Friday, 17 April 2015

'Girl' by Claire Whatley

She’s here again.  With that same vacuous stare. She perches on the edge of her café chair, smiling at some private joke. I see her everywhere. Today she’s in jodhpurs. I would say they flattered her legs but her legs are perfect already. I read the other day that a woman’s thighs should never touch. I imagine her standing, and envisage the gap for a clear passage of air to waft straight through her legs, right up to the top.

The shirt that hugs her tiny waist is the same virgin-blue as those inscrutable eyes. Her blonde hair is scooped into a firework, sparking and tumbling in graceful disarray. For a moment I think her head turns, and unblinking, she glances my way. Her secret smile widens just a touch. I look down at my own lumpen form, and, finishing my frappuccino, I stand. Katy scoops a last finger of milkshake froth and hops down from her chair. I take her hand and we leave. The eyes of the young woman catch mine one last time before she disappears from view. 

I stride through the park, enjoying the dazzle of copper-and-gold above me, my scuff-and-crunch below. Katy had been lagging but now she runs on ahead. Clouds block the sun and I huddle into my coat. A sudden rustle of autumn leaves sends a shudder down my spine. I spin around and it’s her. She’s poised on a bench, legs outstretched in her long brown boots. The arch of her feet in those killer heels defies nature. Her coat falls open over a red wool dress, skimming the smooth lines of her taut body. She’s close enough for me to appreciate her flawless skin; close enough for me to slap her. I’d like to knock her off that bench, send her flailing into the mud. Her mouth is fixed in that eternal smile and her eyes are taunting me. I increase my pace. 
*

It’s dark now. At the bottom of the garden, I sink into the ancient parka that hides my bulges beneath. I eat another hotdog. The bonfire smells of childhood when I was such a skinny thing. Kids wield sparklers as they await our annual display. 

Behind me the house looks so cosy, but then I catch sight of a figure that shouldn’t be there. The hotdog falls from my fingers: I must be mistaken. I move closer and even from here I can see she’s naked beneath her negligee. She’s sitting on the patio table, leaning back as though soaking up the summer sun. Her lustrous hair cascades and glints in the moonlight. I march over and grab her by the arm; carry her down to the blaze.

Yes! I consign her body to the flames. She flies; she falls! The negligee is gobbled up before she lands; her nylon hair, devoured. The fire hisses and spits. I watch her plastic face melt and her impossible body shrivel into molten blobs.


Goodbye, Barbie.



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2 comments:

  1. Loved this - brilliant! Enjoyed the descriptions of everyday, the sense of something looming & the surprise end! Laughed out loud.

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