Taffeta

This is a weird thing to post, and I wrote it quite a while ago, but for some reason I kind of like it. I started writing the fiction and was listening to music until I realized that I could see the scene taking place like in a movie, and I decided that I wanted to write it like that, so that if someone read it they would see what I saw– and, ladies and gentlemen, my first ever (and only) snippet of a screenplay was born. The fiction comes first. Feel free to tell me which you like better. I highly recommend listening to this song while you read.

——-

“Taffeta”

It was prom night, and it wasn’t raining. Alisha had done all the right work– getting a dress that cost too much, accessorizing, and piling on the black eyeliner. It was a masquerade ball, but she didn’t have a mask–all the work she had done was her mask. No one would recognize her, someone who, in all four years of high school, hadn’t done any work for her look.

And anyway, she didn’t ever intend to actually get to the prom. She thought maybe what would happen was that she would walk out her front door, and down the street, and go as far as she could before something better came along. She estimated that wouldn’t take long.

No one was downstairs, so she didn’t have to say goodbye to any family members or deal with questions. She checked the mail on the counter and opened a letter from a college in Oregon, the only college to which she sent an application, which said she had been accepted with a scholarship that would pay half of tuition.

Alisha sat down and stayed so still that for a moment she swore she could feel her heartbeat in her tongue. She hoped it would be a “little did she know” night. There was a pack of cigarettes on the table and a lighter, so she took one and lit it lazily.

 

SCREENPLAY:

 

Credits interspersed with shots of the heroine, Alisha, getting ready for prom– classy black dress, silver jewelry, lots of makeup– during “No One’s Ever Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses. (Actress: Ellen Page)

Alisha comes downstairs. She has bad posture and hangs her head, but kind of bounces down the stairs in a way we wouldn’t expect. There is a half-circle table against the wall by the door, which is right by the foot of the stairs. There are magazines on it, a small pile of letters, an open pack of cigarettes, and a cheap Bic lighter.

She picks up the pile of letters and tosses them back on the table one by one, until one near the end of the pile, which she holds on to and drops the rest. She opens it and reads it. A camera shoots the letter up close, and we see “congratulations” in all caps and a wavy word art font that doesn’t go with the music, the mood, or Alisha’s constantly uninterested attitude.

She drops the pages and envelope back on the table and slumps in a chair, putting her feet up on another one. Her head lolls against the back of the chair until she rolls it and looks at the pack of cigarettes. The song ends as she reaches for the pack, then she takes a cigarette and lights it. She re-crosses her legs and the taffeta of the dress rustles loudly.

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Taffeta

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