The Red Spot
by Helen Grochmal
The three women, looking like three young wives of very old and rich men or three little maids from the very best Ivy League schools, smiled weakly at each other over their luncheon plates. Original Prada, Gucci, and Chanel were showcased on their perfect bodies. Only God knew the real colors of their hair, costing a fortune to look that healthy after so much coloring and curling and uncurling.
The service was perfect at their table, the waiter approaching only when necessary but whenever necessary. After their tasteful conversation, peculiarly subdued for so young a group, the waiter arrived with their drinks, served on folded large paper napkins. Any omniscient person reviewing the scene would have been overpowered by shock to see such a thing in a restaurant of this caliber. But no one stared, of course, in a restaurant of this caliber, even at these lovelies, three of the loveliest in the land, even 21st century Manhattan.
Before they left, the check having been arranged for previously so the women would never be bothered by anything as sordid as credit cards or signing anything, each carelessly tucked the still folded napkin in her lovely purse.
They left the restaurant together, each looking for her town car parked by a chauffeur called by the concierge without them having to ask. Only the rich know how the rich live or their means of communication with minions. (The richer the person, the more silent the minion.)
If that omniscient observer could follow each car separately, the all-seeing being would have seen each woman get out of her car to enter discreet and costly hotels.
Each woman opened a room and leaned against the door. It was the training. Each listened. Each looked through the rooms. Each sat down to open her supple leather designer bag and took out the napkin. Two breathed sighs of relief, deflation really. The third got a look of fear, excitement and enthusiasm on her face, like most predators do, as she saw the red spot on her napkin. Finally, her initiation had come. She rubbed the red spot over her mouth as she smiled and waited for her instructions.
I took up writing fiction in my 60s when I moved to a retirement home.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'The Last One'