I do apologise for the lack of blogging recently. I have been absorbed in getting the village pub up and running (http://www.thecasepubbentley.co.uk/), and have also been indulging in serial MOOCs… one of the best I’ve done so far is the OU Start Writing Fiction course on the FutureLearn platform. I’m getting a lot out of this course – and in recompense for my lack of blogging activity, here’s my latest assignment; a 300-word character sketch.
She brought the small square of fine linen to her mouth, and moistened it with the tip of her tongue, careful not to let it touch her crimson lipstick. She used it to clean an almost invisible blemish from her white leather clutch bag, then replaced the handkerchief in the bag, and the bag at a precise angle on the table in front of her.
The sea breeze ruffled the brim of her matching straw hat, and she glanced disapprovingly out over the balcony at the steel-bright water, glare made bearable only by her oversized sunglasses. She wished again that he would come, before her studied pale elegance melted in the mid-day sun. But then, these were the last moments of her freedom – she should be savouring them! She took an immoderately large gulp of wine, careless of the dew clouding the glass and dampening her gloves, then composed herself again.
“Mademoiselle Amelie?” The waiter held a silver salver out to her, an envelope resting on the velvet.
She took it, and inclined her head in thanks, waiting until he had left before breaking the seal.
The envelope contained a single sheet of folded paper, and a credit card. She tucked the card carefully into her bag, and read the note. It was typed, and unsigned.
“Apologies; I cannot come. Be in the same place and at the same time tomorrow. Here is recompense for your time today.”
In one smooth movement, she crumpled the note into a ball, and sent it soaring towards the sea. Then she stripped off her gloves and hat, and shook out her bronzed curls. She downed the remainder of her wine, and contemplated summoning the waiter for a refill. But no – with a glorious 24 hours to herself, there was no time to waste. As a courtesan, she was a connoisseur of many things – but for pleasure, nothing beat a doner kebab and a trashy novel. And the knowledge that her college fund was growing.
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