Perfume

Her room was covered in bits of expensive fabrics that matched her specific mood the day she got them. Red heavy velvet bits with Indian embroideries in gold, royal blue silk from china over her bed, the colour that once made her skin glow when she wrapped it around her shoulders. Then there is the pale, almost withered looking yellow cloths with flowers on the shelf, almost completely covered with her perfume bottles.

She thinks back to younger days while she paints peacock feathers down her leg so she feels less fragile. In her window a small figurine of an angel sits and looks out over the city. Once, she had been a modern day Merveilleuse that danced while the sun rose in the morning. The few hours she slept was always interrupted by knocking on the door, they would sit and wait for her in the living room while she bathed in rose petals having one of her girlfriends light her cigarettes and wash her hair while they whispered eagerly about gentlemen with trimmed mustaches and silver bottles in their pockets.

The air was heavy of smoke, incense and perfume. These days she was never woken so some days she would sleep all day and wake up with a dry cough and it would take a week before she could feel her fingertips again. She unrobed  and wrapped herself in the royal blue silk while sitting in the window smoking. If anyone down on the street saw her, veins mapping out the back of her hands, wrinkled eyes smudged with kohl and her fingers shaking to bring the cigarette to her mouth, they never gave any sign of it.

Old goddesses die slowly in the modern age, and she watches yet another sun set, spraying herself with perfume.

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