Friday, January 31, 2014

The Madwoman in the Garden

The following post was originally published on January 31, 2014. I'm reposting it because, well, Blogger and I had a little contretemps and I thought Blogger was going to throw this post in the bin. So I quickly hit Revert to Draft thinking that would save it, even if it didn't save my recent changes to the labels - I added labels so I could get "dynamic pages" on my new tabs on my blog. Cool, huh? I also updated the banner, in case you didn't notice. Doesn't my blog look really slick now?

Where was I? Oh, yeah, I hit Revert to Draft, and it did indeed save my post. But made it a Draft - unpublished - again. I guess that's what Revert to Draft means. Seems a bit cryptic to me.

So now I'm publishing it again, with the labels, so it'll show up if you click on the Short Stories or What I Wear tabs. You can skip the whole thing if you already read it. You can skip the whole thing even if you haven't read it.

But if not, I give you The Madwoman in the Garden -

The day was cold and drear, with an opaque fog seeping in off the Baltic Sea. Nevertheless, I decided to take some air in the small side yard of this crumbling old pile where I reside. I avoid the streets and open spaces. People stare at me and whisper behind my back. 

I prefer my solitude.

I am Valastasia, and I am the last survivor of my illustrious family, the Bugheroffs.

The passionflower vines are dead, as is my youth, and the fog clouds my mind and wraps me in a shroud of nostalgia. Memories haunt me, speaking to me in ghostly voices from the past.

But I find comfort in the confined space and the familiar gargoyle that looks down from the fence.

I wear old clothes salvaged from the dusty trunks in the attic of my family home. They are my sole luxury and my only mementos of past lives – an embroidered brocade jacket, a shirt of the finest imported silk, and hat and gloves made from the fur of an ocelot. 

The jacket's not really embroidered and the shirt is cotton. Of course you know the fur is fake. What a drama queen! 

My belt and boots were left behind by an officer in the military who was my lover in the halcyon days before the revolution.

I remember with yearning the days we spent together, days when we were young and untroubled, when we shared the deepest secrets of our souls, and dreamed of our brilliant future together. 


Alas, it was not to be. One ominous evening we went to see the ballet – it was a magnificent performance – and the next day he was gone. He had deserted the army, discarded his possessions, and abandoned me for another love. I was inconsolable! He had fallen for the lead dancer of the Bolshoi, Ivan Toudance, and they had fled to San Francisco.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. 

Blah, blah, blah, Valastasia never recovered, okay? She hung out alone in that creepy old house, shunning the world and living in the past. 

(No cats? That doesn't seem right.)

This Gothic tale inspired by and linking up with:
52 Pick-me-up at Spy Girl - Short over Long
Share in Style at Mis Papelicos - Gothic
Hat Attack at TheStyle Crone - Hats!

Jacket - Coldwater Creek (old)
Shirt - Jones New York (resale)
Skirt - Fresh Produce (resale)
Boots - JCP (old)
Belt - thrifted
Hat and gloves - WalMart (ocelot, my ass!)