She returned to the dressing room sometime after midnight. The dressing room was empty. She picked up the cigarette from the ashtray and left it hanging from her bottom lip while she searched through her handbag for a lighter. Someone banged on the door.
“No!” she called, glancing quickly up at the mirror. A dark streak of makeup shot down her neck and pooled in the hollow by her clavicle.
“You’ve got to come see this,” said the voice behind the door, “they’re on their feet.”
She found the lighter. Her thumb trembled as it skidded over the flint wheel. Wild sparks danced around her fingers before the flame broke out and hung there, serene and bright. She looked into the mirror again and saw two miniature flames floating in the dark of her pupils.
“Hey,” the voice called behind the door, “you’ve got to come back out. They’re tearing the house down.”
“I’m not ready. Get someone else.”
She lit her cigarette and tossed the lighter onto the desk. She reclined, put her feet up on the table, took them back down and leaned forward, placing her elbows on her knees.
“What?” called the voice.
“I said, get lost.”
“Are you okay in there?”
“Fine,” she said and buried her face in her hands. The cigarette singed her hair.