Red curtain

Inside a chateau somewhere in France, circa 2012

Inside a chateau somewhere in France, circa 2012

Writing Prompt No. 93

“No,” said Rita picking a small piece of tobacco out of her teeth.

“What do you mean ‘no’?” Phyllis brushed her hand over and down the red velvet fabric.

“It’s a bit boudoir.”

Phyllis paused for a moment. “Well,” she said, “it is for our boudoir.”

“Bedroom.”

“Same thing.”

“Not really. Anyway. I hate it. Reminds me of the 1970s.”

“Did everyone wear red velvet in the 70s?”

Rita shrugged.

“You’re being of no help whatsoever,” said Phyllis. “You said you would help.”

“I will, I will,” said Rita with a small sigh. She placed an unlit cigarette in her mouth.

“You can’t smoke in here!” Phyllis pulled the cigarette out of Rita’s mouth before she could light it. “For God’s sake. No one’s smoked in a public building in years!” Phyllis tossed the cigarette in her handbag. “Come on, let’s go and get something to eat.”

Rita followed Phyllis out of the shop into the mall. A heaving, humming mass of people filled the vast space with their voices.

“I hate it here,” said Rita scratching at her hands.

“Well, it’s what we have,” said Phyllis taking Rita’s hand. She guided her through the crowds to the food court. “Here. Sit down. I’ll go and get something.”

“Coffee.”

“Right.”

“Can I really not smoke in here?” Rita asked as she reached into her bag for her packet of cigarettes and lighter. But Phyllis had already disappeared into the throng of people heading towards The Noodle Bowl.

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