Words and Pictures - Souvenirs


Sally-Anne shoved her hand as deeply as she could into her pocket of her Faberge jeans and skulked around the shop just one more time. How long was it going to take for her mum to talk to the pharmacist? She was so over waiting. This was just tedious. There were so many other things that she would rather be doing.
Sally-Anne stopped in front of the perfumes and picked up each one of them, taking a long deep sniff. That musky one took her into that piano teacher's house. She couldn't remember the name of her, but it was always so cold and dark in that house, and silent, until her fingers hit the keys on old Zimmerman. The sound would resonate throughout that dark house trying to fill it up, unsuccessfully as it would make its way back into the music room, disillusioned with the dullifying features in the house. The sweet floral perfume suddenly took her to her Grade 3 teacher, Miss Tilly, who was always full of happiness and sparkle. Every morning she greeted the class with such a big smile that would spread over like a wash. Any tear or fear that was lingering, was washed away in that defining moment. Sally-Anne smiled even now as she thought of her.
"Come on now", her mother called. Sally-Anne snapped herself back to the present and dropped her smile, letting her hair fall over her eyes and face again. Best not to let others see too closely. The girls at the chemist called out good-bye to her, but she only mumbled as she trudged behind her mother. She shoved her hand into her pocket even further. To even it up, she decided to shove her other hand into her other pocket as she shrugged off her mother's light touch on her shoulders as they started to cross the road.
The trip home seem to take forever, even though they only lived two streets from the shops, and the time it took for Sally-Anne's mother to find the key, put the key in the hole, open the door and go through the doorway seemed to take even longer.
Sally-Anne made a beeline for her bedroom and shut the door behind her. She extracted her hands from the pockets that had now seemed to grow into her skin and opened her right hand to find her souvenir. The lipstick was a lush red colour and she was so excited about it and went to the mirror and put it on. It was fantastic. She heard the footsteps in the hall and her heart dropped. Nausea swept over her as the realisation crept in that what she had done was dreadful. She got the tissues and tried to wipe it off as quickly as she could, but it was leaving a stain on her lips, and the footsteps were so close, the door handle was turning.
"Darling..."Jackie stood there shocked. "What are you doing? What are all those tissues for and why are your lips so red? What is going on?"
Sally-Anne froze like an animal caught in the headlights. No going back now. This was not a souvenir. It was a curse. A curse that she was going to have to deal with.

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