(Source: http://lh6.ggpht.com/_6oxx_tG-VHQ/S6vI8kpAklI/AAAAAAAAGBg/aiEuzJK97WI/LouisFaurer1960Paris_thumb2.jpg?imgmax=800) Paris. The city of love, of romance and she was almost there, just a few stop and a fanfare of screeching breaks would announce the arrival of Miss Tanya Fay, New York’s most elusive model. Betsy crowed into the window beside her, their bodies juddering in time with the train as the French country side slipped past, snow still deep on the ground, hiding any indication of the past thirty years from the passengers. “Mademoiselle, perhaps you and your comapinon would like the come back inside the carrige?” She turned to find the conducter stood behind them. Polite smile firmly in place as the rest of the carrige shot them dark looks from behind books and newspapers. “I’m afraid the cold is coming in,” he explained. “Some of the other passengers have complained.” “Oh let them!” laughed Betsy, pulling Tanya towards the window again. “Who are they to complain about us?”
At ninety-five, Margery Yolk was pretty sure that she had made every wish that could be required in life. She let someone else see to the door, the steady stream of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren parading into her little bungalow in Ipswich, hugs and good wishes in hand. She kept to her armchair and wondered if perhaps she should have at least attempted to find her false teeth for this occasion… When the cake came she smiled, beckoning the youngest in close to blow out the candles for her. “You can have my wish,” she whispered.
It took us a while to get use to the bears. I mean really, one can hardly expect for such a creature to approach you in the street and start commenting on how dreary the weather is for this time of year. Except that was exactly what happened and it almost cost me my bus as I stood there spluttering for a response. Sunshine in November, dreary my foot! I was lost for words if you’ll believe it. Well I don’t suppose it matters if you do or you don’t, talking bears or loss of words. However I assure you that this is the god’s honest truth, or at least my honest truth since I don’t even know if you believe in a god or not. I suppose you’ll have some sort of preference. I rather like Minerva, never mind if I believe in the Roman deity. But she does have a certain feminist pull, and I never can resist a strong woman in myth or history. They always demand attention and perhaps a little …
She’d been taught that interrupting was rude, but if she hadn’t that genie would have still been yammering on about choosing carefully. She had chosen carefully. She’d spent the last thirty-five years considering this very choice and she wasn’t wasting another second. “Give me the keyboard to my life,” she said. “I’ve got some editing to do.”
We walked among roses and he spoke of Paris, of Florence and Venice, of worlds we would travel. We walked among roses until thorns turned to claws and flowers were beautiful no more.
He would use words like enrapture. Written in ink with a kick to each last letter of a word. She tried to copy his style in response, but a biro only affords you so much flair and the fountain pen wouldn’t obey her hands. But he was still charmed, delighted, enthralled by her words; captivated by her in a way no one else could match. At least that was what the correspondents said.
You were always the better dancer. I had the legs but your feet could rattle out steps quicker and slicker than my heels could. Your feet could kick, spin and twirl, sashaying circles around me. So I stopped dancing and stood still. It didn’t matter that I had the legs, the curves the lips, the perfect smiles for photo flash moments. You were the dancer who flew down streets and step-ball-changed down walkways; toes never quite touching down long enough for me to count the footwork. You choreographed your life into routines that only you knew. Knowing you didn’t help.
When they had finished the left side of the sitting room was painted green and the right was a shade of red that Jonathon could not quite place. “It looks like Christmas gone oh so very wrong.” said his girlfriend; her hand still wrapped around the roller of mint-green julep. “It’s not that bad.” he said, waving the paintbrush in a dramatic arch that splattered the dust sheets further. “We can make it work.” “They don’t even meet in a straight line!” she said. “Your mother is never going to let me live this down!” “Well you wanted green!” he pointed out. “I didn’t know you were going for that colour now did I!” she snapped. “What idiot would pick rosewood for a room this size?” Jonathon shook his head. “Then what shall we do? Sand down and start again?” “Well we have to don’t we. Your mother can’t see it like this!” (Prompt: VisDare 32 – Undecided)
She spent the morning sitting cross legged on the balcony of her hotel room. Not the patio furniture but the concrete slabs making up the structure. “Are you ready?” asked her husband, walking out of the bathroom ten minutes before they were supposed to leave, still drying his hair. The towel landed on her side of the bed. “Almost.” she replied, unfolding her legs and standing. “I was just making sure.” “Sure of what?” he asked. “You have this speech down flawlessly.” “I know that!” she said. “I just wanted to make sure I believed what I’m about to say.”
We took turns counting out the left-over pennies, dug out from beneath fifty year old settee cushions. The ones not left-over, found the day before when our granddaughter lost an ipod between the seats, they had clattered down into the ceramic gut of a bright pink pig. It would do well for a girl you said; before sneaking away to your workshop and painting quotes from all her favourite books across every spare speck of curve you could find. I picked out the silver tissue paper and the plum coloured ribbon, I knew you couldn’t wrap to save your life.