Fragment Verse 1: Arise 1 Carpe Diem It had rained recently, but the majestic arches, sparkling fountains, romantic gardens, and stately statues on the corner of every street still made Rome the most magical city in the world. However, the girl running through the streets of this incredible city noticed none of it. As she neared a fountain, she slipped on the wet cobblestones and landed directly in it, her purse’s contents scattering. Stilettos were perhaps not the best footwear to wear while walking around this city. Crying in exasperation, she grabbed her purse and hastily stuffed its fallen contents back into it. An assortment of bright lipsticks, eyeliners, foundations, and glitter were unceremoniously packed into the designer bag. She appeared to be 16 or 17, but was in reality the much less glamorous age of 15. She arrived in front of the large, gothic-styled doors of an immense building, and paused. She wasn’t really nervous about what could possibly happen, having been somewhat famous her entire life. Inexplicably, she had a feeling of impending doom about this entire idea of fame as a birthday present – her overzealous mother’s, of course. The daughter of the older woman had already made a tidy sum of money as a model. Apparently, this wasn’t enough; only international recognition could come close to the wishes of Yoku. The girl thought that fame was so far from reach, that the stars would make closer companions. But Yoku was her mother, and in the end the girl would always do whatever her mother wanted. She pushed the heavy doors and stepped inside. She was late, but that didn’t bother her at all. ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** “Sarina may have the looks of an idol, but does she actually have any talents other than looking pretty?” asked an athletic-looking man in a dapper suit. Frowning at the woman sitting across from him, he added, “If she can’t sing or dance at all, she’s no use to me. Yoku, you do know that, right?” The woman named Yoku smiled, and flipped the pages of a high-fashion magazine on the desk between them and pointed out an ad to the man, purposely avoiding his question. As he scrutinized the full-page photo - a pretty blonde sporting trendy blue sunglasses- Yoku took a moment to quickly gaze around the room. They were sitting in a partitioned office at the high edge circular amphitheatre-like room. Several large skylights let in light through the ancient stone cathedral ceiling; the only touch of modernity in the architecture. At the sunken base of the room, a small stage was set up; however, it was obviously out of use, as it was littered with faded and battered posters announcing idol tryouts and music competitions. Yoku quickly looked at her watch and frowned. Her daughter was late as usual. Sighing dramatically, she said to the man, “I’m not sure whether the girl has any qualities other than ignorance and clumsiness. In all honesty, I don’t care about the bitch; I’ve never paid her any attention and I feel no emotional connection as her mother. But you see, it…” ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** The narrow hallways and corridors inside the Music Hall twisted and wound their way up three storeys and around a large performance room. Many branched off and led in circles, most had dead ends, and a select few actually led to other rooms. It was in one of the circling rooms that the still-damp girl was trying to find her way out of. She had passed by the entrance of the building several times, in search of the central music hall. Spotting a small sign tacked lopsidedly on one of the hallways branching off the main room, she read ‘Il corridoio principale č questo senso. What that meant, she had no clear idea; however, it evidently led somewhere. Following the direction of the sign, she quickly checked her watch and began to run. ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** In a smaller room near the central hall, a sandy-haired teen-aged boy was re-arranging a large stack of music sheets that had just fallen over. The room was plainly arranged, with a morning bed/couch on one side, and a large corner desk separating it from the rest of the orderly office-like room. Finally done, he stepped out and grabbed a schoolbag that resembled a briefcase more than anything. With a thoroughly bored expression on his face, he checked the messages on his cell phone. After hearing 4 rather uninteresting messages reminding him to attend a meeting the next day, there was a memo from his manager. In a clear, decidedly boring tone, it told him: “Griffin, you are to report to the recording room at exactly 10 hours and 3 minutes this morning of May 22.” Griffin glanced quickly at his watch, and his eyes widened; it was 10:02. “DAMN!” he said, and thoughtfully added, “I’m so SCREWED!” After a moment’s hesitation, he ran back into his room and grabbed the entire stack of music sheets, and set off running towards the central hall. ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** Sari was positive she was going in the right direction, and she couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes late. She slowed down to catch her breath, and quickly glanced at some of the posters lining the walls. Many of them featured mostly-naked women, and she dimly remembered them as outdated idols, their 15 minutes of fame long gone. As she reached the main hallway, she picked up her pace again, closing her eyes from the pain in her side. She HAD to start exercising more. She didn’t see the sandy-haired boy running towards the hallway, and the stack of papers in the boy’s hands completely obscured his vision as he turned the corner. It was inevitably, really, that he’d run into Sari and knock her down. The boy was still standing, looking rather puzzled at the girl lying dizzily on the floor. Sari sat up, looking around for her purse that had yet again fallen. Griffin was relieved to notice that all of his papers were still neatly in his arms, and he bent down to pick up the girl’s handbag from its landing spot by his feet with one hand balancing the stack of sheets. Handing her the soggy purse he raised an eyebrow and said in a pleasant tone, “You don’t need to dive for coins in the Trevi, you could just pawn this…” She looked at him as if he was an alien – a particularly attractive one with surreal ice blue eyes and a curious smile – and nervously took the bag from his hand. Without waiting for an answer, he stood back up, gave her a big grin, added, “Carpe diem!” and continued running in the direction of the ‘questo senso’ arrows. ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** “…it doesn’t matter, whether I care about her or not, because she has the potential to become a star…and she could be big enough to give your group the image and reputation it needs to stay alive. She’s very conscientious, and won’t cause all the…tumult that your previous…acts did. Though…I should warn you, she seems to lack ambition completely, and she is a bit…blonde, as it were.” As Yoku finished, the girl in question – Sari – burst through the door. She was breathless and damp, her makeup running down her face and her hair a small-scale disaster. She couldn’t look less conscientious if she’d tried. The man pointed to a door under a showy archway across from his office, without saying a word. Yoku said simply, “I’m surprised you’re only a half-hour late. Really, I shouldn’t underestimate you.” Looking nervously from her mother to the man, she nodded dumbly and walked to the door he pointed at. The two adults stared at her until she stepped through the door. Then, they began talking again, in more furious tones. ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** Il corridoio principale č questo senso: The main hall is in this direction. Carpe Diem: Seize the day
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