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.”
 
In the kitchen of 17 Misconception Boulevard, Sally Softly and the half‑dressed chief constable were standing beside the coffee machine. Above the gurgling machine, the muffled exchanges of the three visitors in the living room could be heard.
Sally was deep in thought about this man on the sofa whom she had deduced (by “scientifically examining the facts”) was Peter’s half‑brother. She then felt Roland Wise’s hand scurrying over the back of her leg. She recalled that look on his face as he got up off her in the living room—got quickly up off her and then sighed with relief. She pictured him with Peter on the golf course, both laughing about her. She shuddered again at the thought of their trickery, then grabbed Roland’s shoulder, said, “Right—we’ll start in the garden,” and pushed him towards the back door.
He seemed reluctant, “The garden—”
She tugged at his arm while warning him, with a playful smile, “We’ll have to be quick mind—”
His legs started to tremble, “But—”
She looked at his reluctant expression which appeared to be expressing disgust at the idea of having sex with her. And something about his expression incensed her even more than usual (—Right. I’ll get them both back for this. Wants to have a laugh about me, does he? Well, let’s see him laugh about this—). And she tugged more firmly on his arm, saying, irritably, “Come on,” and slipping his underpants down over his buttocks with her other hand as she tugged him towards the door.
Roland—holding onto his underpants—appeared to be somewhat flustered, “But, but—”
But she was not having any of this; she opened the door, snapped, “Get out there,” pushed him out through it (Roland still dressed in only his shirt, underwear, shoes and his chief constable’s hat—for he was still apparently unaware he was wearing it) and as they stepped out through the door, Sally’s smirk triumphantly returned at the thought of Roland’s marathon performance around the garden.

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