As I prepared to release the latest installment of The Vampire’s Little Black Book on Amazon, I was shocked by the sudden death of one of my coworkers from my “day” job (thus my delays, sorry). Dominique Hardin was our receptionist. After a while, she was recruited to be my part time assistant. I taught her the basics of TV commercial order entry and she picked up on it really well. She was kind of still in that club kid phase, but I didn’t judge her and for that, I am eternally grateful. I really miss her, especially after a hard week at work.
I got to know Dominique better after training her. She was a model and actress. She’d done runway shows, photo shoots and a short independent film. She’d dated a nationally famous rapper and a St. Louis Rams player. She’d earned the nickname “Stage”. She had contacts in Atlanta and had hoped to move there by August 1st. A relative of mine works for a large national company with a branch there. I tried to get her a temporary “day” job until her contacts could come up with acting work for her. But some things fell through and she was stuck here in St. Louis for a while longer. Her deadline to leave town passed. I wish to God I’d been able to help her get to Atlanta.
On August 18th, around 4:30am, in East St. Louis, near “the dead man’s curve”, Dominique, her cousin and a friend was headed to a strip club to celebrate a birthday. A minivan crossed the center line and collided head on with Dominique’s car. When they were hit, she was thrown into the backseat. She and the driver that hit them, were killed on the scene.
Much later that Sunday night I received the horrible news from my manager. I think I repeated “what?” about ten times. I cried for about an hour after I hung up the phone. She would be forever twenty-eight.
If you could pick your “forever” age, what would it be? Will doesn’t get to choose thirty-three. However, I think it’s a good age to be. You’ve made it through your twenties alive with a little wisdom and probably most of your health. And you’re not too old to have fun. I decided to create Will at this age for two reasons.
I liked my own thirty-three for the most part. I had my first house. I created a stunning piece of art in the garage. I continued building my art business. I discovered some really good music, especially Chris Botti. The atmosphere of his music helps me write. I had a fantastic garden. And I made a somewhat hilarious effort to meet Mr. Right after a local paper made my single’s ad the featured single of the week. I was the “curvaceous cutie”. But that’s another story.
The second reason? I’m a bit superstitious. Three is a lucky number for me. It’s the holy trinity. And thirty-three is luck twice over. I also bet on it when I play roulette. But back to Will.
This is definitely one of the more melancholy stories of Will’s journey. He has the chance to give someone eternity on earth, but will she take it? Would you?
I am stunned at how oddly the completion of this volume coincided with Dominique’s passing. My own emergency surgery just a few weeks prior, made me more conscious of my mortality.
I need to continue to create and live life to the fullest; to share my art, to pursue my dreams. To de-clutter and move from the past, let my old stuff be someone else’s new. I continue to purge and sell off stuff I’m just not using or don’t need. I recycled or threw out old love letters from the last boyfriend. I recently went through my art closet and am selling almost everything through etsy, flea markets, my website or at a couple local shops and galleries, keeping only the most personal pieces. Art is meant to be shared.
I will be forty-five on October 5th this year. I don’t feel my age except for the remnants of some old injuries. Honestly, I never want to grow up. Emotionally, I want to always have the happiness of a little kid inside me. I like myself more than I have in a long time. And thank God for good genes and artistic make-up skills, I don’t look my age either. I’ll expand on this in my next blog. But meanwhile, I remind myself that time is short. I don’t feel the need to be frozen in time, but I am doing my best to sanely live in the now.
My character Will is thirty-three forever due to supernatural forces. Dominique will be twenty-eight forever in my heart due to a terrible accident. God bless you “Stage”; you’re now a star in the heavens.
“33 Forever” the latest installment of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series will be available on Amazon/Kindle by mid-October. Patrick Renfrow has been cast as the face of “Will”. I think you’ll want to get to know him too. A free download period for the whole series and online store will come around Halloween. Be sure to follow me on Facebook at The Countess, the Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc or Twitter @TheCountessSP for more details. And please follow this blog. I only post about once of month so you won’t get over notified.
Please take care and be safe.