina’s face. “I have no place to be. I can stay here all day. Looks like we may have to since no one knows we are here.”
As that realization took over, Blair crumbled. Her leather bound briefcase slumped to the floor, one of the gold clasps snapping open. Her hands shook visibly as she tried to push the papers that were falling out back into the briefcase.
“I don’t know what you seek to gain from this,” her voice wavered, “but whatever it is, it won’t work. I have plenty of people I know who saw me get on this elevator, and I have very important people waiting for me to get off.”
Regina laughed. “You think I planned this. Okay, I can go along with that. What do you think I want?”
“You will never get it. You’d have to kill me first.”
“We’ve only been stuck in the elevator for 2 minutes and you already look as if you are dying. I’m a patient woman. At this rate, it shouldn’t take long.” She crossed the length of the elevator and stood next to Blair. She grabbed her face between her thumb and forefinger, and stuck her face right up to Blair’s. “You are a pathetic waste of space.” Her hot, dead skunk smelling breath made Blair flinch. Regina pinched her face tighter then released it, leaving 2 red imprints behind.
The elevator jerked again, pitching Blair into Regina. The horrific smell that entered her nostrils caused her stomach bile to rise and she released it, all over the front of Regina’s clothing. She pushed Regina away, and started pounding on the elevator walls and door, screaming for help, her briefcase and reason for being in this place, at this time, forgotten. She began clawing at the door, chipping a well manicured nail and not even caring. Tears caused her makeup to start running down her face. She was a mess and she didn’t care. She wanted out, now. She felt another wave of panic rising over her and she washed it down, screaming against the door again. Regina watched in silence, a smile across her once beautiful face.