stephanie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Featured Review on this writing by Nite-Owl


STEPHANIE

Stephanie stood on Stonington Point looking seaward to Long Island Sound and Fisher’s Island, her hair blowing in the salty breeze. She cinched the belt to her raincoat.

****

The man from two years ago had blond curls and strong hands. He wore brown khaki pants and a blue tee. He’d arrived at Stephanie’s antique stall, saying he’d come on a ferry from Fisher’s Island. They’d talked together, laughed, and looked into each other’s eyes. Stephanie had hoped that if they slept together, she'd see him again. She’d sold him an ancient pinwheel and brushed a finger across his hand, but he hadn’t returned as promised. After a two-hour wait, she drove home to Darlene Street.

****

In the time since the blond man, life had changed. She’d written a check, a down payment for a duplex, sealed it in an envelope, then took it for a balmy stroll, trampling wet leaves until she reached the maildrop.

Madge had napped poorly that day. "Who’s there?" she called as Stephanie slipped back inside.  "Is that you, Steph?"

"It’s me, Mama. I had a cigarette," she said. Her ears turned red as she hastened to the kitchen and snatched the cigarette pack to hide in her purse. Madge appeared a moment later: stinky bathrobe, toe corns, and snoopy slippers. Her eyes shifted from the purse, lingering on her daughter’s heavy breasts, then moved to Stephanie’s face.

"Hmmph, there’s no sleep for me since Walter passed. I thought I’d be provided for.”  

She limped across the kitchen and peered out a window, past a chain-link fence to the tramp’s house.  A flake of mucus fell from her nose.

"I know, I know," said Stephanie dispassionately.

****

Stephanie turned her back to the breeze and made her way along the stone dock. Once past DuBois Beach, she headed down Water Street, back to her antique stall inside the Velvet Mill mall. She spent the remainder of the afternoon dreaming, dusting, and conversing politely with several men who annoyed her regularly.

That evening, she drove Madge and Bunny to bingo night, a ten-minute trip from Darlene Street to the Christian Ladies Auxiliary in Westerly, Rhode Island. Stephanie knew Madge and Aunty Bunny would take hours to cover their rounds, so she headed home. It was rather a long stretch of road to her new duplex in Mystic. She didn’t mind; the farther from Darlene Street, the better.

Arriving home, she sat at the window, waiting for Madge and Aunty Bunny. Across the street, the textile mill's second shift lunch whistle blew. She moved the curtain a little and watched the workers mustering under a streetlamp with fluttering moths.

Stephanie leaned forward, but the man with blond curls and strong hands did not come, nor would he ever. Other men were there and sluts, too, dropping their asses on the curb, cracking open Quonset hut lunch pails and steamy thermoses.

Stephanie went to the living room, reaching for the clothing she'd ordered online: brown khaki pants and a blue tee shirt. She laid them out, then stuffed them with ticky-tack. Smiling wistfully at her suitor, reaching to adjust a button.

"I'd do anything for anybody if they'd only let me," she murmured.

The phone rang, and she slid the bar, Madge speaking over background noise, over Bunny’s wheezing emphysema.

“Time you picked us up. You filthy bitch.”

 


 


Submitted: September 12, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Laird. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Nite-Owl

Jeez poor Stephanie. She'd do anything for anyone except for Bunny and Madge i reckon. I have a feeling they run her down. Well at least her mother.

Wed, September 14th, 2022 3:03am

Author
Reply

Hello, Nite-Owl,
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on Stephanie. Yes, Stephanie's lonely existence is made doubly dreary by a couple of smothering old biddies.

Laird

Wed, September 14th, 2022 12:21am

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