Prompt for September 29, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

Jasmine Montclair peaked out through the curtain at the crowd that waited on the other side of the rope.  Hundreds of people were waiting patiently, books in their hands, waiting for her to appear so that they could get them signed.  By her.  Her hands grew clammy and she wiped them on her pants in a desperate attempt to wick away the moisture.  They were waiting for her.  The mere thought made her scared.

Here she was, a bestselling author whose books were being turned into a movie franchise, about to show up at her first public appearance in her home town and she was scared.  For so many years she had struggled to gain acceptance, struggled to be noticed in a sea of competing authors that she thought she would never succeed.  But one person had been on her side since the beginning: JasFan001.  She didn’t know who the person was, but their words of support had kept her going for years.  Until, finally, an editor had taken notice, and then a book publisher and then a movie studio.

JasFan001.  She owed this person her life and wanted to meet, but they didn’t want to, they wanted to stay in the background until Jasmine’s career had been firmly established.  This show, the local Fan Expo, was where they planned on meeting.  JasFan001 had told her that she would be in line and that she would know who she was because she would ask her to sign the Advance Reader Copy that she had mailed her of her first book.

“Ms. Montclair?  If you’d follow me?”  Her handler opened the curtain and led her out to the table that was in front of the crowd.  It was on a small stage so that she could get a better view of the crowd that was waiting for her.  As they saw her come out from behind the curtain a murmur of excitement spread through the assembled crowd and, once clapping started, everyone followed suit, the noise drowning out her own thoughts.  She smiled, waved, and sat down on the chair.  Her nerves made her hand shake as she greeted the first fan.  She quickly glanced at the book – retail – and blocked the feeling of disappointment that spread through her.

And so it went for the next hour as fan after fan dropped a book or multiple books on the table for her to sign until she was convinced that JasFan001 was not going to show.  She was finishing up with one fan, congratulating him on the birth of his daughter and wishing his daughter Jasmine the best of luck in her future when a loud noise made her look down at the table.  The ARC lay there, it’s preliminary cover showing obvious signs of wear.  She slowly raised her eyes to look at her number one fan.

“You?”

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