"So, Ms. Smith, how did you meet Cruella De Vil?"
"Simple. I had just moved here from America..."
Lynn Smith, at twenty-four years old, was very successful. A self-earned millionaire, she had just moved to London to work for the devil herself, Cruella De Vil. But unlike the career that had made her rich, she would not be designing. Rather, she had taken a break from designing to work as the British fashionista's assistant. Though she had heard the rumors of the woman's explosive temper, she couldn't say it intimidated her.
In the few years she had spent as a designer, she had dealt with the dragon Miranda Priestly enough to be hardened to a few childish temper tantrums. La Priestly had destroyed her once, and she had spent a whole year working to prove herself worthwhile. If she could take that and keep going, she could handle anything the she-devil threw at her. It had been with pleasure Ms. De Vil's secretary Alonzo had given her the job, though she wasn't sure if it was because she was a famous designer or because he wanted someone else there to take the brunt of the woman's temper. Whatever the reason, she was just glad to have had a job waiting when she stepped off the plane.
As she walked up the steps to the House of De Vil, she couldn't help but notice the skittishness that enveloped the staff. She strode confidently into the inner office and checked in with Alonzo before claiming her position at the desk just outside Cruella's massive office doors. It wasn't long before production stopped dead, and someone's presence dropped the room's temperature twenty degrees. The madwoman herself stood on a catwalk that led directly to her office. Lynn snorted quietly at the ludicracy of such a thing.
Within five minutes she had been summoned into the garishly decorated office of the fashionista. She looked around with a sharp eye, mentally dissecting the space and putting it back together in a much more tasteful décor.
"Ms...Smith, is it?" Cruella's voice floated across the vast office.
Lynn crossed the room and took a seat in front of the desk without being asked. The two women studied each other, and each came to their own conclusion. Lynn decided that the woman wasn't as menacing as everyone made her out to be.
"Original?" Cruella gestured to Lynn's dress, one she had designed herself.
"Of course, though I rarely wear my own designs."
Cruella's eyes widened.
"You're a designer?"
Lynn's eyes flickered to Alonzo, who seemed to be telling her to deny the notion.
"Yes, perhaps you've heard of me. Lynn Smith? I moved from America recently, mainly to get away from Miranda Priestly."
She couldn't hide her disgust for the woman, and Cruella smiled.
"The dragon burned you too, hmmm? Well, I think you'll quite like our little fashion house."
"You do understand, Ms. De Vil, that I'm not here to design."
Cruella looked confused. "Then what are you here for? I've seen your work, and it's fabulous. I also happen to know you're a millionaire."
"That's true, but I need a break. My creativity has been...smashed you might say. I'm here to work as your personal assistant."
"We-well then," the diva stuttered, obviously caught off-guard, "I suppose you should get started."
"Yes, I suppose I should," Lynn replied evenly, still unsure of the woman.
As it turns out, the rumors of Cruella's temper had not been entirely unfounded. Lynn witnessed a display shortly after a tailor sewed the wrong type of stitching in a new stole for the winter line. Everyone had cringed and avoided the black and white whirlwind at all costs, but Lynn had simply followed behind, making sure anything the woman broke was promptly cleaned up.
"It was that simple?" the young journalist asks, scribbling down the end of the story.
"Yes. I believe I said that three years with Miranda Priestly fully prepared me for anything Cruella could have thrown at me."
"Weren't you the least bit intimidated by that woman?"
"Not in the least."
"Interesting. Now Ms. Smith, I come to the main point of our little interview: How did you become friends with that wretched woman?"
The man cringes as the woman's eyes flash.
"That 'wretched woman' is my best friend, and I'll kindly remind you to speak of her in a warm way. Now, to answer your question..."
A smile graces her face as she sinks into the memory.