Monday, 7 November 2011

Into the photoframes

I had always admired the photo frame on my mother's mantle. Our house was large, and old, and in the front parlour, on the mantle peice were three framed photographs. One was of my parents, another of the family and one, in the middle, of me.
At least they said it was me. It didn't look like me. The girl in the photo was younger, much younger, but that wasn't what made her different. Her brown eyes sparkled, even in the photo frame, and her dimples cheeks looked barely frozen.
There was other strange moments with the photo of a younger me too. Sometimes, when Mother held a high tea in the parlour, I'd sit in, dressed to the nines as expected. The teas were awfully dull though, many minutes would pass simply in silence as ladies sipped at sweet black tea and ate miniscule, sugar frosted cakes.
It was in these stifling moments strange things would occur. As I'd sit, my tea cold and appitite dead, I'd heave my chest to sigh-but oh! I'd been beaten to it! My gaze would rush to the mantle, always the source of the sighs, where little Carla would be. Her shoulders would shrug, her big eyes blink, and the frozen smiling face return once more.
No one else ever heard the sighs. Or saw the shrugs. Or saw the blinks. It reoccured several times till my superego passed it off as an illusion of boredom.
After one particulary dull afternoon tea (Lady Morton complained of uneven batter in the cakes) Mother instructed me to change my dress and dust the parlour lightly please, before the afternoon maids attend to it themselves.
I took to my duty gloomily, annoyed at the waste of a brilliant afternoon. I might have been out with Thomas, my friend next door, picking apples from the old orchard.
My duster tickled over the glass of the photos, removing every suspicious speck of dust. Bored, I thought to myself. Bored, bored, bored.
Then there was an intake of breath, and a sneeze! I jumped, and my sudden movement startled the little Carla in the middle photoframe. Her right arm wiped at her nose, while the left stuck out in front, eyes on me.
"May I have a tissue please?"

To be continued...

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