Doreit's life is not comfortable. She's got tremendous family issues and a wicked temper. And when a certain chocolatier is thrown into the mix, her occupational orders to resist temptation might d...
Chapter 1: An Hour Until...
One more hour...
Just one more hour...
Just one more measly little hour...
Dorothy Giatoure repeated that to herself every minute that ticked slowly on by as she stood, exactly in her assigned spot in line. One could not say that she enjoyed her job. Frankly, she had caught herself once saying that it was a silly waste of time. If it wasn't for her family....
One couldn't really say that, now could they? If it wasn't for her family she wouldn't even be there on Earth at all, rather than stuck in a mundane occupation. She couldn't quit, though, even if the thought had crossed her mind far more than once - that would be tremendously risky - she had enough people to provide for as it was: her three families. Her father's, mother's and step-mother's relatives all depended on her.
Who knew that all of them would go bankrupt? The family businesses were to sell knick-knacks like pins and old brooches, glass statues and scarves and things such as those. Her step-mother's greeting-card selling business hardly helped at all, except to provide for some extra decent groceries. And all the children, her brother, and her cousins had to go to school, too...
Who knew that she was the only one who had a straight out job to boast of - that she had to be the one to find a way to get money quickly and easily? Not her, except for when her father had decided to wane in his zeal for finding another profession and her mother had left for a different apartment that she couldn't have afforded without Doreit's help.
She looked up again, pulling herself away from her thoughts and plunging back into the cruel world of reality. She let out a sigh of relief.
Only three more to go...And then it would be her turn.
Her turn to go out there and act the part of a mindless zombie-like human being - to walk up, and then down a stupidly long runway - oh, and yes, she must remember to swing her hips now and then, that was near the most top priorities...
She sighed tiredly again, glancing down at the pristine, never-worn-before garments held up be her tall emaciated frame: mid-thigh black leather boots, a skin-tight short magenta dress which enhanced her ribs, and over it all, a periwinkle trench coat - made entirely of lace. Doreit rolled her eyes way up to the ceiling.
Honestly, the things that designers came up with nowadays...
Only one more left, now - the moment that the girl would finish, it would be Dorothy's turn...
Biting back a yawn, she watched the girl strut out ahead of her, emerging from the darkness of the back into the bright array of lights from the glittering crystal and gold chandeliers scattered throughout the ballroom. Doreit grinned. The French truly knew how to stretch the definition of opulence to its own limits...
She turned her attentions again to her present dilemma. She was quite famous, actually. Her situation demanded it. Jean-Pierre Austierre considered her to be his favorite out of all of the others under his demand. So, she was the one to pose for the majority of the shows and ads in the magazines and newspapers...
Aha. Here it comes...
Doreit pulled out her expressionless mask and applied it to her face. Stepping out of the shadows in the dimmed gazebo, she was immediately bathed in bright light and thunderous applause of all of the designers and reporters and wealthies and such others important enough in society to attend such a gala.
And there, laid out in front of her, stretching on and on forever, was the cursed catwalk. It wove into a giant horse-shoe all around the room, in and out of the tables everywhere, and when she would start walking, a spotlight would be centered on her, exposing her for all to see; like some primed poodle, all dressed up and expected to do amazing tricks; or even a gladiator, preparing his stance to fell some dangerous beast before they brought him down first....
No. Stop it.
Thoughts like this only drove her already aching head onward to the brink of madness.
She felt dizzy.
She always felt dizzy...
Lifting a long leg up in front of her, she began to head towards the oblivion of people. Down the path that led into what seemed to be infinity, pricked by thousands of tiny, piercingly sharp eyes that watched her every move with the utmost criticism.
Walk, pause, turn, sway hips, and then walk on. This was the never-ending pattern that never changed. It never varied. It, and everything else, was the same old thing. Nothing innovative or exciting or shocking happened in her world. It consisted of her beloved but sinfully poor family, the shows, the pictures and the paparazzi. Oh, and she almost forgot that tiny little fact that she could not eat more than one or maybe two small meals a day. She was required to keep whatever figure she had unchanged, or to make it smaller. Sometimes she was so hungry, and exhausted from the almost constant exercise, that she forgot at times what really nice food tasted like - steak and vegetables, spaghetti and meatballs, Italian soup - all her favorites when she was little. And then, she would be told that she had to lose so-and-so number of pounds in order to still be employed. And she had to obey.
She had to obey...
Whoever had thought that the life of a supermodel was one to be envied? One to be wistful of when they gazed into magazines and chose not to see their sad eyes? One to yearn for desperately because maybe if they had it, then they would never be in want of popular male company?
They were wrong.
Dorothy paused at the final turn, and twirled around, her hips swaying and her back arching in a totally aloof, uncaring, and ultimately seductive way.
That was her signature. No other could do that the way she had been able. It was why she was known the way she was. Crashing ovations surrounded her, suffocated her, and then trailed after her in her wake as she sauntered back into the safety of the dimness of the end Grecian temple.
Everyone didn't know how infuriatingly wrong they all were. They were lucky. They were blessed, even. They all see models like her in the news or magazines or ads and photo shoots and they wonder. They long to be someone who is known. Someone who is famous. They don't see, because they don't want to see what models really are:
Slaves to people who are slaves to fashion. It's as simple as that. They didn't care what happens to their slaves. As long as they lost weight when it was needed and still had a muscled figure, it was all right.
Well, it had gotten her money. So it had gotten her family money. That was all that mattered right now.
She would bear it.
Doreit held her head up high, challenging them. Challenging all of them. But of course, a movement like that was expected of a model - it resembled the new seductive female 'magazine' expression: an open mouth with parted lips, hollowed cheeks above a jutting jaw, and half-lidded eyes, staring blankly into space as if there was nothing in the world that was worth her time...
Yes...They just did not realize, did they?
But that's the way it was...And it wasn't like she could do much to change that, so why bother to do so? It was just how things were...so she would bear it.
She had no choice.
"Mr. Wonka?" Charlie Bucket inquired of his mentor, the world-famous chocolatier, "I've got a...well, it looks like some sort of invitation for you..." the boy said, handing out a sealed envelope, and thanking the Oompa-Loompa who had delivered it.
The boy and the candyman were working currently in the Inventing Room of the giant chocolate factory. Mr. Willy Wonka himself emerged from the Flavor Machine and the very interesting practice of mixing different candy ingredients together to just see what would happen. With a squelch of blue latex-gloved hands, he snatched the paper from his heir and examined the address, holding it at arms length, his features resembling someone studying a dead slug.
"Oh...It's from that Frenchie-person...Austierre...He's a designer." He explained matter-of-factly, seeing Charlie's confused expression. "It's an invitation," he continued, opening the envelope gingerly and reading the page inside, "To his...FASHION SHOW?" he exclaimed in pure horror.
Charlie jumped at Wonka's very sudden change in tone. His mentor was reading the rest of the invitation with barely concealed disgust coloring his face.
"Uh-huh...Tuesday, hmm? Why the heck does everything happen on Tuesdays, I wonder..." he muttered unhappily. "Right-o. We're not going." The chocolatier declared strongly, going back to his test tubes and tossing the paper in a trash receptacle along the way. Charlie ran over and seized it, frowning at the man.
"Willy, isn't Austierre the one who designed your coats for you?" he asked suspiciously, having glimpsed the name on the tags of the many coats that Willy wore so very often. Why else would a personal invitation arrive for the reclusive candyman?
Wonka froze; a scowl marring his pristine appearance. The caramel mixture in front of him bubbled accusingly. He turned to his protÃ©gÃ© very slowly.
"Perhaps...Maybe...Possibly." He alleged, looking unsuccessfully nonchalant.
Charlie shrugged, and turned the summons over in his hands.
"Well...Wouldn't it seem rude not to attend when he specially designed all of your clothes?" the boy asked reasonably.
Wonka was silent.
"It might not be so bad, anyway..."
At this, the man exploded,
"There'll be tons and tons of snotty-headed people there, Charlie! Besides Austierre...although he is rather a French booger himself...And anyway, I paid him to design my clothes, you know. It's not like he was doing me a favor!"
"Yes, but maybe he considered it to be a favor...And anyway, it says that it's only for two hours..." Charlie pointed to the designated line on the paper. "It could be all right..."
"Hah! You just want to see all of the models, I bet! Don't you? Don't you?" Wonka pointed a blue finger triumphantly at Charlie's chest.
"No!" Charlie protested a bit too quickly.
Wonka dissolved into a fit of giggles.
"You do! I knew it!"
"I do not! My second cousin is a model!"
"Oh, really?" Wonka replied disbelievingly. "Whatever you say, Charlie."
"Uh-huh. Of course you are. Now then, I need your help on the--"
"Willy, I want to go. Doreit might be there. She works for a French designer...Maybe it's Austierre."
Wonka snapped his head around to look at the boy.
"Who in the name of taffy is this...Doreit?"
"She's my cousin! The supermodel! She helped us with money when my dad lost his job at the Toothpaste Factory. That's why we didn't get evicted."
The candyman was quiet again, evidently thinking the whole thing over. The caramel had long since settled and was now pleasantly gooey in the beaker before him. He fished out a popsicle stick from a clean glass jar full of others and dipped it into the mixture. Testing it, and finding its flavor acceptable, he covered the beaker and turned back to Charlie.
"Fine." He said grudgingly, hurling the stick into the trash receptacle with unnecessary force. "We'll go."
Dorothy stood there in the shadows sullenly, waiting for the cue for all of the models to step off of the end Grecian temple and to stand scattered around the ballroom. This was for random people to just come up to them and talk about things relating to the designer or the clothes and whatnot. She really didn't want to do this, even though she'd done it at least twenty times before...
If only her mother had come to see her. That would have made her feel so much better. It seemed that mother dearest had too many things on her mind nowadays...The last time Doreit had gone to visit her, the woman had gotten herself buried deep into the world of drugs...Legal and illegal...
And her mother had gone to many of the shows that she had been in, Doreit allowed fairly. It was asking too much to make the lady attend every single one, especially when they were gala openings...Her mother had hardly anything to wear to these occasions, and she couldn't possibly fit into one of her daughter's gowns. Doreit glanced down at her skinny figure and sighed.
Oh, well. She couldn't really turn back now...Not until her parents could unearth some employment sometime soon...
When her parents decided to do that, exactly, she planned to quit her job, as she had enough money saved to finish her final year at college and to live in her nice apartment for a couple years, and become either a writer or an artist, or even try out her acting skills...she hadn't decided yet. She just needed to sort out this whole mess...
The cue was the serving of refreshments and wine for all of the guests, as they were preparing to do so right at that moment. Doreit led all of her fellow models out from the makeshift temple and onto the ballroom floor, where they were destined to wait and walk around until someone felt the need to ask them about something or point something out to them. This was the first time she actually felt uncomfortable at this point. Usually, with as many years doing this as she had, she should be so used to this by now to the point of severe ennui...
She moved herself over to the east wall of the ballroom. She struck a welcome pose, just like she was instructed to do. Across the room, she locked eyes with Jean-Pierre Austierre. He grinned at her in approval, and in response, she set her lips into a single line. Doreit had a suspicion that the man was interested in her, although why he was, exactly, was a puzzle that she would never figure out. She was confident that she was nowhere near the prettiest model in his employ, but the fact that she was quickly becoming the most well-known was rather conspicuous.
The designer himself was a middle-aged man, in his early forties, and still retained his youthful looks, with only a few strands of silver in his long black hair. His face was tan - too tan for her tastes, and had small wrinkles here and there, with aesthetically pleasing crows-feet at the corners of his dark eyes. He had an overall Roman appearance, and a strong frame, and was average in male height. Tonight he was in a lavish black suit - that made him disappear in the crowds of colorfully dressed women and other men in black suits. Except for one, though...
Doreit narrowed her eyes in order to focus better. She needed her glasses to see far-off details ahead of her in the distance, as she wasn't allowed to wear them while in a show. People came to see the clothing styles, not her face. But the one Man she had seen was wearing a ridiculously bright neon purple suit...If there wasn't such a color as neon purple or violet...well...there was now. An equally bright magenta waistcoat flashed out from behind his lapels. He even carried an odd-looking cane.
Huh. A regular Edwardian dandy. She hadn't seen one of those since that fashion show a few years back, when Austierre had come up with his most notably outrageous men's tuxedos and suit sets...
Something golden and metallic on him caught her eye. It was a sort of swirly...brooch...as far as she could tell. She really wished she had brought her glasses.
And he had a little boy with him!
She saw! The boy had come out of the crowd, seemingly out of nowhere and held onto the strange man's jacket with one hand - probably as to not be swept away by the busy people rushing by - and he held up a plate of hor'dourves to his companion with the other. The man refused with a wave of a...blue gloved hand...And the boy shrugged, continuing his pursuit of consuming the delicacies.
What was a little boy doing at a posh gathering like this? Wasn't he bored out of his head? She squinted even further.
Come to think of it, he did look rather familiar...Maybe she saw him before somewhere...
"Evening. You are...Dorothy Giatoure, if I'm correct in presuming." A random man said in lieu of a greeting. He had placed himself right in front of her, blocking out her view of the other Man and his little boy.
"Yes. You are absolutely correct in that assumption." She said to him stiffly, a bit miffed that he should deny her the one pleasure of studying different people that she partook in at these congregations.
"Tell me," he said amiably, twirling his glass of red wine around in his hand, "What do you think of this designer? Is what we've seen here tonight a regular pattern of styles of his, or completely different from his usual method of designing apparel?"
Doreit just looked at him, a strange glint appearing in her emerald eyes.
"Yes, I imagine," she said lightly, pretending to look through him. She loved to do that to people who bothered her. It made them feel self-conscious and leave her alone. She saw him shift to the side. "That this is his 'usual pattern of styles' that we've seen here. Although, one never can be sure what is regular for such fashion designers. What is regular to them may not seem so to us, or what may seem like usual styles to us may seem like an insult to their other collections that may have been shown earlier in a different show, to them. And anyway, what does it matter if they are usual or unusual or not, as long as people like them and not take them for granted each time that they are shown, and continue to buy from the designer in the stores?"
The man blinked and thanked her for her opinion, even though it was quite clear that she confused him egregiously. He downed the rest of his wine and fled her presence right afterwards. She smiled to herself. Now, if he would only scamper off to tell all of his rich friends what a wit she was and to beware of talking to her for the rest of the night, then she would be perfectly at ease.
She scanned the room again for the strange, popstar-esque Man with the boy, keeping a sharp eye out for a neon violet suit amongst all of the black ones of the other gentlemen. He wasn't there...Did he leave early...? She looked to her left.
She turned to her right....And gasped, jumping in surprise.
There he was! But the little boy he had with him wasn't his at all - it was her Charlie!
"Doreit!" Charlie exclaimed, removing himself from the side of the strange man and hurrying over to where she was. Doreit took a few rapid steps closer to Charlie, making his goal a bit easier for him.
As soon as he was within reach, she bent down and gave him a great big hug, being enormously happy that at least one of her family members came to see her. She looked up, still embracing Charlie, to the Man that was with him. He was much closer now, and she could finally make out small details on him that she hadn't been able to see before. His cane was indeed odd - but not ill-colored. It was black and white on the top and seemed to be a long thin glass tube filled with...Nerds? And the flash of gold she had seen on him was his pin...Where had she seen that logo before...? It was a grand swirly 'W'...
She didn't get a chance to examine it quite fully, as Charlie was pulling her hand persistently towards the Man. Wait a minute - now she remembered!
"Doreit," Charlie began, nearly breaking her out of her thoughts, and she also saw the Man come closer until he was standing right in front of her...
"I'd like for you to meet Mr. Wonka."
Â© Jareth's Genevieve