Saturday, October 31, 2015

The whole story: Episodes 1-8, The sisters creep up on Halloween.

Here are all eight episodes, reprinted, in chronological order.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The sisters creep up on Halloween

Among their multiple imaginary personas.  Photo found here.
(For those of you who saw the earlier version of this post, I've changed illustrations.  I presumed to borrow another artist's work, which had inspired the story, and did so without her blessing.  She was enormously gracious about the whole thing.)

Referred to by their mother as Ambulancia and Sireena, these two unquiet children began the holy hell of costume planning weeks before Halloween.  Negotiations, if they could be called that, did not go smoothly.

They were a one-tiara family and Ambulancia, as the elder sister, claimed the crown as hers.  Sireena retaliated by grabbing all the pastel tulle from deconstructed prom dresses, lashing it about her waist, not unlike Odysseus and the mast, refusing to untie it or share unless some detente could be reached about the rhinestone head piece.  The wailings they generated caused drivers to pull over and stop as they motored north on Fair Oaks Avenue, scanning rear view mirrors for emergency vehicles which never materialized.

Matters at school were no less fraught, the wearing of tiaras and ballooning net overskirts being unwelcome on any day that wasn't actually Halloween.  The sisters, stubborn eyes agleam, were sent home for the duration.  They seemed oddly jubilant.  Even victorious.  The unplanned holidays gave them uncommitted hours to squabble and plot.  To be continued.  Honest.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Episode 2: The sisters creep up on Halloween

A frou-frou bonanza.
The tiara in question.
Previously on "The sisters creep up on Halloween," 

The vintage tulle was taking on a fatigued air, belted as it was with gift wrapping ribbon and worn for days - and nights.  The tiara fared somewhat better, being more sturdily made and not being sat or slept upon.  Ambulancia built for herself a head-cradling pillow mound, tucked against the far wall side of her bed, that allowed her to sleep with the tiara in place and kept her unreachable by any hands seeking to plunder.  Her mother thought in sleep she resembled a half-mad dowager of royal ancestry determined to keep the throne, the rest of the world be damned.

As household nerves and costume materials began to fray, their mother asked the girls who exactly they planned to be for Halloween.  There was some muttering that sounded like "princesses" but one couldn't be certain.  "If we had two tiaras," shrilled Sireena, "we could be, like, zombie bridesmaids or, you know, just sort of Grey Gardens bridesmaids."

"Wilted, withered bouquets," Ambulancia volunteered.  "Chipped manicures, torn hems, smeary lipstick."  One of the things the girls loved best about costumes was makeup.  Lots and lots of experimenting with makeup.

"What if I got you matching tiaras, like bridesmaids would have?" their mother asked.  "Would that work?"  Shrugging, turning their faces away and mumbling, the girls said, "It might."  Their mother, whose temples already throbbed at the notion of these children referring to Grey Gardens as inspiration for costumes, nodded gently and said, "Good."  She helped Sireena release herself from the bunchy cloud of old gowns and saw that Ambulancia removed the antique tiara and put it away.

When their mother was out of the room, the sisters scowled at each other, battling with mean-eyed, squinty stares and stuck-out tongues.  Then each began to chuckle softly, little "heh heh heh" sounds.  Oh help us, with Halloween still so many days away.  To be continued.

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