Day 21 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Give us insight into your character by describing their wardrobe.
Shannon: “Was grandma ever in any plays? I asked from the closet, pulling out an outfit with a black plastic cover and set it on the bed.
“Yeah. I’m sure it’s been mentioned to me a few times, but I have never been told many details. Why,” my father answered.
“I found a few of these in the back of closet,” I unzipped the cover, revealing a beautiful, green renaissance dress. “Looks like she’s held onto a few outfits.”
“Whoa,” my cousin, Amber, ran up. “She must have looked breathtaking in this,” she sprawled out the skirt to get a better look.
“Karen,” my dad called for his sister, who was looking through grandma’s photos, trying to figure out who should get what.
“Do you need something,” she questioned as soon as she was in the doorway.
“Do you know anything about the plays mom was in?”
She shook her head, sadly. “I used to ask, but she would always brush the conversation off. That women was so stubborn,” she wiped the corner of her left eye, and smiled. “But I did find some pictures. Why are you asking now?”
“Elise found some costumes,” my dad explained as Amber held it up to twirl dress around a bit.
“Oh my…” Karen didn’t finish her thought as put her hand over her mouth. “I asked her if she still had the costumes she made, and she told me she got rid of all of them.” She walked closer to examine its details. She smiled with a few more tears running down her face. “Let’s find out what else she kept.”
Erin: Tyler dressed for very few occasions, he always wore the same thing. A tee shirt and shorts would work for everything. Sometimes he would swap out his athletic shorts for khakis in events like formal weddings or awards ceremonies. If he really wanted to impress he would wear a polo shirt. His favorite combination was orange short and a black shirt with blue writing and a hole in the armpit.
I can remember a few times where he had to wear a button up and tie for a school performance. I would have said he looked nice, only all I could see was how stiff he was. Tyler wasn’t himself in those black pants, and I couldn’t blame him when he ripped them off the second he was home. Tyler may have been at risk for frostbite at times with his fashion choices, but at least he knew how he was happiest.
What you wear says a lot about you… I think they say that… What do you say?
I’d been searching through her dresses all morning; bright fascia numbers with frills, pale mint ball gowns and wild patterns with every colour imaginable. Still, nothing seemed just right. Looking through her rainbow of skirts and blouses in silky fabrics that made her look like a princess, I thought I’d narrowed it down to three sets. But when I saw them gracefully draped across her pink bedspread my throat closed up and the sobs ripped through my body again.
Now a ball gown in periwinkle near the top, transitioning through indigo to deep blue and purple, before it ended in jet black at the flared hem was spread out on her rouge armchair. Hanging on its hanger from the ceiling fan was a ghostly pale number with a sleek design that she hadn’t worn yet; it hovered like a ghost in the middle of the room, slowly twirling in the soft breeze. But there was also her favorite short, tight-fitting dress resting on her dresser that I couldn’t rule out yet.
The tight, shiny fabric of the last put me off and I thought about seeing her in it again; I couldn’t picture it and back into the stuffed closet it went. Now I had to pick between two pieces that made her look like a woman or royalty. Sighing gently to myself I slung the sleek dress over my shoulder and hung it on the bi-fold closet door as I decided on the princess gown. Faintly her jeans and tanks called out to me and I slipped a set of those into the overnight bag.
Turning now to her shoes I snatched a pair of simple runners to add to the dark denim and ripped tee and focused back on something to match the gown. Everything she owned went with something in her closet from her golden stilettoes that matched a flapper dress in the same shade to scuffed black leather boots that went with her ripped jeans. Finally I found the black flats with tiny periwinkle bows that worked with the night-sky dress. Throwing them in the bag I sighed, gazing at the familiar room fondly.
Jewelry was next; I had a big choice with this. The dress had a curved neckline but all her necklaces were long pendants and sparkly chokers. Half-heartedly I sifted through her messy drawer to find a short necklace with a sparkly star pendant that was perfect. My little star was going to be a star tonight. Deftly I plucked the matching earrings from the wall rack and placed them carefully beside the pendant.
Last was makeup. Checking my watch I realized I was almost late and just shoved one of her natural-shaded eyeshadows, mascara and lipstick into her makeup bag along with the jewelry and tossed it into my duffle bag. When I turned back, bag over shoulder and dress in hand I took in her bedroom again. The walls were full of posters, glow stars and twinkle lights that winked at me as the door shut.
Driving across town Darryl barely glanced over at me, holding it together more for my benefit than his, until we were parked. We sat there for almost half an hour before either of us spoke; we were both just lost in our own thoughts. “Honey,” his voice was hoarse and somber, “we need to be strong for her. She needs us to be strong.” When his creased hand was steadying my shaking ones I looked up into his red-stained baby blues. Tears had made permanent rivers from his eyes to his lips.
When I moved to get out he squeezed my fingers tightly before hopping out his side and grabbing the bag from the back. After we’d paid and walked in through the doors I was very conscious of everyone staring at me. Carrying a big, puffy ball gown through the sterile hallways every person we walked past smiled sorrowfully at us. Doors were held open and elevators halted as we made our way to her floor.
As our footsteps echoed in the empty hallway leading to her room I suddenly stopped mid-stride and fell to my knees. Darryl just stood in front of me letting me silently go to pieces. Together we grieved in our own ways; he was internalizing everything and withering away inside where I couldn’t keep it bottled up or I’d explode.
When I had dabbed up all the stray tears I could and fixed my mascara I squeezed Darryl’s soft hand and we took the last few feet in stride to the white and silver door marked 426. Turning the handle with my free hand and pushing it open we peered into the antiseptic room at our daughter. She lay in a complicated hospital bed with her arms hooked up to half a dozen machines that beeped and whirred quietly around her.
Stepping through the doorway as softly as we could we quietly padded up to the bed with hushed breathing. As I put my hand gently on her free fingers her bright blue eyes fluttered open wearily. When she smiled I nearly cried again but, biting my lower lip as hard as I could, I managed a weak smile back. “Mama. Papa,” she breathed, her lungs struggling to take in enough air to speak.
As she attempted to pull herself up to a sitting position I could almost see her bone peeking out of her emaciated wrists through the lines. Seeing the fabric behind my back her hollow eyes lit up and the pallid pallor of her skin flushed almost pink. Carefully I brought the gown out and laid it across her lap.
“It’s beautiful, mama,” she wheezed. Looking up into my shining eyes she took a deep, shaky breath, “Can I put it on now?” Without think about it I threw my arms around her gaunt body and sobbed into her pillows.
I pushed open the thick metal door to the rooftop patio and held onto one of her hands as Darryl held the other and wheeled her drip stand with the other hand. Dressed in the elegant gown with a festive kerchief wrapped around her bare head she was a princess when she staggered onto the rooftop. Twinkle lights were strung above our heads as we moved into the middle of the deck. I passed our daughter’s other had to Darryl as he swayed to the faint classical music playing from an unseen speaker.
She sighed as they swayed; looking up at the stars and twinkle lights and coughed softly. Leaning against a light stand I let the tears flow freely. When she let go of Darryl’s hand and beckoned me, smiling wearily, I was beside her instantly caressing her thin digits.
When she collapsed into my husband’s arms, with me holding on no matter what, she was finally at peace.
Levi stepped into the walk-in wardrobe of his employer’s estate, light spilling into the incredibly dark room. “Grayish blue suit with black tie, grayish blue suit with black tie, grayish blue suit with black tie.” He repeated to himself. He flicked on a switch and the wardrope’s lamps lit up. The wardrobe spanned a length of what Levi guessed a school bus. On the left side, rows of suits lined up in single file. Arranged in order from white, black, gray and blue; the last two at the far end. A shelf above that were several closed drawers. The right side was much more causal, short sleeved shirts and jerry’s, though all of them were the colour of blue, gray, black or white. “Oh boy…” Levi quietly mouthed.
He walked down the aisle of clothes until he was between blue and gray. He pulled out a sky-blue suit. “Um…too blue.” He returned and pulled another from the gray section. “Too gray.” He looked to the center of the two and found a distinct divide between the colour of suits. He randomly put the gray suit back on the gray side and pulled one from the center of the divide. A blue suit.
“Hey my man what’s cookin?” Levi spun around to see Carlen step in, his service shirt not tucked and his long hair spilling around to his shoulders. “Admiring the boss’s wardrobe?”
Levi sighed. “No, Peterson Graves wanted me to find a blue gray suit with a black tie for an appointment with someone.” He pulled out another gray suit. “Shouldn’t you be working down near the kitchen?”
“Nah man, the chef wanted me to get out of the kitchen for awhile. Help around the place.” He meandered up to Levi. “Found a suit yet?”
Levi turned back to looking for suits, shaking his head. “There’s gray and then blue, but nothing that’s both gray AND blue.” He waved in his two hands a stone grey and an aqua blue suit. “Still have to find the tie.”
“Aww man that’s easy!” He pointed at the two suits and made a smashing motion. “Just put them in the washer together!”
Levi blankly stared at Carlen, dead panned. “Mr.Graves needs this suit and tie in twenty minutes.”
“Oh. Then I can’t help ya.” Carlen shrugged nonchalantly. “What about shoes?”
Levi perked up. “Shoes?”
“Yeah! Shoes.” Carlen brought his socked foot with sandals. “Like, the things that go on the ends of your feet.”
Livi shook his head putting the gray suit away. “Probably black shoes.” He opens a drawer above him and pulled it out, revealing a mixed batch of blue and gray tie. “Nope not here.” Put the drawer back and ignored Carlen as he walked back to the black suit section.
Carlen leaned over Livi’s shoulder as he pulled out the drawer for the black ties. Livi turned around. “Would you please?” Livi eyed his co-worker with daggers. Carlen taking a few steps away as he smiled stupidly. Livi breathed. “Thank you.” Setting the drawer down, he pulled out a black tie. “Done.” Pushing the drawer back into it’s spot, he stepped out of wardrobe room as Carlen followed, flicking a switch as the room was engulfed in darkness before closing the door shut.
Created to Write:
Heather has always been one to keep things of sentimental value with her. Each object is small, seemingly insignificant to someone else, and always is from someone she holds close to her heart.
The first object are green and silver glasses. Heather has perfect vision, always has. But her best friend Kate had those glasses, until Heather lost her before they started high school. So, Heather keeps the glasses and wears them sometimes when she misses her friend.
Another is a denim vest, which was given to her by a couple friends. She and Jacey wanted to match one day for an event, so Jacey got her the vest, while Jacey had a jacket that day. But, being the overprotective uncle he is, Tony added a super thin bullet proof armor as a lining. Heather was perturbed at his paranoia, but still wears it. Josh added his own thing to it by stitching the Japanese symbol for wolf over where her heart would be.
Heather typically wears boots, but the pair depends on what she’s doing. During work, she has her ‘barn boots’ so she can step in anything smelly. For casual times, she has sturdy boots that she keeps clean. Nikki provided stylish boots for when the girls go out, or if August takes her on a date. And then there are her steel-toed combat boots, which she kept from her previous uniform. She loves the feel and how she can move in them, and even wears them at casual times. The winter editions of them have hidden skates, too.
Her hair is either in a snug braid bun, a braid down her shoulder, a ponytail, half up, half down, or down completely. Whenever her hair is in need of a clip, she uses one that’s made of molded leather with some small blue gems embedded into collected points. Her mother got her it for her seventeenth birthday. Heather wants to appreciate her efforts more.
Heather wears lots of plaid, with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, on the farm. She has other shirts, paired with jeans, and sometimes wears the occasional dress when she feels it. But she always goes back to her country girl roots, remembering her grandparents.
On her left hand, she has a ring she got when she was sixteen. She told her parents she wanted it, to symbolize her devotion to wait for the right man and stay true to God. Kate was going to get one two, but she never did. On the ring, there are two light blue gem hearts and the words ‘Love Waits.’ It is the last thing her father gave her, and though she lost it, she’ll keep the memory in her heart.
Heather isn’t a jewelry person unless it means something, like the ring. So there are two necklaces that Heather refuses to take off. One is a simple metal cross on a thin chain. The other, is a pair of dog tags Steve gave her before she returned home.
Though she is not ready, and neither is August, there is one object that she knows is in her future. A ring, not to replace her other one, but to promise the future she promised to wait for is right around the corner.