A Splash of Red – a fictional flight of fancy.

‘As I said to Maisie, I just love a splash of red, soooo New York don’t you think?’

‘What did she say?’

‘She looked at me, raised an eyebrow and said “A long-lost love once told me I looked unbeatable in black and I’ve worn nothing but black since”.’

‘Now you mention it Maisie does always wear black.’

‘You know, when I think of her, I always think of a witch. She has that bushy straggly hair, the kind that always looks like it hasn’t been near a conditioner bottle for three years and she’s got a Virginia Woolf nose.’

‘Was Virginia Woolf a witch?’

‘No, she just had a nose like one.’

‘Wearing black all the time is fine, but how do you dress up for Halloween?’

‘Paint your nails black, colour in a few teeth, don a pointy hat and Bob’s your uncle.’

‘Talking of which did you know her mother had a brother who was a ski jumper in Switzerland?’

‘You don’t say?’

‘I doooo say. He ran off with a chalet maid, she got pregnant, he ditched her and she went home with a baby.’

‘Maisie has a Swiss cousin then?’

‘I guess she must have, I never really thought about it like that.’

‘Have you been skiing?

‘Only once in Kitsbuhel, I kept falling over until a ski instructor called Lars pointed out I hadn’t done my boots up.’

‘Ski instructor? Nice one? Tall rugged handsome?’

‘Looked like a toffee apple – slim white stalk and big red face.’

‘He took his clothes off then?’

‘Several time. Since he’d rescued me, I thought I ought to say thank you. In the mornings he was telling me to do my boots up and, in the evenings, telling me to get them off.’

‘Has Maisie been skiing?’

‘I doubt it, can you get black ski suits?’

‘Maybe. She should go scuba diving, they all wear black.’

‘Do you think her new flat is totally black too?’

‘Probably.  I’m going round on Thursday for a look see.’

‘You ought to take a house warming gift.’

‘Yes, good idea. Any suggestions?’

‘How about a cushion covered in gigantic red poppies?’

‘Brilliant idea. Just the thing, a splash of red, soooo New York.’

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