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These pages are a collection of stories from the Writer's Group at Box Hill U3A.

The Little Red Dress

"Jason. Hurry up. Your breakfast's getting cold."
"Just coming." He comes into the kitchen and notices the boiled eggs have covers on.
"Where on earth did you find those? They're absolutely, dare I say quaint?"
"I found them when I was sorting out some things of Mum's and decided to keep them, as I recall how she loved knitting. It was just something to remember her by. I'm glad you like them."
Jason lifts off the first cover with a flourish, and says, "I'm sure she would be thrilled if she could see how her works of art have been saved for posterity." "Why are you always so sarcastic? You seem to have a spiteful propensity to belittle what you consider to be mundane. I've told you before, the world is full of different kinds of people and they all have their part to play, no matter how humble they are."
" I wish I could be more like you. It doesn't take much to please you. But I need something a bit more intellectually stimulating than a couple of knitted egg covers. Now, what are we doing today?"
"I have to find a dress to go with the new shoes I bought last year. I haven't worn them yet. The big night is on Saturday so I thought we'd go shopping and maybe find something suitable to go with them."
Jason stifles a yawn and says, "We can go to Chadstone if you like. I'm sure Myer or David Jones will have something suitable."
They do the washing up between them and get ready to leave.

* * *

Once inside the large department store, they make their way to the ladies gown department. They are immediately accosted by a salesperson. She was very young and obviously eager to please.
"Can I be of assistance? "she says with a smile.
Jason fixes her with a basilisk stare and she immediately moves away. Meanwhile his partner has seen a beautiful dress, on display.
"It's exactly what I'm looking for. I've always wanted a red dress. What about the feathers and the sequins, don't you think they finish it off well? Which reminds me. You haven't told me yet what you're wearing." Jason replied with a cunning smile, "seeing as you'll be looking like Cinderella, what with your diamonte shoes and all, I've decided to go as one of the ugly sisters." Suddenly smirking with machiavellion anticipation, he said "You'll need to try the dress on won't you?"
"Must I? I'm sure it's the right size. We'll have to go through all that palaver about which change room to go in. You know what a fuss it caused last time. They were going to call the police. I can't go through all that again."
"You're too sensitive, that's the biggest problem. Me, I love to make a scene. Imagine the look on that stupid assistant's face when she sees you go into the ladies room. Go on lets have a laugh. She'll probably run for the manager."

That's exactly what she did, and when he arrived he said, "What seems to be the trouble?"
Jason as usual took control of the situation.
"My partner here wishes to try on this little red item. He's hoping to wear it on Saturday to a ball we've been invited to and needs to make sure it fits. It really is such a bore. There seems to be a problem about which change room he should use. We always have this fuss. One would think people would be used to it by now," he said scowling at the poor girl, who was by now quite mortified. The manager took the girl to one side and pointed out the commission she would receive, as the dress was very expensive. He explained that it was quite permissible for "Sir" to use the ladies rooms, as there was one vacant at the moment.
It would appear now that all would be well that ended well. Jeremy bought the dress and they left the shop well pleased. After they had gone the manager turned to the assistant and said.
"I'm absolutely devastated. I was hoping no one would buy that particular number. I'm just going to have to look for something else to wear on Saturday."

Pam Carpenter