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Skylar West and the Seven Runaways: A Modern Snow White
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful and happy model, which fell in love with a handsome and charming actor. They were very happy, and all they wanted was a little daughter to call their own.
One day, not long after their wedding, the woman was feverishly typing away on her keyboard, IMing her girlfriends the hottest gossip. When she started typing so fast that her fingers started to bleed. A single drop of blood dropped onto her crisp white desk and landed next to her sleek black IPhone. She sighed, “One day, I wish to have a daughter with hair as black as this IPhone, skin as white as this desk, and lips the color of blood, or at least Lancôme #154, such a beautiful shade.”
Not long after, the woman got her wish… it took ten hours of labor to make her dream come true. A little daughter which to her amazement fit her description perfectly. They named her Skylar West, and she was their pride and joy. Everywhere they went the couple took their baby girl, parading her around to all of their Hollywood events.
When Skylar was ten years old a tragedy struck their family. On her way home from a photo shoot late one night, her mother’s limo was hit by a drunk driver. She died instantly. After that Skylar’s father fell into a depression; stopped taking movie deals, or going to red carpet events. He stayed in his TV room, watching ESPN 24/7. At first Skylar didn’t know what was going to happen to her dad. He was never there, so she learned young how to fend for herself.
One day, years later, out of the blue Skylar’s father came out of his protective shell. Before he seemed numb and out of it, like a zombie had inhabited her father’s body. Slowly he woke out of his funk. He started working again, but not too much, he got small commercial jobs-just enough to make a living- and soon enough he was back doing his big jobs again. He started going out with his old friends, but also he spent most of his time trying to make up for the years that he had been lost, and unable to take care of Skylar. Their bond grew, and she was glad to have her dad back. He was happy to, but he still felt so bad for leaving her for all that time and he wanted to make it up to her. He thought that at thirteen Skylar needed a role model, a woman she could talk to… He decided she needed a mom, and he needed a wife.
The first time Sky met her future stepmom was in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with hundreds of cameras flashing in her eyes. Skylar wore a red and yellow knee-length dress with Converse. She and her father were arm and arm taking “father daughter” photos when “she” first appeared.
Stepping in between the two of them pushing Skylar to the side was a drop dead, gorgeous, blonde bombshell named Rochelle D’More. She seemed to be no more than eight years older than Sky at the most! “Hi sweetie,” she cooed, “I’m Rochelle D’More. Up and coming actress and “it” girl and your new mother” she smiled smirked and moved closer to Sky and whispered, “ Why don’t you go ahead inside and get yourself a seat in the back, while your daddy and I pose for some more pictures.” She backed up and loudly laughed, “So nice to finally meet you! I just know we are going to be like sisters!”
“That’s funny…we could be.” Skylar said just loud enough for her father to hear. She glanced his way and gave him a forced smile.
As she went in she looked back at her forty-five year old father, with a twenty-something year old blonde hanging on his arm and every word. As she stopped to watch their photo op she saw Rochelle glance her way and gave her the most evil death-stare she has ever seen. Everything would change from now on.
The next few months were torture. Skylar’s father was so busy planning the wedding that he hardly even remembered she existed. Rochelle was at the house 24/7 with her manager Rick, always lounging around on the couch with a glass of wine-which Skylar wasn’t even sure is she was old enough to have- throwing fits on how her wedding wasn’t fantabulous enough. Sky just sat there on the couch doing her math homework trying to ignore her.
Soon the wedding came and went. It had lavish gowns with jewels and crystals, hot pink bridesmaids dress, and a fantastic banquet televised on TLC, on Rochelle’s demand. Her dress was the brightest white you could ever imagine, with a sweetheart neckline, a bodice covered in diamonds, about one hundred yards of tool, and to top it off a giant crystal tiara. Sky did her best to hide out in the back away from the cameras. She wore a soft yellow floor length dress that looked amazing against her black hair, white skin, and red lips. Her slightly curled hair bounced against her chin, making her look like a natural beauty. When Rochelle saw her through her liner blackened eyes she snarled, “Doesn’t someone think we’re a little beauty? You better stay away from the paparazzi because tonight is all about me! And I’m expecting a number one in this month’s most beautiful list. Tonight will get me that. ”
So, Skylar stayed leaning against the wall at the very back of the room, staying out of sight. Occasionally, she would hear a snap of a camera, but who would take pictures of Skylar West when Anthony West and Rochelle D’More were in the same room? In no time the party ended and Sky was helping the workers clean up.
Skylar woke to an ear curdling scream. She rushed into the kitchen to find Rochelle standing in her nightgown-if you could call it that- staring at the front pages of three different magazines. On all three of them was a picture of Skylar West dramatically posed against a wall, looking gorgeous with no makeup at all in a floor length yellow dress. This Month’s Most Beautiful….Skylar West! Skylar West Possible Model Career?
Skylar West, Steals Spotlight From New Mom Rochelle D’More! Sky stood there flabbergasted,
“You did this!” she screamed pointing at her.
“Honey, Roch, calm down, please.” Her father cooed.
Rochelle stormed out of the room, her manager following her into the dining room trying to cool her off. After curiosity got the best of her she sat down and started looking at the magazines that just named her most beautiful. They were saying how she would take after her mother in modeling for sure, and how she looked effortless, while Rocky (nickname for Rochelle) looked too forced. Apparently natural was in.
Her father was too stressed to stay inside, so he went for a jog. Rochelle was in the living room when she walked by on her way upstairs. Something weird stopped her from going though. Instead, she ducked behind the vanity in the hallway and peeked in. Rochelle was sitting disturbingly close to Rick; his arm was around her waist.
“Listen to me,” Rocky said in an annoyed voice, “This little girl is getting in the way of me, and my goal. I married this old man because he is a famous actor, and he can propel my career into bigger, better things. I am the fairest of them all!” she screamed, “I am the most beautiful in this town. And I will not rest until she is gone and out of the way. I want you to take her far away from here and get rid of her. Once she is out of the way I can become what I always should have been…Got it?”
Rick glanced around worriedly, “Yeah, babe. Got it”
He stood up and left the room. When he got out into the hallway he glanced over and saw Sky crouch there.
“Don’t let her see you.” he whispered “Go, grab your suitcase and get out of here fast. You have twenty minutes and I’ll tell her you were already taken care of.”
Skylar nodded. Shaking, she rushed upstairs and grabbed her suitcase out of her closet and started packing. She took a few pairs of jeans, some shirts, a jacket, and her favorite pair of Converse. She rushed downstairs and out the door, not having time to write her dad a note.
She knew exactly where she would go, a halfway house for kids up to the age of thirteen in the heart of Hollywood. She had looked into it before, right after her mom died when her dad had first left earth, and still fit the age range. She wasn’t sure how long it would take, but she knew that was the safest place. Being in Hollywood at night was pretty much a death wish, unless you knew which streets not to walk down unless you wanted trouble. It was about twelve in the afternoon, so at least she had a head start.
It was about five when she arrived at the rickety old house. It was a pretty good trip; only three guys had tried to talk to her and only one of them had followed her mumbling to himself and she was able to lose him easily in a large crowd.
The house, you could tell was once pretty nice. It was painted a chipping light blue color with white trim caked with dirt and a porch that had been broken apart with what looked like to be a hammer. With a deep breath she walked inside.
The first thing Skylar noticed was the lack of adults in the giant room when you first entered the house. A group of children ran around the house screaming. One little girl, with brown hair and freckles was chasing another girl around with scissors yelling, “GIVE ME BACK MY DOLLY!” the girls whizzed past Sky. A little boy around the age of eleven sat in the corner crying about his family, kids were fighting and throwing things everywhere, the whole room was total chaos.
“Hello?” Skylar said timidly. No one answered, “HELLO!?” she yelled louder. All the kids stopped at once what they were doing and stared at her.
“Thank you,” she smiled kindly, and noticed their where seven children in the room. Seven runaways, abused, or drug or alcohol users under the age of thirteen in that room, “Will someone please tell me where the Officer is in here?”
A little blonde girl about eight years old piped up, “Mrs. Harrington had to leave for an emergency, and we’re on our own.”
Skylar looked into the children’s faces; the oldest must have been about eleven. “Can you guys cook or clean or take care of yourselves?” she asked.
The brown haired girl with freckles, who looked about ten, answered roughly, “We have been on our own all our lives most of us. Of course we can take care of ourselves.”
But with one look on how dinner was going, she decided that most of them couldn’t fend for themselves very much.
“Here, let me help you.” She told a little boy around seven, who told her he ran way when the “Mean People” tried to give him a new mommy and daddy ‘cuz his other ones were bad. She took his hand gently off the spatula and turned up the stove and started mixing the Mac and cheese. Skylar told all seven of the kids to go wash their hands and sit down for dinner; she would be making it. All the children introduced themselves to her. The brown haired girl was named Ryan, and she was there because she was staying away from drugs for a while - as she said it.
The kids enjoyed dinner, telling Skylar all about how they had gotten there, and their adventures. The little blonde girl, named Sally ran away when her mom had remarried and had a baby. She said that her parents know she’s there, they just don’t care. That was the same for a majority of the kids. There was: Ryan, Sally, Evan, Lauren, Jake, Seth, and Beth.
After a while, things started to get into a groove. Skylar had gotten them to stop fighting, and do their chores, Mrs. Harrington still hadn’t come back and the kids were starting to think she had bailed, and every night Skylar made dinner.
One day, when she found that the cupboard was finally empty, Skylar decided to take a little trip to the store to get some groceries. Coming out of the store, with her hands full she rushed out, eager to get back to the kids, she bumped into a large man with a camera.
“Hey!” he said, “You’re Skylar West. Haven’t you been missing for a few weeks?” her face red she pushed past him and ran down the block.
The next day, Rochelle sat at the kitchen table; her new husband stared off into space whispering his daughter’s name. On the front page of her magazine was a picture of Skylar in the grocery store, looking beautiful and well.
She grimaced, “If you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself.” She got up and stormed out of the house in search of Skylar.
To be continued…