"Porchester Balls" by Anne Summerfield
By day he passed as Dave but by night he was Diana and the nails and hair were exactly right. He had mirror-perfected that shy smile, he had found a pleated dress of appropriate transparency. Other details – court shoes, flawless girlskin – would always be works in progress, aspirations.
He was not the only regular at the Porchester Balls who night walked as that particular princess. Most chose later times in her life – dancing with John Travolta, blue-suited engagement, the crumpled wedding gown. He could see the appeal of these other faces of Diana, but he only wanted the beginning, summer sun and tank top, nursery nurse thrust into the public eye. Her innocence was too beguiling, her obliviousness of the shadows life would throw at her gave her a strength he could only admire. From the beginning he knew it would be like that for him too, a long journey in a pleated dress dodging landmines.
In the toilets - the overcrowded Ladies - he checked the Pan-cake was still in place. God bless Max Factor. He added a little Dawn Blush lipstick, peachy soft pink, nothing harsh. There was jostling for the mirrors, witchy laughter. He tried to look regal and dignified. People admired each other’s shoes and discussed the difficulty of finding dainty size 10s. For once he didn’t join in. The words his wife said as he left still reverberated – you’re prettier than I am; you should have told me before the wedding; you need to choose between me and her. There were three in his marriage too, another way in which he and Diana were the same. At least this time Diana would be the one chosen, at least he could do that much for her.
FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words). So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.