‘Vogue’ Fiction Friday: Janelle Brown’s ‘Pretty Things’

Fiction Friday: Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things

By Janelle Brown

The nightclub is a temple, devoted to the sacred worship of indulgence. Inside these walls there is no judgment: You’ll find no populists, no protestors, no spoilsports who might ruin the fun. (The velvet ropes out front stand sentry against all that.) Instead, there are girls in fur and designer silk, swanning and preening like exotic birds, and men with diamonds in their teeth. There are fireworks erupting from bottles of thousand-dollar vodka. There is marble and leather and brass that is polished until it gleams like gold.

The DJ drops a bass beat. The dancers cheer. They lift their phones toward the sky and vamp and click, because if this is a church then social media is their scripture; and that tiny screen is how they deify themselves.

Here they are: the one percent. The young and ultra-rich. Billionaire babies, millionaire millennials, fabu-grammers. “Influencers.” They have it all and they want the whole world to know. Pretty things, so many pretty things in the world; and we get them all, says their every Instagram photo. Covet this life, for it is the best life, and we are #blessed.

Out there, in the middle of it all, is a woman. She’s dancing with abandon in a spot where the light hits her just so and glimmers on her skin. A faint sheen of sweat dampens her face; her glossy dark hair whips around her face as she swivels her body to the grinding beat. The waitresses headed to the bottle-service tables have to maneuver around her, the fizzing sparklers on their trays in danger of setting the woman’s hair alight. Just another L.A. party girl, looking for a good time. Read the full excerpt at Vogue.

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