Saturday, March 20, 2010


Prompt: Your character doesn’t make impulse purchases, but one day at the market they felt compelled to buy… what?
Elsa smoothed her slick blond hair down again, tucking an escaped wisp into the efficient bun at the nape of her neck. She readjusted the thick strap of her proportioned leather hand bag on her shoulder, silently reprimanding herself for purchasing extra apples from the farmers market, thus putting unnecessary strain on both her bag and body. Although her local supermarket sold a serviceable selection of fruit and vegetables, it gave her a tiny but giddy feeling to purchase fresh produce on the black market and pay in untraceable cash.
A cold breeze flickered about her stockinged ankles, its chilling fingers reaching up into her skirts. Flushing at the elements familiarity, Elsa ruffled her woollen shift and strode purposely down the cobblestone pathway, and out of the noisy market place. The last stalls squeezed themselves into the crowded space available in the darkened alleyway; the last gaudy explosion of freedom before the traveller was thrust again into the drab greyness of Nuarks’ city streets.
Elsas’ slender hands now freezing, rubbed together in an automatic attempt to bring warmth into her cold and desolate life. Pennants fluttered in the playful breeze and hawkers still flushed with the afternoons promise of trade loudly promoted their goods. Elsa passed bright fabrics cut into fashions too liberal for her, vegetables with dirt clinging to their roots, jewellery depicting symbolism she quickly shut her eyes to and strode through the curtain of fragrant oils. Her head now dizzy  and confused, she clung to her goal of reaching the greyness of the city street ahead and away from the chaos grasping and clinging to her as she passed each stall.
At the gateway, a small table displayed its wares across driftwood. Before stepping through and into the robotic stream of humanity stepping their measured unconscious way home, Elsa allowed her hand to linger over the table covering. The thrill of the brushed velvet kissing her fingers sent a  tingle so quickly down her spine, she withdrew her hand in fright; blushing at the sensuality it had evoked.
And then a  colour so vivid she stared, so enticing her body was compelled to move towards it as the breeze gently lapped its fringes.  Her hand reached out of its own accord to touch it. On contact, the deep thrusting thrill of its texture captured her breath and her heart began to hammer. 
“A beautiful scarf for an equally lovely lady.” An unlined ageless face surged up beside her and caressed the scarf, untangling it from the display and holding it out towards Elsa.
With no permission sought, the figure draped it over Elsas shoulder, slowly, sensuously dragging it from around her neck and back into her hands. The scarfs delicate fringe, now loosened, spayed across Elsas’ breast before reluctantly being drawn away. The hairs on the back of Elsas’ neck prickled, as the scarf slipped across it; kissing her neck like a long lost lover, leaving the hint of its hot heady breath as it disappeared. Elsas’ breaths shortened as she flushed deeply and despite the chill in the afternoon air began to perspire. 
 The stall owner flicked the scarf into the air, allowing the light fabric to momentarily suspend in the sunlight  before it gently floated downward into her waiting hand.
“The finest silk, hand dyed, warm but light. An item to brighten your wardrobe.. and your life.”
With a fluid flourish of her wrist, the scarf nestled again around Elsas neck. Hot breath warmed against her ear as her blush deepened.
“Come to the mirror. Look how the colour against you accentuates your complexion.”
Elsa gazed into the mirror, her hand captured the end of the scarf and brushed it against her cheek. The smoky masculine aroma languidly entrapped her and she felt a solid presence behind her.
“I’ll take it.”  Without asking its price, Elsa handed over one of her rare high value notes.
“Would you like it wrapped?” the stall holder began to tease the scarf from around her shoulders. 
Elsa cleared her throat, “No. Thank you.  I’ll wear it.”
Dark hair swished as the stall holder turned to deposit the note into a deep pocket. “Most of my customers feel the same way. You’ll never want to take it off, you know. I can promise you that.”
Elsa buried her face into the lusciousness of her scarf and stumbled through into the grey mass of humanity; a new green glint shining in her eye.


Adam Byatt said...

A beautifully woven narrative that holds attention through careful detailed images.
The focus on the scarf and its impact is wonderfully consistent.
Love the mythical realism and wonder if the scarf has powers.

Hannah said...

I loved it. It was so descriptive and colorful. I was there in the market with her.

Cat Russell said...

I wonder if its haunted or a trapped Jeannie or something. The descriptions of the scarf are wonderful.

Laurita said...

A wonderfully descriptive story. I just hope it doesn't try to choke her.