Hello! Here is the next part of my story about haunted wedding dresses.
In Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 & Part 4 & Part 5, we met wedding dress seamstress Leila, whose wedding dresses are haunted. The ill-behaved dresses are temporarily silenced by Leila’s friend and co-worker Shareen’s scolding, and Leila decides to consult a therapist recommended by Shareen. After the therapist – surprisingly – believes her story, Leila decides on a strategy to deal with the badly-behaved dresses. In her workroom she tells elaborate lovely stories featuring the beauty of the dress, of the wedding, and of the bond between two people who decide to marry each other. This calms the dresses and transforms the workroom into a peaceful and productive place to work.
This week: my surprise is this: I have written an alternate ending for my story. Last week’s ending – where Leila brings her mother into the shop and she can hear the dresses also – was my first ending. Today, I’m going to add on a short piece to make a second ending. Tell me what you think!
From Part 5 – first ending
One day a few months later Leila was talking to her mother about the years in her shop. She had gotten in the habit of coming to visit her mother to ask about the way it had been, to pick up a few more stories to tell the dresses in her workroom in her morning talk. As her mother described the relationship again between her and her sister, Leila’s aunt, how they had grown up together and had been together all their lives, how much they had loved and cared for each other, Leila understood more what it had been like for her mother when her aunt died. She made the decision to ask her mother to come visit her in the workroom. She knew her mother would feel the warmth and compassion that she and her fellow workers extended to each other, and hoped it might help her mother feel better.
Later she was surprised to learn that her mother could also hear the dresses speak. Fortunately, the gowns were well-behaved now, as they had been for some time. The only words they spoke were kind ones.
New ending (add-on to original ending)
One day Leila pulled out the therapist’s card that Shareen had given her. It had been buried in the bottom of her bag all these months, and she had only gone to the one session. What was her name? Tiana? Tatiana?
She looked more closely at the card. The name was strangely swirled, like spidery sewing stitches, exotic, like the pattern of a henna tattoo from India. She couldn’t quite make it out.
Leila showed the card to Shareen at lunch. They were having quinoa bowls at a vegan café nearby. “I found this the other day,” Leila told Shareen. “Thanks again.”
Shareen nodded. “Yeah. Well, we all need someone to talk to sometimes.”
“Um, I was wondering, I can’t quite read the name – what was her name?” Leila asked.
“Lemme see,” Shareen asked, holding out her hand to take the card.
“Oh, yeah,” she said in a minute, after examining the card. “That’s my aunt.”
“But – what is her name?” Leila asked.
“Latricia. – But that’s not what you see here.” She handed back the card.
Leila peered at the card again. “Huh.” She could kind of see the name in the swirly script. But it was not easy.
“Oh, she’s on sabbatical. And when she’s away, the card obscures her name.”
Leila stared at Shareen. “No way.”
“Uh huh. It’s some kind of nano-thing.” Shareen shrugged. “Don’t ask me how – I just design dresses.”
What do you think? Which ending do you prefer – the original, The only words they spoke were kind ones. OR “Don’t ask me how – I just design dresses.”
Thank you! for coming on this journey with me. I want to express my deep appreciation to you for your unfailing encouragement as I spooled out this tale. It was inspiring to know there was an audience waiting to hear what happened next, and I learned so much from your thoughts and reactions to the story.
I recently read this quote about writing (unattributed):
Sometimes only paper will listen to you.
But I am fortunate to have readers who listen to me. 💗
Pingback to some of the readers who have let me know they’re looking forward to it: Tanglewood Knots|I think, I say, I do|Ronel the Mythmaker|Showers of Blessing|A Note to Hugette|Look Around!|My Silver Streaks|A Writer’s Life|Mabel Kwong|lyncrain|Turtledesk