This story came about as a result of a challenge by Selena Wolff at her Solitary Words site. Her challenge is here:http://solitarywords.com/2011/04/29/flash-fiction-friday-2/#comment-300 Ask me if writing a fantasy story with the word “asphodel” in it is easy. I got revenge though. The whole story is about Asphodel 😛
Cheryl pouted. “Alexandra Kouches never makes public appearances. But she is promoting her new picture and was asked specifically to attend the First Lady‘s special celebrity reception for food for the world’s hungry. I want to see her.”
Her husband grimaced. “What’s so special about her? She’s just another no-talent beauty…has probably slept her way to the top.”
Cheryl bit back an angry retort. “Listen, Arlen, it won’t cost us anything. Just close your eyes when Alexandra talks. But there’s something special about her: with those large, beautiful, slightly slanted, brown eyes, she looks almost fey…”
With a grunt, Arlen indicated he knew he had lost this battle.
* * *
“What would I do without you, my Damianos?”
“Probably live longer, Lexie.” He glanced sharply at her. “How do you feel? It took much make-up to cover your pallor. Remember, you are the flower of life to Asphodel Meadows. You should at least look like it.”
Alexandra shuddered. “It’s taking longer this time, Dami. Perhaps if I just rest.”
“They mustn’t make you do anything strenuous.” The little man scowled. “You haven’t recovered from that unexpected stunt in Phoney Express.”
The star nodded, seated herself and leaned back wearily.
* * *
Three hours later, Alexandra Kouches mounted the steps to the hastily built stage near the entrance to the White House. Somehow Arlen had gotten Cheryl a seat atop the temporary bank of chairs that lined Lafayette Park. Every time she looked at her hero, she felt that special strength encompass her. She recalled a recent conversation with her best friend. Apparently, Louise felt the same. It was a…something…that made people scramble whenever Alexandra Kouches appeared. It’s what made her funnily named movies a success. It’s what made people love Alexandra.
Suddenly, amid the roaring of the crowd, Cheryl gasped. Mounting the steep steps to the stage, Alexandra had faltered, then stumbled onto the platform. A strange little dark-haired man rushed up behind her and grabbed her arm, leading her to a chair.
Uneasily, the Master of Ceremonies trotted to the microphone.“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you to the renowned star of…oh…Rebecca of Funnybrook Farms and Star Shrek come to mind. No one in the recorded history of film-making has shown such graceful beauty, combined with such absolute comedic timing. Please welcome, from uh…Greece…uh…”
He stopped and looked at Alexandra. “Where in Greece?”
“Just say from Asphodel Meadows,” the little man advised. “Say that, after bringing beauty and grace to the world through her films, Alexandra Kouches has returned home.
The MC looked startled. “She’s right there.”
“Yes, but her ether has returned to walk the fields of Asphodel Meadows…until the time the world needs her return. Too much of the physical world destroys her. Watch for her in…mmm…another century.”
The little man vanished…at the exact time as Alexandra. No one knew what to think. But Alexandra Kouches had unquestionably disappeared, along with her little make-up man. No one could remember his name.
Copyright (c) 2011 by Sandra Bell Kirchman – all rights reserved.