Silk Stockings

The prose should enable the reader to identify the period of time where the story takes place in historical fiction.

Kitty sat in the warm winter sun with a knitted blanket over her knees to protect her from the mild southerly breeze. The album on her lap was heavy, she stared at the yellowing black and white photograph of herself and Mary. Memories of the day captured her attention.

              They stepped off the green and yellow tram onto the tracks. Kitty stumbled as the heel of her new red shoes caught in the steel track. She laughed; her broad mouth outlined by her bright red lipstick. They walked down the street which had been cleaned from the celebrations the day before. The austere sandstone buildings stand testament to survival. Both were in their best outfits befitting an outing to town to celebrate. Kitty’s bright floral dress flounced and swayed in step with her stride. Her ragged curls escaped from her wide-brimmed hat and fell to her shoulders swinging in unison with her skirt. Her nicely shaped browned legs were complimented by her shoes which carefully matched her gloves.  Mary walked beside her in a navy woolen suit that had seen better days. The lace collar of her blouse was tight against her neck, hiding years of neglect due to her work. A small dark felt hat sat at a jaunty angle over her greying hair. She held tightly a worn leather clutch bag holding her precious belongings. They looked like opposites as they walked in unison carefully stepping over remnants of streamers and other debris creating a scene of chaos.

              Suddenly a cheeky lad held a camera in front of them, calling ‘Smile ladies.’

              ‘I hope we look nice?’ Kitty reacted with a broad flirty smile.

              ‘Beautiful. You can collect them in one hour.’ He handed his card to Kitty.

              ‘I do like having my photograph taken.’ Kitty excitedly took Mary’s arm as they walked.

              ‘I am sure it will be a good one. You have so many at home already.’ Mary was cautious as she spoke. She did not want to dampen Kitty’s spirits.

              ‘Oh Mary, look there’s David Jones. Let go in, I heard they have a new shipment of silk stockings.’ Kitty’s voice rose to a pitch drawing the attention of passers-by.

Kitty sprinted along through the arches supporting the wide awning, a uniformed elderly man with an air of authority opened the heavy glass doors. Kitty smiled as she walked past and made her way to women’s apparel.

Mary followed quickly reaching out for Kitty’s arm.

              ‘Kitty, you must not be so frivolous with your ration cards. We still need them for essentials.’

              ‘I am fed up with using shoe polish, silk stockings would make me look so good at the Trocadero tonight. I do love to dance.’

              They walked out of the store, arm in arm. Kitty was swinging the bag holding her prized purchase. Mary walked behind; her head bowed as though she was looking for a pot of gold on the path.

              The room was crowded with revelers who all seemed to be talking at the same time. The music was loud and had a rhythm that encouraged moves with abandonment. Young men took to the dance floor with a pretty girl on their arms. They burst into dance, swinging the girls so their skirts ballooned like a parachute about to land. The crowd became one as the swirls intertwined creating an almost moving lake of people.

              Kitty found her place on the dance floor while being twirled and turned by the young soldier without a care in the world. Her blue and yellow dress caught the attention of several young men. She threw back her head in laughter, her wide mouth showing rows of pearly white teeth. She took pride in her appearance.

              ‘Come on Mary, enjoy yourself. We have a lot to celebrate.’ Kitty always made sure her older sister was included in her fun activities; she grabbed her hand trying to encourage her onto the dance floor.

              ‘Kitty, I will sit and watch. You look so beautiful, so happy.’

              ‘Ok. I am going to dance all night.’

Kitty danced for hours with Mary watching with pride. She did look nice in her new silk stockings. Suddenly the look on Mary’s face changed. A look of horror overtook her. She was looking at Kitty’s beautiful shapely legs. What did she see…a ladder in her new stockings?

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