|Meredith carefully tucked a fallen strand of fur behind her ear. Her glittery pink barrettes sparkled under the bright white studio lights that hang above the little waiting room. Even though she was perfectly comfortable on the soft, velvety sofa, she couldn't help but feel a sense of anxiousness as she awaited being called in.
The other contestants seemed to share her uneasiness, for no one spoke a word.
The Bori had never seen a waiting room like the one she was in before. The walls were painted a light lavender purple, with an assortment of fashion posters and golden framed mirrors. Tall potted plants loomed over the pink furry rug that covered up much of the seafoam colored wooden floor.
Meredith turned her attention to the rack of clothing that stood in front of her, covered in a satin fabric. She gently lifted up one of the corners, revealing half a dozen of meticulously sewn dresses. They glowed and radiated a soft light off of their bows, ribbons, and sequins.
She smiled as she covered the rack again, proud of her creations. The Bori had been working hard for weeks, perfecting her submissions. After all, they would determine whether she would get a job as a designer at one of the most famous boutiques in Neopia - Uni's Clothing.
Meredith could still remember when how she used to look longingly at the elegant clothing displayed in the wide glass windows. She wished for a long time for an opportunity like this, to get the job that she'd always wished for.
But she only had this one chance. To either make it, or fail, and... well, she didn't want to think too much about that.
A sudden knock at the back door startled Meredith from her thoughts. "Meredith!" came a familiar voice. "Come here."
She stepped outside into the back hall, greeted by the sight of her mother. "Are you up yet? Did you need anything?" she asked, grinning. She dug into her purse and fished out a small makeup compact. "Want to take this? It'll look great on you."
Meredith smiled. "Thanks, but I'm fine. How'd you get in here anyways? I had to sign in two times before they would let me set a paw in here."
"I explained to the supervisor at the front that I was here to see my little Bori before she goes in for her interview. He was kind enough to let me in," she said happily.
"Well, thanks for coming to see me," Meredith said gratefully. It's nice to know that I've got family to support me."
Her mother hugged her gently. "Good luck, dear. I believe in you."
"Thanks, mom. It means a lot to me," she said, hugging her mom tight. She gave a little wave, and walked back inside the waiting room.
She was about to sit back down when a Skeith wearing a black suit and a bright red bowtie opened the door at the other end of the room. "Meredith Bori?" he said, looking down at his clipboard.
She stood up nervously, and straightened out her skirt. She carefully leads her clothing rack across the room, and to the doorway. Somehow, it seemed a little lighter than Meredith had remembered.
"I'm ready," she said, confidence masking her fear.
The Skeith nodded, and pushed the door open for her. "Good luck," he said as Meredith walked slowly towards the vast auditorium. When she saw just how huge and richly decorated the hall was, she almost gasped in shock. She'd seen it before, since it was where Uni hosted her annual fashion shows. Though it had looked wonderful and awe-inspiring then, it seemed even grander as Meredith walked through it.
She glanced over at the audience seats. All of them were empty, except the front row ones. Uni and several other elegantly dressed Neopians sat in them, all holding clipboards in their hands.
'They must be the judges,' she thought nervously, examining the room.
The bright spotlight beamed down at Meredith, covering her in a swirling aurora of light. Meredith gave a slight bow, standing at the center of the stage. "Hello, my name is Meredith Bori," she said awkwardly.
Uni and the judges clapped politely, motioning for her to start. 'It really isn't difficult,' Meredith comforted herself, placing a paw on her rack of clothes. 'Just show them your creations! It'd be simple.'
With a deep breath, she swiftly pulled the satin cover off of the golden rack. "Here they are," Meredith beamed. "I hope you like them. I've worked really hard on them."
She smiled at the judges, waiting for some sort of reaction from them. Instead, they simply gawked at her rack like it was a glowing comet.
Meredith began to get nervous. Did they not like her creations, after she worked so hard to just get an audition? She turned, and to her horror, her glittering dresses had been replaced with old, patched clothing that looked like they had been tossed into a shredder.
Reality began to slowly sink in. 'Someone must have sabotaged me,' Meredith thought, shocked.
And now she was paying the price.