Friday, July 20, 2012

Her Other Side


The Secret Sits

We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

If she didn’t, in the next five minutes, choose a cardigan, find her keys and lock the four sturdy deadbolts on her front door, she would never arrive at the restaurant on time, and tardiness was not in keeping with her character. It might be argued that on such a warm evening a cardigan was unnecessary. It might also be argued that the locks on her door were excessive.  But by all outward appearances, she preferred to err on the side of caution.

Considering her ensemble-a slim brown plaid wool skirt and white blouse with  Peter Pan collar , she decided to wear her tan sweater.  Such a sensible color.  It really did go with everything.  Brown penny loafers and her brown leather bag.  Hair neatly tied back from her face, and just the tiniest bit of Vaseline, dabbed on her lips.

She was meeting her friends downtown for an early dinner, the restaurant within walking distance from where she lived.  Convenient, though she was not especially looking forward to the evening.  In college, beauty routines and romances had been the staples of dining hall conversation with her crowd.  Now, several years later, the location may have changed but not the topics discussed.

Once hellos and hugs had been exchanged, she took her seat at the table, ordered a glass of milk, and waited for the inevitable barrage of advice.  She was, after all, the only one among them who still hadn’t accessorized herself with a steady beau.  Less plaid and more leg. Fitted sweaters and black eyeliner, perhaps.  And  lipstick. Definitely some nice red lipstick.   They were only offering their two cents for her own good, they soothed.

After allotting a few hours of her time for the reunion, she looked at her watch and made an exclamation as to the lateness of the hour.  Early to bed, early to rise, and all that. Bidding her chums farewell until next time, she walked back to her apartment, her cardigan sweater slung over one shoulder.


She was careful as she lifted the large flat rectangular box down from her bedroom closet shelf and carried it over to her bed.  Setting the lid aside, she once again felt a quickening in her chest as she gazed at the contents nestled within the walls of brown cardboard.  It was all there, waiting for her.  The one piece black suit that fit like a second skin.  The black duffle bag.  The grappling hook. The slim gold tube labeled Germaine Monteil.

red fury 2

Her friends were right about one thing, she conceded as she roared into the night on her black Vespa.  Red lipstick suited her.


The prompt this week was to write a 450 word piece inspired by the Robert Frost poem The Secret Sits.  What I’ve posted here still needs a bit of work, but I wanted to share it with you any way.  I’d planned yesterday to get up early this morning and finish it-but what I didn’t plan on was waking up with a migraine-the first one I’ve had in several years.  I feel better, and at some point I’ll finish editing this story too:)


  1. It is beginning to be a highlight of my literary week, to read your weekly short-short. And this one is exceptional...even unedited as you say. Reading your stories is like walking down a path with curves and twists, and you are always guarenteed a thrill.

  2. I'm so sorry about the migraine - they are awful!

    I think it's a wonderful piece - I wouldn't have guessed it's unedited!

  3. Dawn, once again you've left a comment that just make me so grateful that I know you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart:) xx

    Lisa-Thank you too! I'm pretty darn grateful to see your comments here each time I post something:)

    I think my migraine was heat induced, like yours. I felt so awful this morning but I feel much better now-and thank goodness it cooled off, clouded over and rained this afternoon! xx

  4. Ooooh! This is awesomely intriguing! What a character!

  5. Melissa-thank you, my dear! xx

  6. I really enjoyed the opening with this character. There is enough in her to evolve into a main character for a full length piece. I want to know everything about her.

  7. Classic comic book heroine... or villain?

    Love it!

  8. I love this story! It just goes to show that no one really knows us but ourselves. This was my favorite passage:

    "She was, after all, the only one among them who still hadn’t accessorized herself with a steady beau. Less plaid and more leg. Fitted sweaters and black eyeliner, perhaps. And lipstick. Definitely some nice red lipstick. They were only offering their two cents for her own good, they soothed."

    Great, dead-on paraphrasing of the conversations. And I'm a sucker for stories that feature red lipstick!

  9. Cam-Thanks! And I think this girl is jewel thief! What I don't know yet is what she does with all of those gems she steals...:)

    Tracy-I believe a secret life must always include red lipstick. Now, where did I put mine? ;)

    Thanks for reading!!