Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Red Lipstick

Author Sacha Black posted the writing prompt The Red Lipstick on her website a while ago. Just reading it set my girly brain whirling. It didn't take long before it settled on something completely different than Sacha's eerily brilliant short story. So, here's to laughter, drama, and a bold red lip!

* * *
The boots zipped over my skinny jeans with a zzzzt and a whiff of leather. The boots were only slightly unsuitable for winter weather. It was a small price to pay for great legs.

Once last look in the mirror. Eyeliner in place. Another fluff to my curls. One more spritz of hairspray. (Okay, five more.) My 'do hadn't reached auburn helmet proportions yet, though it would stand up to a stiff wind. Or the seizure-like moves that passed for dancing.

I drew the cap off the lipstick. My fashion guru friend had sported a red lip for over a year now. But this tube looked more brazenly scarlet than I remembered. Scarlet the Harlot, wriggled through my mind, a throwback to too many nights of Clue. I ignored the rhyme and daubed red onto my lips.

Coat on. Ridiculously expensive handbag at my side. Keys in hand. One more bracing breath. If I blew my friends off again, they'd never forgive me. And I'd be one step closer to a deep and lasting relationship with Netflix.

The white bag slouching against the wall stopped me in my tracks. Thirty seconds, I told myself, that's all it would take. Thirty seconds and I'd be in the car speeding toward a night of schmancy drinks, dancing, and, the girls had assured me, super cute boys. I looped a finger through the plastic handles, careful to touch as little of the bag as possible. Eau de garbage wasn't my preferred scent. 

Ten seconds. The efficient click-clack of my boots on the walk. Twenty seconds. I considered how to pop up the lid on the dumpster with the least amount of physical contact.

At twenty-five seconds, my boots skidded on a patch of ice. The flailing elbows and thrashing feet resembled nothing Kristy Yamaguchi had ever done. With a plop, my skinny-jeans encased bottom hit the ice and the garbage bag flew into the air. So much for sticking the landing.

The plump bag hovered in midair, then plunged toward the ground. I lunged for it, skittering across the ice. It landed in my lap and I hugged it to my chest. A newspaper crinkled and the aroma of rotten banana puffed into the air. 

I executed a butt scoot off the ice, still clutching the bag to my chest. Once I was upright, I hitched my handbag back up to my elbow, and slipped a palm into the red handles of the trash bag.

I made it exactly one step before riiiip. And crunch, sploosh, crackle, the bag disgorged its contents. With a sigh, I bent to clean up the mess. Then I heard it, a sound far worse than the telltale rip of a treacherous trashbag. A manly chuckle.

No, no, no. I squeezed my eyes shut, wasting all my wishes at once. Another chuckle. I forced my eyes open and peered at the source. The Attractive Male Neighbor.

“Sorry,” he muttered, seeing my face and trying to hide amusement on his own. It didn't work. Those stupid brown eyes actually twinkled. If only the ground would open up and swallow me and my trash heap whole.

“It's Becca, right?” I nodded. “Let me help you with that.”

“Oh no,” the words tumbled out of my mouth like refuse out of a torn garbage bag, “It's all my fault. I'm such a klutz, really. I couldn't allow you—”

“A gentlemen doesn't leave a lady in distress,” he insisted. “Especially in a pile of trash. What would my mother say?”

Man, he was cute. And I smelled like old cheese and dead bananas.

“By the way,” he said, as he helped me to clear up the mess, “amazing display back there. Do you skate professionally or are you keeping your amateur status so you can compete?”

I'd have punched him in the arm, but my fist was full of crumbled weekly fliers and something sticky. Instead, I gave my tongue free reign. “Actually, I'm going on tour with Disney on Ice. I'm Goofy.”

“Sweet,” he said with a grin. “I'm going to need front row seats for that. Hook me up?”

I rolled my eyes, pitching the last banana peel into the dumpster along with an empty pudding cup. “I'm pretty sure you just caught the dress rehearsal.”

He chuckled again, probably recalling my pinwheeling arms, my butt scoot, or the garbage exploding like confetti over me. I tried not to think about which part he found most amusing.

“Well, thank you,” I said, rubbing at a sticky smudge on my knee.

“It's the least I could do.” 

I turned away, fishing my phone out of my handbag and bracing myself for a barrage of tongue-lashing texts. Sorry, girls. Can't make it, I tapped out. Showering and getting dolled up again was too much of a hassle. Netflix, here I come.

“And hey, Becca?”

“Yeah?” I turned back.

A smirk spread over his stupidly handsome face. “Nice lipstick.”

* * *
What do you think? Leave me a comment below. And if you'd like to read more shorts, try: 
Enjoy! And thanks for dropping by! 


  1. This is a cracking story. Will you continue it? I'd love to know what happens between them.... It's the start of something lovely right...??!!!! It has to be, aargh I want to know! 💖

    1. Oops didn't mean to put this as anon... It's Sacha!

    2. Thanks, Sacha! I might have had a little too much fun crafting it. I'm all about a delicious meet-cute. Sadly, that's all there is... :( But I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lydia! It was so much fun to write! I'm so glad you enjoyed it too! And thanks for sharing!

  3. I loved it! The ending was fabulous. I'm a red lipstick kinda gal myself so I am absolutely delighted by this. x Rosy

    1. Thank you, Rosy! Wonderful to hear good feedback. You've made my day! And rock that red, sweetie!

  4. I want to hear more. I'm intrigued. I love your delicious description and turns of phrase. It's fresh and fascinating. Love it!

  5. Thanks, Tami! That's what I love to hear...if only I wasn't editing book two for publishing I might be able to spin it out. But if my short stories go over this well, hopefully my upcoming novel will too! Fingers crossed! BTW best of luck with your novel. XOXOXOXO

  6. Argh.. I want more. This is good. Really good! The one liners in this piece are fabulous. "I smelled of like old cheese and dead bananas." to highlight just one. :)

    1. Thanks, Kimmie! Have you read my book yet? It's not quite the same character, but Bella has a load of sass too. Hopefully I can invest Book Two with the same amount of humor. Fingers crossed!