The teenage girl walked into the studio set, the blue and white chequered dress swishing around her. She was nervous, this was an important scene in the movie but she followed all the directions and got everything right.
During the lunchtime break, the director and wardrobe designer came to her.
‘You did just fine,’ the director said, ‘but I’m having a problem with the shoes.’
The girl looked down at the sliver slippers on her feet, puzzlement on her face.
‘They are not coming up well on the film,’ the director continued, ‘so, I decided to change them to these ones….’
The wardrobe designer came forward and showed the teenage girl a pair of bright ruby red, shinny shoes that seemed to sparkle with magic.
‘Oh!’ the girl cried, taking the shoes, ‘they are…just….I love them!’
The girl slipped the shoes on, they fitted perfectly. She smiled up at the director and designer.
‘Great!’ the director said, with a clap of his hands, ‘let’s get back to it then! We’ll need to re-shoot this morning’s scenes.’
The abandoned sliver slippers were dumped back in the wardrobe department, totally forgotten forever.
George looked out of his window, ready to admire the birds flocking into his garden. A twitching of a tail caught his attention and he saw a red squirrel. The little fiend was scampering along the branches towards the cage of peanuts.
George tapped on the glass, cursing loudly. The squirrel stopped, watching him with beady black eyes then with a tail flick, the creature attacked the wired bird feeder. The squirrel snatched a nut into his mouth and before George could open the back door, had vanished into the tree top.
Cold wind, blew into his face and George felt the chill setting into his knees. He yelled loudly, but of course it was too late, the thief had gotten away again.
I was never what they were expecting, but I had gotten use to that over the years. The dying saw my colours first, just like I saw and was drawn to theirs. I knew what the human race had imagined throughout the centuries; the black cloak, the scythe, the boat, the angels. They never cast me in that role though and yet here I was; the girl child in the red coat with the black umbrella, come to ferry your soul.
Old Rosella, the gypsy fortune teller, sells red roses on the city’s streets. All day she wanders tirelessly, calling out to passers-by and trying to trade the flowers in her hands. Her long heavy skirts drag and jingle on the floor. The bracelets coating her arms jangle alongside them and the beads in the woollen shawl covering her shoulders clink together.
In broken, but good English, she tells kissing lovers, ‘beautiful love. A rose for you.’
To woman, she calls, ‘a rose to bring passions to you. To bring you lucky love life.’
To men, she calls, ‘for your girl to show your promise love.’
They ignore her or give some excuse and move on. Rosella, doesn’t despair, but finds more people and walks through the evening, selling to the night crowd. Before it becomes too dark, she heads for home, clutching drooping steams and yet, somehow she sells a handful of roses every day.
To the edge of the city and the remains of an abandoned factory she goes. Nestled within the crumbling block concrete walls and open to the starry sky is her home- a tradition gypsy caravan. Not many people come this way and those that do stay clear of the pretty coloured wheeled home. She went in and sitting down, but the roses into a vase. She lit her little stove and settled in for the night, knowing that tomorrow she would have to roam the streets again trying to make what little money she could.