I’ve been scrabbling around for poem themes for my hiatus and neglected the Thursday post so here is some emergency fiction. I wish I could do better for you all than this script fiction.
The Red Renegade
The inky night, a peppermint nip in the air and the twinkle of festive fairy-lights. A bedroom in The Goldlocke, a respectable boutique hotel in the English countryside.
There are three Christmas presents, grouped to the far left of the king-size bed. All are wrapped in paper in navy blue and red tones and tied with a satin ribbon. There is a taupe coloured fur throw over the end of the bed with a soft, inviting pile. An interior door slides open, followed by the sound of a shower being turned off. A cursory knock-knock at the door. The man emerges in a towelling robe to answer it.
“Come in my dear…” His hair drips but he is heedless.
The woman laughs as she enters the room. “Would you believe it…” she says as he starts drying his hair. “They have porridge on the breakfast menu. And those waffle-wafers you like.”
The Man smiles as she makes a face at herself in the mirror, the removal of her hat having dishevelled her dark hair. She deftly sheds her leather gloves onto the dressing table and stands with one hand on the curved shoulder of a caramel coloured suede chair. He discards the towel on the bed and walks up.
“I thought I’d have to get them at Maison Lebkuchen for you…”
“Breakfast downstairs…?” He riffles his fingers on the self-same table, his fingertips just touching the fingertips of one of her gloves. They have an intimacy with each others’ clothes.
“No-one knows about you.…” she begins.
“But your reputation proceeds you -.”
“Shh. Names! And seriously?”
“I’m not threatened by your reputation.” The fingers still, newly resolute. “It’s you I want.”
“Please keep cover.”
She didn’t hear him. “Those ones on the bed are quite something.” He pulls her into a slow-dance-hug.
“Naturally.” She smiles. She’d order an Egyptian cotton shroud and call it an investment.
“That fur smells genuine.” He says pointedly.
“It’s not weird for you? It’s only bear…” She pulls away, tilting her head to one side and without knowing why: suppresses the urge to kiss his cheek. She wants to, but she is unused to casual affection. Some paths are easier to stray from than others.
“We wild types have a penchant for beautiful reposing women… regardless of the linen.”
“Goldilocks?” She levels at him.
“Bears… have provincial tastes. I prefer raven tresses.”
“Glad to hear it.” She looks up at him, and into his intense eyes. “Is it getting close?”
“It’s soon. But not imminent.”
“I downloaded a lunar cycle app. To be ready for the change.”
This unflinching, accepting pragmatism is at the root of all her perfections.
“I love you, Red.” He says simply.
“Me too. You. I mean. Oh, no! I can’t… I thought you could tell…” They touch noses briefly. She exhales.”I love you too.”
“Presents!” He grins.
“One of them is a tranquiliser gun. Just in case.”
There’s a sound of heavy fabric falling to the oak floor.
“Idiot,” he laughs, “wearing that cape undercover.”
“Best thing Grandma ever gave me. Except an excuse to see you.”
“Hmm. You always looked better on top of that cape…”
“And you,” she says, suddenly bold, “were never meant to be a lone wolf.”
(© Copyright Pola Negri, 12/01/2017.)