General Fiction posted June 29, 2012

This work has reached the exceptional level
contest for Lady in Black


by gramalot8

For years I have performed every Saturday night in a little theater called "Martha's Off Broadway". Martha had been my very first love. We started in theater together when we were both just out of high school. Our love for theater and for each other grew over the years. Eventually we married and shortly after that Martha inherited the old theater from her Grandfather.

The theater is now starting to show its age, but it still has lots of character. I love the long red velvet curtains that hang elegantly from the stage front. If you look really close, you can see many fine stitches that have been hand sewn along the seams. They've kept those beautiful curtains from fraying due to many opening and closing nights. Dark oak wood is the main decor of the small but enchanting theater. Red velvet seats, carefully chosen by Martha to match the curtains, are worn down to a satiny shine from loyal theater goers. Black and red carpet runners cover the well-worn oak floors. If you look close enough you will see the dim light from three tarnished chandeliers reflecting on the cobwebs hiding in every corner of the room.

Although the theater was our first love, Martha had one other dream she longed to accomplish in her life. She wanted to become a pilot. Since the theater was only open on Saturday nights, she took the opportunity to take flying lessons during the week. She had a fantastic flight instructor, flew well over the demanded course hours and passed her flight tests with amazing skill and grace.  I'll never forget how cute she always looked in her flight suit.  But my favorite look was her  in those big black aviator glasses. She would flirtatiously put them on, then slyly pull them down on the tip of her nose and blow me a quick kiss.

But, unlike Martha, I was totally afraid of flying. Martha would always make fun of me, begging me to come along for just one trip. I wish to this day that I had taken her up on her offer. She was a very safe, proficient pilot, and I knew I'd be just fine, but I just couldn't do it.  So, no, while she was off learning to fly, I stayed safely on the ground, making sure the theater was in top shape for performances every Saturday night.

On one of her flights, she ended up stranded in a private airport in upstate New York.  She had flown there to attend a birthday party for one of her dearest friends, Aggie.  Aggie had retired from the theater world in New York and moved to the country.  Martha had planned on flying back home right after the party. It was late on Friday night and a storm was starting to move in. According to the local weather reports, all small, private planes were advised to stay grounded.   But Martha was stubborn and she knew if she didn't get back on Friday night, she would miss dress rehearsal on Saturday morning.  She always prided herself with the fact that she had never missed a rehersal or performance and one little storm wouldn't be stopping her.  She had taken her favorite black cocktail dress to change into for the party and, as she explained on the phone to me before she took off, she wouldn't take time to change into her flight clothes.  If she hurried, maybe she would be ahead of the storm front.  She assured me that she'd be just fine.  She never missed a performance right? 

I closed the theater shortly after her funeral.   Now, when  I perform my solo act every Saturday night, I perform only for Martha. She looks so beautiful sitting there on those red velvet seats wearing her favorite black cocktail dress. And she's cute as ever when she shyly pulls her black aviator glasses down to the tip of her nose and blows me a kiss for good luck.

Cool Chicks Wear Black contest entry


A love that never ends in the mystic world of theater. Thanks to google image for my picture.
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