Suzy Stewart Dubot
Copyright © 2012 by Suzy Stewart Dubot
An Anglo/American who has been living in France for over 30 years, she began writing as soon as she retired. She recently spent seventeen months in London, UK caring for an aged relative. She is now back in France. Writing follows her as easily as her laptop. With her daughters, she is a vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights. She is also an admirer of the British abolitionist, William Wilberforce, who was also a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.).
Published on Shakespir
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Credits Cover Design: Suzy Stewart Dubot
She’d had trouble choosing a colour. Each wooden counter had been painted to shiny perfection, making her want that particular tint, until she had moved on to the next, which was just as pleasing to the eye. The dangling wooden samples had clicked against each other on the ring, cheerfully reminding her of chirping sparrows. The smoothly sanded wooden backs contrasted with their sleekly painted fronts; wood-side warm, paint-side cool. Everything about the pieces was appealing. She had sighed as she fingered them sensually, wondering if the shop would notice if she stole the ring holding them all. Then she had noticed that the very last counter was, in fact, an anti-theft tag. Apparently they knew that the shiny nuances of colour, with their sound of chirping birds, were a temptation.
She associated the twittering birds with that time in the morning when dawn breaks and the birds sing, happy to be alive. She wanted to sing too but not just at dawn. She was alive and free of a tyrant husband who had ruined the last ten years of her life! Now he was gone, which was why she had wanted to redecorated the room that had witnessed their last dispute. It had been violent too, not just words. His eyes had shown the moment when he had finally understood that he had lost. It had been too late for him to reform.
During each of their disputes, he had always made sure that he had been in control. It was the power that he had loved. Push her to her limits and then make her the guilty party, begging for forgiveness as he had twisted an arm, pinched her or pulled on her hair. Nothing too serious, only enough to hint at what he was capable of doing.
But he had pushed her once too often; this last clash had been the straw that had broken the camel’s back. He had lost his grip on her. She had sworn that she would never let him back into her life and he had seen that she had meant it. None of his cajoling nor pleading had done a whit of good in the end. As her razor-sharp words had sliced into him, not leaving him the least respite, he had understood that it was over and he had finally failed.
At present, the room was finished. Stripped of the old wallpaper, which she had wasted no time in burning (bad memories gone up in smoke), it now boasted several coats of white emulsion on the walls and ceiling, and a brilliant white gloss on the wainscoting. As a very special treat, she had left the door until last. She had looked forward to the large smooth surface because the slicking of paint, up and down, up and down, up and down, was a rhythmic balm for her soul.
It had been the ‘red’ which had won her choice in the end. Such a vibrant colour! Of course, she had her ‘ex’ to thank for that, she grudgingly admitted; the redecoration of the whole room, in fact. If his blood hadn’t spurted everywhere, she might never have considered it, but it had looked quite dazzling on the white door – until it had dried. Who would have thought that a letter opener could be responsible for so much blood?
Damn, the man. She had him to thank for the discovery of the dawn chorus too. If she hadn’t been in the garden adding the last shovel-full of earth to his grave when the chirping had begun, she might never have discovered that pleasure. It and the painted door would be forever associated with her freedom. No wonder the paint counters sounded like birds…
Once the paint on the door was perfectly dry, she would hang the pilfered ring of beautiful counters on its handle. They would be a constant reminder that she was glad to be alive and free. As she looked around the room, she smiled, pleased with a job well done.
Yes, the scarlet paint was the perfect choice. Absolutely stunning against the white!