For the Fiction Friday Leopard Print Dress Prompt, I present
Burning the Leopard
Summary:Independance smells like burning polyester and toasted marshmallows.
It had hung in her closet for a good eight months- since Halloween when she had almost, but not quite, gone to that party as a cavewoman. But, he had called at the last minute- and it really was the last minute- she had already put the stinkin’ bone in her hair- he had called at the last minute to say that he couldn’t make it- emergency at the office- deadline he was about to miss- will make it up to her- promises and kisses and blah, blah, blah yankee doodle dandy- goodbye. So, she had sat there, bone in her hair- held in with about six pounds of styling goo- and ate cold leftover Chinese takeout and marshmallows in the dark- she didn’t have any candy (save the marshmallows) to give the trick or treat-ers, so the dark was mostly self preservation than self pity (but not completely). In the morning, she had hung the dress up and taken another shower- the goo was still in her hair, even after last night’s attempt at toxic waste cleanup- and gone to work. That evening, she got a really short haircut- she was lucky she hadn’t needed a wig- the girl had given her two deep conditioning treatments trying to save her long dark hair, but nothing doing. He had complained about the new do- made her look to boyish- he missed the soft waves twining around his fingers- why was she such a slave to fashion anyway? Ridiculous woman.
And even though that moment when he had called her ridiculous had been the last one he had been able to call her his, she had not let go of him or the ways he made her feel- the good way, the bad way because they were so intertwined, the good and the bad and the good had felt too precious to let go of. But now, now she could see it for what it had been- desperation- because now, now she had done something- not anything much, just mastered a small goal, a trifling really, but it was hers and it was good and she had her own damned good to hold on to, so she didn’t need what he had given her- not one bit of it.
So, she had pulled it- the Leopard Print Dress of Doom- she had pulled it roughly from the hanger and thrown it on top of the pile- pictures and love notes (okay printed out emails) and that ugly scarf his Great Aunt Tilly had knitted for her and the rest of the detritus from their ridiculous relationship. Then she had doused the whole kit and caboodle with lighter fluid and lit them afire. The Leopard Print Dress of Doom sort of melted instead of burning and it gave of a nasty stink- kind of oily from the polyester- as it burned.
The kids who lived next door peeked over the fence to see what she was doing, so she invited them to come on over and found them some sticks and they all roasted their marshmallows together. Before they left, she promised to have some super mondo fantastic candy for Halloween to make up for last year.