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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Victoria's Revenge: A Short Story and LOTd

Hi there!

In honor of the gorgeous and well thought out colour kaleidoscope that is fresh off the Aromaleigh press, I wanted to feature a few of the shades of the collection before I do full on swatches.

I love the idea of a deviously beautiful woman wreaking havoc amongst the fallout of her great amour tragique. What was that quote? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well, watch out world...forget Victoria's Secret. Get ready for Victoria's Revenge...

I have a beautiful compact from the early 1940's that to my surprise, came with a note tucked under the rouge. It reads:

"Dearest Mac- 
Please remember, 
Who was Mac and who was Bud? The seller of the compact had no idea and didn't realize the little missive was hidden away inside.

I imagine Mac was the woman. Why else would the letter addressed to Mac be stashed beneath the lid of a lady's compact? Was Mac involved in an affair of the heart with someone she coyly called Bud?

I like the idea of a woman with grey eyes and jet black hair meeting her lover on some long lost verandah. Was she wearing sleek kid gloves when he tucked her hair behind her ear and slipped her the note? Did he whisper of a rendezvous where they'd speed across the Continent to happily ever after? Or did he traipse off with another woman, someone who wore red on her lips instead of her cheeks? Or were they plain and old and 50 years in love? I'll never know.

This collection titled Victoria's Revenge spoke to me and I immediately thought of the compact. What if Victoria was a woman scorned? Would she take revenge on her wandering betrothed? Or would she flit away, leaving him to his whimsy? Let's see, shall we?

The colours I used from this gorgeous group were:

Mayhem's Trilogy- On the lid. A mossy green like palm fronds on an Indian patio near twilight. What whispers are hidden beyond the lamplight?
Skeleton Key- At the inner corner of the eye. Pewter as the locket beneath her lace chemise. Holds promises and secrets and yes, revenge. None shall open but the wearer alone.
Mourning's Whimsy- Lower lashline. Shocking violet with a fade of fuschia. Who says black is for mourning? Instead she wore a cruel violet, the color of a bleeding heart.
Nightshade- Outer V of the eye. Dark is the night that leads to seduction. Deep as a black sky with flecks of silver, twinkling stars hidden by stormclouds. Tears fall on an eve such as this.
Tarnished Strychnine- Outer V of the eye and inner crease. Golden green and hints of ochre, a reptile vine that wraps like poison, squeezing the truth from a lover's lie.

Victoria's Revenge:  A Short Story

     Holding the carefully folded parchment in her hands, she knew immediately that his late hour meetings with the commissioner offered more to hold his interest than cigars and port. She looked up at the mirror that hung in front of her. Deep auburn hair was tightly pulled up in a sweeping chignon revealing an ivory face with enormous hazel eyes and lashes like a colt. She was proud of her long neck, tight shoulders and ability to look down her famously imperious nose with ease. Her mouth was full and sweet, like a girl's. She smiled wryly as she realized that her innocent face had brought many to her doorstep, much to their demise. She was a gilded spider with a platinum web.


     Tonight however, she'd found the little note, folded like a secret, under a pile of letters he had left out this morning. It had a flourished hand and contained pet names of 'Mac' and 'Bud'. Hideous, she thought. Looking back down at the paper, she folded it up again and slowly, with a swish of crinoline and silk slipped the secret little letter back where she found it on his desk. She would wait. Or better yet, she would surprise. She called out for her housemaid. She demanded that the stable ready her horse, for she'd be riding to the county hall where supposedly, her husband was going over budgets and fox hunts. But, somewhere, she knew, a woman was also waiting for her husband and it was imperative that she find this woman and stamp out this flame. "This will be the last for you," she whispered as she swept out the door, ready to ride and find out at last, where her husband spent his eves.

     Her mount was incredibly quick and before long, hooves clattered on the cobblestones outside the county manor. Sure enough, there were several other horses pawing and breathing in the stable, but her husband's was not among them. "Lying wretch," she hissed as she threw the reigns to the small stable hand and she ceremoniously was led into the house. It was no small affair to see a Lady of title bombard a men's hour meant for government talk. With many "Madam's and pardon's" she was led to a brocade infested parlor, smoothing her skirts. After ten minutes of persuasive banter she was informed quickly (oh what kisses can steal from a man sworn to secrecy) to exactly where her husband was. After rising from the settee and dismissing her smitten informant, she was once again on her horse, galloping like thunder towards where she knew, two lovers unsuspecting lie.

     As she quietly rode to the entry, the large estate was quiet and still with only two lamplights flickering by the massive front door. Her hair had fallen into a curtain of russet down her back and her eyes were huge and dark as she surveyed best how to get in. Within moments, she'd crept into a sidelong passage that led into a walnut paneled hallway upon the mainland floor. She tiptoed gently, knowing any bedrooms would be up the farthest stair and looked cautiously for servants or dogs. The house was silent and she held back a laugh as she realized just who lived within. A Baroness, a tiny, exquisite Baroness whose husband had died in the war. This woman presided over this land with coquetry and breeding, lording her French mother's bone structure and her husband's title at her many parties and balls. But tonight, she would be only a woman and a woman in an illicit affair and no one, thought she, would steal her husband right beneath her nose- Baroness or not. Finally, a roaring fire blazed and crackled just beyond the third stair and she knew instantly, the high pealing laughter and the deep chuckle that followed. Her husband indeed, was here and from the sound of things, enjoying himself immensely.

     She waited, breathing shallow and slow as she watched the shadows on the wall. Two faces, perilously close were replaying like a sordid opera scene before her. "Curse him!" she thought, glaring at them both. The moment she'd waited for had arrived. He rose from his lover's arms and strode from the room, promising his darling brandy and biscuits to toast the hour. As soon as he was gone, she stepped from the shadows, chin high in defiance and showed herself to the reclining baroness. Within moments, ivory hands clasped over the frightened mouth and only the firelight witnessed two women, strolling falsely like friends, arm in arm through the darkened house to the stables outside. When he finally returned glasses in hand, the velvet sofa was empty. On one cushion was a small square hankerchief and upon it, a garishly embroidered "V". The glasses dropped, shattering loudly and brandy stained like blood upon the carpeted floor.

     The next morning's crier announced on the corners that Baroness Du Pomfrey was found quiet and cold at the edge of her garden and no one could answer for the why or how.

     At the funeral, two gentry stood silent, dressed as only the wealthy could, but the Lady was causing a shock and a fury. Women gossiped behind their black lace fans and the men cut looks from the corner of their eyes, but no one dare approach them. The husband of the pair was pale and tired looking, yet still dashing in his tailored jacket and stiff noon hat. The wife, however, was the reason for the scandal. In a sea of black fabric, she alone wore glaring skirts. Her dress was the colour of orchids, deep purple and red, like flushed cheeks- a tartlike colour for operas and showgirls. The exact shade of crimson as brandy on the floor. She held her head high and put her arm through her husband's as they walked back to their carriage. Before they slipped inside, she smiled at her husband's dazed face and gently, she pressed a small square of paper in his gloved palm. Looking up at him, her hazel eyes fringed by long lashes, she blinked, her innocent child's face open as she said to him, "For you darling. For Bud." The husband went ashen and he met her gaze, ashamed and aware and afraid. Victoria had warned him should he stray and her kerchief on the sofa did not tell a lie. As the carriage rolled away from the Baroness' buriel, he knew revenge had come quickly, as quickly as death.

The end!

*Okay, cheezy and half thought out, but I love the idea of some crazy jealous broad snuffing her husband's mistress in some dark English mansion. Bear with and if it's lame, let me know. But it was fun to write and I wanted Miss K to know her colours inspire!*

Enjoy Victoria's Revenge and feel free to purchase a jar or two! And don't forget to find a Mac or Bud of your own to love and to remember.

Have a great day,

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