#64 Phalaenopsis Aphrodite

by Rine Karr

Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 began playing on the piano in the sitting room, breaking the silence that had settled upon the house since early that morning. The notes, F, E♭, F, seemed to drift from room to room with the gentle summer draught. The noonday sun, which was drawing deep shadows on the floor, had all but overwhelmed the gray-blue morning light.

Catherine spiritedly ran up the main spiral staircase whilst swallowing a biscuit from morning tea. A letter addressed to her had arrived at breakfast, and although she had been scolded for missing the meal, she would not have had an appetite for eggs and bacon in any case.

A slight smile formed on her cerise lips. The corners of her mouth upturned, transforming Cupid’s bow into a straight line and softening her features. She held the curled fingers of her left hand to her chest, pressing lightly at the cream-colored cloth of her nightgown. Her right hand earnestly held the creased letter; its red wax seal was now broken and smeared.

Catherine read the contents of the letter mirthfully and heedlessly. Her form shifted abruptly, colliding with a demilune table positioned near the top of the stairs. A Chinoiserie vase on the table clattered, causing a yellowing leaf to come away and fall from the white orchid within. Catherine hastily steadied the vase with her left hand.

Phalaenopsis aphrodite, Catherine thoughtfully mused. Isn’t it the most beautiful day?

5 comments:

Amelia said...

Wonderfully written

mistralwind said...

Very nicely written. Makes you wonder what's in the letter and want to read more.

Anonymous said...

As others say, very nicely written. It has a good flow, and introduces the character succinctly without overloading the reader with detail. And it has one of my favorite devices - it left me wondering what else was going on. Who is playing the piano? Who wrote the letter, and more importantly, what was in it? There are a couple of typos, but they don't distract the eye. One little criticism I have is the use of the word "cerise". It's appropriate, yes, and well placed as a descriptive, but it seems a little modern? In the context of the piece as it is written. Overall, though, a very good piece. With only a tiny bit of polish, it would stand out in some of the publishing magazines as one of the better submissions.

Oh, and your mum pointed me in this direction. Blame her for the overly enthusiastic critique. ;)

Katie said...

Thank you for the comments and constructive criticism. It is always very helpful to receive feedback from others.

Aerin said...

So much detail, such specificities. Definitely set the scene - I feel as though there's an entire book here. Keep going!