Saturday, 24 June 2017

'In Other People’s Shoes ' by Emily Devane

That evening, the house fizzed and bubbled with guests. Matilda crept upstairs. She sniffed the ghosts of Fathers’ cigars and buried her head among the coats – stroking the mink and ocelot with her fingers, exploring pockets for lipsticks and loose change.

Then, with Mother’s gold sling-backs sliding beneath her feet, she tottered in front of the standing mirror, tried adulthood on for size. Her painted lips, made crooked by a hairline crack, smiled back.

Lately, Mother had taken to staring at her own bare reflection before announcing: ‘And now for my armour!’ with a reckless tilt of her martini glass.

Earlier, Matilda had sat cross-legged to watch the pencilling of lips and eyebrows, the dabbing of cheeks, the endless blotting – then skipped beneath Mother’s perfume spray, waiting for a cascade of scent to fall upon her own upturned cheeks and cast its spell. How she longed for the same fine hands (so practised at wielding a cocktail), the same full-throated laugh (low, from too many cigarettes) and the same devastating way of seeming not to care (marriage offers since Father: plenty).

Up there, for a while, Matilda could pretend what she liked. For example: that the sound of Mother’s laughter was not a lie.

3 comments:

  1. You've turned a popular childhood habit into a bewitching tale, Emily. This is pure gorgeous flash.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You got me at...house fizzed and bubbled with guests....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brilliant - and what a killer last line.

    ReplyDelete

The 2022 Submission Window is Now Closed

Thank you to everyone who sent in work for consideration in this year's FlashFlood.  For those of you still waiting for a reply, we'...