The lights were blinding.
Each and every flash was pulsating slowly, only surpassed in its sluggishness by the single heart beating on the stage. Applause and wild cheers were resonating in some distant world.
A pair of crimson lips slowly curled upwards, nearly being lost beneath the feathered black mask. Hypnotizing eyes opened to draw the onlookers into the deep smokiness circling about them. The sounds of a solitary violin slipped in the air, source unseen, twisting through the air and weaving bizarre melodies that were reminiscent of silk and spices.
The booming voice of an announcer, sitting in the lofts, was instantly followed by slightly more noise from the crowd and the appearance of another soul on the platform. Chains and padlocks were quickly and tightly bound to the performer before the one securing was also lost to the dark sea beyond the light.
Another mysterious smile and the old wooden steps were being climbed once more, silent as the metal glinting in the harsh glare. The entire universe slowly ground to a halt as the slim feet reached the edge of the tank, the sound of a sudden, calm breath echoing in the hall before the small leap and the peaceful splash were imprinted forever into the minds and memories of hundreds.
The audience watched, breathless, as the enigma began to contort and shift within the water. A few lazy bubbles rose to the surface, marking each passing moment. Fascination morphed into panic as the dark shape grew still. Minutes or perhaps hours later the water stirred, causing those watching to lean forwards in unfathomable shock.
Each lock fell to the floor within seconds, quickly followed by the chains, and a deep russet head of hair was out of the water, grinning unabashedly at the deafening howls and whoops flying behind the silver roses being thrown to the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the speaker boomed, “I give you the fantastic, spectacular escape artist....Miss Scarlett Fox!”