Lottie’s flawless white hands smoothed silky folds of pink satin undergarments as she placed them into her squat old brown suitcase. A cool spring breeze drew her to the open window where moonbeams shimmered softly through sheer lace curtains. A brisk knock on the door and Lottie jumped back from the window, her beautiful sky blue eyes darting anxiously around the soft pink haven she’d cocooned herself into for the past five years.
“Go away,” she whispered.
Instead, as Lottie knew would happen, the door swung inward and Frieda bustled into the dainty pink and white bedroom.
Frieda, buxom and shapely in her blue satin nightdress and reeking of the remedy, stopped short and stared down into the hastily packed old satchel on Lottie’s pink bedspread.
“What’s this? You’re not still seriously thinking of leaving, are you Lottie Dear?”
“I’m not thinking of it. I’m doing it,” Lottie said flipping back her long blonde hair and snapping the latches closed on her worn old suitcase.
“You know what will happen to you without the remedy,” Frieda said, reposing into a pink satin armchair, like a queen on her throne. She clutched an ornate silver flask in her lovely, perfectly manicured hands.
“I don’t care, I’m leaving and I’m leaving for good this time,” Lottie said, her pretty face puckering into a frown as she backed toward the open door. “What we’re doing is wrong.”
“What’s wrong with wanting to look our best? What’s wrong with bringing a little pleasure to some lonely men? We have to make a living, don’t we? What’s wrong with that?” Frieda uncorked the slender silver flask increasing the pleasant lemony, jasmine scent of the remedy. “Are you leaving without tonight’s treatment? It’s almost midnight, you’ll revert soon.”
“We’re not beautiful, Frieda. It’s wrong to deceive these men. It’s wrong to take their money. This remedy you created is wicked—it’s addicting and evil. The remedy—it’s changed you—made your face and your body beautiful, but it’s poisoned your soul. It’s made you cold, calculating, and greedy. I often wonder, is any of my sweet sister really still in there?”
Lottie smoothed the folds of her old gray cotton dress with warty, liver-spotted hands. Her face began to sag on one side, her top lip splitting into a hideous fixed grin as words became harder to formulate. Tears sparkled in sky blue eyes. Beautiful eyes now receding into lumps of bone and wrinkled flesh which sprouted haphazardly across Lottie’s ravaged skull.
“Cuh wid me,” Lottie begged.
Lottie shrugged her bent shoulders, grasped the handle of the old suitcase with a twisted talon, and limped out into the fragrant spring night.
“You’ll be back,” Frieda shouted from the window of Lottie’s old room. “You always come back.”
Note: I’ve discovered, through a little blog research, a movement called “#fridayflash.” It’s to post flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words )on our blogs each Friday: the stories are then rounded up into a collector site to give fiction writers some exposure. At least to each other.
It’s sort of an excuse to get us off our butts and doing something that we all aspire to do – write.
I think it will be lots of fun. Remedy is my first “#fridayflash” piece.
Flash Fiction: Airdog
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