TITLE: SASHES AND SABOTAGE
GENRE: MG Upper LGBTQ+ Contemporary
The spotlights warm my skin before racing across the faces of fifteen girls standing center stage. They grab each others’ hands. Their ballgowns sparkle, sending rainbows dancing over the audience. Girls from all over Elmore Township competed at other pageant optionals to get here. Now is the moment when one girl wins and the rest pretend they don’t want to strangle her. I hold my breath. It’s so quiet, a fly buzzing behind me sounds like a lawnmower.
Then someone in the audience giggles. And another. Within seconds, laugher echoes off the walls. The girls’ eyes dart back and forth, smiles frozen. My grin grows wider as I squeeze the velvet curtain before rushing down the stairs and back to my front row seat.
So, okay. I might have the teensiest bit to do with what’s happening. Competition in the twelve to fifteen age group is fierce this year. Someone has to take matters into her own hands. I can’t count on my best friend to do everything on her own.
A girl wobbles as one shoe falls apart, and I pat myself on the back. That right heel was super hard to saw through. Another sniffs at the smoke drifting above her head. Oops! Note to self: Don’t mess with curling irons, Caz. We want to win, not catch the competition on fire.
I study my best friend, Britt. Her frizz-free hair rests on her shoulders as she balances on even-heeled hot pink dress shoes.