Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Seventh Goddess

It was a shock when Reya Guerin first retired. Her final career, the one she now abandoned, was for younger women, those more lithe of body and spirit. She'd come from a dark place, into the light but it was time to go back to her roots. Her face belied its fifty-something age and, were she totally honest with herself, she'd been talking about a sea change for a very long time.  She hailed from the sea, longed to return to the sea. The city had been harsh, and kind but she craved the comforts of 'home.

Reya was still an attractive woman, curvey in all the right places, a little too much in some. Her complexion slightly olive and suited to the sun, her toes polished, her lips glossed and a shock of madly unruly greying hair cascading down her shoulders that usually found itself clipped loosely in an 'up do' or a rough pony tail. She dressed modestly, apart from what lay beneath. Over the years, she'd lost her inhibitions and was prepared to go just a little crazy.

It was her last evening in the city and she sat and enjoyed a farewell drink with  a close friend.

"Strange how we both began don't you think? Even stranger how we've both ended up, who'd have thought." 

"Cheers and good luck Reya, you deserve a break, I wish you all the success in the world."

The two conservatively dressed women, chinked glasses, one rose and kissed the other farewell.  Both women had blushed slightly at the thought that beneath their loose jumpers and 'Not Your Daughter's Jeans', there was silk and lace, a veritable goddess buried beneath, yet discreetly hidden from view. Well, apart from a tantalising hint of strap, or flash of lace through an unbuttoned shirt. Yes, underwear was Reya's thing, despite it's frivolity, it made her feel feminine and sexy, and for a large part of her life had influenced just about everything.

Still despite these moments of saucy reflection, Reya was hard-working, adventurous, empathic, warm, affable. From adversity comes opportunity, and a little sea-side business could be the beginning.

In fact, she could do whatever she wanted to do.  Cashed up, free to choose - the thought daunting but exciting, she decided on a little road trip. She packed an overnight bag, jumped in the Corolla and took off seaward, in search of a business. Perhaps a Bed and Breakfast, a youth hostel or a small farm where tourists could stay and feed chickens and lambs. She had no idea but rang an agent, made the necessary appointment to visit a number of properties and, off she went.

Wiseman's Cove was one of those betwixt and between coastal villages. Not quite sure of its identity. Once the respite of wealthy city holidaymakers it had it's share of astute buildings and lovely 1930's surf pools. Also, it was the venue for the Saturday shopping spree for local farmers, happy to travel forward and commune over a beer while the 'wives' bought the weekly supplies. It had also become a home for artisans and gays, a travel spot for surfers and strays. Just about anyone could be found in Wisemans. Its small population being tolerant and eclectic, the beach open and welcoming. No paid parking and no ranger's to chase off the odd Combi or campervan.

 Reya saw herself taking up photography and watercolours in her free time. Sipping Latte and people-watching. Drinking with the locals, providing some sort of service to the community. Just being part of a little town with a big heart. Instead of a little heart, in a big town. It was a town she knew well, although those from her past were now few and far between.

It had the look and feel of many an Australian coastal hamlets. A beachfront boardwalk with a shower on the pathway and manicured parkland. A main street and crossroad, like so many others, with a pub on each corner.   Coffee shops and galleries. The odd boutique, surf shop and ironmongery. No signs of the big corporations that had so invaded the suburbs.  A surf side gem that hadn't yet been spoiled by multiplex shopping centres. A  Beamer parked next to a ute, protected by a bullish dog was not an uncommon site nor was a panel van collapsing under the weight of surfboards parked next to a Smart Car. She liked that about Wiseman's Cove, a town for everyone. It hadn't always been that way.  These days, it was the perfect retreat from the bustle, yet quiet enough for the locals to enjoy its parochial charm.

Of the four pubs in town, one was typically adorned with green ceramic tiles and still had "Ladies Lounge" emblazoned on one of the doors. A sure sign that women were still not welcome in the "Public Bar". The other on the corner opposite had a fancy wine bar and a vegetarian restaurant that ironically also sold Wood Fired Pizzas. The third was, to her mind, a little dilapidated and graffiti'd. In no small part due to the comings and goings of backpackers and surfers, hosteling on the first floor. Below a seedy Irish bar advertising pole dancers and topless servers on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The fourth boasted "Family Atmosphere" and "Home Cooked Meals and Comfortable Rooms". It was here, at the Settler's Arms that she booked a room for three nights. Well enough time to survey the potential for a business.

Refreshed after a good night's rest and a dinner of roast pork and apple sauce and home-made sticky date putting with double cream, Reya dressed conservatively but casually. First, in her delightfully cool and ever-so-pretty lace trimmed bra and pants before hiding their frivolous niceties beneath a crisp white shirt and smart grey pants that would tell the agent, with home she had an appointment at 10am, that she was a serious business woman with serious intent. He didn't care. Women never bought, even if they did control the purse strings, and this one was ruining his Saturday. At least she had a nice ass for a woman her age.

First, there was the hobby farm. A little too far inland and the stench of the unwashed. Despite a love of animals, this venture was soon struck off the list. Helped in no small part buy a large aggressive ram who refused to let her pass, half a dozen screaming urchins, more mud than a pig could use, and an owner who was facing foreclosure and less than happy to see his dream plot go under.

The second was a Bed and Breakfast, ready to go and certainly looking the part. Five sweetly decorated bedrooms, a dining room and ample kitchen. A nice view of the ocean from the veranda. She began to think that this could be it.  The odour of camphor was a little off putting and the small white dog attempting to shag her leg distracting, but with a little work, it could be right.

"What number is this?" She asked the disinterested Agent, who was confident his Saturday was being wasted by the whims of a woman who had no intention of moving forward on a deal. 

"Er, 28 Bluegum Way. Why?"

"I'm a little superstitious when it comes to numbers. Not a good omen for me. And can someone get this Shitsu off my leg?"

She was a little serious about the number. The number of years she'd slogged in jobs she hated, the amount she'd earned for an hour of exposing her body, the age she'd made the worst decision of her life.  She brushed past the offensive little man with a confidence that surprised even her. 

The final property was run down. One of those old country stores where you could buy just about everything from kettles to skeins of wool. Clearly not patronised by anyone other than the locals. It smelled of mothballs and tea, with the slight tinge of kerosene. But this shop was familiar. She'd been here before, or maybe dreamed of it before. The moment she walked through its door, she saw potential and an opportunity to restore it to it's former 70's glory. Spacious with delightful polished timber floors and bay windows perfect for displays.   Her imagination cleared the space, installed hangars and change rooms, painted it, washed shabby chic white, put a red velvet chaise lounge in one corner, a chandelier in the centre, diffusing fabulous soft light. The possibilities for a boudoir were endless. She would restore it to it's former glory.

"Is there a lingerie shop in town?"

The now bored agent, moved his head without moving his body and raised his eyebrows. It was the oddest pose that made him look rather like a ventriloquist's puppet.

"I beg your pardon?"

"Is there a lingerie shop in town, you know knickers, bras, nighties, corsets, sex toys . . .fashion for the bedroom?"

"Mrs Guerin. I do know what lingerie is, and no, I don't believe there is."

"What about chain stores, you know 'Bra's n Things' or 'Sleep n Play' Any competition?

"Nothing like that here." Piped up a little voice behind her.

 A rather plain young woman, previously sweeping floors and tidying shelves introduced herself as Iris.

"No, there's nothing like that here. It's all surf shops and frock shops, farmers and beer. It would be wonderful to have a store like that. Full of pretty things.

Reya once again turns to the agent, "What number's this property?"

"Number 7 Mrs Guerin. Number 7"

Reya turned to the slight young woman leaning waifishly on her broom.

"Perfect. This place is remarkable. I'll take it. We'll polish it up, stock it full of lace and give it the name it so deserves."

And so, behind the dusty windows of a hardware  and haberdashery, The Seventh Goddess was born. 


Muse 1 "The Seventh Goddess"

Muse 2 "The Forensics of Spume"
Muse 3 "The Way of the North"  
Muse 4 "Virginal Zoophilia"   
Muse 5: "Stakes and Lies  
Muse 6: "A Meal of Her Loins"   
Muse 7: "Controlled Burn" 
Muse 8: "Ghastly Truths"  
Muse 9: "To Bury a Mountain"

6 comments:

  1. The descriptive prose in the first 75% of this is expert, but you get a little lazy as soon as you start describing the businesses that are for sale. That said, good character, good start.

    Your commas remain despicably atrocious.

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  2. I like your style dear. Your muse here is far more evident than mine

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  3. Your use of punctuation is rather inventive. I thought there were a few repetitions of points and also some head hopping. Otherwise, I really like the main character and totally understand where she is coming from.

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  4. You have been saving up! Nice push of a start.
    (And, I'm appreciating the well placed typos. ;)

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  5. Noticed a number of typos, but otherwise enjoyed the set-up.

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