The Chase: A Short Story

See a name that looks familiar?!

To extend my lazy-ness, here’s another post with something I’ve already written (woohoo!). A story I wrote in college received first runner-up in the http://writerstype.com/ Short Story Category for February. It’s also entered to win their annual contest, and I get to revise the story for it (Thank God).

It didn’t even start out as a story per say. It was a character exercise for class, and I kept revising it and using it for other classes (I really DO do that a lot I’m now realizing), and it’s always been my favorite of my college work.

Since I cleaned it up for the contest, I haven’t been back to revise it. With procrastination on my side, I probably won’t until later this year. So any comments/critiques are welcome.

The Chase

(work in progress)

by Lindsay B. Logan

     I sit at my vanity table every morning without fail. It’s easy to be vain when you look like I do. I half expect to step on shards of shattered glass when I step out of bed, for how could a simple mirror survive after witnessing such perfection? Nevertheless, it is always in pristine condition, perhaps only to have the chance to gaze upon me once again. I am always happy to please.

What should I look like today, mirror? What hue should my divine locks possess this day? I’ve been a lustrous crimson for a week now; perhaps a sultry cerulean would suit me. This time I choose flaxen hair down to my hips. I like my hips, and they like attention, so this hair suits us both. Now to decide what face to wear. The haughty law student? The roguish actress? I tilt my head, blinking. I select the wanton call-girl this time. I haven’t been her in ages and she wants room to breath. I paint her favorite pouty red lips extending to my ears and dust on rosy blush down to my chin. She tells me she wants plum eye-shadow up to the hairline, and I oblige. I finish with midnight black eyeliner across the width of my face and I study the mirror. “I’ve done it again,” I say to my reflection, and the call-girl smiles.

Crossing my cluttered bedroom, I throw open the closet doors. I imagine a gust of wind escapes, and doves descend from above. I can almost hear angels singing as I rifle through the hangers. I put on a red rhinestone blouse paired with a neon bubble skirt that desperately tries to caress my knee, but has to be content with the middle of my thigh.  She tells me she wants boots, big sexy boots, and I frown a little when I have to tell her I’m not blessed with such an item. I know how annoyed I get with her constant nagging, so I assure her that today we’ll find exactly what she wants. She quiets down enough so I can pick out some purple pumps with straps that snake up my legs. They remind me of what a mummy’s legs might look like if it was possessed with a life such as mine. Call-girl angrily reminds me of my promise. My hair performs pirouettes as I try to shut her up, but she is persistent. I let out an exasperated sigh as I stroll out the door.

I like the way it feels when I saunter down the street and not one eye notices the flashy hot dog stand or the vulgar street performer. I can feel the gazes like warm water dripping down my skin. My eyes close in pleasure when I hear the soft mumbles from the onlookers. It’s at these moments I wish I had microphones at every corner. Then I could listen to the sweet declarations from my loyal fans anytime and every time I wanted.

But I must be content with just the casual overheard statement. I tell myself that it’s better than nothing, though I know I deserve more. Today I overhear things like, “My God, look at her!” and “Wow, I’ve never seen anyone like that.” It’s like water in a vast desert, and I soak it all up. I feel as if each word seeps into me, giving me more and more sustenance. Call-girl likes it too, and tells me to flash my admirers a smile, and when I do, they gasp. I find myself wishing I could be them at times; they’re so lucky to be able to look upon me without the help of a mirror.

Call-girl tells me to forget about the boots, she’s found something better. He’s walking toward us in slow motion. His black suit is pressed to his body, his hair attached to his eyes. He walks toward us with a newspaper in one hand and coffee perched in another. I think he’s nothing but ordinary, but she won’t let me tear my eyes away. He can feel our syrupy stare, and he raises his eyes to see us. His newspaper floats to the sidewalk and the coffee almost nuzzles his Armani tie, but he recovers in time to save it. He likes us, she thinks. Of course he does, I tell her. I decided the direct approach is beneath us, so I let him pass by. I wait as long as she’ll let me, and I spin around in a whirl of blonde tresses, whipping out like a cat o’ nine tails. I easily spot him, his polished jacket and meticulous hair making him an easy target. His strides are sure and steady, and she tells me I should shake my butt more while I walk. She’s getting excited; the thrill of the chase is her favorite aphrodisiac. I tell her to be patient, and he glimmers into a building made of glass.

We walk to the back of it, and close by is a small park; this is where I stop the chase. What are you doing? She’s almost yelling now. If I was a violent person, I’d hit her. I sit on the most ornate bench I can find, and stare into the glass building. We can see him perfectly from here. I think God must be rewarding me. He’s leaning back in a cushioned chair and chatting excitedly on a phone. Who is he talking to, we wonder. We decide to hate whoever is on the other line. With every moment that passes, call-girl is getting more anxious. I tell her it’s almost time, but she’s not convinced. He’s getting up, and what’s that in his hand? He moves his finger and I can just make out the pack of Marlboro’s he’s holding. We smile.

He’s outside now, and he can see us. As is the norm, his eyes are frozen on us. We smile seductively at him, and he seems taken aback. I stand up, extending my mummified leg, and move away from him, my eyes beckoning. He follows, dropping his cigarette. Call-girl is squealing now, and I tell her to be quiet; I don’t want her to ruin it. We lead him into a bundle of trees and as all the others, he pursues. I stop and turn around, and he’s in front of me, a big, sweltering thing. He can’t take his eyes off what I’m sure he finds to be flawless features. I just sigh with almost boredom and move closer, and his eyes widen.

Later, I’m back at my vanity table, brushing my yellow hair into perfect sleekness. Call-girl is content at last, as happy as a cat after catching a mouse. She curls up and bothers me no longer. I glance one last time at my reflection, still not convinced I’m real, and crawl into bed, a smooth Armani tie wrapped loosely around my fingers.

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