last week's flash fiction prompt
The prompt from Delores, from Under The Porch Light, was woven threads of gold and silver in silk and satin dreams.
Some of you who accepted the challenge managed to use the sentence as a whole. I couldn't make it work for me, so I broke it up and wrote this:
Woven threads of gold and silver in silk and satin dreams
Eileen stared at the dress in the window of the antique shop. It was the most beautiful wedding gown she had ever seen. At first glance the lines of the gown seemed simple, plain even, but the more you looked, the more detail you noticed. The exquisitely designed bodice with tiny seed pearls, lace and impossibly tiny crystal beads.
75 years ago Eileen had seen this very dress throughout its creation in the back rooms of a small boutique named ExtravORganza.
The front of the shop sold organza party dresses with ribbon sashes for little girls, ball gowns for their mothers and sisters, wedding gowns and christening gowns. The back of the shop had a small room with shelves stocked with bolts of fabric and an alcove with many tiny boxes holding all the ribbons, buttons, beads and laces. A larger room held the cutting tables and the brand new treadle sewing machines. No more hand stitching of long seams now.
Here, Eileen's mother and grandmother lovingly sewed every item that was to be sold in the shop.
Here, 75 years ago, the Mayor's 20 year old daughter was engaged to be married and she had commissioned a dream of a dress in silk and satin, to be woven with threads of gold and silver, decorated with seed pearls and crystal beads. And then ordered a miniature of the same dress in the softest satin to be used as a christening gown.
Eileen had been twelve years old at the time, just learning how to sew on the pearls and beads the shop was famous for, keeping the thread firm, but not pulling too tight, and making sure the knots were tiny and invisible. She'd been stitching on a sample piece of satin, listening and watching as her mother and grandmother discussed the design of gold and silver threads that would circle the satin hem of the skirt in a deep border resembling a flower garden. The same flower garden was to cover the entire bodice.
It was to be a spring wedding and the Mayor was sparing no expense for his only daughter, Mary Colleen. The dress alone was costing 500 pounds and it was rumoured there would be real champagne at the reception!
Eileen had been beyond excited when she had been instructed to wash and dry her hands thoroughly and then help to spread the skirt so the design could be examined carefully. Any mistakes would have to be corrected now, before the final pressing. Both seamstresses breathed sighs of satisfaction at seeing the dress finished and perfect. Now was the time to repeat the entire process in miniature. And there was to be a christening bonnet too!
The owner of ExtravORganza and Eileen's family had not been invited to the wedding, but the Mayor had paid handsome bonuses and they would stand outside the church to throw rice with the rest of the townspeople.
After the wedding, Eileen had dreamt for years of silk and satin gowns woven with gold and silver threads, stitched with the tiniest of seed pearls and crystal beads.
Now, 75 years later, in 1953, in a London antique shop window, here was the dress, still in perfect condition, with an impossibly high price tag attached.
Eileen wondered about the little christening gown. Was it still with the dress? Why was the dress being sold? It had been worn in turn by both of Mary Colleen's daughters, two grand daughters and a great grand daughter. The christening gown had been worn by every baby born since the original wedding. Family heirlooms they were now. Or should be. Why was the dress here in an antique shop?
Eileen pushed open the heavy door and went to the counter to enquire about the christening gown.