Scarlet

Her face scrunched into bewilderment, but loosened itself, and a easy laug escaped from her throat – a tinkling sort of giggle, like when you accidentally hit chipped glasses against one another. She blew smoke into my spluttering face. My question must seem ludicrous to her, I thought; and my palms started to sweat in response.

Her hair, a crisp, strawberry blonde, seemed to be glued to her scalp, the strands barely moving in the slight breeze. She was dressed very simply, with stretches of pure flesh on show. The straps of her red camisole dipped their crimson vines into slightly burned skin, brushing against it with the sort of practiced demureness that often threatens to make naivety extinct. I shuddered.  Her arms moved as she drew the cigarette away from her equally tacky lips, inducing a sea of goose pimples that broke onto the marble of the badly peeling bark. I winced.

From where I was standing, I could see the flecks of dead skin emerge from her bad suntan. Like the shells of albino mealworm pupae, I thought. They come out from their chrysalis,
all bottle-black and ready to rumble.

Then my mind flashed back to the latest movie; to one of the more memorable female characters. Like Harley Quinn, but actually only a quarter badass.

Then she spoke.

“Remember – the more vivid the tattoos, the more promises these people have broken.”

“Huh?”

Her eyes started to roll, but she shifted her gaze towards the dying potted plants. “It’s alright, sonny. You don’t have to crack your head over what I said.”

Then a brazen thought quivered in its skin; and floated, a disembodied shroud of green, to my brain, distinct and fully-formed from the remains of the broken porcelain that lay crushed under the boot of Harley Quinn’s patent leather boots. A wide, scarlet grin displayed itself on her heart-shaped face, proud and unyielding, to any man or creature whatsoever. Then, jumping from the cerebral lily pads of grey, she landed on my tongue nimbly – all ready to be asked; to be spat forward in response, where she would take her wooden bat and crush someone’s brain into a mushy pulp.

“What if I got tattooed in place of somebody else?”

She froze, her head resembling a wind vane, scarlet tipped with a proud cockerel crowning the apex, slowly tilting to the south. I bit my lip, looking down at my scuffed shoes. One of them had a big splotch of mud on the heel of the shoe,  a grubby result from yesterday’s hectic schedule.

Then she sighed.

“Trust me – you don’t want to do that.”

© Zelda Reville

 

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4 thoughts on “Scarlet

    1. Thank you Michael, I consider it a huge compliment, coming from you! This one appeared to me in one of those groggy phases between sleep and waking up and the subject was strangely compelling.

      Like

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