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Opulent Emptiness

Robyn Lombard

Large, voluminous folds of fabric sat upon her young frame, layers upon layers of brilliant colours wrapped around her body before bulging into an enormous skirt. The fabric cinched in tightly beneath her corset. It was pulled so tight, the skin under her arms billowed up and over the corset. She breathed with a pained, wheezing sound. Her sickly-white complexion contrasted with the rich colours of her dress. Powder covered her face, making the contrast more startling. Her lips were a plastic, bright red, her quivering lower lip barely noticeable to the common eye. Pink blush was packed onto her cheeks, her eyelashes hanging down over her eyes from the layers of mascara. Her icy, ocean eyes darted around the room at a frantic pace.

She perched on a plush pink bench, her small hands clasped tightly on her lap. Her right thumb slowly massaged the fingers of her left hand. Her mother and father glared angrily at each other, both throwing their arms around like hooligans. There she sat, quietly watching her parents in silent panic. Expensive furniture littered the room. Massive framed paintings of people who looked like they’d eaten a lemon lined the wall. Animal heads and swords filled every space left by the frames. The girl tried to stand up, but she didn’t have the strength to push her attire up with her, and instead landed softly back on the bench.

Her mother turned and pointed her wrinkly hands, which were adorned with bright-red claw like nails, at her daughter. The girl seemed to retract into her layers of fabric like a tortoise. A volcano of words erupted out of her mother, spilling onto the floor and surrounding the girl, searing the edges of her dress.

She cast her eyes downward. She took in a deep breath, then slowly released it before lifting her eyes to her mother. There she sat, amidst her fabric, under her makeup, a skeleton without a will.

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