Right, well this is my first post, and I wrote it a few months back as a creative writing task in which I had to use certain words i.e. wave, cement, pearl, exhaust, cream, and surround a minimum of twice, with a maximum word count of something like 500, but I went a little over. I would be glad of some constructive criticism, but please be gentle!
Katy collapsed dramatically in her chaise longue with her glittering signature laugh. ‘Really, I haven’t danced like that in years, you do insist on exhausting me Mr Bailey.’ Pulling out a cigarette, she fixed her eyes on him with a playful gaiety, holding out an unlit cigarette for him to light between her perfectly manicured nails. Mr Bailey flashed a cliché debonair smile of pearl white teeth, stolen off Clark Gable, while smoothly pulling out his lighter. Definitely an American, she thought. He lit the cigarette, and then in one brisk movement he flicked his lighter shut and tossed it in the air. ‘“When you do dance, I wish you a wave o' the sea, that you might ever do nothing but that”’, then caught it in his other hand, whilst offering his former to Katy. Alright, a well educated American then.
Katy's surprise must have shown in her face, because Mr Bailey chuckled as he said ‘I know my Shakespeare, Ms De Vere’. How Katy hated the way he said her name. Dee Vair. It hadn’t bothered her at first, but over time it ground on her patience. Yet Katherine De Vere could be a very patient woman when there was good reason- or good money. Taking his hand, she pulled herself close enough to smell the overpowering scent of his cologne. Katy repressed the wave of nausea this provoked, and gave a sultry smile before moving towards the gramophone, her cream silk dress swishing playfully about her ankles. ‘You’ll have to forgive me for being surprised Eddie, but you see I’m usually surrounded by large, aggressive men who talk of nothing but war, politics, war, the economy, war, that dreadful business at Pearl Harbour, then a dash more of war.’ Picking up another crystal whiskey glass she had been given as a wedding present, she filled it generously and turned slowly back to Mr Bailey, and handed him the glass. He looked quizzically at her; Katy’s hand lingered on the glass before her smile faltered slightly. ‘I’m rather tired of the word war.’ Before his eyes, he saw her visibly harden. There was a silence. Then in a sudden movement Katy aggressively knocked the needle off the Vera Lynn record playing with an awful scratching noise. ‘I simply can’t stand the sentimentality. There’s nothing sentimental about death.’ Since Christopher died, the walls that surrounded her were her prison, not her home. She would exhaust his funds long before the war would end, and she knew it.
In a flash, as though energy had somehow been injected into her veins, she swirled around with her smile rejuvenated ‘Mr Bailey, what you must think of me. But you see I’m afraid after- after the last war…’ she swallowed hard. Her husbands’ death in the last war was usually a topic she tried to avoid. Christopher De Vere had been a hero in Katy’s eyes the moment they met, but his winning the Victoria Cross in the Somme 1916 cemented it in the eyes of society. Strength came back into her voice as she said ‘Men like Christopher won the last war, and men like you and your brother will win this one.’ She affirmed, more out of hope than genuine confidence. ‘I’m sure your brother would sooner stand on the Statue of Liberty stark naked singing the national anthem than let us lose this war.’ Katy gave a hollow laugh. Cement would have come out of her mouth more lithely. ‘Men like you and your brother really are the cream of the crop, just what this country needs.’ Her eyes fixed on Mr Bailey she took a long drag from her cigarette. ‘You're what I need.’ Katy watched him hesitate as though about to say something, before he downed the whiskey he seemed to have forgotten about.
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