February 18, 2011

TRDC - Lost and Found

The assignment:
Write a piece - 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character.

The result:
Lanie had been putting off the Great Closet Cleanout for as long as she possibly could. It was the only thing on her to-to list for the entire weekend. Somehow she had managed instead to do some laundry, tidy the master bathroom, paint her toenails, do some dishes, update her budget, sort through the mail, and vacuum the whole house. She knew it was time, but she needed to do one last thing before she could begin. She went to the kitchen, found the biggest glass she owned and filled it to the brim with a cold, white wine. Now it was really time.

The door creaked as Lanie pulled it open. It was an ominous, foreboding creak, a creak borne of too much use and it made her flinch. Maybe she should just take a minute to organize the pantry first. No. Focus. She took a big gulp of her wine and stepped into the closet. The smell hit her first. It was a mix of soap, laundry detergent, perfume, and dry cleaning bags. And then the mess in front of her began to register. There were stacks of shoe boxes, piles of sweaters, mountains of jeans, and an absolute avalanche of tees.

Several refills of wine later Lanie had made her way to the back of the closet. It was there that she discovered a crumpled, tattered box. As soon as she saw the box she was overwhelmed by memories. She pushed the lid off, and it landed on the carpet with a barely audible thump. And there nestled in a bed of wrinkled, pink, tissue paper was her past. The paper was so worn that Lanie was afraid if she breathed too deeply it would disintegrate.

She painstakingly pulled the paper back, and unearthed the item shrouded there. As she pulled it from the box a business card fluttered into her lap. She set the item down for a moment and studied the card. It was shiny black, printed on heavy stock with gold lettering. Very classy. It said:

Coco Von Bustyton
Upscale Gentleman's Entertainment
By Appointment Only

The beat of the music, the feel of the lights on her skin, the adoration in her gentleman's eyes, it all washed over her. She was transported completely to another life. A life of power, of art and poetry of motion. Lanie had been art and the artist. She had been desired and in demand. A voice snapped her out of her revelry. She took a long look at the break-away, leopard print, crystal encrusted bra and sighed.

As Lanie packed Coco's world back into the box she realized something. She may wear a broken-down, stained red from the laundry, macaroni encrusted bra now, but she was still in demand. As she emerged from the closet, and the past, the little face waiting for her on the other side of the door only reinforced that.

"Mama, can I have coco puffs for dinner?"

"You know," Lanie said taking her daughter's hand, "I love anything coco."