The Many Terror-Laden Smiles of Britney Spears

Britney Spears has spent most of her life in front of the paparazzi, and she's good at playing the game, smiling for the camera. But that smile is not always everything it seems, often paired with looks of sheer terror. It’s a pairing that you really don’t see that often, but there is only one logical explanation for this choice: Britney is constantly stalked by invisible monsters walking amidst the photographers that only she can see.

"Are you excited to be launching your lingerie line?" the photographer shouts. But Britney has no time for teddies and bustiers for all she can focus on is the incubus hovering just above his shoulder.

Britney stares down a long press line filled with flashbulbs and nearly allows herself to relax in the familiar glow. But it's just then that her practiced eye spots something all too familiar; the evil forces have found her even here at an X-Factor event, where Simon Cowell had promised she would be safe: a small imp peeks out from behind a camera, his eyes deceptively warm, his mouth forebodingly mischievous as he waggles a forked tongue.

"Can anyone see this?" Britney whispers through gritted teeth. But no one else can see the tiny winged demon with the miniature pitchfork and barbed tail, flitting around her head. She raises her left hand to fight him off; the crowd, assuming it is a coquettish wave, just waves back. Britney's struggle continues, alone. Always alone.

“Uhhh, hi, Satan!” Britney says, waving to the devil who sits in the third row of the auditorium, his fangs gleaming under the studio lights.

Sometimes the evil stalking Britney conceals its physical identity, but she knows it’s there from the telltale shiver down her spine. "Do you have a sweater?" Britney asks her assistant. “Brit,” replies her trusty aide. “It's July.”

No, no, no, the invisible evil is back, and this time it is closer than ever. There aren’t enough sweaters or parkas in the world to remove the chill. Britney freezes. Time stands still for just a moment. And then Brit feels hot, rank breath on her ear as she hears a raspy whisper: "Buy Lotus on iTunes." Britney shrieks.