a spring in her step by ingridfnl

20 Jun

Margaret awoke with a start to the smell of magnolia blossoms. She felt unusually alert. Her eyes flicked to ceiling and the familiar water stains the brocaded the corner above her bed. She smiled to herself. They’d grown familiar, comforting even.

Margaret prepared herself for usual painful steps out of bed, with cramped feet and aching hips. She swung her legs over the side of her bed, and pushed her feet into her slippers and stared down at them incredulously.

Her feet were… young. She held her hands out in front of her, and saw her own young strong hands. The only familiar thing was her worn wedding rings, now loose on long thin fingers… fingers that were no longer gnarled but straight and strong. She clenched her hands into fists and opened them again, luxuriating in their painlessness.

She leaped up and ran, not walked, not shuffled, but ran to the bathroom and the full length mirror. She stood and stared, incredulous at her younger self–her younger self dressed in a frumpy flannel nightgown, her hair in a long braid over her shoulder, now dark, her eyes wide and incredulous.

She touched her face and started laughing. Surely this was a dream. Surely this was not happening.

She pulled her nightgown over her head and stared at her young body. Not perfect, still a bit wide in the hip, but young and much more beautiful than she had ever remembered. Oh how wonderful to have breasts that did not slide down towards her waist. How lovely to have a straight spine. How fantastic to not sway except for in amazement. “Oh Lord Frank. What would you have made of this?”

She didn’t know what to do, but did not know how much longer this dream would last. She knew. She would have a shower. She had almost slipped a few years earlier and since then had had only baths carefully stepping in using a maze of hand rests and special anti-slip doohickeys that were tightly bolted throughout her bathroom.

Now, she fairly leaped into the tub and joyously turned on the shower, luxuriating in the hot water coursing over her face. She sneered quickly at the old-lady scented soap and baby shampoo, for her now lithe body and thick dark hair, and thought to herself, “I’m getting used to this a little to quickly.” She longed for something spicy scented and youthful.

After her shower, she attempted to choose clothing but firmly rejected the sweater sets, modest skirts and orthopedic shoes. Even worse were the underpants which were so large that she laughingly brought them under her arms. In a flash of inspiration she found a garment bag at the back of her closet. It held her favorite dress from the 1970s: a purple and green paisley mini dress for which she even had matching purple boots.

She wasn’t quite sure how to solve the underwear dilemma, so she took out a pair of pantyhose and chopped off the legs. She then donned the dress and boots and went to the bathroom to take a look. She was so pleased that her face immediately flushed with pleasure. As happy as she was with the outcome of last nights sleep, she was still not sure what to do with this… this gift… this weird ‘happening’ that would not allow her to continue her life as it was.

Her doorbell rang and she ran to the door and opened it without thinking. It was Paul, her neighbor.

He grinned at her, and said, “Hi, you must be Margaret’s niece. You look just like her.”

Old Margaret, the Margaret inside could not have been more pleased with the compliment, with the thought that old Margaret had some spark of her youth. And suddenly, Margaret knew exactly what she would do next, “Won’t you come in, dear,” she said, cringing at the word dear.

***
We originally met Margaret in “The Smell of Cinnamon”.

I really feel like I want to develop this story more, so I’ll probably add to it later this week. I know she didn’t end up with a typical “superpower”… but now I want to see what she does with her new-found youth.

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One Response to “a spring in her step by ingridfnl”

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  1. taken aback by ingridfnl | the character project - June 27, 2010

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