Fingernails

Hand shadow on table

WRITING PROMPT NO. 279

The woman in front of Eleanor tapped at her temple with a set of long square-tipped fingernails.

Through the gap in the seats on the train, the warm yellow evening sun outlined the woman’s profile. Her skin gleamed in the light. Foundation had begun to sink into her pores and gather in the fine lines around her eyes. She moved her hand revealing a large inflamed pimple in the place where her fingertips had been. The woman’s face disappeared as she bent her head. Eleanor was unable to avert her eyes from the tiny drama unfolding in front of her.

The woman lifted her head shaking back her long fine hair. She flipped it back behind her neck and began to puff a thin layer of powder onto her face with a large makeup brush. She closed her eyes and tipped her head back taking the brush down her neck and under her chin.

She lifted the compact mirror she held to her face and pouted at her reflection. She touched the edge of her top lip with her ring finger. Another face leaned in to kiss her cheek. Eleanor dropped her book in surprise. The woman turned to look over her shoulder.

”Sorry,” said Eleanor. She picked up her book turning pages to find the lost place she hadn’t been in in the first place.

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