Christmas Hiatus: Prince of Tights

The blog is on hiatus for the Christmas season. New stories will return in January. Here’s one from the archives:

The room fell into a shocked silence. All eyes swivelled around to crucify the young man standing at the front. He was still holding the length of material over his forearm, but now seemed to be trying to hide behind it. His beaming smile was rapidly fraying at the edges under the glare.

He felt a tepid, liquid panic oozing into the unwelcome, gaping emptiness in his mind. An emptiness that until a few seconds ago had held some incredible idea. An amazing idea, hadn’t it been? Hadn’t it? Months of diligent work, careful planning and expansive day-dreaming. The memories of heart-pumping moments, wrapped in the sparks of creative fire, flashed before his eyes, then faded into the bile clawing and crawling its way up from the pit of his stomach into his lungs. Nobody said a word.

***

In later years, the moment would return to his mind. He would be sitting on a beach in beard and sun-tan. Expensive drink in hand and the fashion world at his feet, the paparazzi kept at a distance by men who used to guard monarchs and presidents. Then the moment returned to him. None realised at the time, but that soul-crushing moment had been when the boy became a man. The petulant demon smacked out of him, the youthful arrogance and entitlement ripped from his skeleton and his uncooked genius finally exposed to the naked flame. In that moment the ascendancy of the Prince of Tights became etched into the stars.

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