Swingin'

Swingin'

A Story by Switchblade
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Felicity meets the man of her dreams...set in 1922

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“Felicity! Felicity Anne Robinson, get down here this instant! You’re going to be late for dinner with Mister Smith! You’re nearly twenty three, and he’s the only man you have a chance with!”

My mother’s voice came screeching up the wooden staircase, and I bounded down, grinning.

“What the hell are you wearing?” she demanded, and I grinned at her. My sheer baby blue skirt hung loosely to just below my knee. But the slit running up the left side exposed almost all of my tanned leg. My shirt was white, the body solid, and the sleeves lace, and my heels had to be nearly three inches high. My dark hair, cut to just past my shoulder, was curled and pinned back, piled atop my head, in a faux bob.

My mother’s expression was almost comical, shocked, at first, then furious. “When I was your age, I would have been thrown out of town and shunned for behavior like this!”

“It’s 1922 now, ma!’ I twirled around on my toes, letting her take in the full effect of my clothes. “Let me live a little!”

“You look like one of those...one of those,” my mother struggled.

“Flappers?” I suggested casually.

She glared at the floor. “Get changed. Now.”

I smiled at her sarcastically, then skipped up the stairs. Laughing, I slammed the door. I opened my window, and plopped down onto the bed.

If my mother wouldn’t let me see Jacob Smith in these clothes, I wouldn’t see him at all. He was nearly forty, anyway, kind of fat, and I’d seen him running around in back alleys with Jenny Mae from the diner downtown. When she says he’s the only man who’d take me, she really means the only man who wouldn’t cause a scandal. I was after a man of my own.

“Fifi!” came a hoarse whisper from outside my window. I hopped over to the sill and look down to see my best friend, Melanie Swan, the only person on earth who was allowed to call me Fifi, standing on the dirty concrete in a long, black fur coat.

“Grab your coat, we gotta run!” she whispered again in her thick Brooklyn accent. I snatched a fur trimmed, tan leather coat from my bedpost, and slipped it on, then carefully began to lower myself out of my second story bedroom window.

“How do I look?” I asked, once I was safely on the ground.

“Absolutely scandalous!” she replied happily. Her voice was naturally scratchy and sultry, and lent a lot to her musical talents. “Come on, the car’s around the corner. Wouldn’t want your mother hearing the engine.

She began to run, and I followed, hoping the sound of our heels on the cobblestone wouldn’t tip off my mother to my disappearance.

We hopped into the taxi, panting and grinning. “Club Deluxe. And step on it,” Melanie instructed sharply, and we were on our way.

“This is going to be the most swingin’ party of the year, You’re gonna love it. I’m only doing three songs, so I’ll be dancing all the rest of the night! I bet I won’t be able to walk tomorrow!” she squealed as we got out of the car.

We entered the club through the back way, straight into the backstage rooms, where Melanie and I hung up our coats. The room was furnished only with a few lighted mirrors and tables for the performers. Melanie sat down, brushing off her silver sequined dress and pushing back a few stray blond hairs behind her ears.

“You got any makeup on, hon?” she asked as she picked up her cosmetics bag and began applying a bright red lipstick in front of her mirror.

“No,” I replied modestly as Melanie began to outline her icy blue eyes in a dark mascara.

She blotted her lipstick against the back of her hand, then turned to face me.

“Sit. I’m gonna make you look gorgeous.”

Melanie began applying all kinds of powders and creams and pencils along the lines of my face, and I wondered if I would end up looking like a mime. After what seemed like hours, she stepped back, beaming. I looked at myself in the mirror. My pale lips were a stunning poppy, and my plain brown eyes looked rich and catlike.

“It’s perfect,” I whispered.

“Of course it’s perfect! I did it, after all,” Melanie giggled pridefully. “We’ve got half an hour before people start arriving. Have a smoke.”

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“Are you sure he’ll be here?” I asked Melanie as we slipped into the crowd.

She took both of my shoulders in her hands and spun me around to face her.

“Honey, he’s gonna be here. I have a sound check. Now go have a drink, go dance, have fun!”

But after half an hour, I was still sitting alone at the bar, champagne in hand. I fiddled with my hair and my sleeves. He still wasn’t here.



No one had even asked me to dance, and the only other person at the bar was a suspicious man in a black felt hat that covered his face and a long black trench coat.

The sound of two glasses in front of me shook me out of my melancholy, and I realized that the man in the dark hat was sitting beside me, and had ordered us both drinks.

“My name’s Felicity.” I offered, attempting to be friendly. I received no response. “Thanks for the drink,” I tried. Silence again. “It’s nice to meet you.” At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was scared or annoyed. “Who are you?” I demanded.

He didn’t answer, but instead lifted his hat to reveal the face I’d been searching for all evening.

“Care to dance?”

I nodded furiously, and we stepped out onto the dance floor. My heart was racing. I was dancing with the one and only Buster Keaton.

© 2013 Switchblade


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Added on August 26, 2013
Last Updated on August 26, 2013
Tags: Twenties, historical, buster keaton

Author

Switchblade
Switchblade

NYC, NY



About
Professional creeper. Kind of strange. I like to talk about tuna and Buster Keaton. Queen of the Lichens, Empress of Celery. There are those who call me Tim. Youtube: Julia Withers Deviantart.. more..

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