The Red Room #18
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
You can’t get there from just any place. You have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be standing in the right place at the right time. Look for a red carpet. The first time you learn about the red room is when you realize that the red carpet is where you die just a bit. The red carpet is the abyss, where you become invisible.
The first time I saw someone become invisible was when I worked as a personal assistant for Stacy Mandan, Princess of Pop, and I watched her strut the red carpet wearing a yellow Versace plunge dress for a gala screening of her latest star vehicle movie. The paparazzi blanketed her every step and every blink of her eyes as she edged towards the entrance.
She turned her head towards me and in a second I saw her disappear. No one else noticed, but I saw it. She reappeared with what looked to be tendrils hanging from her slender arms and legs. The tendrils seemed be like grayish white smoke pulling from every limb of her body. Her life force was leaking on the red carpet. I motioned to security to move her past the photographers and the press, who had hoped for a word from her. They rushed her inside before she could speak–or collapse. I looked at the edge of the crowd and saw the Watchers among the frenzy, unmoving, unsmiling.
Rushing inside we encountered more people, more glamour, and as I looked at other entertainers I noticed the same sense of life force drain from their bodies, only less extreme. Stacy touched my shoulder and held on as we made our way to a side hallway. Her hand felt like ice. I looked into her perfectly manufactured face and eyes, wondering if she was able to speak. She motioned for me to lean over, and as I did, she whispered, “I saw the Red Room for the first time.” She trembled, then fainted to the floor in a heap.