A month has passed, and Sarah's been enjoying life as Silvermist in the park, but can she handle life as a celebrity TV actress? She still gets nervous meeting "real" celebrities! And how will HRT affect her ability to play the role?
Sarah heaved a sigh as she stared at her reflection in her full length mirror. She knew Megan wouldn’t be up for walking this morning, as Annie had stayed over at the girls’ hotel, and a late night text confirmed the girls had stayed up late.
She sighed a second time, turning this way and that, examining herself. She had an appointment to meet with Megan’s therapist, Doctor Miller before work, and casting calls began that day, in addition to her shift at the park. At least the park shift would be in the late afternoon and evening.
She put on one of her one piece bathing suits and walked out to the indoor pool. Swimming was one of the few times when Sarah could really let her mind go, to wander where it wished. Even when painting, Sarah was focused on the art, but with Swimming, it was like her body went into autopilot. The muscle memory was so ingrained, she didn’t have to think about it.
Olivia sat on the edge wearing nothing but her Tinkerbell green silk bathrobe. She dipped her toes in the water, watching Sarah swim laps past her. On the third lap, Sarah suddenly and abruptly stopped and poked her head above the water.
“Oh, sorry,” she said sheepishly, moving to Olivia’s side, and hoisting herself up.
Olivia giggled. “You’ve been at it for an hour. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
“An hour? Crap,” Sarah groaned. Olivia leaned over and kissed her cheek.
“I’ll get breakfast started if you want to go take a shower. And if you want to talk about anything,” she trailed off.
Sarah gave Olivia a wry smile. “All I do is whine, lately. There’s not much left to talk about. I go in to see my therapist and Doctor Miller in a joint meeting today, but I’m armed with the questions I have to ask them. I’m more worried about Annie.”
“She’ll be fine sweetie.” Olivia answered.
“I hope so,” Sarah said as she toweled off, not wanting to drip all over the apartment. “One of Annie’s classmates from her last school ... before we moved here I mean. They found him dead in the bathtub. He was 13 years old,” she said, shaking her head. “Kids today. You just never know, you know?”
“Oh my that’s terrible.” Olivia gasped. “Well she’s got good friends, and she’s in good hands right now.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to tell her,” Sarah said. “Mom texted me last night about it. She didn’t know the kid too well, but still. Maybe I should wait until this shitstorm with Gretchen blows over?”
“I would.” Olivia nodded. “She doesn’t need that on top of what’s going on right now.”
“Yeah,” Sarah said simply, but then she wrapped her arms around Olivia, and kissed her. “Thanks so much for being here for me during all this crap. I know I haven’t been a great roommate, or girlfriend, lately.”
Olivia giggled a little. “Oh trust me, I liked Georgia, but when she was PMSing, it could be like World War 3 up here. You’re fine sweetie.”
Sarah let out a small laugh and then padded back to her bedroom to start her shower. When she emerged Olivia had the breakfast table set already, with a big pile of scrambled eggs, and Sarah could smell the sausage frying.
“Before your new dietician gets hold of you,” Olivia laughed, “I figured I’d cheat a little. It’s turkey so it’s okay though,” she teased as Sarah walked up behind her and put her head on Olivia’s shoulder.
“You’re the best,” she giggled a little now too.
“I guess what I’m trying to get at,” Sarah sighed, “Is I’m massively body conscious about the whole transition thing. I’ve been living as Sarah for a month now, I have an amazing job, but I know HRT is going to wreak havoc on my body.”
“By that same token,” Doctor Miller, Megan’s therapist said, “Your body hasn’t fully finished growing yet. There’s still time for your hips to widen a little bit.”
Sarah nodded. “Yes ma’am,” she said, “And my breasts to get even larger, or my butt to stick out half a mile. It doesn’t matter how much Gennine or the girls like having me play Silvermist, if I can’t look the part, I’m done.”
“In the end,” her therapist sighed, “It’s got to be your decision. I already have you on hormone blockers. If you’re happy with where you are, then you shouldn’t feel forced to start HRT.”
“That’s the thing,” Sarah answered. “I’m not happy where I am. Some nights, I have nightmares that a wardrobe malfunction will reveal that I’m not a woman. Sometimes I dream I’m back on the Black Pearl, saving that guy, and my costume falls off in the water or something.”
Her therapist nodded as she listened. “You mentioned these nightmares before. Are they getting worse?” she asked.
“Much,” Sarah sighed. “It’s like the better things are going, the more my subconscious is just waiting for the other boot to drop.”
“Well,” Doctor Miller said thoughtfully, “I think that since you are experiencing doubt, even if it’s work related, that you should try to take some time to let your life settle down first. You have part of your shoot next week, and you’re going back to college in a couple of months. I just don’t see any reason to rush.”
“But you were just telling me that I still had time to get a more feminine figure,” Sarah answered. “I’d rather take action now and regret having to work in another role or even as a studio artist, than to regret not taking action.”
Doctor Miller grinned at her. Sarah blinked. “Oh, you’re awful,” Sarah laughed now. “I can’t believe I walked into that.”
Her therapist laughed. “But it worked.”
“Yeah,” Sarah nodded. “It did. Thanks guys. I guess I’m more afraid of doing nothing.”
Sarah walked outside. She only made it as far as her car before she burst into tears. “What the hell is wrong with me?” she said to her reflection in the side mirror. She had a new prescription in hand, she had a great job, a great life, great friends. “I’m worrying over nothing... Aren’t I?” she sighed, and got in the car, taking a minute to try and compose herself before pulling away.
She had calmed considerably by the time she had gotten her hormone situation squared away, and was even thankful that her first booster shot would be in a spot that wouldn’t show, because she had to be Silvermist in half an hour. She rushed over to the park with 10 minutes to spare by the time she reached their dressing room.
“I need a Xanax,” she sighed to herself as she changed her clothes, pulling up her Silvermist boots. Only a handful of Fairies wore shoes in the movies, but they made an exception for their park costumes. They were comfortable, though, and always matched the costumes. They even had a few different styles to choose from.
“Silvermist?” one of the “Directors” called out.
“In here!” she called back. “I’m just putting on my face.”
The girl peeked her head in, “Okay, we’ve got you for the central part of the park today. Is that cool? I know you girls usually just go wherever, but Gennine wants to mix it up. We’re sending Tink to a meet and greet at Mickey’s as a little surprise, so you might run into her.”
“Sure, that’s no problem,” Silvermist said sweetly as she started working on her eye makeup. She saved the lips for last because, for whatever reason, they seemed to take the most work to really get ‘just’ right. She found herself missing having a professional makeup artist right about now, as she fussed with and mussed her hair with mousse to get that iconic ‘Sil’ look.
“Okay, Dew Drop,” Silvermist told her reflection. “You can do this.” She took her bubble wand from the prop table. It really was one of the best ideas she’d ever seen, and the prop department had really done well with making it look like just another part of her costume.
The girl who was acting “Director” for the day peeked her head back in, “Oh hey, we’ve got a few VIPs wandering around: no pressure.” She grinned.
Silvermist let out a groan. “That’s easy for you to say Jess. You get to hide back here and drink coffee,” she teased. She remembered Jess from when she had only just started as a janitor, though back then, her relationship to Sarah involved advising her on which dressing rooms needed the most work. Granted that only lasted a few days.
“Hey it’s not as easy being the director as you think,” Jess laughed.
“I’m teasing,” Silvermist giggled. “Some days I wish I’d just kept my head down and swept the floor, but you couldn’t pay me enough to do your job. How is casting going for our doubles?” she added, as they walked down the hall together.
“Pretty good actually. We’ve got a couple of potentials for both Vidya and Fawn, and several applicants for Silvermist that we’re pouring through this afternoon - mostly college kids like you looking for part time work.”
Silvermist nodded. “Plus the ones who can’t fill our boots can always apply for other roles so it’s no loss to us or to them.” She waved as they parted ways, and made her way out into the small, open section of Pixie Hollow, such as it was.
A teenage girl with a camera ambushed Silvermist as she exited the pixie hollow, “Hey Silvermist, can you give any advice to everyone about how to be a good friend?”
“Well,” Silvermist said thoughtfully. She put her index finger on the side of her chin, bubble wand in the other hand, “Being a good friend is all about being there for each other, not worrying about what you get from it, but what you give back. That way, in the end, it all evens out.” She nodded.
“Thanks Silvermist. We just got done talking to Tinkerbell about it too, and she suggested we find you and ask you.” The girl said.
“Aww, you’re welcome,” Silvermist giggled. “You know, a little tadpole told me you might find Vidya hiding out near the Pixie malt shop today.” She had actually just snuck a peek at Jess’ clipboard, so she knew where everyone was today.
The girl with the camera giggled. “See, what did I tell you? She sounds just like Silvermist.”
Silvermist gave her a puzzled look. “I am Silvermist. At least, I was the last time I checked. I’ll have to see if Tinkerbell has one of those reflectamabobs.”
Silvermist giggled and pointed her bubble wand at them. A human sized dewdrop plopped out, only something wasn’t quite right. It was bright pink. She took the dew drop and stared at it. “Well that’s not right,” she said, scratching her head, and giving the dew dropper a shake.
It definitely wasn’t supposed to do that, but she managed to stay in character. “I’d better find Fairy Mary. I think one of the tinkers replaced my dropper,” she giggled again.
“What’s that on the end?” the other girl asked. Silvermist hadn’t noticed there was a piece of paper wrapped tightly around the end. It looked like very old, aged parchment, and a thin strip of it. She unrolled it, breaking the wax seal.
“Sil, thought your dewdrops could use some color. Love Ratchet,” she read out loud and then laughed. “Ohhh! Those Lost Girls! They’re always playing pranks like this.” She produced another dewdrop, and then, with a special paint pen hidden inside the back of the wand, she scrawled her name in silver ink, giving one to each of the girls.
“Oh wow,” the girl with the camera said, “Thank you Sil!”
“Dew Drops for Dew Drops,” Silvermist giggled and turned, skipping off into the park.
She had only gone a little ways down the path when she heard a little girl’s voice. “Oh! It’s Silvermist! She can help us find our mommies.”
A park entertainer’s job was, of course, to entertain, but it was also to comfort and help whenever possible. Lost children were especially a delicate situation because it meant an irate, frantic mother, or mothers, were tearing the place apart. Silvermist put on her best smile.
“Well sure I can help,” she said brightly as she turned to face them, and found herself face to face with a mini Silvermist and a mini Rosetta. “Oh you two are adorable!” She let out a small giggle. The mini Silvermist blushed brightly.
“Thank you,” she said timidly, but started to smile.
“Now, the first thing I need to know about your Lost Things, is what they look like, and then we can go and get Tinkerbell. She’s an expert at finding lost things.” She gave them an exaggerated wink.
“Her mommy has long blonde hair, and my mommy has red hair like Merida.” the taller of the two girls answered.
“She’s real tall too,” the shorter, mini Silvermist nodded.
“Alrighty,” Silvermist said, latching her bubble wand onto a small loop in her dress that was almost impossible to see without looking for it. She reached out her hands so the girls could each take one. “Whatever you do, don’t let go okay? Sil’s got’cha,” she said, using a line from the first movie, which delighted both girls.
“Thank you Miss Mist,” they said in unison. She knew, realistically, that it was just a matter of keeping them calm while the security people did their real, behind the scenes magic. Just to be safe though, when she spotted Claire, Megan’s watch dog ninja, enjoying some cotton candy, she made a point to clear her throat as she walked by. “Lovely day for a rainbow isn’t it?”
Claire nodded and gave Silvermist a discrete wink. She may not have been on Disney’s payroll, but they had to clear her to work inside the park, which meant she worked alongside them. She pulled out a radio.
“Sil, you found them!” Tinkerbell shouted, waving, barely twenty yards from where the girls had approached her. “They’re with Silvermist!” she called to a pair of distraught women speaking with another security person.
“Mommy!” both girls exclaimed, but both looked up at Silvermist as if to ask if it was okay. Silvermist giggled softly as she gently nudged their hands forward and then let go.
“Now you can let go,” she said, as the two women raced closer. Truthfully, Sil was afraid she was going to be clotheslined if she didn’t let go, as the two women scooped up their daughters, crying and kissing them, amid apologies and relieved sobs, from both adults and kids.
Tink just grinned as she strolled up beside Silvermist, leaning sideways to whisper, “Nice job.”
“We can not thank you enough,” the tall redhead said, holding her daughter in one arm, and hugging Silvermist with the other. “We don’t know what happened. One second they were there, the next...”
Silvermist shook her head. “It’s okay. These things happen. What’s important is that your girls were very brave and asked for help. I’m so proud of them both.” She took her bubble wand off its little loop, producing two pink dew drops. She signed them, and then offered Tink the pen so she could sign them too. “If you set these in a warm place they’ll dry to a permanent drop. They’re completely non-toxic too. Just a little... pink today,” she giggled.
Later that afternoon, Sarah caught a five minute break with Princess Jasmine and Prince Aladdin in his Royal outfit, albeit with the hat hanging on a hat rack near the door, the jacket splayed out on a coffee table, and his shirt open, because this was Florida, and those heavy costumes get hot fast. Jasmine hazarded to ask.
“Have you heard from corporate yet?”
She knew what was going on with Crystal and Gretchen, and Gretchen’s mother. Everyone knew, even if Sarah hadn’t told them. They were family now, and what happened to one affected them all. That’s how they saw it, anyway.
Sarah shook her head. “No, and I’m getting anxious. I know they were threatening to file a court injunction against Mrs. Dupree because she not only had no legal right to tear up her own daughter’s contract, she tore up Crystal’s without her permission, and without the knowledge of Crystal’s parents.”
Aladdin just shook his head slowly. “I still can’t believe she did that. I mean I’ve seen helicopter parenting before, but even the worst of them never went that far. What the heck set her off anyway?”
“Oh,” Jasmine said, “She found out that the girls would have to be homeschooled in order to take the acting job, and she went ballistic on Gennine.”
Sarah nodded, “Yup it states in the contract that Crystal and Gretchen would be homeschooled during filming of the show.”
“Honestly?” Aladdin shook his head again. “She should’ve read the contract more carefully. I mean you saw the contract WE have to sign. They basically own anything I write, and I’m totally fine with that,” he laughed.
“Well yeah, I signed it.” Sarah giggled. “I had my lawyer read it over first but I signed it, the park’s contract wording is far worse than the studio’s. I didn’t know you were a writer though?”
He grinned and nodded. “Nothing professionally published yet, but if the corporate mouse wants to take it and do something with it that would make my whole year,” he laughed again.
“If I sell my artwork the park gets 30% of the sales according to the deal I had to sign with them if it makes you feel any better.” Sarah giggled out.
“You should see her paintings,” Jasmine spoke up. “Her portrait of ‘us’ - of Aladdin and Jasmine on a flying carpet ride is hanging in Gennine’s office right now actually.”
“That was yours?” Aladdin looked shocked. “I thought someone from the art department made that.”
Gennine peeked her head inside at that moment. “Oh there you are Sarah. I’ve been looking all over for you,” she laughed.
“Uh oh,” Jasmine teased. “Sil’s in trouble.”
“We had better get back out there,” Aladdin laughed too as he put on his jacket again. “I think tomorrow I’ll see if I can get away with the street rat look,” he joked, putting on his hat. “My Lady.” He bowed to Gennine, and then escorted Jasmine out.
“I thought you might want an update on the Gretchen and Crystal situation,” Gennine said as she sat down facing Sarah.
“Only if you can, I don’t want you to get in trouble.” Sarah replied anxiously.
“Well since you’re family, and Olivia is the de facto leader of the pixies, I can tell you.” Gennine winked. “I can also tell you the park wants me to fight tooth and nail to keep all you girls park employees too.”
“Wait,” Sarah said, “You mean Gretchen and Crystal had Park contracts in addition to their AMC ones?” she asked, and her mouth made a little ‘o’ shape as she said, “Ohhhh dewdrops. So she not only crossed AMC corporate, she crossed the Mouse too...”
“Yup, and it allows us to bypass their parents and allow them to change our terms, at will, and we can loan you girls to other things like the AMC deal.” Gennine explained. “To put it bluntly, Mrs. Dupree is up shit creek. We’re going to try to reason with her one final time. The director’s going to talk to her this afternoon in person.”
“So Gretchen and Crystal work here in the park?” Sarah asked.
Gennine nodded, “Yes, both are part time employees. It was necessary to set up a contract for them as actresses here in the park, in order to set up liability waivers and the like, but we’re seriously thinking of keeping the Lost Girls as a permanent presence - again, part time, since they are only teenagers - running amok every so often.”
“Guest reaction to the Lost Girls has been really positive,” Sarah giggled. “I heard they snuck into Hollywood Disney and pelted Boba Fett with paint balloons.”
“There’s one other matter I wanted to discuss with you while I have you,” Gennine said. “It’s about the painting you let me hang in my office. Well,” she chuckled. “That started it, anyway.”
“I thought it was perfect for the office.” Sarah said with a proud smile.
“Oh, I do too. And so does Regina, from the art department. She asked me which of her artists painted it, and I told her it was one of my new pixies. I thought she was going to faint,” she laughed.
“I don’t know if I want a job in the art department anymore” Sarah giggled.
“But you’re going back to college this fall still?” she asked. Sarah nodded.
“I want to get a degree in art history and teaching, so that when I can’t play Sil anymore I can at least fall back on that. Then maybe I’ll join the art department,” she giggled again. Gennine laughed softly, and opened the messenger bag she had brought in with her. She took out what looked like a check to Sarah, and handed it to her.
“She asked me to give you this. It’s a grant on behalf of the art department, not a bribe mind you,” she quickly added, grinning. “Use it for tuition or books, or food, or whatever else you need. And this,” she added, taking out a printed sheet of paper, signed at the bottom by Regina Mason, “A letter of recommendation to Florida State. Sarah, we take care of our own around here.” she winked.
Sarah stared, dumbfounded. “She only saw one painting, and did all this?”
“Oh no,” Gennine said, “As I said, that painting started it. After that, I took the liberty of showing her your online portfolio. I mentioned this isn’t a bribe, but I think, unofficially, she wants to keep you around too. Oh, and she wants to buy a copy of Aladdin and Jasmine.” Gennine laughed softly.
“Wow. I really don’t know what to say,” Sarah squeaked out. “Thank you so much.”
“You earned this,” Gennine answered. “Honestly I don’t want to lose you, either. None of you girls: you’ve been the best thing to hit this park since 2010.”
“What happened in 2010?” Sarah asked. She was still living in LA back then.
“We had to get rid of a lot of our good park actors due to a scandal.” Gennine sighed. “Best not to ask too many questions about that dark time. A lot of the older actors and actresses are still trying to forget. I was brought in to clean it up, and found myself promoted to head of park staff, as it were.”
Sarah nodded. “I won’t ask. Thank you though.”
“No problem. Jess is going to tell you this, so I’ll give you a heads up, the rest of your shift will be at Pixie Hollow for a birthday.”
“Oh that sounds delightful,” Sarah said cheerfully. “I’d better find somewhere safe to p ut these. Pixies don’t carry purses, except Tink when she’s in her Lost Treasure outfit.”
Gennine laughed. “I’ll hold onto those until after your shift if you’d like.”
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