Authors: Ella Morris
Some Attractions are Lethal
By Ella Morris
First Kindle Original Edition, September 2013
Copyright © 2013 by Ella Morris
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and situations either are the product of the author's imagination or are used factiously.
All rights reserved.
No parts of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written consent from the author.
Ella Morris, Author
Please follow along with these handpicked music selections to grasp the wide range of emotion felt by the characters.**
Ling’s Performance – O Mio
Babbino Caro by Jackie Evancho
– Blue Veins by The Raconteurs
In the Café
– I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone
Ling’s Second Performance
–Ave Maria by Jackie Evancho
– Lay Me Down (Acoustic Version) by Sam Smith
– The Prayer by Charlotte Church featuring Josh Groban
The rain pours, the thunder roars and the wind howls outside in the darkened night sky, but all is calm and collected inside of the Downtown Opera House, for the most part. The audience members eagerly await the next act, their hands still stinging from the vigorous clapping from the prior performer, while the musicians back stage are doing everything in their power to quell the nerves. It’s a packed house tonight, so much so that latecomers are forced to stand in the back, bobbing their heads back and forth, trying to salvage a good view. Everyone is waiting with bated breath, glancing down at his or her programs through the dimmed balcony lights, to anticipate what will come next.
Suddenly, the lights dim further and a man’s voice is heard over the PA system. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the st
age next, performing O Mio Babbino, accompanied by the Seven Street Symphony, Miss Ling Cooper!”
A young woman graces the stage as the announcer concludes his statement. She is petite in stature, but her presence commands attention.
Her almond shaped eyes, porcelain skin and ebony hair tied up into a bun on the top of her head, suggests that she is young, but at her core, lives an old soul who can only appreciate the music as much as she does.
A roar of applause welcomes her, including a standing ovation from two audience members, far before she even begins to perform. Those two overly excited a
udience members are her parents, Chris and Sadie Cooper. They are a young couple, in their early thirties and their little girl on stage is a meager five and a half. By their difference in heritage, it is obvious to the naked eye that they are her adopted parents. However, with the amount of love beaming from their bodies and projecting onto the stage, it is as if that small girl had been in their lives forever and that she was their own.
The applause dies down and
Sadie and Chris take their seats. They are both decked out in their finest attire, abiding by the theater etiquette rules, no matter the scope of the event. Despite it only being Ling’s year end recital, to them, it’s as though she is playing on the biggest stage the world has to offer.
Chris wears a pinstripe suit but opts for no tie, in order to keep his look somewhat youthful. He tops it all off with a pair of rimless glasses that make his blue eyes pop even m
ore. His dark brown hair is shaggy and long but it is a nice contrast to his freshly shaven skin.
Sadie, is dressed to impress, even though she tones it down compared to other evenings. With supermodel looks and the body to match, she is usually known for showing off her legs, as they are part of her trademark appearance. However, this event is neither the time nor the place, so she instead wears a simple maxi style black dress, even though she still radiates sex appeal. Her chestnut eyes have the faintest hint of smoky makeup around them and her long, blonde hair is perfectly tousled and collected on the right side of her body, falling down like a waterfall of beauty to her breast. Oozing sexuality is second nature to her and it just comes naturally, particularly when she isn’t trying.
“Look at her up there,” Chris whispers in
Sadie’s ear. “She reminds me so much of her mom.” He takes her hand in his, squeezing it tightly and trying to choke back the overwhelming emotions. Sadie smiles and makes eye contact with him with her deep cocoa eyes and they share a kiss before the strings section begins to play.
As soon as the first note is hit,
Sadie immediately directs her attention to the stage and her eyes light up. The strings section plays a soft introduction as the maestro in the pit instructs his orchestra to begin. The strings and accompanying sounds begin to swell and that is when Ling steals the spotlight.
The moment she opens her mouth is when the true beauty of the performance begins. Even though she is young and small, her voice is the complete opposite. The voice that emerges from her small frame rivals some of the most seasoned veterans in the opera world. Her voice is powerful and breathtaking at the same time.
The range in which she is able to project is simply out of this world. Every audience member is captivated by her and unable to look away, some even welling with tears at the sheer beauty emanating on that stage.
As Sadie watches in amazement and utter pride, she can feel the tears well in her eyes at the exact same moment that Ling reaches the climax in the song. It is a euphoric moment and one that overwhelms her. She allows the tears of joy to flow from her eyes and looks over at her husband, hoping he will feel the same emotion that she does, but he doesn’t. Although he doesn’t look bored, he doesn’t look too enthralled either, fidgeting with his thumbs and looking distracted. The lack of emotion in her husband causes Sadie to shift in her seat, trying to keep her disappointment at bay. The song ends and the music dies but the crowd erupts.
Everyone nearly jumps to
his or her feet in unison and they howl. Everyone’s hands clap in the auditorium at a mile a minute and that is all that anyone can hear. Any other sound is completely drowned out by the thunderous roar of the crowd. Sadie and Chris are right in the heart of it all and they can feel their hearts swell in their chests with the admiration and love they feel for that tiny girl on stage.
looks around and people who have an indescribable joy stamped across their faces while they smash their hands together as fast as they can go, surround her. It brings her the most joy she has felt in years to know that Ling’s talent can touch the lives of an entire auditorium filled with people. She couldn’t be more proud.
Ling curtseys in front of the audience and is obviously humbled. She then silently thanks the maest
ro and the accompanying orchestra before she disappears into the darkness of the left wing of the stage. Even though both Sadie and Chris want to leave to compliment their daughter, they are at a showcase and must remain until the other performers have finished their acts. It is the polite thing to do and it is theater etiquette, even though they would both be more than happy to break a few rules right now.
The suspense and anticipation eats away at them both, and every following performance just doesn’t carry the same weight that Ling’s did.
“Why wasn’t she the finale?” Chris whispers to
Sadie. “She stole the show!”
“I don’t know Chris,” she replies. “
Just watch please, like actually this time?” Annoyed, Sadie rolls her eyes at her husband’s inconsiderate nature and has the unfortunate responsibility of silently apologizing for his behavior to those around her. It’s like sitting next to the obnoxious person at the movies and something she is getting sick and tired of doing. She shouldn’t have to babysit her husband but more often than not, it feels that way.
They both sit, anxious, waiting for the final act to end.
As the final performer is ready to take the stage, Chris tenderly applies his hand to Sadie’s leg, in a very suggestive manner, which is ironic given how cold he has been tonight. That’s how Chris is though; it’s his way or no way.
There is nothing innocent nor discreet about the way
his hand is travelling up Sadie’s thigh, increasing with pace and furor until she puts a stop to it. She coils her fingers around his hand and brings it back closer to her knee, shooting her husband a deathly stare.
“Not here. Not now.”
Chris crinkles his nose and has a pout on his face, very reminiscent of a toddler who didn’t get his way. Sadie can barely bring herself to hold hands with him in this moment but she does. She must.
As soon as the final performance is completed
, Sadie and Chris are on their feet, trying to get out of the auditorium to greet their daughter. No one else seems to be in a rush quite like they are, so they are stuck behind slow moving traffic. Sadie can feel the frustration building inside of her body but she quells it with the knowledge that she will see her baby girl soon.
Finally, they catch a break in the crowd and are able to dash outside of the auditorium and into the lobby. All of the acts are lined up outside and they scan the area, looking for Ling.
“There she is!” Chris says as he spots her. “Let’s go!”
pulls on Sadie’s hand and drags her through the crowd, making it even more difficult for her to navigate through the lobby in her stiletto heels. It’s rare for Chris to ever consider how Sadie is feeling and unfortunately, it still doesn’t happen tonight.
Ling spots them and a huge smile forms on her lips.
“Honey, you were amazing!”
Sadie shouts as she runs over to greet her. She pulls her in close for an embrace and kisses her on the cheek. “You made me cry you were so incredible!”
“Thanks mom,” Ling says quietly, always remaining humble and appreciative, and never without any diva like qualities.
“You were breathtaking and by far the best act of the night,” Chris says as he pulls her in half-heartedly and kisses her on the top of her head. “You are a star.”
“Thanks dad,” Ling says through flushed cheeks
, ceasing to make eye contact with him.
and Chris stand before their daughter as a sea of people come up behind them, hoping for the opportunity to congratulate and speak with the talented youngster. Before they know it, the couple are lost in the crowd of people who swarm at their daughter. They decide to back off and give her some space, as she smiles to signal that she is okay and that she can handle herself. Chris guides Sadie over to a safe place where they both are able to keep an eye on Ling and where they can get away from the congested state of the crowd.
“How proud are you right now?” he asks to
“I cannot put it into words,” she says to him as she turns in his direction slightly. “She would never sing to us at home and I was hesitant about tonight, but she took my breath away.
I never expected her to be this talented.”
Chris nods and smiles. “She’s something else. We are really lucky.” He swings his arm around
Sadie’s neck and pulls her in for a kiss. She ignores it and instead he goes for the cheek.
“What? I can’t
even kiss my wife in public?” Chris is insulted but attempts to play it off.
“Not right now,”
Sadie is quick to reply. “This is not the place for public affection.”
“What about later?” Chris says to her coyly
, whispering in her ear. “Can I get you alone later and fuck your brains out?”
nearly chokes on her saliva as she swallows, causing her to cough suddenly. His inappropriate nature is almost repulsive to Sadie tonight; the last thing she wants to do to him is make love. Chris laughs at her reaction and as he is about to make another obscene comment, a man approaches with Ling by his side.
He is older and dressed in a vintage style tuxedo. He has long white hair even though the top of his head is bald. He has a white beard to match and looks like a skinnier version of Santa Claus, except for the
green tortoise wayfarer glasses.
Are you Mr. and Mrs. Cooper?” he asks as he approaches with Ling.
“Yes,” Chris says as he places his hand before the man to instigate the handshake. “And who might you be?”
“My name is William Ross and I am the theater director here at the Opera House. Your daughter, Ling, is talented beyond measure as I am sure you are aware.” He places his old hand on Ling’s shoulder with admiration.
nods as she makes eye contact with Ling before putting her attention back on the man.
“Well, I would like to shortlist her for performan
ces. I know that she is young but she can fill the shoes of numerous opera singers. If the opportunity were to ever arise where a performer was ill, I would ask for your permission that Ling be able to come in and be a replacement?”
and Chris both take a moment and they are overwhelmed by the request. Chris lowers his stance to Ling’s, getting on her same level and placing both of his hands on her tiny shoulders. “What do you want to do Ling?”
“If it’s okay wi
th you two, I’d like to do it!” Ling is ecstatic and barely able to contain herself.
smiles and agrees. “You can put her on the roster,” she says to William. “We would be honored to have her perform her again.”
“Delightful!” he exclaims as his eyes widen
and a smile forms on his lips. He lowers himself to Ling’s level and shakes her hand. “We are honored to have you on board, Miss Cooper,” he says to her softly. “Now, let’s go do some paperwork shall we?”
and Chris exchange a glance before agreeing to follow William into the office area to complete some paperwork. They smile at one another and then Ling turns around to smile back at them. “C’mon, mom! Let’s go!”
smiles at her and continues walking behind her, with Chris on her arm. He leans into her, bitter. “Where’s my c’mon dad? How come she is only like this with you?”
shrugs and continues walking, using Chris as her crutch, finally. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m around more often?”