D I X I E
B U R N S
Fire coursed through her veins, sending feverish chills all over her body, her skin hot to the touch. Sweat glazed flesh rolled restlessly, encased by a tattered and torn quilt. Small whimpers escaping from plump pink lips, only slightly parted as they expressed their distress. Small pocketed gusts of air in her throat slowly turned to yelps that slid out too easily from those parted lips of hers, echoing and bouncing off the stained walls of her prison. Limbs splayed out over gritty and yet -to-be- washed sheets, the edges becoming untucked and wrapping around the girl's flailing limbs like an octopuses tentacles suctioning onto it's prey. Twirling and twirling around her cool, yet hot sweaty appendages that rolled around along with her distressed torso as her subconscious tortured her, rolling her off into the deep end of nightmares where reality and dreams could not be told apart. Gorgeous yet dangerous jade eyes fluttered helplessly behind shut eyelids, their beauty trapped within the deep tangled web of nightmares mingled with sorrowful memories, fresh, and forgotten. Her flailing limbs dipped over the sides of her terribly grimy and grim resting place, weight crushing down onto the weak sides of the smelly mattress. Her body tempted the edge deliciously, teetering over the dusted and ancient floorboards of her disdainful prison, daring her mind to send the shock waves down through her nervous system and into her limbs, pushing her off and making her join the cold reality, but still wanting to dream of the past, because to her, the old rustic nightmares that haunt her in her sleep, are far better than the new and fresh painful needles that are yet to pierce her mind, and leave their ever so distasteful mark. Her body strayed, toppling her over the edge, the old creaky wooden floorboards coldly welcoming the girl back to the harsh cruel reality of her prison. Ah yes, her prison. The musty smell of her chambers, where the nightmares take control of her body and strangle the hope out of her, where she wakes up in a diminishing sweat, as the floorboards welcome her back lovingly into the cool grasp of life. The unsafe yet comforting sound of the hallway floorboards moaning and groaning in distress under her light feet, as she pushes herself into the soft lighted kitchen, the early shade of the morning sun whispering across the counters and floors of her small but quaint living quarters. Ah yes, the girl with fire in her veins thought as her eyes laid upon the small window that watches over her bed during all times in the day. Ah yes, the two words echoed into her head as her mind registered the soft sunlight filtering in through the crooked and dirty blinds, shedding the faintest of hope onto the dreariest of mornings. Ah yes, the girl yawned, lifting herself off the loving floorboards and properly readying herself for the day to come. Ah yes, she said clearly and briskly as she sank delightfully into her soft corduroy couch, too old and torn to be loved properly, but too young and new to her eyes to be experienced right. Ah, yes, she smiled, as she drank in the lovely smell of honey nectar and tea, as the girl that burned fire through her veins, settled in for another day, in her lovely little prison.
Dixie rested her lips on the edge of her soup bowl and inclined it slightly, tea filling her mouth. The soft, gorgeous tasting liquid resting on her tongue for mere seconds, her taste buds relishing in the small treat, before her stomach growled and demanded that it be sent down to its bowels, to be boiled and cooked in a series of stomach acids. She laid her fingers gingerly on the oh so familiar long black object that seemed to almost fit into her soft hands, being in her daily schedule so much, it almost seemed a ritual to her in these early hours of the daylight, to lay her ginger touch on the remote that controlled the picture boxed named and labeled as television. She clicked the on button, the screen turning to static. The usual lovely sound of the simple jumbled noise of failed picture transmissions usually calmed Dixie, but not this morning. In fact, it infuriated her. "Not worth the goddamn money I spent on ya'!" She snapped, setting the barley drunken tea on a small flaking coffee table in front of her as she pushed herself off the couch, and whacked the silver gray box on its side. She wasn't magic. She knew she couldn't fix it by angrily striking the damn thing. But why not? What else could she do for it? She had no money to pay the repair bills. Or the money to bribe her landlord to go up on the cold and frigid half shingled roof and fix the stupid satellite that had likely been jostled by the wind. At least not now. Not now when her already money tight job was spending Thanksgiving break starving and depriving her of vacation money. She leaned against her wall, gorgeous creamy jade eyes trained on her tea cup, the delicious green liquid sending ripples along the surface as the first bit of cars rumbled past her street. She contemplated going outside, seeing how there really wasn't any other thing to occupy her time with. She ran one hand through her head of thick straight brown hair, that tumbled down below her shoulders. Her fingers wove through the soft strands of brown hair, not completely mussing her hair, but ruffling it slightly. She blew out a mouthful of air, grabbing the little amount of money she actually owned and putting it into the side pocket of her light blue jeans. She never used the back pockets, no. What use were they, if they showed off every bit of thing you owned indiscreetly. Adding to the fact that if you were to sit, anything in our pockets would fall out, and be furthermore visible to the world. She grabbed a hair tie from the top of her silver microwave, which was barley holding onto life, only half cooking meals. With no coat or jacket to shield herself from falls early wrath, she was getting used to embracing the cold as her friend, her equal. Only doing its job in this toppling world. She grabbed her loud and jangling keys from their rusted hook, their jingling cries and yelps of detest of being taken off their resting place were muffled by Dixie's pocket, getting shoved deep inside the soft fabric insides. She opened the door and slammed it behind her, not caring to lock it. What was there to steal? A broken television? Packets of tea and coffee grounds? Grimy and slick tea pots and an only half brewing coffee machine? A couch so old that if it were to be shifted away from its normal spot on her dusty floorboards, that it would most likely spontaneously combust? Even if a homeless man were to stumble across her prison, hoping for any type of warmth, he'd only find a grown woman's own nightmare. She clacked down the small hallway that was lined with cracking walls, and the dusty remains of ceiling plaster dusting the old grimy torn up tan carpeting that had been there for decades. She grimaced. Dixie had always thought tan and white weren't a good color, too calm. Especially when they were crumbling to crisps right before her very own eyes. She ignored the neighbors in 19, the cries of Barbara Schmidt and her abusive husband Tom were a normal acquaintance to the normal sound of the ice machine- that didn't exactly dispense ice- whirring. Dixie winced internally as she heard a lamp smash, trying to piece together the fight in her mind. Was Barbara on the upper hand? Throwing lamps and swinging table legs, or was Tim beating her senseless with her own household items? Dixie decided she didn't want to know anymore, and sped up her walking, pushing the thoughts to the back of her mind. She wouldn't mull over them later.
Once she got to the center of the city, traffic was buzzing as normal, tires hissing on hard black gravel and stop lights blinking. Dixie leaned against an old long since abandoned brick theatre house. She looked up at the deteriorating sign. She'd always wanted to become an actor. But then again she'd also wanted to become a dinosaur when she was five, so she didn't bother chasing dreams. Although she kind of wished she had. During 2004, when she was in drama school, there was an opportunity. It popped up out of the blue, not just for her, but for another student named Colleen. Colleen was a gorgeous girl. Long wavy black hair tied back into a loose ponytail that hung down to the small of her back, big green eyes with long black lashes. Plump red lips. Nothing like Dixie, who had slightly wavy but mostly straight brown hair with auburn highlights that tumbled down below her shoulders, never bothering to put it into a ponytail unless she needed to. Her eyes were big as well, but not as gorgeous as Colleen's eyes. Dixie's eyes were a creamy jade with hints of gold, that were always irritated and red, sometimes from the nightmares, sometimes from the loads of mascara she wore constantly. Her mouth was a soft pink color, plump but not as pushed out as Colleen's. All and all, Colleen was a black haired gorgeous movie star, and Dixie was the follow up. And she had known it. Even thought the part in the movie was small, it was still a chance to show your skills to the many agencies out there ready to put forward another famous star. Dixie couldn't ever shine. Never. So she let Colleen take the part, and left drama school, taking a small job offer at a nightclub who payed shit and was louder than all hell. She blew out a breath of cold air, mulling over her unsuccessful existence. She thought about Barbara, who was a hair stylist at one of the chic salons on the bad side of the city. Even she made more money than Dixie, which was a shame because Tim spent it all on booze and crack. "Move outta the way, dumbass!" A car horn blared through Dixie's glum thoughts and pulled her out of her reverie. Her eyes flicked to a tall man in a tweed jacket and bow tie, who flashed a quick apology the drivers way, and scuttered across the road, dark brown hair flopping over his eye. He stopped and leaned on the building adjacent to the old theatre, catching his breathe. Dixie eyed him over. He wasn't half bad looking. Long deep brown bangs, short hair in the back. Parted to the right, soft bright green eyes. But his chin... She wondered how much it would get in the way of certain activities. His eyes looked over in her direction and he smiled, straightening up and pulling on his tweed jacket, and readjusting his bow tie before making his way over to her. Dixie sighed. No use in pretending she wasn't checking him out now. She turned to face his direction and started to walk towards him, meeting him halfway past the entrance to the old theatre. She noticed for a split second that his eyes were averting her, and looking past her at the theatre's dark entrance. "Yeah?" Dixie rumbled. She didn't like confrontation, and often tended to be rude during speaking to people. His eyes flicked back to her, and he flashed her a nerdy smile, in which she rolled her eyes at. "I'm.. John Smith. Doctor John Smith, and I was wondering if you know how to get inside that.. Theatre there. Just wondering, sorry to bother you if-"
"Yeah, in fact I do know my way in. Why the fuck do you want to go in there? All it's full of is decaying stage props and the old smell of Rachael's perfume." Dixie cut him off, swiftly delivering her answer in an annoyed tone. He looked almost taken off guard by her remark, and she noticed for the first time that he wasn't from around here. Probably wasn't used to the very... Lively vocabulary of Chicagoians. "I take it you used to go here? Teach? Clean?" He fumbled with his hands, trying to make small talk and then slip in his plead to sneak him in. "I was a student." She replied heavily, remembering the days where she and Olivia walked the boarded catwalks in the north side and laughed about wether or not Colleen slept with her cheating boyfriend Mike again. "But I do still know my way in. Our teacher would always be late and she'd hide the only extra key someplace secret around the outside of the theatre, and we'd have to adventure to find it... Colleen found it most of the time, and we had to slip in through a dirty hole in the alley wall..." Dixie suppressed a small laugh but couldn't help smiling. "Olivia made that hole. Swinging some hammer we'd stolen from a construction site.. I told her we were gonna dent the walls or something... Did a lot worse than that." She looked back towards the alley way, bringing herself back to her senses. "I'm sorry." She replied. "Then can you get me in?"
"Can you get me in?"
Dixie stood there, considering her options. Go to Olivia's apartment just a few blocks away and spend the day doing stupid things, or help this strange man look around her old drama school. She looked at him, her heart all full of sad memories and angst. Failure and fear. She felt just the small bit of warmth inside just looking at this man. She smiled, brightening up her face, then pivoted, heading towards the alley way. "Come on! Have to stop by the liquor store to pick up margarita mix before I head to Olivia's, so we better make this quick!" She called over her shoulder, the man scurrying after her.