Part 2: Never Again – Returning to The Chateau


Read Part 1 here: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Never Again

——

Part 2: Never Again – Returning to The Chateau

Jolene was back at Chateau Blanc to visit her Auntie Cathy after five-years abroad. Cathy worked as an event planner at the Chateau helping with Weddings, Fundraiser, (etc.). Jolene had always thought of Chateau Blanc as magical and mysterious castle as a young girl. She was thirty-five now with a daughter of her own,  fourteen-year-old Kasia. For Jolene and Kasia, the Chateau held a sentimental appeal they associated with Aunt Cathy.

Jolene had faded out of her life in Nice, France, living with her Aunt Cathy at the Chateau when she wasn’t travelling as a model. Jolene had thought it would be safer to start a new life with Kasia in Canada. The move took Jolene and Kasia away from their beloved Aunt Cathy. But it also helped Jolene cut off all ties to her ex-boyfriend Scott who had become a great bother to Jolene.

As Jolene crossed the path which lead to the Chateau, she was caught off guard by a feeling of desiring to hold Kasia’s hand. Jolene knew her head-strong teenager would never agree to be that close to her Mom; never mind, holding her Mom’s hand. Waves lapped up against the edge of the path and Jolene knew at times it stormed and the waves slammed harshly against the walkway, taking away anyone who was foolish enough to cross.

Kasia dragged her feet behind Jolene and Jolene told Kasia: “Come on now ma belle, tres vite! We don’t want to spend too long on this pathway. The sea could become rough.” Kasia laughed at Jolene’s worry and shrugged when Jolene gave her an admonishing look.

“It’s fine Mom,” Kasia said. “The sea has been calm today. It’s not going to start storming in the time it takes us to cross to Chateau Blanc. I was wondering. . . why do we live so far from Aunt Cathy now? We used to see her all the time when I was a kid?” Jolene sighed.

“I keep telling you Kasia. It started when I obtained career changing, modelling jobs in North America. I wanted to earn my degree in Fashion in Toronto, where I had been given a full scholarship. Then, I started designing clothes with your Aunt Judy whom I met in school. Our business grew. You should know, you work in one of our main stores of  La Petite Mademoiselle in Ottawa. You already know this ma belle. What are you really asking?” Kasia looked down at her feet. They had crossed the pathway and the Chateau was a short distance before them.

“I don’t understand why we left Auntie Cathy. She’s the only family we have besides an odd cousin or two. You’ve never even told me who my Dad is and I’m pretty sure he’s from here. I think that’s why we left. Not only for your modelling career and your education.” Jolene paused and tried to redirect her conversation with Kasia.

“You could be a model Kasia, if you like. Simon my agent, was saying how modelling would suit your love to travel well, before we left New York yesterday. You’re 5’10,” beautiful, you have slight curves, and are outgoing.When we get back to Ottawa, I’ll arrange a meeting with Simon. Maybe, we can even model together?” Jolene mentioned casually. Kasia’s face crinkled and she gave her Mom an ‘are you serious’ look when Jolene said they could model together.

“I know I could model Mom. Boys tell me I’m gorgeous all the time and the girls hate me for how much I look like one of those models in Seventeen. That’s why almost all my friends are boys except for Janelle who is a petite model. But I’m not sure I want to go the same way you have gone with modelling. I think I want to write or be an artist of some kind. And yes, I want to travel everywhere.”

“Well, that’s fine Kasia. But you could make serious money for school and travelling if you you model. It’s a great start for a young girl such as yourself.” Jolene added. Kasia looked at Jolene and a small smile passed her lips.

“Okay Mom, that sounds like something I’d like to try. So where is Aunt Cathy? I thought she said she’d meet us in front of the Chateau. I bought her some tulips from the market as we passed by a flower stall in Nice. I think they might wilt if we don’t see Auntie soon.”

“My thoughtful girl.” Jolene said messing up Kasia’s long dark hair with a head rub.

——

“Oh, I can’t believe it, Jolene! Is this my sweet Kasia? You’re almost all grown up ma belle. I hardly recognize you from the seven-year-old girl I last saw playing with her Barbies in my sitting room.” Kasia blushed and presented Aunt Cathy with the tulips she bought her.

“Oh, tres beaux!” Kasia blushed and was pleased with Auntie’s compliment.” Merci beacoup! I love tulips in the spring. And these are such a pretty shade of pink. How are you darling girl and how is your Mother?” Cathy said looking Kasia and Jolene over with pride. It was clear she missed them a lot over the past five-years.

“We’re doing fantastic Auntie,” Kasia said beaming.”Mom models a bit but mainly she runs her chain of clothing stores La Petite Mademoiselle, with my Aunt Judy, her close friend. It’s a clothing store with beautiful classic clothing for all body types, size double-zero to twenty-two.” Kasia added.

“I was at a private school and had a nanny up until grade nine, but I’m turning fifteen soon. Mom told me I can get a tutor and travel with her during high school. Mom also told me while we were walking here across the pathway, that I could model to make some money for University and travelling across Europe in four-years.” Cathy smiled down at Kasia and gave Jolene a questioning look after some of the things Kasia said.

” Kasia had a nanny? Where were you?”Cathy asked Jolene. Jolene sighed, hesitating:

” I was going to fashion school in Toronto and modelling across North America. It’s difficult being a single Mom, trying to fulfill your dreams, and take care of a child. It was more stable for Kasia to be at home when she was younger with a trusted Nanny.I have never been gone longer than four-days and Kasia always came with me on modelling and business trips during her long school breaks, such as in Summer. It was a great deal of work starting up my own clothing brand/store and growing it to the success  La Petite Mademoiselle has now. We have stores across Canada and in the US.” Jolene said defensively.

“I just wish you’d let me have been with you and Kasia, Jolene. You two are my only family. I would have loved to look after Kasia while you were in school and travelling for work. I could have worked from home. You never asked me what I wanted before you left and I hardly heard from you.” Aunt Cathy said with anger.”You sent me a picture here and there on your phone. You never talked to me online or ever phoned me. I’m hurt Jolene.” Auntie Cathy wiped a stray tear from her kindly blue eyes.

“I’m sorry Auntie. I just thought — I didn’t think. But I had to get away from Scott and Katrina. I had to leave because Scott kept contacting me. I left and I didn’t look back. I’m sorry for that Auntie. But Kasia and I are back now. We’re going to try to open up a few branches of my clothing store in France. We’re going to see what the consumer market is like here. If you want, after we’re done working here, you can come with us back home to Ottawa.”Jolene offered happily. She had missed her Auntie Cathy more than she realized.

“I have lots of money now Auntie. You can do anything you want with your retirement. Why not travel with Kasia and I? Live with us in Ottawa or have your own place if you like.”  Cathy couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“I would love that so much Jolene. Thank you for the invitation. Event planning is hard on a  woman in her late sixties. I have a pension and money I’ve saved, but it’s nice to know I have so many more options for my retirement. I can spend my time with Kasia and you.”

——-

“Who’s Scott?” Kasia piped into the conversation. “Is Scott my Dad? If he was the reason you left here, he had to have been my Dad.” Jolene and Cathy’s faces both went pale and they looked at each other uneasily.

“Oh, he’s no one dear. Just an old boyfriend.” Jolene said feeling stupid for mentioning Scott’s name.

” You never date now. He must have been important.” Kasia said slyly.

“He’s your father, Kasia,” Cathy said in one breath. “Oops,” Cathy said, “That slipped out.” Turning to Jolene Cathy said: “Kasia is fourteen now, she has the right to know, anyway.”

“That wasn’t your decision to make Aunt Cathy. I’m Kasia’s mother, not you!” Jolene stormed off to walk off her anger in the hallways of the Chateau. Kasia looked at her Aunt aglow with expectation and curiosity.

“Please tell me who my father is?” Kasia begged her Auntie.” Tell me the story of how my parents met? Why didn’t my father want me Auntie?”

Cathy sighed and adjusted her hair a bit nervously.”I shouldn’t,” Cathy said. “Your Mom is already so angry with me.”

“Please!” Kasia asked, “Mom always changes the subject and won’t tell me anything about my Dad. I  don’t even know if he’s alive or dead.”

Cathy sighed and motioning for Kasia to sit down next to her on an antique love seat, she held Kasia’s young hands in her wrinkled ones, and told Kasia about the relationship between Scott Jeune and Kasia’s mother, Jolene.

“Scott and your mother went to highschool together. Jolene always had an infatuation with Scott since junior high school.Jolene went through an awkward phase before she turned fifteen. Ever since that age, your mother  was known as a classic beauty. She always reminded everyone of Grace Kelly. You have inherited her beauty, Kasia.” Cathy exclaimed.

“Jolene was wild in high school. Your Grandma couldn’t keep track of her comings and goings, before your Grandma died in a car accident. Jolene was extremely popular with all the boys and made all the girls jealous of her. She had a busy social life, and a new boy every couple of weeks. When Scott asked her out, Jolene was overjoyed. Their first date was the only time I’d ever seen her primp and beautify herself so much to go on a date….

Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon!

——

 

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Graffiti – “Art Without Subterfuge.”


I could paint you a brilliant picture in so many vibrant colours; I don’t know if you’ll like it, but it will still be art. And it might only be words. 

Art has such varied definitions. I’ll give you every kind. The tattoo  of a woman hair blowing, she flies across  your back and chest — one of my favourite species of art. 

Graffiti of the skin is truly sublime. Graffiti on the wall can be merely a mural. When I was in high school Art,  I painted murals across the school. I learned the texture of a  wall.

Michelangelo and Adam touching fingertips by the stairs. And a leafy haven enfolding items of art and drama. We viewed them both as art, glimmering and sublime. 

But the building changed functions and they painted over the murals. To them they were just tasteless high school meaningless graffiti. They weren’t works of art to liven up the solid, boring, white wall paint. Some people are boxed in by definitions of what art is and is not.

When I visited San Diego, under all the bridges was this fantastic and beautiful graffiti. It was art out loud and it was allowed to beautify a dirty place, under a bridge. It was enlightening, let them do graffiti. 

And I’m always wondering when an artist paints a mural to make an area prettier, why some kid has to ruin it spray painting orange profanities.

I guess to him his graffiti is a greater art. But to anyone who knows beauty, a terrible sin was created when he sprayed over a mural which told a story in paint already.

If you are going to do graffiti, you should do it at the right place or atleast do it well. 

I love it at the skateboard park when all those skinny skaters, bring their spray paint and go wild on the places they do flips and ollies. 

Graffiti can be outstanding a burst of skittle colors on blank pages of a building. Like the tattoo artists who create images of meaning on our body, there can be so much meaning behind Graffiti.

And it should be allowed because art is a personal freedom. If you have the skill to electrify and colourize any white surface professionally or learning, let the artist work. Let them rain beauty. 

As a girl who has done some art and knows something on the subject, I can tell you the kind of tools and subject matter is different with every person for any drawing or painting done in art. 

And you can see the varied methods of art when we explore collages, or twisted metal sculptures. Rooms of installations with the sounds of birds chirping and flying.

You can see art in the artists who stand still for many hours, when we light up a bridge or tower, when the sky springs with pride on our country’s birthday with fireworks.

You can’t fit art in one place. It is everywhere and everything. Art is people kissing and the way the sunlight hits their faces. Art is old men walking, and the heart and effort it takes to walk with a healing hip.

Art is graffiti. It is any kind of inspiration that can be found or can be given. It is crazy thoughts we think will never work. But one day they do. In a starburst of evolution art is created.

So give me more graffiti, as long as it’s quality. As long as for me, it’s beauty. Art is central to the individual as the butterfly tattoo on your hip. Or the poppy tattoo you can’t quite convince yourself to get.

Put Graffiti on white spaces. Like the little guys who put crayon and felt tips on their mother’s walls. 

Spray paint a glorious vision of passion and reality; the metaphysical delusions that only make sense to you.

Spin for me a radiant vision of a catastrophe honoured or a special day realized. Make your art poetry, make poetry graffiti.

You can spray the truth and I’ll write it without subterfuge. I’ll give you a blast of colour, shape, line, form, and design with my words. 

My words are the spray paint and I’m painting your soul. A spectacular illusion of light and space that alludes to deeper meanings and all the colours celebrate. 

The beauty that is Graffiti. 

——-

©Mandibelle16.All Rights Reserved.

Poem: “Beautiful for him.”



This is the day before I meet you, this is a day we could remember someday down the road. But lets meet first.

I have showered using fragrant shower gel; I have scrubbed my body and my face. I have shaved and waxed so carefully all to have the smoothest skin you’ve ever touched.

I am slathering myself up in sweet smelling body butter, my toes are a pedicured gold and my fingernails passion pink.

My hair has been washed and conditioned twice, and towel dried before I put my products in (spray in conditioner and moose).

I have blow-dried my hair carefully to get volume in the back. Rolling the brush around my blonde strands before curling them artfully with a curling rod.

My face is tonerized, moisturized, serumized, and I have used makeup primer, there’s no way my makeup is coming off.

I have delicately put on foundation, concealer, and barely there eye shadow. I made my makeup subtle with a light pink lipstick — I don’t want my lipstick to show up on you.

I wanted to look natural because men like their woman not to look overdone. But I know an extra coat of mascara makes my eyes look bigger.

I sprayed on my favourite perfume Chance by Chanel and sprayed my hair loosely in place. Just enough, you can run your fingers through it.

I am dressed casually so it looks as if I didn’t try too hard. But you know that casual is hard work. Well I’ll know, you’ll glance at the time on your phone in the car for the third time. . .

—–

But then, you’ll call to say that we cannot meet today, you are going away. After, I was getting ready for you. To make a good impression.

You said this to me so last minute, I thought maybe you don’t wan’t to meet me for real. But I remembered you said you thought I was cute.

So here am I, dressed up with no place to go. That’s the last time I dress and beautify myself for a man. Next time I’ll only do it for me.

That’s what I say, until the next guy I like…

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.