It was an unassuming door in an unassuming building but what went on inside was fascinating, even amazing. The door tinkled when opened and tinkled till closed.
Once inside, you had to adjust your eyes to see through the gloom and dust, to make your way past the piles of hessian bags and stands to the curtain made of pasta strings at the rear. It was clean back here, lighter and on the floor of polished oak, one could see all manner of creatures, sitting in a circle, playing cards with a dealer who really was a snake.
From Nabakov’s Despair, a minor character, now given a life.
Word count 100
Miss Nataša Blazek posed for Martin Palacek in the white rose garden. Martin wasn’t a known artist yet, but he had ambitions, and Nataša had plans to snare herself a husband. That morning she pushed her lilac dress off her shoulders and saw in the mirror how the dress accentuated her curves.
As Nataša sat by the garden, insects showed their curiosity at the intrusion. They crawled around her seat and buzzed around her coiffured hair. Nataša was glad she brought her fan. She swooshed them from her hair and squashed them on her seat, while smiling pretty for Martin.
The chocolate shop was hidden in an alley. It advertised in newspapers and men’s magazines so fathers and grandfathers would spend a little to spoil the child without a frowning female’s disapproval.
Chocolates were displayed in barrels behind glass and on the shelf behind the attendant’s head; their bright coloured wraps gleamed under the orange light. They were scooped and weighed, set in a box with a ribbon, awaiting an astonished child to untie.
Grandfather presented me with such a gift, which I duly shared with him, smiling on the swing under the apple tree, where grandma could not see.
Note. I am writing 40 one hundred word short stories using the minor characters of Nabakov’s Despair. I have 3 days till submission is due. This was warm up for them.
I always ate my lunch on the same bench, under the same tree. I watched the dogs catch frisbee and the kids chasing them trying to get it back. There were birds here. One particular bird would swoop down. We had an agreement. He would keep all the other birds away while I ate. I didn’t like begging birds that hovered around your feet for the smallest morsel that fell. When I finished eating, I would leave the offering. It would be eaten gratefully, and the clever bird would put the paper in the bin while I returned to work.
The final show was over. Most of the cast were going for drinks. I won’t be joining them. This was a long season. My children had suffered. Goodbyes, hugs and signed programs were exchanged. I had a carriage waiting.
“Welcome home ma’am”, James said. “The children are waiting. They haven’t had dinner yet”.
“Splendid” I said.
Opening the door, the children looked up. I was handed a rat, as the first of my children approached. “Hello Bertha” I said. She hissed, opened her mouth and swallowed the rat whole before wrapping her long shiny body around me in love.
“Your handwriting is abysmal”, said the teacher as I handed her a piece of paper. “I can’t read it at all”. she said.
“Yes Miss Jenkins”, I said, my eyes turned downwards towards my desk.
“How is anyone supposed to read this?” She thrust it towards me.
“Miss Jenkins”, I said. “You were my teacher once, but I am your doctor now. Take this to the pharmacy and they will give you the right medicine. They can read my writing and if they can’t, they will call. Good day Miss Jenkins”.
My apologies if this story is not the correct word length. I am in hospital today having been brought here by ambulance this morning. I did have the idea for the story before hand but was not able to do it on my laptop, with which I can keep an accurate word count .
I am ok I just require some blood and couldn’t drive myself to my regular place. Fun and frolicks.
“Nothing good can happen on a day like today”, I think to myself as a look out the window. “Cold and wet”. I’m holding a steaming hot mug of black coffee, my first for the day. “Footprints and tyre tracks don’t hold in slush”.
The call comes over the radio. “Sarge, better head over to Marion’s place first. Officers are on the scene and the ME is on the way. Marion’s sister Doris was found stiff as a board in the driveway. Shot dead. Marion said she didn’t even know Doris was coming”. An appropriate start to such a morning.
Death is the end of struggles. Whether it is Elysium, Heaven, Nirvana or Paradise, all represent the same thing. Freedom from all difficulty, from hunger, pain, heartache, everything removed. Well done good and faithful servant, enter into your rest. But what if we were able to have the Elysian feeling without death, without aging. It’s possible.😉