Jana Lear

June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #1:

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A Single Lady

Rushing off the stage for a costume change, something slipped behind the curtains and rigging as Phil Lippin fluttered by in a silk gown trimmed with a shimmering blue and green feathered yoke. The motion was startling, but Phil Lippin thought it was probably the feathered eye lashes playing visual tricks. The lashes looked spectacularly exotic, but they were a serious liability on the dance stage when it took several looks to find Evan’s hand after Phil spun around and reached for it in the last number.

Hurrying down the hall, the sound of footsteps made Phil look back. What the hell was he doing here?! In the chaos of the dressing room, Jazmin quickly removed the yoke and carefully slipped the dress from Phil Lippin still panting body. Roger gave him a bottled water as Jazmin helped him into a tight, black spandex body suit. Phil Lippin took a seat in front of the mirror for a makeup change.

“Oh my god Phil Lippin, will you try to gently pull those lashes off yourself. I’m afraid of hurting you and they are not coming off easily,” said Francine, the makeup artist. Phil tried but they wouldn’t peel off. “I don’t understand this,” Francine said, “I’ve never had this happen before.”

“Stage in 5, Phil Lipppin,” Roger yelled.

Looking in the mirror, he blinked slowly under the weight of the feathers. Drag Queens usually like an exaggerated look, but the feathered lashes seemed a little overkill. Phil leaned back and Francine applied more oil along the edges of where the lashes were cemented to his eye lids.

“They’re just not coming off, honey. Let’s get your wig on and touch up your makeup.”

“I’ll have to go on with them,” Phil said. As he straightened back up in the chair, the wig of long golden hair flowed over his shoulders. There he was again.

“What do you want?” he said to the mirror so quietly only Francine could hear. Francine turned and saw a slim, older man in a baggy suit standing behind them.

“Nothing,” he said, “I just came to see your Phil-lippin the Bird show.”

“Why aren’t you in the audience like everyone else if that’s the case? And why now, 15 years after you threw me out of the house, Dad, with not so much as a coat?”

“I was hoping to talk to you afterwards, Phil.”

“You’re up, Phil!” Roger shouted from the hall. “Just make those feathers work for you.”

Phil’s father watched his performance from stage left with a mixture of discomfort and pride as Phil moved sensually and athletically—all hips and ass in heels while singing “I’m a Single Lady.”

To whoops and whistles, Phil Lippin the Bird took a bow, then walked off to stage right, down the corridor to the backstage door, and flew out into the fresh night air.

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