This wasn't my intended post for this week, I was going to post the first of a two part story. But "The Dress" woke me in the middle of the night last week and wouldn't leave me alone until I had written it down. The following evening after work I came home and typed it up, made a few changes and then thinking it was ready - fired it off - still chasing that elusive first writing credit. Imagine if you will dear reader the horror of having a response within 12 hours, usually you have to wait weeks for a resounding NO. After only 12 hours I was pleased that I didn't have a long wait but still, was it that bad? That cliched? I had felt that I was improving, however slowly. It also seems strange that this rejection out of all my others seems to have rocked my confidence the most. Writing is indeed a roller coaster ride for the emotions. As ever, constructive criticism is always appreciated. I have made a few additional edits to the story as I'm no longer restrained by a word count. At this point I would normally type "Enjoy" but this week I would just ask you not to vomit on your shoes.
The dress was perfect, modelled by a headless mannequin with overtly stiff nipples.It had caught Paul's eye while he'd been shopping with his wife but his thoughts were with Bridget; she would look fantastic in it. Then his thoughts wandered further to the feeling of the cloth on her skin.
Martha had known he was up to something, wives always know. Paul was due to attend a conference at the end of the month but something felt wrong about the arrangement. She fabricated an excuse to contact his PA - a possible diary clash, but her fears deepened when she was reassured that there would be no clash as Paul would already be on leave.
Bridget loved the dress, a perfect fit. Paul was barely out of the shower. Bridget was already getting changed. She pulled stockings over her long smooth legs before she slipped on the new dress. Paul thought she looked beautiful as she caught his eye in the mirror.
‘Zip me up’, she asked. A few finishing touches to her hair and make-up and she was ready for the evening.
Paul wanted room service – less conspicuous – but away, by the sea, who would know? Bridget was going out for dinner. As she opened the door to the room Martha was standing there – caught in the act, listening at the door, her eyes full of tears. Bridget froze, she wanted to slam the door in Martha’s face and hide under the bed but it was too late for that.
‘Paul what the hell do you think you’re doing?’ Martha cried,
‘You’d better come in’, Bridget said quietly.
‘I want a fucking explanation’, Martha demanded ‘I don’t believe what I’m seeing’. Bridget started to cry and make-up began to smear across her face as she wiped the tears away.
‘I can explain’, said Paul as he pulled the wig from his head, he caught his image in the mirror and Bridget was gone; he was no longer beautiful, he just looked like a suicidal clown.
‘Christ Paul I thought you were having an affair. Do you know how worried I’ve been? How long has this been a part of you? Why haven’t you told me before? C’mon stop crying’, she said as she passed him a tissue. Paul, perched on the end of the bed, sobbed into his hands. He felt disgusting and awkward: his Bridget was discovered, her weekend ruined.
‘What do we do now?’ he blubbed. ‘Do you want a divorce?’
‘But what about this’, he said tugging at the dress.
‘I think there is only one thing for it’, she said sitting down beside him. ‘I think we’ll have to take it back…Blue's not your colour love’. He smiled then. Martha kissed him.
‘Now go clean yourself up’, she said, ‘You’re taking me to dinner – and then we can talk about what’s-her-name?'
'Nice name, classy, have I ever told you about my great Uncle Geoff? No? He liked to be called Thelma’.
(c) Lee Auburn 2011