Saturday, 7 November 2009

Lost Worlds 2

Social Services had spirited away the remains of the late, intestate Arthur Curtis. They had done as much as was humanly possible to reconnect the deceased to the living but had failed to trace any next of kin. And so they sent in the house clearing agency prior to redecorating and reallocating Arthur’s small, top floor council flat.

Henry Seasons and his assistant Marek took the lift, which for once was working. They left Martin in the van, a necessary precaution in the ASBO age. Both were habituated to the poignant nature of their work. They had encountered all kinds of unsettling interiors, from the squalid to the stomach turning. They were not prepared for Arthur’s eyrie.

At first sight it was the familiar, discreetly shabby last refuge of a UK senior citizen; the tired furniture; the yellowing table cloth on the tiny table; the vase of dried grasses on the narrow mantelpiece.

Then Marek opened up the sideboard. Inside were dozens of tiny ballerinas. Figurines, models, toys and dolls in porcelain, china, glass and latterly plastic. A riot of tiny dancers sequestered together, frozen in the middle of some wondrous performance.

They filled the kitchen cupboards, the chest of drawers in the bedroom, the bathroom cabinet, and the meter cupboard. Every private space was filled with Little Swans, Sleeping Beauties, Sylphides et al. Hundreds upon hundreds of them, in graceful poses, staring loftily into space. Henry and Marek looked at each other and shrugged.

Henry braved the heavy wardrobe; behind the rumpled suit, the faded tweed jacket and the formless twill trousers, hung a silvery tutu with glittering skirts. It too was sagging and well worn. Under it, Henry found a pair of battered silver ballet pumps, in a large size.

Arthur Curtis had danced his final solo.

This is our 70th posting


Chips - the Scheherazade of Sheen said...

Well done us, Oscar old pal! And everyone beautifully and appositely illustrated and presented. We'll be closing in on the Arabian Nights, soon.

Oscar Grillo said...

I Totally agree, old bean.

Bloody hell!!!...The verif. word is KILING (only one l)

No One In Particular said...

I had visions of the clearers swooping the figurines into bin liners, porcelain shattering indiscriminately.

Patricia said...

Maybe either Henry or Marek, intrigued, later decided to try on the tutu and ballet pumps in the privacy of their own home?

Oscar Grillo said...

And so did I.

Barbu said...

Inside us all is a sugar plum fairy

Patricia said...

Closing? I hope there are many more stories where these come from, please.