08 April 2010

Magpie Tales #9...A Little Piece of Hope


I picked up the lipstick. It was unused and the marbled exterior looked like a lighter. She'd smoked, but it wasn't that had got her in the end.
Brown wasn't her colour, she was a red kind of girl. Statements and standing out, that was her mantra. Feathers and red, and white white skin, like ivory but not as cold and morbid. Furs too, she was a furs person. Real fur, ermine and fox, bushy and expensive.
And convertibles. She loved them. She had a little car - a Volkswagen? It was blue anyways, sky blue. The seats were torn but she had flower covers for them.
She would cruise down the road, roof down and cigarette loose in her hand, red lips pursed and pale skin gleaming. She stopped at a petrol station just to look at herself in the mirror in the toilet, cause the car didn't have one. It wasn't really a vain thing, more making sure she still existed.
I opened the lipstick. It smelled funny, a bit like leather and cigarettes. It smelled musty too, and dry. Wow, it really was brown.
She never was a brown person, but now that I looked at it, I could sort of see why she kept it. It looked like leather, the interior of the car that fit the life she dreamed of. A little piece of hope in a small package, to look at whenever she felt down.
She killed herself.
No easy way to say it, I don't think she would have wanted a big fuss. She just drove her little blue car off the edge of a cliff. They said it was an accident, that her brakes might have failed. After all, the car was old. They didn't fail, she just didn't use them.
She told me she had been saving to leave her job and husband, both dead-end. She even told me where the money was. I couldn't follow her, I was working.
Then I went and collected the money, and, just as she wanted, didn't spend a cent of it on her funeral.
I bought a car, new and shiny and leather. And I got feathers and wrapped them around the mirror, so she could she herself real nice. And a real fur seat cover for the passenger seat, cause that's where she sits. And a white napkin, with a kiss on it, red lipstick, just like she used to wear.
I drove the car to the edge of the cliff where she died. I released the brake and let it roll forward.
And then I braked. I spun around and sped out of there. Up the coast to a new life, with her little piece of hope in my pocket, her brown lipstick.

25 comments:

Joan Tucker said...

wowzer.. what a story. Joan T

chiccoreal said...

Dear Aiofe: Great plot! This is a fixatingly attractive psychological thriller. Much suspense and rivetting action; very descriptive and stylized. Superb!

Peg said...

Whew - bit of a shock ending, but glad somebody found a reason to live!! Well put

joanny said...

Wowzer is right -- a thriller chiller story -- well done,
Joanny

SouthLakesMom said...

Well done. I think the car is going to keep compelling the author to almost do it again and again and again.

Sun Dance Hill said...

Superb! Very compelling, and chilling; wonderful imagery.

willow said...

I like the way the lipstick looked and smelled like leather.

Chilling tale. Well done!

Diana (Diane) Maria said...

This is a fascinating story. I was riveted from beginning to end - a surprising twist at the end. Beautifully done!

Thank you for visiting my blog 'Talkin Kids'. I am happy to have discovered you. I will come back soon.

Jennifer said...

Love the vignette and character study! You really painted a picture with your words - it ran like a movie.

Catalyst said...

That's a GREAT story, Aoife, twisting and turning!

Tumblewords: said...

Vivid and real as the night! Imagery is superb and the story compelling.

Star said...

It's often the little things which remind us of people who have passed on. A whiff of perfume or an outfit like the one she used to wear; a look, a touch, just a memory. This has the makings of a good story.
Well done.
Star

steviewren said...

Wow! I love the way the photo prompts each one of us to think of different things. I was afraid the narrator was going over the edge after her.

PattiKen said...

What a great story! But the narrator had better hope the ghost of the deceased doesn't decide to go along for the ride in her dream car!

Brian Miller said...

wicked cool magpie....you pulled me right along with just enough to reminisce her...glad she sped off to a new life as opposed to following the mistakes of others...

spacedlaw said...

Racy story, with clenched teeth and well hidden dreams.

Star said...

I particularly liked the feathers around the mirror idea. A good use of material. Well done.
Star

rel said...

No sense in wasting good money, or lipstick for that matter.
excellent story telling.
rel

Peter Goulding said...

Yes, so many twists and turns. I cheered when she turned the car around.

Ji said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/because-she-is-plain-magpie-tale/

here is mine!
I was late!
Happy Tuesday!

Ji said...

quality story,
you did well!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

A wonderful tale on the twist of the tube! I could see her, a dichotomy of furs, feathers and leather! Enjoyed this!

Poetikat said...

I love the dark stuff. This is great!

California Girl said...

well done. very Raymond Chandler.

I came looking for TT and found this and am happy I did.

Dreamhaven said...

I thought at first he was going to join her. Riveting