This piece comes from my upcoming paranormal short story collection. The story is entitled Beauty is Pain and is about a woman who works at a creepy old house in a historic town with a very dark and secretive past. This anthology is currently untitled, but keep an eye out for more information!
This year, under Lena’s charge, the ball was actually planned to take place in the large garden behind the home – giving patrons a view of the stunning waterfall that could be seen from the home’s elevated position. Of course, the undertaking of such a project had proved to be a bit overwhelming – causing Lena to call for help, in the form of her best friend Jennifer – to help finish hanging the lanterns in the trees behind the home.
“Do you have your ensemble all taken care of?” Lena veered the subject back to the upcoming ball.
“Mm-hmm. Just wait till you see this dress.” Jennifer boasted. “Girl, you are not going to believe it. I had to drive like three hours to find a shop with a dress this spectacular – but seeing everyone’s faces tomorrow night will make it worth every mile of the trip. How about you? Got yours all sorted?”
“Sort of.” Lena winced a bit. “I got a little tied up, but Ms. Mattingly promised to hold one of the vintage dresses at her antique store for me. I just have to go pick it up tomorrow. Fingers crossed it fits.”
“And it isn’t hideous.” Jennifer scrunched her nose, giggling. “Have you seen what that woman wears to church?”
“I’m sure it will be okay.” Lena chuckled. “Right?”
“Just call me when you pick it up. If it’s disgusting – we’ll go all Princess Diaries on its ass.” Jennifer mimicked scissors with her fingers. “Chop, chop.”