Dancing in her garden is the tattered lace lady. Every night it’s the same thing. Always dancing, always wearing an old torn lace dress.
Her neighbour leaves a note complaining that her garden is too unruly, that it’s nothing but weeds.
“Not true,” says Michelle, the tattered lace lady the next day.
“If only you would accept my invitation to come over for wine and raspberry biscuits, then I could tell you all about my flowers.”
“No I can’t, but thank you.”
“You have an open invitation all summer, knock on the back gate anytime.”
The next evening, sitting by her side window, the neighbour watches the lady through binoculars. She’s wearing a long black lace dress, tiered like a cake, the bottom tier completely unravelling.
Has she never heard of a seamstress?
This time she’s dancing with two other ladies. Their feet are bare, their hair long and their faces happy-looking. It’s past eleven o’clock, well it’s three minutes pass eleven o’clock and the music is too loud:
But Every Time It Rains
You’re Here in My Head
Like The Sun Coming Out
Oh I Just Know Something Good Is Going to Happen
The neighbour decides that enough is enough. I mean how is she supposed to sleep with all this noise and mayhem? Not that she’s sleeping yet, but she could be, she could be trying to sleep – and that’s the point. She checks her face in the hall mirror, smooths her hair, then marches out.
Knocking on Michelle’s rainbow-painted gate, she’s ready to confront her.
The gate opens:
“Oh look, it’s you! How wonderful that it’s you! Join us at our Blood Moon Party! Come, take my hand.”
“Blood Moon party, is that some sort of witchcraft thing? I’m a Presbyterian so…”
“No, no, don’t worry. It’s just that Blood Moons are very special. They only happen twice a year. So we celebrate with pink champagne, berries and red velvet cake.”
They walk together under the rose-filled pathway to her yard. The coral flowers smelling like candies, begging to be plucked from their vines and eaten.
“Ladies, meet my lovely neighbour Pamela.”
“Welcome Pamela! I’m Jess and this is Christina, may I pour you a glass of champagne?”
“Oh well, I’m not much of a drinker, but I suppose one glass is alright, thank you.”
“May The Goddess of all Moons – The Blood Moon – know we are eternally grateful for her beauty, power and gifts.”
The four women raise their crystal glasses to Michelle’s toast.
The champagne is delicious, the bubbles dancing a little salsa on the tip of Pamela’s tongue.
“Shall we sit and eat cake and berries?” Michelle asks, leading them all to a table covered in – of course – tattered ivory lace.
“You love lace don’t you?” asks Pamela
Laughing, Michelle answers:
“I do, I do. In fact I’m going to a flea market next weekend in search of more lace. Do you want to come with me?”
Old stuff on tables. Dead people’s stuff. Was it at least washed, or did it smell? And really, how much tattered lace can one woman have? Maybe Michelle suffered from some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder.
“I would love to go, I’ve never been to a flea market before.”
Holy Hell, what am I doing? Well, it’ll be like an experiment. I’ll study the flea market people like I study birds.
The ladies start eating cake with berries. Large forkfuls of cake, crumbs falling out of their mouths which they quickly scoop up with their tongues.
Pamela begins with a proper dainty bite, but the cake and berries taste so good that soon she’s eating big pieces, cream cheese frosting painting her lips.
“What sort of gifts does The Blood Moon give?” asks Pamela, curious.
“Well, often you will feel deep shifts in your inner life, you might even get a sudden illumination,” answers Michelle, tying her long hair up in a messy bun.
Sounds very witchcraft-y. But oh well, this cake is so good and the flowers smell like candies and the ladies are so friendly…
“To our guest Pamela: may The Blood Moon bestow upon you a powerful life-changing revelation.”
“To Pamela!” the ladies toast.
Pamela smiles, hiding the fact that she would have preferred a less dramatic toast. This one has her worried that The Blood Moon may bestow upon her something a little too intense.
As the ladies chat, Pamela gazes around the garden and realizes that it’s the most beautiful garden she’s ever seen. She’s embarrassed that she complained about it. Sure, it’s tall and wild, but it’s dazzling.
Thinking about the flea market, Pamela decides she’ll look for vintage crystal glasses. Then she’ll buy herself a bottle of this scrumptious pink champagne and celebrate whatever The Blood Moon reveals to her. She’s up for anything.
I mean not anything anything, but anything.
Artwork: “Vision of Gaia” by Ninquelen on Deviant Art