The crew retreated to the outer buildings to dive into their dinners and would be late to come back, as usual. Evelyn struck a black match against its box and lit her cigarette. She wasn’t in the mood to eat, nor was she interested in socializing.
They were behind schedule to finish their film at an uneventful location in Wertheim am Main, a sleepy little town in southwestern Germany. The production team was enamored with a beautiful 12th-century castle that overlooked the town and thought it was the perfect setting for a yet another vampire movie. Evelyn knew this one was worth the investment, however, when she read the script after being pursued pretty heavily for the lead role. She could spot a winner from a mile away, but she knew she spotted a winner that had a role that suited her perfectly.
The lead character was strong, dynamic and didn’t give a damn what others thought of her. She went from being an unnoticeable underdog type to the Alpha of the storyline. It reminded her of her own journey during her rather difficult process of becoming an actress of note, so she had a wealth of experience to be inspired by. The icing on the cake was the very generous salary package they offered to her. She had to stifle a laugh when she realized she still wasn’t used to being able to command a lucrative rate for her talent now.
About four years ago, she landed a role for an indie short film that she loved the screenplay for but doubted people would flock to because it was very progressive. She gave it 110% anyway. Against all odds, the film became the trojan horse and the belle of the ball all wrapped in one and they became the center of attention on a global level when they were picked to show at the Cannes Film Festival. The team wasn’t even sure if their submission would have even been accepted, and they were deer in headlights when they realized they had won the Short Film Palme d’Or, the most coveted win for short film entry.
The unexpected victory put Evelyn on the map with a tenacity that she was not prepared for. It made her run from social media and become a bit of a recluse as she started to get swamped with invitations for interviews, events, and roles. But the shock of the attention was short-lived as her newly-appointed manager started bringing her attention to some career-changing roles that placed her as leads in two powerful films and created her reputation as the actress to have. People loved her humility, her grace and her ability to completely immerse herself in any role she decided to tackle.
So, here she was, contemplating her career growth on a hauntingly beautiful German castle balcony and watching the tendrils of smoke rise up against the cloudy night sky and she couldn’t help but smile at the beauty of it all. Then, suddenly, she heard a door creak and a familiar giggle. But what bothered her was the familiar male laugh that followed…one that she hadn’t heard in four years.
Evelyn stubbed out her cigarette and moved towards the hallway that they had been filming in for the past few hours. There was a difficult scene that the director was being very particular about that sat outside of one of the many ornate and massive bedrooms in the castle. Another giggle echoed out and bounced along the stone walls as Evelyn walked quietly over to peer around the open door. She almost dropped her matches as she realized it was exactly who she feared it was.
Her ex, Corbin, had her understudy, Helen, pressed up against the far wall of the bedroom. She was in her casual clothes and had her hair piled in a messy bun. He was wearing his signature navy suit and she could almost hear that fucking smirk he’d plaster on his face. He always thought he was hot shit and made sure everyone else believed it too. Clearly, Helen had bit the bait despite all of the very obvious warning signs that were public knowledge at this point. But Evelyn realized that he was playing a game she was all too familiar with.
They had dated for over a year and they were veering towards being pretty serious back when Evelyn’s career wasn’t as active. While he loved her intelligence and sarcastic sense of humor, she ultimately was arm candy to him while he was busy fucking the next person he thought he could upgrade to. He used Evelyn to leverage his way into the panties of someone who held a higher rank than her professionally. And he was doing that the majority of the time she knew him, but pretended to be monogamous. When she came to his place to collect the last of her things, he lied and told her that the low budget actress she walked in on him with didn’t exist while they were dating. But she did, and photos of the two of them were leaked to the press as proof that the two were an item during the infancy of Evelyn’s relationship with him. The two eventually ended up married for a short while and divorced as he sought a better target.
The media started to take a lot of notice of his playboy ways but celebrated it more than anything. Women started to regard him as an achievement of some sorts and Evelyn was well aware that he shared beds and walls (and showers, and pools…..) with many on his increasingly elite hit-list. He slept with and discarded some of her friends, even, and had to be understanding when they realized the mistake of getting involved with another woman’s trash. Everything he did was methodical and horribly planned ahead. He eventually married another actress.
So she did not exactly understand why he was here, feeling up an understudy unless the pickings were slim. There was so little coverage about this film because it was intentionally kept off of the radar, and few knew she was even there filming. Something told her she just witnessed him trying to set up his next move, despite now being very publicly married to a B-list star.
Evelyn took a step back and got ready to go back to the balcony when she stumbled over the hem of her dress, letting out a slightly confused yelp. She realized she needed to just head to the stairs and leave before he realized that she was there. Evelyn gathered a hefty chunk of her gown into her hand and made her way towards the end of the hall.
She heard some quick footsteps as his dress shoes tapped against the stone floors, stopping at the doorway. She kept walking and just hoped he wouldn’t try to talk to her or follow her. If he didn’t see her face, she could avoid the confrontation entirely. If he saw her face, she didn’t know if she could handle the bullshit that was sure to follow.
She heard a few more taps of the dress shoes, but they sounded like he was moving away from the door. She exhaled slowly as she reached the mahogany banister at the top of the stairs. She just wanted to be out of there.
For some reason, she needed to look back at the door to make sure he wasn’t watching her.
He was. And the painful transition from concern to the shocked realization on his face was both hilarious and terrifying. Evelyn almost froze at the top step and hurried down towards the main doors.
She could hear his footsteps behind her, picking up in speed. She needed to get out of there before he could try to get his hooks into her again.
Just BECAUSE Lillian Gown (sheer) – 25Black (Hourglass)
DOUX – Kitty Hairstyle
MINIMAL – Hell Door Backdrop
Decor by Kunst, Fancy Decor, and Architect