Saturday, January 25, 2014

Prompt: Mother’s necklace, dirty laundry, cartoonist, department store Santa

Kelly gripped the pendant at her throat and stared in horror at the larger-than-life painting on the studio wall. She was always masked, always disguised at Jasmine’s. Different color hair, different styles. No one had ever outed her. Until now.

The last time she saw her mother, she was bloated and weak from the chemo and radiation. Her hair long gone, her face was almost unrecognizable to the three-year-old who gingerly climbed into her lap to finger the gold filigree pendant always at her neck. Kelly traced the pendant’s swirls, extending them out onto the puffy skin over her mother’s throat. Her mother had struggled with the clasp to pull it off, then closed it before she slid the pendant over Kelly’s long blond curls. Kelly wrapped her arms around her mother and closed her eyes, listening to her voice whisper in half-understood Gaelic until her father came and lifted her up and took her away.

She rarely took the necklace off, and felt more naked without it than she ever did dancing bare-limbed on a pedestal or performing on a stage at Jasmine’s. Secure in her anonymity, she had always kept her boring, conservative, corporate life carefully separated from the scene. Until Carlo turned Jasmine’s into his living studio, and she posed without thinking about the necklace.

And now Kelly’s portrait was front and center, her pendant practically blazing off the canvas, as Carlo’s collection was featured at the celebrated avant-garde Studio Reàl. How was it even possible that her two lives were colliding right here, right now, at the Annual Meeting Banquet?

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

January word count

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