Friday, December 14

Nude Woman Bathing

by Emma Ballantine


The soap slipped from Persephone's hand as she tried to wash. It was difficult with a circle of art gallery patrons staring at her, and more than once she lost the slippery thing underneath the surface. There were not going to be enough bubbles – that much was becoming clear. She scrabbled in the bottom of the bath, painfully aware that the more soap dissolved in the bath, the quicker the foam would disappear. Worse still, the heat was being slowly exhaled into the cavernous vaults of the gallery, and goose-bumps were beginning to mar the smooth sheen of her shoulder-blades which, after all, was the part of the reason she was there in the first place. Across the gallery floor the much-lauded Irving Gallant was eating canapĂ©s and explaining her. She shot him a look which he laughed at, popping an olive into his mouth. Somebody took a photograph.

At last, when every bubble and every canapé had vanished, Irving shook his last hand of the day, posed for his last photograph, and came over with a towel.

"I love you", he said, by way of reconciliation, "but a bet's a bet".

Emma Ballantine is a third year English undergraduate who writes when she should be working.


Bob Jacobs said...

A sweet litle tale, Emma, nicely written.

I couldn't help thinking that someone should buy Persephone soap-on-a-rope for Christmas. It used to be all the rage.

'Glup' is a great opening line, along with the soap slipping from her hand.


Bob Clay said...

I agree. You have to luv any story that starts with the word 'Glup'.