Jade smiled with self-satisfaction to see Lara in the crowd. Not on the stage, not in the make-up room, not in any entourage, but in the crowd alongside all the rabble who blended together as faces in the crowd, unimportant individually. It had only taken a few words spoken in the right ear to shatter Lara’s career.
It serves her right, to think she can share the stage with me.
Lara hadn’t been the first aspiring diva to learn her lesson the hard way. They called Jade the shatterer for a reason. Not only could her voice shatter fine crystal, but she’d shattered records as she rocketed to the height of celebrity in not only the world of classical music, but modern pop as well. Once she’d reached those heights, she didn’t hesitate to shatter the hopes and dreams of anyone she viewed as a threat to her sublime position.
Only the most accomplished and respected entertainers were invited to perform at the Universal Station’s Grand Ballroom. The ceiling was a lovely facsimile of the starry void…as if the ballroom actually had a view of the stars, instead of being buried somewhere inside the vast and intricate orbital station.
Jade opened her performance, as usual, with a few of her cheekier numbers in the low end of her range. She absorbed the adoration of the crowd, consuming it like oxygen. She segued into one of the classical pieces, stretching her voice easily into a range most sopranos found challenging. The awe the audience exuded was palpable, giving her the energy she needed to reach the climax.
During the brief intermission, she stood while three attendants dressed her in the dark angel costume she’d wear for the second half of her performance. The wings were annoying, but spectacular.
The song began with her voice piercing the inky blackness, the ballroom lit only by the very realistic starscape above. As the spotlight found her, she rose on the floating pedestal, the special effects perfectly complimenting the gradual rise of her voice as she transitioned from one key to another.
Her sycophantic congregation gave her everything she craved. She almost felt that her wings could carry her away, buoyed on the praises of the crowd. She hit the high note in a blaze of glory, holding it for a record-shattering span.
When she finally let go, expecting a moment of stunned silence followed by thundering applause, her ears were confused by a cacophony of sound. She peered into the darkness below, shielding her eyes from the spotlights, but she couldn’t see anything other than a mass of churning bodies.
They were screaming in terror.
And then she heard it. The crack. Jade looked up, seeing the spiderweb of fractures in what she had thought was an artificial viewdome.
The whoosh of air was instant, the glass fell away from her. She followed, carried by her angelic wings. In another instant, there was silence, and absolute cold. She soared to the heavens, attaining heights she’d never dreamed possible.
For a moment, just one fleeting moment, she felt regret. Not for the cruel way she’d treated so many people, but for the fact that the note she’d projected hadn’t even been her highest or most powerful. And now…now the crowd below— some of them joining her in the icy void— would never get to hear it.
I needed a writing warm-up tonight, and I recalled that Jade, a friend from high school, had asked to be killed off. I hope I have done so in a spectacularly satisfactory way.