Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Her makeup was fine, not a hair out of place, her nails were freshly painted.
She tilted her jaw up and turned her head, just a little from the left and to the right and when the light caught her forehead and spread gently across her entire face she nodded and whispered ” perfect “.
She straightened the hem of her dress, checked her watch, and then she looked over her head to the shelf where her picture from last Christmas sat among makeup bottles, hairspray and lotions.
The locked door on the other side of the room opened with a whisper and a woman’s voice called out:
” Brody Hey Brody. I’m done here. Let’s finish up, the family will be here in a few minutes.”
Domino pointed to the casket and said, ” Let’s get Mrs. Cobb in her coffin. I’ve got another embalming to do.”
” You look really fine Mrs. Cobb.” Domino told the dead Mrs. Cobb. “Elegant just like your picture.”
Pauline sat in front of her heavily frosted birthday cake and mountain of gifts from her family and smiled as they sang Happy Birthday- off key and on purpose just like they did every year.
That was Pauline’s favorite part of the her birthday, the singing. They were bad at it and they worked hard at being awful.
It was a tradition. They butchered the song and she pretended to be in pain through the entire performance.
” Make a wish Li ” her brother and sister and husband said together.
” Oh. I don’t know,” she traced a frowny face on the table cloth with her finger. ” Those never come true.”
” Go on. Make a wish or we’ll sing again.” Her Husband said as he threw an elbow into her brother’s side.
” Guys, I have been wishing every year for the same thing for years and … ”
Her family took a collective breath.
” No. No! Stop. Look. I’m wishing see? See how hard I’m wishing?”
” We see you talking” her Sister said. ” Not wishing. Now on three…”
Pauline closed her eyes and took a breath. She made her yearly wish and blew her candles- which proudly announced she was 53 in bright red wax.
Pauline opened one eye very slowly and then she opened her other eye a little faster and she looked down and set her face into a smile. ” Thanks guys. You’re swell. And the cake is going to be delicious so let’s dig in.”
Her sister reached under the table and when she stood she had a pink hatbox in her hands.
Pauline’s eyes misted over as she took it gently from her sister ” No. It can’t be. There isn’t a marble or a snack sized candy bar in there. Right?”
” Nope. Great Grandma helped us find this one.” her brother said.
” Oh my God. Really?”
” We had to sneak her out of her place – but don’t worry we took her right back after and I’ll bet they didn’t even miss her.”
Pauline took a breath.
She untied the bow and took the top off of the box and looked inside. ” I- I don’t know what to say it’s perfect. Pauline set the box down in front of her and then she reached into it and as she lifted her gift out she looked up and asked her family,
” So they didn’t miss her at the Asylum? Really? Well. How closely do they have to keep their eye on a 96 year old serial killer anyway. I just hope you guys made sure she wore a sweater when you took her out…