Ladygirl of a British persuasion; sometimes I actually write stories that aren't depressing (but not very often)
I write for the http://jupiter-palladium.com, which is a webcomic about superheroes. Interesting ones. Cute ones, too. Which is nice. (It's cheerier than most things I write. That's where the happy goes, guys.)
"But I like green."
"You would. Green is a very you colour." She waved her hand, apparently indicating his shirt. "You look good in green."
He raised his eyebrows, surprised. "Do I?"
She ignored it, ignored her cheeks going pink - there was no point to this line of conversation, she was not going to think about it.
Except that he did look good in green, very good. Something about dark hair and dark green and those eyes -
"I just don't think green is a good colour for a rug. I don't think it'll go in the living room....
You dance because you don't know any better.
You don't realise what is really going on, you may never truly realise what's going on.
So you dance, the three of you - in a moment they are your sisters, your mothers, your lovers. They are your world, your dance partners, although if anyone asked you their names you couldn't give an answer.
You will never see them again, after this moment, after the moon sets and a new day begins. You won't remember anything else about the day but the dance. The dance will live on in your...
There's somebody standing in the corner of my room.
I think they're me.
I mean, she - think it's a she, the lines are fuzzy - looks like me. A bit, anyway. She looks how I could be. Maybe how I should be. But she keeps flickering and altering - maybe she's just a potential me.
Or maybe she's all the potential mes.
I step closer to her - I can't tell, not really, that expression keeps shifting, but she seems to be happy about it, I think there's a smile (more smiles than frowns, anyway).
I open my mouth...
There's somebody standing in the corner of my room.
I can't tell if he means me harm or not - he's not doing anything. He's just standing there.
I'm not certain if he knows that I'm here. Maybe he isn't certain if he's here.
I can't quite bring myself to approach him; I know I should do, I'm a scientist at heart, I should be testing my experience, the environment. Verifying what I think I'm seeing, what I'm perceiving.
But I'm also a coward at heart; a self-preservationist, a vulnerable young woman. With a strange man in her bedroom.
He wasn't certain he believed her, or that he'd heard her correctly.
She believed it, though. That much was obvious, from the earnest look in her eyes, from the way she clung to her coffee cup with such a tight grip, as if it was the only thing tethering her. As if it was what was keeping her real, keeping her here.
"How did it happen?" He asked finally.
Althea seemed to relax a little at that, as if she'd overcome a hurdle, as if she was relieved - finally, somebody believed her. "I don't know. If I did, I...
The pictures always did, but somehow they'd hoped this one would be different. It was more special than the others, it meant so much more - but no. It faded, just like the others.
It became an odd family ritual, to kiss the cheek that had faded before leaving the house, like you'd kiss a mother - it didn't matter that it was a picture of a film star, one they'd never meet.
He was winking. Maybe that was what made him good luck.
Mia had collected pictures, that had been the point of it - pictures cut...
She had read somewhere that there were lands beneath the seas, that it was where wishes hid themselves ("Fishes, you mean fishes."), that is was where dreams lived, that it was where pearls of happiness lived.
Pearls were the perfect metaphor; beauty and perfection, born of irritation. Born of an age of suffering.
They had stopped believing in mythical lands that lived beneath the waves, and so she stopped talking about them - there was a look in their eyes that she remembered, the same look her mother had been given.
Mother had tried to take her to the land...
She didn't look at him.
She never did. Never could.
If she met his eyes then she would dissolve into giggles, and the charade would be over. They'd both be cast out - or maybe just him - and that would be the end of everything.
He played his part so well, that was why it was funny. He would happily sit there and spout such rot, and these sychophantic ghouls would nod and revere him.
They didn't know he was just staff in her father's suit.
He was an orator, a charmer - he could spin a yarn, and...
"And they thought that was porn?"
"I don't think they would have called it that. Erotica, maybe. But...yes. There's something so innocent about it, isn't there? I love the kimono on this lady here."
"I can't believe you're looking at the kimino."
"This isn't your late-night shocker, this isn't your gorey pop-up nonsense. This is - I suppose it isn't classy as such, but it's... There's something about it. It's old fashioned. Charming in its way."
"They had very different ideas then."
"The world wasn't sexualised, I suppose. Seeing half a naked woman was shocking enough. We're just looking for...
It was easy to sit at the beach.
The sea could've been swirling around her toes, if she so wished, she could've been leaping up and jumping over the waves with gay abandon, giggling, squealing with delight as they tickled the hem of her skirt.
Or the sand could've been squelching between her toes, getting stuck in niggling places, to be found later on as she padded barefoot through the house (except that she wouldn't be barefoot, she'd be sandfoot - grains attaching themselves to her skin and not leaving for days - weeks? - on end).
Or she could...