Note: This is written for the In Time (Short Challenge) found on the forum at . The challenge is for a historical short story, so I chose the 1940s and 1970s. Check out the forum! Lots of things to explore and talk about.

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Prologue

Dolores stared at herself through her vanity mirror. Over the years her looks had faded, lines had become pronounced around her eyes and mouth, and her hair was now copper from a bottle. Dolores sipped at a glass of whiskey before tending to her eyes. She applied a thick layer of mascara before gluing on fake lashes.

"Twenty minutes until curtain call!" The stage manager's voice called beyond her door.

"Thirty years" Dolores told herself callously. She finished painting her eyes and sat back. She was in a long Greek gown and her copper hair hung amongst her shoulders, lightly turned and feathered in the ever-so-popular Farrah Fawcett style. Whatever happened to elegant hair?

Dolores opened up a small wooden box and pulled out a clear crystal ball. Long ago she had won it. She ran her fingers over the smooth sphere and put it away. She had done the same thing before every performance since she was 19. She made a silent wish for the show to go well and to end up with some good reviews. The crystal ball had given her the dream of fame and the nightmares that tagged along. Even now, with the lead role of Phedre in the stage version of Phedre, she had to face the good and bad. She was good enough to have the lead role, but the critics were calling her performances terrible, "forced and without emotional conviction" to be exact, and declared her to be "on the outs" in regards to her career.

"You never told me nightmares were included with my dreams" Dolores growled in the mirror.