Chapter 09: Maria Holmes, Eldritch Publicist

60.1K 1.9K 884

After a photo shoot at Pop Glam and an interminable hour spent folding sweaters at So Chic under Luther’s watchful eye, Kim finally got a call from Simon about meeting with a publicist. 

“I know just the person,” Simon said. “Maria Holmes. She has violent mood swings but she knows every trick in the book.”

She sounded absolutely perfect.

Maria worked out of the same building as Simon, so he suggested Kim come by for an introduction. Kim agreed and then quickly changed her outfit. She wasn’t sure it would matter for this meeting, but sometimes people complimented her outfit unexpectedly and she was glad she’d spent the time picking out something new. 

At the CTM Management building in Hollywood, Simon walked Kim over to Maria’s office. 

“Allow me to introduce Ms Maria Holmes,” he said grandly. 

“Hi,” Kim said.

Maria looked up from her desk. As her eyes met Kim’s she gasped. Something flitted across Maria’s face--a mixture of panic and confusion.

“Kim?” Maria said, her voice betraying a note of disbelief.

Was Maria actually seeing her? “Yes!” Kim said. “You recognize me? You see me?”

“Gracious, you gals already know each other?” Simon asked.

Simon’s tedious voice seemed to break whatever spell hung in the air. Maria blinked and the look of recognition vanished from her face.

“No,” Maria said. “You are just as Simon described. Welcome, Kim.”

Maria was hiding something. Even in this world, with her powers diminished, Kim could tell that Maria was more than she appeared to be. The air around her almost crackled with energy. And the earrings Maria was wearing looked an awful lot like selenite to Kim, a crystal well-known for not only enhancing business decisions, but warding off negative energy. Simon had described Maria as knowing every trick in the book. Had he meant that literally?

Kim snapped back to reality, where Maria was rolling her eyes as Simon made a horribly pornographic joke with “selfies” as the punchline. 

“Simon, leave us,” Maria said. His smile quickly faded. He nodded curtly and left, closing the door behind him.

“I can only take him in very small doses,” Maria said. 

“All of the men here are terrible,” Kim said. “They just talk and talk at you, they seem to say whatever is on their minds, and act as though we are supposed to care, or be interested, when nothing they do or say is of any consequence whatsoever. In my world things are much different. Men do not have these rights.”

Maria looked Kim up and down, quietly regarding her. “The men here have rights,” she said simply. “Now,” she continued. “You are here because of Willow Pape. She is angry with you for what, exactly? You hit on her ex?”

“She seems to think so,” Kim said. 

“It sounds like she’s jealous,” Maria said.

“I think it’s more than that,” Kim said.

Maria raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

“Have you ever heard of Paris Hilton?” Kim asked. 

“I am not familiar with it,” Maria said.

“Not it, she,” Kim said. “She is a powerful witch. A rival of sorts, where I am from. She banished me here, and I believe Willow Pape is her avatar in this world. It is not simple jealousy that pits her against me, but an enmity much deeper.”

“My my,” Maria. “You have quite an opinion about yourself, for someone on the E-list.”

“My powers are greatly diminished here.”

Maria rolled her eyes. “You keep making references to another world. Do you undersand how that makes you sound? You claim to know so much and yet you know so little. You made out with some boy at a bar and a D-list starlet took exception to it. This is nothing, and yet you describe it as a life or death battle?”

Kim was quiet, unsure what do say.

“You wish for money? Power? Fame?” Maria asked.

“Mostly just power,” Kim said.

“Well power is earned, and you have a very long, long way to go.” 

This conversation was a disaster. Kim was sure Maria recognized her, or could at least sense something powerful about her, but she seemed determined not to believe it. Kim still needed this woman’s help though, if she was ever going to defeat Willow Pape.

“Can you help me?” Kim pleaded.

“Oh I can,” Maria said, “But will I, is the question? You must do something for me, if I am to take you on as a client.”

“Anything,” Kim said.

“Go a date,” Maria said.

“Excuse me? A date?”

Maria nodded, smiling. “You are bitter and alone. You think you are superior to everyone that you meet. Even me. Even Kim Kardashian.”

Kim tried to protest but Maria silenced her with a look before she could get a word out. “Don’t deny it. But prove to me that you can interact with people on your level. Go on one date and I will help you. You shouldn’t have any difficulty finding someone, the city is filled with lonely and desperate people just like you.”

Maria sat back, awaiting Kim’s reaction.

“I don’t know anyone here,” Kim said at last, the words like broken glass in her mouth. “I don’t know anyone who would date me. I only know my boss at work, and Simon and Kim. I have no friends. I barely have any money. I have nothing.”

“Friendship. Money. Fame. Power,” Maria said. “These things are all connected. Without one, the others will not follow. Go on one date, and we will see if you are worthy. Ask Simon for help.”

Maria turned back to her computer, the conversation over. Kim bowed, then turned and left the room. She felt a dark pit of despair and self-loathing widening deep inside her as she walked back to Simon’s office, preparing herself to ask him for help.  

Kim Kardashian: Trapped In Her Own Game (COMPLETE)Read this story for FREE!