Davina Nuttel sat in the back of her chauffeur-driven limousine, reading about herself in a celebrity magazine. Her chubby face, surrounded by posters of all the films and shows she'd already starred in, smiled out from the page.
"Child superstar Davina Nuttel," she read, "is back on Broadway in the hit show Stars on Mars. After surprise newcomer Molly Moon quit the part and left New York, Miss Nuttel was the obvious choice for the lead." Davina fumed. She was sick of Molly Moon's name being mentioned in the same sentence as hers. She hated that bug-eyed, skinny nobody.
"Stop at the ice-cream parlor on Madison," she snapped at her driver.
He nodded and negotiated his way across four lanes of noisy New York traffic.
Davina was feeling particularly rattled. She needed a big, sweet ice cream. It had been a bad day at the Broadway theater where she was rehearsing a new Stars on Mars song. To begin with, she'd had a sore throat and couldn't hit the high notes. Then had come the horrible incident that had completely unnerved her. Davina angrily scraped her nail down the cream leather upholstery. She didn't often need her parents, but tonight she was glad they would be at home for once.
How dare that weird businessman barge, uninvited, into her dressing room? How he'd got past the security guards she didn't know. And what nerve to suppose that she would want to advertise his ugly line of Fashion House clothes. Didn't he know he should talk to her agent?
The creepy Mr. Cell had given Davina the shivers, and she couldn't erase him from her mind. His eyes seemed to have etched themselves behind Davina's, in the way that staring too long at the sun burns its image into a person's vision. Every time Davina shut her own eyes, she saw his two mad eyeballs staring at her.
The car stopped outside her favorite ice-cream parlor. Davina fastened her black mink coat and put on the matching gloves. She stepped out into the cold night and waved condescendingly at her chauffeur. She would walk home. Enjoying the sound of her high-heeled boots on the pavement, she swept into the parlor.
Inside, she ordered the house specialty. It was called the Mondae-Tuesdae-Wednesdae-Thursdae-Fridae-Saturdae Sundae. Determined to banish all thoughts of the strange businessman from her mind, she pulled out her gold-plated fountain pen and began practicing her autograph on a paper napkin. Should she stick to her curly writing or change her style?
When her enormous sundae arrived, she ate it all.
Twenty minutes later, she was walking home, feeling sick. She realized that a cold March evening wasn't really the best time to eat a large, freezing-cold ice cream.
In the distance, her grand apartment building towered over the street. That was odd, Davina thoughtnormally the outside of it was lit with green lights. Were they broken? The building really did look drab, all dark. She would complain as soon as she saw the doorman. She could see him now, standing by the front door with his taxi-calling light baton.
She crossed the broad avenue. The building entrance was only a hundred yards awaybut now it was a dark hundred yards, lit up at only one point, where a streetlamp cast an oval pool of yellow on the pavement. Davina walked toward it. She liked spotlights.
Something white and rectangular lay on the ground under the lightgarbage, Davina suspectedanother thing to complain about. However, as Davina approached, she saw that the white rectangle wasn't garbage. It was an envelope. And when she got nearer, she saw something very strange. The envelope had her name on it.
A fan letter! Davina thought with pleasure.
She took off her glove, picked up the envelope, and pulled out the letter. It read:
From Molly Moon Stops The World by Georgia Byng. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Harper Collins Publishers.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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