Monday, April 12, 2010

Magpie tale #9

Willow, over at hosts a weekly writing prompt.
Using the below photo prompt... Write a vignette or poem

The cosmetic clerk lifted the golden cap and revealed the most lushest brown lipstick.
She twirled the narrow barrel and the brown creamy stick rose like a man ready to party.
"It's called Bewilderment," she said swiping a q-tip over its top then running it over my wrist."Hottest color of the season. It's you,a more perfect color you couldn't find. He'll love it."
How could I tell her there was no he
"There is no he." The words just came out...just like that.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said making it worse, "Maybe you'd like Precious Pink, over here."
This pissed me off. What did this twenty something high school drop out know about my life? Why just look at her. Bleached blonde hair and false eyelashes. What could a girl like this possibly know about anything?
"Well you just think about it... while I go over and help that man," she said dismissing me.
I watched as she walked away with a wiggle,noticing her black pencil skirt with the white shirt. While talking to the gentleman she gestured over to me and I noticed her blouse was open just enough to show lace and fire red coral beads around her white neck. She and the man smiled at me and then went on talking.
Could they be talking about me? I wondered. She told him... I don't have a man...damn her!
I pretended to look around at the samples on the counter,twirling the tubes and making them rise over and over again until she walked back and said the gentleman over there wonders if you could help him decide.
"Me?" I said like I was some kind of boob.
"Yes, he said you are a classy looking woman and he wondered if you could help him pick out something for his sister. He says she's rather conservative. I guess he thought my professional opinion meant nothing. Do you want to help him or not?"
I looked over at the gentleman and noticed the little sheep embroidered on his shirt ...BrooksBrothers.
"Sure, no problem," I said rather enjoying my rise in status.
For the next 20 minutes I relished in the life of a man I didn't know, learned that he was a business man, liked the opera, had one sister and was never married...and that he was hungry. Did I want to have lunch across the street at Cafe 55?
The salesclerk, annoyed at our incessant chatting, finally interrupted and wanted to know if we had made a decision. "I have other customers that need attention."
"I think you would look nice in that color," he said pointing to Take a Risk Red,a luscious smile on his face.
"Do you think so?" I flirted back
"She'll take Take a Risk Red and I'll take Precious Pink for my sister. She doesn't have a man either," he said with a bit of a laugh in his voice,"except for me."
"Fine," she said ringing up the sales,then looking at me, "but, I think Bewilderment would be my choice for you."
We made our purchases then walked across the street and settled into a quiet booth at Cafe 55.
"Lunch was wonderful, may I see you again?" he asked paying the waitress.
"Sure," I said, handing him my phone number.
Three days later cops came to my door and asked if I knew the man in the photo they showed me. It was Anthony, the man I met at Macy's department store. "Why?" I asked.
"We found your phone number in his wallet along with a receipt for lipstick. When was the last time you talked to him?"
"I just met him...that the cosmetic counter..he was buying lipstick for his sister...and I helped him pick out a color. Is something wrong?"
"He's dead...someone shot him. You better get your coat and come with us. There are some questions we want to ask you about your man."
" But I told you,I just met him."
"Well, the cosmetic girl says different. She says she saw you two leave together. And as far as we can figure you were the last one to be with him. So get your coat."
There was a sharp ache in my stomach. "Mind if I freshen up?" I asked.
"No, but be quick about it."
I reached into my purse and pulled out the tube of Take a Risk Red and began twirling the cool gold tube until its creamy stick rose with its slanted top. With my compact mirror in hand I slid the hot brazen red color across my lips knowing the clerk was right, Bewilderment was more my color.


  1. Oh I love it! Sounds like a thriller I'd curl up & read. Then save to read again. Bravo!

  2. Oh are too are a good friend..encouraging me...but I think I ran out of steam on this one...too much baby stuff this week...but I love ya!

  3. I was right there with you, Macy's counter to Cafe 55! Fun with some heat!

  4. You always entertain me with your writings -- such the muse you are.


  5. Mary Ann and Joanny..But do you know who done it? Thanks

  6. I love this!! Dying to know "who dun it?"

  7. Wow, what an imagination, all over a tube of lipstick. I think his sister did it....she hated pink.

  8. suz you get me every time...that's one of the reasons i look forward to reading these short stories. wow.

  9. Applause, applause! I am truly envious of such wonderful talent. I stood to the side and watched the whole story unfold. Thank you so much for the mystery of my morning. The ignorance of the clerk pissed me off too.
    BlessYou I want to read more

  10. What a super story, a real page turner. It had me gripped right up to the end..


  11. Great job, Suz. "Take a Risk Red" and "Bewilderment"! Are those real colors?

  12. This is great, Suz! Carry on with the story!! Just goes to show ya tha mom and dad were right: Never talk to strangers!


  13. Superior story-telling; congrats.

  14. Don't forget about us when you are famous ;)

  15. Superb thriller - very well written - bring us more!!

  16. It would have been better if he'd been found with two tubes of lipstick wedged up his nostrils.
    Only joking! Its a great story!

  17. Love the way you left us guessing - could become a wonderful murder mystery

  18. Your story had me on the edge of my seat until the end. Nice!

  19. Peter! I love it! you are right I should have!

  20. Another good one Suz - I look forward to your stories.

  21. oh that was so Good! No happily ever after there; all over the cosmetic counter...Very neatly wrapped and contained! I laughed at her thoughts of the girl at the counter; one reason I stay away from those in Macy's and Herbergers ...only if there is someone a bit more grown up do I venture there. Wonder why the Dept. stores can't figure that out.

  22. I really enjoyed this story. Didn't know where it was going to go next. I love the way you took us away from the cocky saleslady to the intriguing fella. I think we older ladies have had that experience a few times, haven't we! It all goes to show we never know quite where the day will take us.
    Well done.

  23. cool,
    you rocked on this one!


    Happy Wednesday!
    I wrote my first one,
    Hope that you give some encouragement.

  25. Suz, what a plot twist! Did NOT see that one coming--just one more reason why you're the one who should be writing the book ;-)

  26. Oh my gosh, Sue! I can see why this is your passion. Your love for writing shows. This is great!! Couldn't stop reading - yes, it needs to be a book!


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