1. Temptation

She sat outside the building, nothing about it was specifically unwelcoming but the unknown beckoned and although something small  and annoying niggled at her, encouraging her down a different path, she had always had difficulty saying no to that which beckoned in all its glorious mischief. But, she always reasoned with herself that it wasn't like that little voice wasn't there at all, it was that little voice that enabled her to justify the risks she took. She felts its pressure, it was insipid yet intrusive, all consuming, encompassing her will from the inside. She plastered a smile on her face, focused on keeping her eyes forwards and braced herself once gain to encounter people and situations that just didn't fit her, like trying to put a jigsaw back together after the dog has chewed a piece, you knew it should fit, or that once it would have, but there had been an event, a moment, a series of moments that had altered her to the point where although she knew it should be familiar, everything felt alien.

She walked in, fear making the pit of her stomach hot and her legs stiff. She became conscious of every little movement, her arms felt long and heavy, her head intruded on the space around it. She felt a flush rise to the tops of her cheeks under her eyes. Every head turned to look at them when they walked in, even though they'd already known, already watched them advance. She hung back, watched him either pretend to, or actually forget that she existed at all as he jovially greeted these strangers that she had heard him complain about mere minutes prior. Getting a flashback to high school she started counting the seconds until they could leave. She smiled awkwardly at anyone that caught her eye, wobbling on her fear in the entryway feeling large and small all at the same time somehow.


            Peripherally she had already noticed him, not that she had ever seen him before but he stood there with such a sense of power and control that not even his smaller stature nor obvious age gap could shield his identity. He was boss, the ringmaster and these were his puppets, or were they his fellow performers? She had a burning desire to find out, a desire for knowledge, she wanted to delve deep into this world and examine its intricacies like had never been done before. Their ups and downs their rules and rites and the friendships and games. Even her limited experience with his world, with these sorts of people had taught her that it was a game that could easily take over. Sure if you held the right cards and played the game properly it was a fun game, an exciting game, of course it was otherwise why play at all. That was the drawcard. But she knew, as sure as she knew the sun was hot and the ocean cold, that the house always wins. Always. And in this game, there is no cashing out, you play until finish, win, lose, draw or otherwise. She had had a taste of the world, albeit small, she had satisfied herself that she truly wanted more than that, she had escaped with her life and although she carried scars, inside and out, she wore them as a badge, not of pride, but of warning to herself, a reminder that the flighty temptress of a world of glamour, money, celebrity and decadence had danced within her reach a number of times now, and although she went for a quick spin, she had proven to herself that she would always choreograph her own, somewhat less flashy routine.


After this incident she began to date someone removed from this, someone that seemed safe and sweet and genuine. But as things tended to do, it drifted out of her control. 

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