This is a piece of micro-fiction I wrote recently, just a bit of fun really. It has no connection with my Work in Progress!

Lisa put the finishing touches to her makeup, and fetched the beautiful new red dress. She slipped it over her head, wriggled carefully into place, and stood in front of the mirror to make the final adjustments, straightening lacy straps and smoothing silky wrinkles.

There was an impatient toot from the taxi outside. She took a cream pashmina to keep her shoulders warm, and the bag and shoes that she had bought that morning. “Gorgeous,” she thought, making one last check in the hallway mirror, and hoped that Peter would agree. She went outside and closed the door behind her.

Approaching the theatre, the taxi slowed to a crawl: there was an obstruction, no-one was moving. After several minutes of little progress, she saw the lights of their destination fifty yards ahead, and a knot of cars and taxis gnarled up in the street outside.

The cabbie turned to face Lisa: “Sorry, love, this might be as close as I can get. Are you ok to walk from here?”

She paid the fare, and stepped between parked cars onto the pavement, outside a building that was being renovated. Scaffolding reached far up into the night, and the wind whistled through the alleyway formed by builder’s boards.

High above her head, there were signs the workmen had left in a hurry. A pile of unused bricks, a bucket of water, a loose scaffolding pole.

There was a sudden gust of wind: the pole slipped onto the bricks, the bricks hit the bucket, and the bucket crashed to the level below. Here its descent was halted, but the water continued, a great gobbet of filthy slime that fell towards the ground. And Lisa.

She screamed, a howl of anguish that was heard all the way down the street at the theatre. Peter, who had just arrived, thought there was something familiar in that dreadful wail, and rushed to investigate.

And then he saw her: Lisa, the ruined red dress, and the tears that were beginning to carve a path through the mud that covered her face.

“My dear,” he said. “I see the problem.”

“You’re suffering from Post Traumatic Dress Disorder.”