Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Her Idea Book

"The magic was all in the finishing touches."

I barely acknowledged her breathy proclamation before she was off and running yet again.

"Like, for instance, they didn't just use generic tea lights, but pale pink ones to coordinate with the rest of the table's palate.  I never would have thought shades of gray and pink would hold up, but it was really sweet.  Even the chargers, which looked just like marble, had these subtle pink veins running through them."

Clearly, my sister had enjoyed herself last night, but I couldn't care less about the highlights she shared.  She didn't even come close to answering the questions I would have offered: Did they write their own vows?  Which readings did they choose?  Were there toasts?  Were there tears?  I returned to my book as Annabelle's swift back and forth around the bed shadowed my periphery.

"Oh, and the linens, the linens were gorgeous.  They must have had thin iridescent thread incorporated into them, or something.  They shimmered in the candlelight."

She paused, either to place her personals with more precision or to assess her appearance in the large mirror that rested on the floor.  The soft slam of the dresser drawer confirmed the former.  I kept my eyes on the words in my lap and merely flexed my toes to crack them. 

"And, get this, the soaps in the bathroom looked like marble, too.  Of course, those were more for decoration.  There were still automatic dispensers, but they made up these cute little baskets with the soaps and pink and gray towels and such.  They were kind of like centerpieces for the sink counters, you know?  Look, I took a picture of one with my phone for my idea book."

At this I looked up, sat up and opened my mouth to speak.  Annabelle beat me to it. 

"I can't believe I forgot to tell you!  I started an idea book, you know, for when I start to plan my wedding, our wedding, mine and Todd's.  I know he probably won't propose until next summer or maybe Christmas, but I get ideas all of the time and I want to make sure I don't forget."

I stared at my sister.  Her hair was back in a tight, neat ponytail that barely grazed the bright, white collar of her shirt, its crisp sleeves folded up and over her black, cable knit sweater with a perfect crease.  She was so organized, so together and so hopelessly clueless I couldn't help but continue to stare.

"What?  What is it?  Do you want to see the book?  I have it right here."

Annabelle turned to retrieve the book from its shelf.  "I have it all divided up into sections, see?  I even have one called 'Finishing Touches'."

I am not exactly sure what broke me, but I shattered like glass.  "Anna!  For Christ's sake, what is wrong with you?  You are so over the top, so freaking over the top it makes me sick.  Everyday you yammer on and on about all this superficial, sappy shit to hide the fact that you have no substance.  Stop wasting your life.  Todd doesn't love you and he never, not in a million years, will ever marry you!  God!"   

I fumbled with my own book to find the page I had lost.  As I brushed the hair out of my eyes to resume reading, I saw my sister wrinkle her face to wrangle her words of retort.  I decided this would finish her, "Everyone knows he's only with you because you're a slut."

And it did.  But the result, well, the result was far from magical.



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This piece is a work of fiction and was inspired by this week's the speakeasy writing prompt.  Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other beautiful writers who hang out there.  Thanks!

23 comments:

  1. Wow! Awesome way to weave the sentence throughout the story. Also, I know people who have "idea books" for the wedding their boyfriends haven't proposed to them about yet (does that sentence make sense?). They're on Pinterest.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, I thought about Pintrest, too, when I was writing this.

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  2. Oh, sisters can hurt each other in the most painful ways, can't they? Love the clear voices of both characters.

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    1. They really can. I am grateful that my sister and I do not have a hurtful relationship at all.

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  3. She really was seething, wasn't she? Nicely done.

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  4. Whoa! Siblings have a way of cutting to the core sometimes. Great character development in such a short story. I was really sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for what I knew would be an explosion. I just didn't know it was going to be THAT! I really enjoyed this!

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    1. Hi Gina! Thanks for reading. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. Ouch! I have 5 sisters. I get this. Annabelle has some fine recall of all that 'stuff' that impressed her. Well written and nicely crafted. I enjoyed it.

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    1. Five sisters! Thanks for affirming I got the relationship right. I only have one younger sister I adore.

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  6. Fireworks or what? Well written story, I just wouldn't want to be around to see the bit after it finishes...

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    1. Boom! Haha, I don't blame you ;) Thanks, Georgina.

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  7. It sounds like some conversations I have seen between sisters.

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    1. Emotional, immature, and full of hyperbole?

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  8. Wow. That was awesome. (The writing of it.) I have to admit I was a bit relieved to get to the end and see it was for the Speakeasy. I have a younger sister and thank God we've only had one really colossal over-the-top drama argument. Your writing carried me along.

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    1. Thank you so much! I do have a sister, but our relationship is nothing like these two.

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  9. This is a great piece of writing. The detail, the build, are all perfect. What a mean sister!

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    1. I am glad the build came across. Thanks, Stacie!

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  10. yeesh! i thought my sister was evil. :)
    i really enjoyed this- very well written.

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  11. This is wonderfully written! Reminds me of my relationship with my sister when we were younger (she was going to get married in a castle that her imaginary husband was supposed to build!). Great job with the prompts!

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  12. Yow! Sisters! I loved the last line and the way you used the prompts. Great job!

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  13. I also think you did a great job with the prompts! Your characters seem so realistic. I want to know more about them, why their relationship is so tense, and I think that alone makes this story a success!
    :-)

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  14. Oh how words can cut. And sisters, whew, glad I don't have any. ;-)

    Well done. I could feel the narrator's annoyance grow, and it wasn't even with a hint of fondness. She was over it.

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