Bringing Down The House
by the net slayerette

Velma dances along the cell block. She dances often under the dimly lit lights. Never the same routine, and to an audience of zero. A sort of choreographed act of desperation, as if she still needs the light that used to shine for her on the stage.

You watch but not captivated like you were before, like that night you saw her. The night you saw her hauled away and that she refers to as being attended by "you and everyone in Chicago". You're the star here now, but still you watch her.

Sometimes she catches your eye and smiles, just slightly. It's so fake yet inviting. You've gone through every emotion and then some over this woman, this washed up Velma Kelly who offered you a chance to join her on stage. An act only meant to save her, put her name back on the front page, so you turned her down. God knows you're better off on your own now that you're in the spotlight.

But it's the spite you feel that keeps you watching.


She's singing in some hole-in-the wall club and you're watching behind in the back, hidden from the glare of the sparse light. But Roxie is quickly turned down by the managers, as she always is, by people who wouldn't know talent if it screwed them in the ass. You know she's not just some chorus girl.

She's pathetic but determined. Roxie drops her music and you pick it up. Her eyes fall upon your legs, clad in those damn torn stockings that were once hers. If she notices them, she doesn't say anything, but you cover them with your dress all the same.

You make your offer, there's a place downtown, will pay a couple hundred a week for two lady jazz killers. Does she want to join you? Roxie turns you down, a world of no. She hates you, and you know this. Hell, you feed off it. The girl is like a lioness in a kitten's body. But the show can go on, hate or love, whatever goddamn feeling you want. Roxie agrees.

Because afterall, you're the cat's meow.


Bright lights fade and the chorus has died. You and Velma collect your flowers, offerings of admirement, even though you're just two killers who sing. The whole situation is dripped in irony, but you're too enraptured by the performance to dwell on anything serious.

Back in the lavish dressing room that the club so willingly offered up, she doesn't say anything, and she has a coldness in her eyes. You can't understand why she's so sad, the show went so well. 'You're adored by millions out there', you want to say, but you remain quiet.

Then you realize why she's silent. Velma and her sister had a hell of an act. You're just some girl she met at the cell block. Not flesh and blood like Veronica.

But then she looks over at you and caresses your blonde hair, twirls it around her fingers. She cups your chin in her tender hands, and kisses you hard. Intense and fast, so forceful you stumble back into the wall knocking down the stacks of flowers that litter your dressing room. Velma steps on the tulips and walks over to the couch, beckoning you to join her.

You follow, for there was a sadness in her kiss and an unwavering longing you know all too well.


They play to a full house every night. Showered by flowers, they clasp hands, run into their dressing room and embrace.

Roxie and Velma, Velma and Roxie. Two names that fit together like a well-worn glove, like two photographic negatives each completing an image.

She grabs her waist and begins removing that shimmering dress of white spun gold.

Roxie arches her back, stretches like the little jazz cat she can be. Velma Kelly, queen of the stage, one half of a perfect double act, is the star tonight. She begins her performance.

And god, if it doesn't please the audience.


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