The basement of the church smelled of natural gas and mildew. It smelled of dust and grease and the memories of thick perfume. The air dripped with sadness. Thick poles propped up the ceiling where it sagged and Opal wondered who propped up those left behind when somebody died. Before her, neat rows of tables were covered with white plastic cloths and grimy gold salt and pepper shakers.
Della the stalwart bustled across the floor, soundless sensible shoes betraying nothing, her flowered dress bunching up about her middle. “I’ll take that for you,” she said, matter-of-factly grabbing the hem of her dress and yanking it down before taking the platter —a memory of her time in San Francisco—from her hands.
Della lifted the foil and sniffed suspiciously. “What is it?”
“Dim sum. I made it myself,” Opal said, wanting to please.
Della raised her eyebrows. “Come on,” she said and made her way to the buffet table overflowing with gelatin salads, tuna noodle casserole and meatloaf blanketed beneath thick slices of uncooked bacon.
Opal lagged behind, questioning her spike heels and the silk of her dress; questioning the dim sum and the fancy hand-painted platter. There were farmers gathered here. And farmers came to the table hungry for nourishment, not aesthetics. What the city considered beautiful the country found trivial. The country had no time for trivialities.
She sighed and slipped her diamond bracelet from her wrist. The town would shame her into conformity, just as the people of the city had so many years ago.This post was written in response to this week's Trifecta Challenge word: Shame.
Labels: fiction Trifecta Writing Challenge