By Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Opal LaZelle is a distinct results makeup artist, reworking actors into fantastical and ugly creatures. Unknown to the casts and crews of the flicks she works on, Opal is presented within the artwork of magic—and she applies greater than makeup while changing an actor’s features.

Her newest task calls for turning Corvus climate right into a darkish god of the wooded area. but if Corvus’s functionality turns into too convincing—on set and off—Opal realizes he’s now not performing. whatever has taken ownership of Corvus. whatever sinister tied to the town’s earlier, having the ability to soak up the very essence of lifestyles. whatever Opal doesn’t have adequate strength to confront, less force from the guy she has fallen in love with.

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Opal frowned and checked Corvus’s response to this. He appeared wondered. The waitress introduced their sandwiches, and so they ate. “So,” stated Bethany whilst Opal had accomplished part her sandwich, “what’s to not like approximately darkish God? in my opinion, i believe he’s now not creepy adequate. Trav made him all seductive rather than terrifying. ” “It’s a trend,” Travis acknowledged. “Horrifying heroes. Vampires and werewolves are fairly sizzling in romance at once. Why no longer gods? ” “We’re writing a romance? ” requested Bethany. “Of direction. Twisted, yet that resonates with humans in the interim. ” “Oh. I want I’d identified. good, besides, Opal—” “He referred to as me a handmaiden and thanked me for choosing this type of ideal vessel for him. ” “I what? ” acknowledged Corvus. “Are you asserting I stated that? ” “You did. Ask Lauren. additionally, his face is alive,” Opal acknowledged. The minute it was once out of her mouth, she idea, it is a mistake. I shouldn’t be chatting with open air humans approximately these items. by no means holiday the wall of silence that surrounds our magic. yet this isn't our magic. I don’t need to maintain it mystery. “My face is alive? ” Corvus requested, extra pressured than ever. “The face I wear you is alive. ” “Can i exploit these things within the script? ” Travis requested. “How are you going to take advantage of anything a couple of masks being alive? ” acknowledged Bethany. “It’s been performed, and it’s now not our motion picture. ” “Not the mask,” Travis acknowledged. “The handmaiden and vessel stuff. ” Opal sighed, and made up our minds that commonly, it used to be most likely a very good factor they weren’t taking her heavily. “I referred to as you a handmaiden? ” Corvus acknowledged, and pressed the knuckle of his index finger opposed to his lips, then dropped his hand. “I ask yourself what I intended. ” “I am a handmaiden,” acknowledged Opal. “I wait on you and serve you. ” He studied her, his brows reduced. ultimately a grin flared, as if he knew she was once kidding. His gaze used to be hot, and she or he felt back the queer tight twist in her chest, the affection she couldn’t cease. She desired to aid and guard him, provide him the entire instruments he had to be nice. She had felt like this approximately Gayle Graceland, the 1st megastar she have been in my view hooked up to on a venture, in climate Witch, even if Gayle used to be a raving whinge, throwing issues that broke and couldn’t simply get replaced, and sometimes hitting staff with them. Adoration had engulfed Opal. She had publish with every kind of lunatic habit from Gayle; the affection pressed her into servitude, pulled her most sensible talents out of her, pressured her to ensure Gayle was once ideal in each take, even if others whispered commiseration to Opal behind the curtain. After Gayle’s half wrapped, Gayle had invited Opal on a spa holiday. The grip on Opal’s center had vanished. She expected the journey: Gayle behaving badly, abusing Opal, Opal making a choice on up after her and attempting to calm every person harm by way of her. Opal had refused the invitation. Later, she learn all approximately Gayle’s meant spa antics within the tabloids—slapping a masseuse, beginning a dust fight—and she felt not anything yet reduction that she hadn’t long gone. the image got here out; Gayle’s functionality received nice notices, whereas her own existence used to be chewed up and spit out via the media.

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