Monday, 14 October 2013


Rachel sat gazing into the mirror. She was meant to be getting ready for her act, the burlesque number for all those drunk, leery old men out there. Her crown sat on the dressing table, ready to perch in her hairspray-stiff bouffant. She was Queen of tack. She looked out on her sad subjects from the secret carnage of her heart, and smiled.
In the films, of course, there would be someone to rescue her. A loaded Richard Gere type, ostensibly life-hardened, but with a deep, pulsing love for the real her, under the burlesque outfit and beyond the graffitied-on smile. He would be willing to brave all kinds of dangers – pimps, punters and her flat-mate Carolyn with P.M.T, just to find her and whisk her away. Such was his purpose in life.
The trouble is, she thought, she wasn’t sure that there was a real her, any more. She looked into the prism of her memories and saw a refracted nothing. A trick of the light. Her present was only fallout from the past.
But there was the red box. There wasn’t much in it, after a year of saving, but it was something. And, of course, what was hidden in the secret compartment: the letter, emanating its dangerous scent beneath the layers of velvet.
And still she gazed, pensive, frozen, staring into the ghost of her eyes until her vision blurred, merged, a myriad of dancing light, the shadows of angels.
“Oi, Rachel babe! You’re on!”

The copyright of this post belongs to Alison Stickings 19.9.13.

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