CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
As she recalled Paul’s words now, she was aware of the connection between her own broken-off stiletto heel and Susan’s “sexy” stilettos; it was as though she held that woman’s “sexy” stiletto in her hand, the woman who had destroyed what meagre joy she possessed, had taken it with a few carefully timed glances at Paul and a single look at Mandy herself which seemed tinged with evil—though masked by the veil of that beautiful face; evil that Paul, being a mere man, would never be capable of seeing—she held that broken-off stiletto heel and knew that someone would pay for this crime, and pay for it today.
She became aware of her aching back and had to sit down. The hardware store was not many more steps away. For the moment she forgot about Paul’s words, about Susan’s veil of hated beauty, forgot, even, about the scarlet walrus whose presence standing there on the pavement—in the same red dress that Susan had once worn to the office—had seemed to represent Susan. She forgot about all this and focused on overcoming her aching back for just a few yards more, until, finally, she stepped into the hardware store, whose sign “Heels repaired while you wait” she previously noticed, having passed the store many times. She sat on the single chair in the store, having been told the owner was currently busy and would begin her repair in a few minutes.
She recalled red flashes which seemed to follow her as she made her way to the store. She did not even noticed them at the time but now, as she sat there, that same redness appeared before her and seemed to fill the whole store; it dominated her vision in the way an angry wall of water from a suddenly burst dam might as she looked up and saw the scarlet walrus standing directly in front of her, pointing at her and saying, “I didn’t wear this dress to attract men; I wore it because I like red. So, you’re wrong.”
Mandy’s mouth hung open.
Helen stepped even closer and went on, “And I didn’t like the way yousighed at me. You people are all the same—not me. Your mind is full of poison, and it’s yourself you’re sighing at, not me.”
Mandy said, in disbelief, “Didn’t like the way I sighed at you!” She stood up and, to make room for herself, pushed the walrus back as she got to her feet, telling her, “I’m sighing at myself?—what are you talking about, you deranged hussy?”
“It’s you who’s all the same, not me.”
“No, it’s you who’s all the same; just look at the state of you; do you honestly think men are fooled by this,” pointing at her red dress.
 “There’s nothing wrong with my tits,” said Helen, and she turned to the shop keeper who was stood holding a shoe in his hand as he followed their debate, rapt and somewhat in awe, as by an unexpected entertainment that had suddenly brightened his usually dull day more than he could have possibly hoped for.
“Do you like my tits?” asked Helen.
The shopkeeper’s head tilted to one side as he appraised her assets, then his eyebrows rose as though indicating that Helen’s tits were perfectly acceptable.
“This is ridiculous,” said Mandy and she pushed passed the scarlet walrus. She noticed one of her shoulder straps was broken and realized this must have happened in their previous scuffle. When she pushed past her, she deliberately broke the other, then quickly limped out of the shop, still carrying her broken-off heel.
Helen, holding the front of her dress in place, stepped to the door and shouted along the street, “You will apologize for sighing at me.”
 
But after carefully considering the matter, the constable decided to leak the description to the press (if only because his name was “Will Grass”—he could think of no other reason, but nonetheless, that was good enough for him), so he phoned The Perception Daily Chronicle’s star reporter, Ivor Longnose, and gave him the description, which was that of a middle‑aged, blonde woman.
This was printed in the early‑evening edition of that day’s paper. And Primrose, a few moments ago, on reading this description, found herself (as I have said) spraying her venom over the newspaper (—Incompetence, that’s what it is, twenty‑one murders and they’re looking for a woman—ha—simpletons! that’s what they are).
She sat on her sofa, clenching her fists vindictively round the petition and eyeing all those back issues of her favourite weekly magazine.
The doorbell rang and she stood—still clutching the petition—and crossed vindictively to the door. She opened it and found a frail, white‑haired old woman standing there in a white lab coat. The woman was carrying a wire basket—which was laden with test tubes—slung over her arm like a shopping basket and had an alarming look of urgency about her. She came darting in through the door, pushing passed Primrose while chanting, “Cogitation! Cogitation!—where is it?”
Her eyes darted round the flat, then she hurried—rattling all the way—over to the goldfish bowl, fiddled inside it with her implements, put a test tube back into her basket, then rattled back over to the door, when Thomas (whom Primrose noticed was limping) and Francis arrived at the door and stood there in the doorway. The white‑haired woman bustled through them all, chanting, “Cogitation! Cogitation!” and then vanished clean away, like some elusive apparition that was eternally sought after but remained ultimately ungraspable.
Thomas and Francis looked quizzically at Primrose, who shrugged back at them, then the three of them made their way down to Francis’s car (Thomas having left his car parked near to Francis’s house, it being so painful to drive with his wounded foot), and they set off for the MP’s house to deliver their attack on the constabulary.

 

Fiction and nonfiction by Fletcher Kovich and also classic writers.

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