A few weeks ago I found the original story I wrote about Laine way back in 2005. It was for a creative writing assignment where I had to write a piece of flash fiction. I called it Dream Girl, I think, although it's labelled on my hard drive as the rather alluring 'Activity 2.9'.
Laine was lazing on the couch, flicking through endless drivel on Saturday afternoon TV when Lynne barged through the front door, brimming with clothing store carrier bags. She sported a huge grin as if she'd just won this week's lottery jackpot.
"Have you spent your entire wage packet on clothes?" Laine ogled the contents of the bags as Lynne emptied a pile of flimsy dresses onto the lounge carpet. Such extravagance wouldn't please their parents, their father especially. He expected twenty-five quid a week from his eldest daughter.
"Not all of it. “ Lynne held aloft a cute white mini-dress with stylish lacy sleeves and an embroidered red rose trailing down the front.
Laine’s eyes widened. The dress certainly was gorgeous, but, and how to be honest yet subtle at the same time. “Isn’t that a little small for you?"
"Cheeky bitch." Lynne stuck out her tongue "Actually it’s for you. I’ve bought lippy and eyeshadow too. We'll have another makeover. A proper one this time.”
Laine cast a nervous glance towards the front door, eager to slip into that foxy dress and be transformed into a teenage beauty queen, but at this time of day surely it was too dangerous a desire to indulge. “But won’t Dad be home soon?"
Lynne rolled her eyes. "He'll be ages yet. Come on, I’ll turn you into Kylie."
She tossed the dress into the air. The delicate material seemed to float there for a moment before fluttering to rest in Laine’s eagerly outstretched hands.
It truly was a beautiful thing. And Lynne was probably right. Dad would be ages yet. Popping into the pub after work with his friends was not unheard of for a Saturday afternoon.
Safely shut away inside Lynne’s bedroom, and aided by the sounds of ‘Ultimate Kyle’, the long awaited transformation began.
First Lynne set Laine’s shoulder-length dark hair into tumbling feminine curls. She then gathered them up into a wreath of pins and curls to accentuate Laine’s long slender neck. Laine’s not so complimentary jaw line she shaded in such a way as to allow the inner beauty to ease through to the reflection in the glass.
Laine watched this barely recognisable girl the mirror as her thick ebony lashes dipped, for a moment distorting the image through a teary veil.
“Now we look like twins.” Lynne giggled, standing behind Laine in the full-length mirror. “See how your eyes sparkle when you smile?”
“That’s because I think I might cry.” Laine blinked. In the reflection a tear squeezed from the corner of the dream girl’s eyes and rolled down the smooth contour of her cheek.
Laine used to think it was a paradox. How could anyone be so happy they’d cry? But it was true. There was the proof that Lynne whipped away on a tissue, muttering, “Wouldn’t want to smudge anything.”
Lynne was right about the dress. The fit was a little loose in the waist and hips, but nothing anyone might notice. Laine’s blood fizzled like champagne. This vision hadn’t been created only to be locked away. Laine wanted to go out and show everyone how a bit of makeup and a new dress could revolutionise the real and beautiful me.
“Wish we could go out somewhere.“ Laine sighed. “Do I look old enough for a club?”
“No need to run when you can’t yet walk,” Lynne replied, in a sarcastic reference to the heels on which Laine tottered seven or so steps.
Laine was just about to venture another turn about the room when there followed the dreadfully sickening sound of an opening door, which could only mean one thing.
"Turn that bloody row down," bellowed a familiar male voice from behind them. "Who's your frie...?” As Laine made an awkward turn, the fantasy shrivelled in the heat of Dad’s fury. “Lynne! What the bloody hell you done to my son?"