Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Rosebud adorned walls illuminated as morning sun encroaches over newly painted sills. The window shadows dance across her bed flashing daylight in her eyes and she wakes. The house is quiet with little more than birdsong to punctuate the silence as she rises and glances towards the clean pressed clothes upon the chaise. Defiance crosses her visage as she resolves, “Not today!”

Today she is feeling festive, today she wants to flirt. Today she is gregarious, geared toward glamour. Without any particular place to go and with no particular reason in mind, she decides to be flirtatious, ignore the neatly folded attire and step outside the square.

Deep within her wardrobe hides a dress for Mardis Gras. Shoestring strapped and sleeveless, slimline to the waist then Fiesta ruffles emanating from the hip and she feels oh so Flamenco. Kicking back one leg the fabric unfurls, soft and fluid. She is a rainbow ice cream swirl and spins until she’s dizzy. The melee of hues dissolving into a spiral curl. “Perfect!” She's happy with her choice.

Feeling incomplete without the accouterments, she swoons before the dressing table still reeling from the dance. Soft dark curls are brushed with the care of haute coiffure,100 strokes she had been told but loses patience after 20 as the waves spring wildly into place.

She runs fingers over each cosmetic, from lipstick to eye liner, examining each tube, case and compact with the intensity of an artist contemplating which sable brush will complete his masterpiece. She settles on a fuchsia gloss to complement her dress. She twists the tube evocatively, elevating its proud pink blush and draws the moist, waxy colour from outwards to centre across her lips. She rolls lips and kisses the mirror to assure an even coat. So pleased with the effect and the brightness of the hue that she draws delicious hearts of pink upon her own reflection, “Lovely!” she thinks as she admires her handiwork but does not enunciate the word. Mascara next. She twists the dainty brush, prizing it from its rest as if drawing a fragile silken thread. Highlights of black tenderly applied to already long, dark lashes accentuate their thickness and curl. A sweep of bronze blush across her cheeks complete the party girl.

She garnishes her arms with chimes of silver, dinging and jangling, clinking and tinging. Sweet Romany music with each flick of the wrist. She's in a gypsy mood and they complement her look. A string of coloured beads adorn her silken throat, the look almost complete, she slips on her pretty strapless shoes and swirls effortlessly into the sunlit day.

Sashaying down the street she views her reflection via sideways glance towards each shopfront window. Oblivious to her surroundings, she curtsies to her mirrored friend and strikes a dancer's pose.

Towards construction sites she wonders but all she sees are flowers blooming from dark doorways as she meanders through an imagined and animated world of colour, sound and song. She is bewitched while being watched.

They’re on roof trusses and on ladders, smiling down or hodding bricks. They whistle and wink, laugh and taunt as she passes by. One wolf-whistles loud and sharp making all turn to cast their gaze. She is coy and flattered, smiles and accepts it anyway. Why not? She’s in her party dress and feeling good today.

She sidles close to men who pique her interest. A few sit round a tiny stove preparing solder, eating chips and sipping from enamel mugs. Real men, big men, tough men in blue singlets, their white hankies tied at corners and spread across their shaven skulls. They have muscles and bristles and hair upon their chest. They wear steel capped bother boots and rub their calloused hands. They’re tanned and sinewy with labour, smelling sweet with sweat. They laugh towards each other and speak rough talk that she can’t quite comprehend. Their accents aren’t familiar but upon spying Jezebel, they cajole her into lingering and linger she does.

She’s not shy today. Perhaps on any other day she might have been frightened by their gruffness but she’s in her party dress and a perfect pair of heels. She’s all glossed gussied and guileless so willingly accepts.

They’re sweet to her these burly boys. Four of them in all. They offer compliments and hot chips and she marvels at the little pot of solder that dances as she does. They give her tea in a mug, sweetened with condensed milk. They ask her where she lives and compliment her looks. They request a twirl to show off her dress and they admire her, legs, her lovely shoes. They comment on her luscious lips and lascivious lashes. She tells far more than she should until . . . mid-sentence . . . she's aware of an encroaching shadow, shading her moment in the light.

A woman with tears in her eyes, her hand upon her decolletage breathing gasps of horror and relief swoops upon our Jezebel.

“Oh my sweet pea, I was worried sick, you’re miles away from home. You know you’re not to wonder beyond the garden gate!”

“Just talking to the building men” quivers our Jezebel, now fazed by her mother’s anguish, bangles jangling as she pouts and puts a finger in her tiny mouth, still salty from the chips. Salt water trickles down her cheeks.

“God! Look at you in your best dress and my Jimmy Choos! Where’s your tricycle?

Her mother thanks the burly boys for their kindness and attention. They laugh and stand and bow as tiny Jezebel leaves their kindly court, she smiles through her tears at her Musketeers four as a firm but loving hand pulls her away.

Tomorrow she will wear the clothes draped neatly on the chaise but today she's feeling festive, and full of tea and chips.

Posted for Tenth Daughter Of Memory - "The Morning After"


  1. Heh. Unusually lighthearted for you, eh?

  2. tricycle...oh my....i had another picture in my head...glad her mother found her...smiles.

  3. you've got the twist mastered...was expecting something a little darker! nice

  4. I LOVE this. You had me so drawn in to this Jezebel and her wanton ways. I was picturing what a hit she was going to be at the office. And then, "tricycle"! So good, Baino!

  5. ... and there was me thinking party girl, mardi gras
    Jezebel's a fella and is going to regret lingering*!*

  6. Though I was sort of expecting a twist, I was NOT expecting that one. Nicely done.

  7. Little girls! LOL! I can see mine doing that! She would also not be sorry, but festive still when caught! Enjoyed this! :)

  8. I think you had all of us caught off guard. I was waiting for sinister around the corner. I'm glad it was mama and the tricycle.

    Well crafted my dear - every young girl wants to fill those big shoes.