Friday, April 6, 2012


my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?

Fadeless - yes this means the quality of not being prone to fading. Hmmm...sounds like a miracle fabric. Or an old but persistent I go.

She sat upright on the popsicle-pink velveteen chair. She was wearing a lime and turquoise shantung silk robe and she had high-heel slippers with delicately quivering ostrich feather pom-poms. Her hair had been 'done' by her long-time companion. Arnaldo did her hair, her face and her nails every day. He was meticulous in finding her the right colours to suit her fading beauty. Yes, it was fading. She knew that now. She'd believed everyone for years and years when they told her that her looks were fadeless - that she would go to her grave, her damp cold grave, in pristine beauty. What a load of bollocks. Her hair was faded to a pale peach colour - not attractive no matter what Arnaldo said. Her skin had started to look like the parchment she'd used in the movie 'Brief Gaudy Hour' when she'd played the young Anne Boleyn to perfection. She remembered the scene - she was writing King Henry a letter begging for him to reconsider his choice at putting her to death - the parchment had been so pale and thin. That director - what was his name - had been a perfectionist. It made a difference. All of these perfectionists surrounding her, holding up the mirror and telling her over and over how gloriously luminous her beauty was. Luminous! Her skin was luminous now - or more like transparent - the glow of her blood shimmering blue beneath the surface. At least her blood hadn't faded. It still pumped passionately through her veins.
There was a knock at the door and the man she'd been waiting for entered.
"Darling, you look ravishing as usual!" he said, his voice an actor's voice, smooth and rich.
"Never mind that - have you decided about the part?" She was past politeness.
"Yes, well...we have and I hope you'll be understanding. It's the producer darling. He insists that this role demands someone who looks their age and well - you've just had too much work done. You look too radiant to play the part." He laughed in that oily way of his, as if he had a mouth full of champagne and smoke.
She knew it was him that had made the decision - he didn't want to be put up against her and be found wanting.
She slid her hand into the pocket of her robe and pulled out a small hand-gun.
"I know you like a long fade-out but I'm sorry - this time it will be a fast cut."
Without a further word she shot him - right in his missing heart.


niamh said...

brilliant! I loved his mouth full of champagne and smoke and his missing heart! loved it all actually, esp brief gaudy hour! Love your style, images and wit:)

niamh said...

ps just spotted a post you may be interested in here -

Charmaine Clancy said...

Good story.
Wagging Tales

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Oh, that is a wonderful story! I absolutely love it! What a great way to wrap a story around the concept of fadeless.

Bish Denham said...

Wonderful. I got just a clear picture, including the " delicately quivering ostrich feather pom-poms."

Liza said...

Oooh! A twist! Beware the woman scorned.

Misha Gericke said...

Excellent piece of writing. Especially loved the imagery you used. :-)

Jan Morrison said...

Hi all - thanks for your kind words! Margot - I can't leave messages on your blog anymore - it is totally frustrating as I write them out and forget that fact and then wham - it tells me that I've already got an account or some damn thing. I think I'll go and email you now. Just so you know - I've written you some brilliant responses to posts lately - ha ha!

Jan Morrison said...
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