Monday, March 25, 2013

1922

File:Betty Compson.jpg
Cold scissors.

They brush the nape of my neck, and I flinch.

“Hold still!”

Jane’s voice attempts to reprimand me, but the giddiness in her tone gives her away, and we are both barely able to keep our giggles contained. I still can’t believe I have talked her into doing this.  Our secret.  For now.

She smoothes her chemise, takes a deep breath and pushes my head forward.  My chin touches the hollow of my throat.

“If you don’t hold still, I can’t cut straight.”

At the word cut, second thoughts take shape.  A bit too late, though.  Already, wet, brown curls litter the floor.

“I’m almost finished, Bernice.  Sit up straight, and I’ll check to see if the two sides are even.  Oh, it looks keen!  Lucky you with your naturally curly hair-you look just like Betty Compson in Prisoners of Love!”

I imagine I hear envy, though, tainting the admiration in her voice.  For me. The daring sister.  And what I’ve done.

She rakes a comb through the length of my hair.  A much shorter distance than before. 

“Did you shingle it in the back?” I ask.

“I don’t know how.  You need to go to a barber to have that done.  Maybe after mother and father get over their initial shock, mother will let you.”

“Jane, what about you?” I am teasing her now.  “Do you want me to bob your hair too?” I know what she’ll say.  

She answers with an  impish grin as she steps around to face me,  pulling off the wide brimmed hat I assumed was keeping her long hair in check. She reveals golden strands that  end at her jaw line.

Jane. The timid one. Never daring

For once, I am at a loss for words.  I feel like a mountain climber, drunk on victory, only to be told that someone else has reached the summit first.

Jane is grinning, waiting for me to say something. Scissors held indifferently in her hand.

Cold, I imagine.

 

 

On to the weekly Trifecta prompt. Pay attention to the third definition, as always. Good lucky!
LUCKY (adjective)
1: having good luck
2: happening by chance : fortuitous
3: producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable
Please remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. 
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post. 
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response. 
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer. 
  • If your post doesn't meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz. 
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us. 
Good luck!

This week's word is lucky.  

 

Picture of Betty Compson sourced from net, but is now in public domain.

42 comments:

  1. This is great. It reminds me of the time my best friend colored my hair purple in middle school. My mom was mad!

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    1. Deana, that's hilarious! Thanks for telling me about that purple hair of yours! I don't feel so bad about my own "Bride of Frankenstein" bleached out dye job!

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  2. This reminds me of the short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" that I read in high school! I really love your interpretation of the prompt. I could totally feel the cold scissors on my neck!

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    1. Tammy-I'm glad you saw the nod in my story to "Bernice bobs Her Hair!" I read that story too! And the thought of cold scissors make me shiver!!

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  3. a rite of passage, to be certain - sometimes, being a riot of passage for many of us with what others have done to our hair - hehe :)

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  4. Oh I had shivers down my back with the thought of those cold scissors:) Great writing. B

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    1. Thanks B! I'll have to write about something warm now:)

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  5. What a sweet story. Great pic of Betty Compton, although I have no idea who Betty was. She gave your story life, as did your words.

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    1. Thanks Ted! And I'd never heard of Betty either until I needed a picture of a girl with a brunette bob. I always find it fun to learn about people from the past!

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  6. Nothing like a sister beating the other one to the punch.. I could just hear her say Na na na na naaaa I did it firrrssst. Lovely tale you have written.

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    1. I agree Rambly! I heard enough of that growing up with two sisters;) Thanks for reading this!

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  7. Whoops, my sister decided to cut my hair like Twiggy when we were in middle school. She went too far and I looked ridiculous; besides, I didn't wear the makeup to back up the look. Ha ha, this was "ripped from the headlines of my life"!

    Love the picture of Betty Compson. I have volumes of stills and publicity shots from the 20s, 30s, and 40s... a real fan of the old movies. Thanks for a refreshing take on our Trifecta prompt! Amy

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    1. Amy, I'm a fan of old movies too! Your collection of stills sounds amazing!

      My sister never cut my hair, but she did feed me a spoonful of Tabasco when we were playing a blindfolded game of "taste this and tell me what it is." I'm still waiting to exact my revenge...

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  8. Oh I love this! Reminds me of the diary we have from my great great great aunt - she wrote it in the 20s and wrote of bobbing her hair :-)

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    1. Lisa-I think you should publish exerpcts on your blog!!! I'd love to read what she wrote!!!

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  9. Ooo. The sinister sister in the end was in great contrast to the initial sweetness of the relationship between the two sisters. Loved how that turn made this story creepy!

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    1. Jennifer, it's those cold scissors...Thanks for reading, my friend!

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  10. It is hard to imagine quite how liberating it was for girls of that era to have their heavy hanks of hair cut off and to expose their neck. My grandmother told me that when she did the same in Vienna in the 1930s her mother was absolutely furious - but at the end of the day there was nothing she could do about it! Wonderfully done!

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    1. Thank you so much Emma! I agree, too! Short hair, and loose dresses worn without corsets must have seemed like heaven back then! Thanks for telling me about your grandmother too-I love stories like that!

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  11. You always deliver that extra surprise--going that one mile further than anyone, Valerie. I love your writing!

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    1. Hugs, Dawn! That is so kind of you to say!!

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  12. ...and absolutely brilliant lines about the mountain climber..

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    1. Thanks euan! I have to admit I was pleased with that bit:) Thanks so much for reading, too!

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  13. Oh what a lovely story, the grandmothers of the gals who would piece their ears in the early 60's. So much fun.

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    1. Thanks Ann! It's so interesting how every generation of women finds something daring and rebellious to do-and in time those who come after don't appreciate what the fuss was all about. I remember double piercing one of my ears-and my grandma thought it was simply scandalous;) Glad you stopped by!

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  14. My God, this is amazing. Well written, contained, and a perfect snapshot into the lives of these women. Well done.

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    1. Megan, thank you so much! I appreciate your comment and I'm so flattered that you liked this!

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  15. Great story! I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I was just thinking that I never do anything different. I think I'm a bit like Jane in the sense that I don't take much risk with new hairstyles or color. Perhaps I'll "climb" that mountain tomorrow and take a little risk. Throw caution to the wind and have a little fun! When people question the change, I'll just say "If Jane can do it, so can I!"

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    1. Jess-I'm definitely a Jane too! I've had some terrible "hair wrecks" in my life and they take a long time to recover from-both in time and emotional damage:) Let me know what you decide to do with your hair, and I just might have to throw caution to the wind too:)

      And for the record, I am always so thrilled to see your comments! They mean a whole lot to me:) xx

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  16. What a letdown! Stupid sisters. Always ruining everything! Good one.

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  17. Ain't that the truth, kymm! Thanks for reading!!

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  18. This was totally me a few months back when I got my long, curly hair cut into a pixie cut for the first time in my entire life. I flinched at every snip of the blades. This is such a great piece!

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    1. Draug-I've gone from long to super short too. It's a very flinch worthy experience. I remember the shock of seeing myself in the mirror for the first few day, until I got comfortable with the new me.

      Thanks so much for reading this!!

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  19. Great not to "Bernice Bobs her Hair"! I love the feeling you convey of NOT being the first to rebel.

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    1. Thanks Victoria! I think Bernice was taken down a couple of pegs after this!

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  20. Talk of crazy sibling acts,lol!I kept laughing imagining Bernice's shocked look on seeing that her sister had beat her at her own game & how!A refreshing take on the prompt,loved it Valerie:-)

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    1. Atreyee, Thank you! I'm so glad you like this, and thanks for such a wonderful comment!

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  21. Our hair says so much about who we are. That this story is reflective of a time when short hair for women was somewhat frowned upon is a nice detail which elevates this story. Thanks for such a great story.

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  22. So true, Tom! I think it was pretty scandalous at the time! And thank you for reading this!

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  23. I love how you portrayed the sweet relationship between the sisters. Well written story.

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  24. Thanks lum! I really appreciate that! :)

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