My mother lit her cigarette and blew smoke toward the ceiling like a silver screen star. She enjoyed the drama of smoking back then. She used a fancy lighter with mother-of-pearl sides and small brass feet so that it stood on the coffee table like a delicate urn.
“Would you like me to sit for you, Sharon,” she asked, smoothing her dark hair.
I got a sketchbook from my room. Pencils were a problem. I’d left my good supplies at school that day. Mother always made sure I had quality charcoals, sable hair brushes, and a selection of premium oil paints. We abhorred acrylics. If I angled the sketchbook like an easel, I hoped she wouldn’t notice I was using ordinary No. 2 pencils. I didn’t want to explain how I’d hurried past my locker that afternoon because two eighth-graders were tonguing each other against the metal door.
“Well,” she asked settling into the green chair in the living room. “How do I look, daaarling?”
(3/26/2018) Start of a short story Drawing Conclusions; image @194angellstreet )