She drags tired heels across a tainted floor, poise slightly bowed and her back is sore. She holds on her face a cold marble stare, a hard life engraved upon cheeks once so fair. Her faulting movements, once graceful; divine. Her aching limbs now with guile, defy her final performance on this dark empty stage. Memories fleeting of a much better age. The roar of the crowd in the heat of the lights, commanding the stage to the cries of delight. Standing ovations from sold out rooms, cries of, “Encore”, bouquets and blooms. A West End starlet, she danced through the air, forever performing in the spotlight’s glare. The flash of the cameras and jostling fans, her fluttering eyelashes would meet their demands. Talk-shows and dinners, awards and applause, accolades and roses received without pause. A star on the boulevard, her hands cast in stone, everybody worshipped and bowed at her throne. She reached for the heavens and in starlight she basked, the world was her oyster, she could have all she asked but her deal with the devil was soon to be paid, like any sweet rose she must finally fade. Soon the face in the mirror would define all her time, a light dusty trail at the end of each line, until cracks in the glass couldn’t mask her demise, just dull flaking make-up for a weary disguise. The halls became vacant like her own distant stare, from cold tired eyes behind dull brittle hair. Her body denying her desperate pleas to return to the times of such graceful ease. She drags tired heels across the tarnished floor, her body now trembling as she reaches the door. With a last tearful glance at the dark, ageing boards, no more bright lights or loud cheering hoards. She turns away and with a mournful sigh, closes the door with a whispered goodbye. The rain is hard and the cold wind bites as she stiffly walks off in the dark stormy night. * Written by Darren Scanlon, 19th July 2014 Revised 28th June 2015. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.