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'Fame and Fortune' As we look upon a normal day in the life of a teenage girl we see the usual tools used to beautify ones self. Hair dryer on the white counter putting on makeup with her phone playing the top hit that every other wannabe singer sings to. Today is unlike most days. Today is the day, for today is today. Today is another day but not for studying or learning. No plans for the future to live for today. Today is a day for her to be noticed... by friends, teachers, low lifes in school, to look up to. Tracey loves what we call 'attention'. Another day of school goes by but was the mission a success? All the preparation and effort to go into one smile. All that for the phone number of the football captain and an invite to a party, where certainly anyone who's anyone is invited to. Not too shabby in a world in which most of us don't even reach our daily goal as quickly or are even as noticed in a cutthroat environment. For it is nice to walk into a party with your head held high. Just knowing that everyone, for a fact, is looking at you and wishing to be you. From your hair being fashioned and, like a statue, to perfect the body with style in clothing. Even though they look the other way you know in the back of your mind that they would just sell their souls to even take a walk in your shoes and to experience what it is like to be one of the 'beautiful people'. As it is every day in some peoples' lives no matter how young or old. Some say that control and power come along with the attention and popularity. Perhaps Tracey needs something larger in life to achieve. Maybe loved too little or too much with a hope that one day she would just matter. Which is what any one of us want to do in life. And no matter how hard she tries, it seems as though Tracey can just not get enough attention. No matter how many parties or the boyfriends that bring her popularity status up, nothing seems to bring her on the scale she wants to be on. From tears in her bedroom to the fake smile she constantly wears at the parties and double dates. Because no matter what happens in the end, the things she gets for free are still free from those that actually care about her, even if she doesn't care about them. And who needs to know the exact number of boyfriends and relationships that have 'went wrong'. She's young, she has a life ahead of pure greatness... and you should never judge someone you know. Tracey has what we call 'issues'. However, these issues were about to dissappear. While dating a gypsy boy Tracey made it back with him to his family's camp. Many tents and many eyes staring at her. 'Gross', thought Tracey. Wanting to know more about this camp before dumping him, Tracey found a tent of a well known fortune teller. She wanted to know how popular she will really become one day. Perhaps fame and fortune to await her right around the corner.

As Tracey walked in, the old crippled woman in her chair with her crystal ball in front of her looked up slowly at Tracey. "What do you seek to find, child?" She said in a low croaky voice. Tracey took a small swallow in her throat before saying "I wish to know what it is my future has in store for me." "You being my nephew's girlfriend, I shall make your first reading, and only this one, free." Tracey felt regret coming in as she was afraid the teller would find out she was already planning to leave him as soon as possible, not knowing that her current boyfriend had any relation. With a wave over the crystal ball she took a look into it. "My child, you have fame and fortune awaiting right around the corner." "Yes!" Yelled Tracey on accident as the old woman stared at her like she was an idiot. The old woman continued, "You will have people coming from all over the world to see you, every day by the hundreds. Just even for a glimpse and to take pictures. You will sign autographs and will be known by everyone who sees you." Tracey cleared her throat. "What must I do to meet this future? What's the fastest way to get what I have been dreaming of in life?" The old woman pointed to the right with a bent and crooked finger, and a twinkle in her sly eyes, "There is a witch known as Macbertha, the next tent over.... she's my sister. If you need, she can make you become what I've forseen is your fate. Tracey without hesitation, rushed over to Macbertha. Macbertha, startled at such commotion of a stranger welcoming herself in, was surprised! It was then that Tracey described the situation she was in, and the anxiousness in her heart to become as famous as she had always wished to be. "There will be no going back. Being famous has its downfalls in that people won't ever leave you alone. No real relaxation with people following your every move and to be following a tight schedule everywhere you go." "I'm sure I want to do this" said Tracey with the gleaming in her eyes and the smile she would wear on a date. In New York City, how famous the city is. Full of wonderful sights and things to do. Beyond the city, downtown and even through the nightclubs into the morning, so many points of views to choose from. And from the New York City Zoo, where you will see a sad, lonely, wrinkled, and rough elephant once a girl named Tracey. To get all the attention it could ever want from hundreds of people every day. And where it is followed by people everywhere it goes and for only five dollars to get its autograph with ink on a large peice of paper for the fortune of bags of delicious peanuts. For this is the attention of a popular teenage girl, and at least there is one living the dream now. And for those of you who never knew what it was like to fulfill your dream of being famous, there's always a chance to write true stories about the ones that do....

Fate and fortune  

From Dark Apple Tree Studios' author: Austin Ebert, comes a collection of unexpected short stories.