Stephenie dashed toward the waiting limousine, pursued by a howling throng of journalists.
“Ms. Meyer!” shouted an E! spokeswoman. “How do you respond to the claims that your latest novel has eclipsed Gatsby‘s perfection?”
“Will R-Patz star in the film version?” someone demanded hysterically.
“What’s it like to be the new Shakespeare?” clamored a TMZ stringer, his head narrowly avoiding the slamming door as Stephanie’s vehicle pulled away.
She leaned back into the soft leather seat and closed her eyes, shivering with pleasure. Her latest work was brilliant, worshipped by fans and critics alike, and everywhere she went she was mobbed.
It was glorious.
She smiled and leaned forward to speak to the driver, but when she opened her eyes everything had changed. The limousine was gone, the plush interior replaced by the indurate marble of a bathtub, the warm cocoon of her fans’ adoration faded to the tepid embrace of cooling bathwater. Thick scarlet clouds seeped from her wrists to drift through the water, and she realized she had been hallucinating. Her brain was dying, and even its last creative gasp had been unoriginal tripe.
She closed her eyes and wept, praying for her heart to hurry and stop.