1. Butterfly Swarm


    Date: 9/29/2018, Categories: Exhibitionism, Author: puddleduck, Source: LushStories

    “It’s a lovely place, fully furnished. You could move in tomorrow.” The lady at the letting agent’s office was almost purring as she slid the leaflet over the counter towards Jenny. “Is it twelve hundred a month?” Jenny adjusted her glasses to examine the collection of glossy, wide-angle pictures of a sumptuous bedroom, a kitchen described as ‘well appointed’ and a luxurious-looking living room. “Plus council tax and bills and,” – an ingratiating smile crept across the lady’s pale face – “three months’ deposit in advance.” Dyed black hair snaked up from her pallid scalp. Jenny was struck, looking blurrily over the rim of her glasses, by the lady’s resemblance to a spent, smoking match. “I’ll take it,” said Jenny. “Wouldn’t you like to look around first?” asked the match, raising a wisp of black eyebrow above her thin face. “Most people do. Your partner?” “Oh, it’s ok,” said Jenny, absently folding the leaflet four ways between her hands. “We need something quickly on a six-month lease. We’ve just moved here and my boyfriend has a new job. We’re marrying in two weeks. It’s a bit hectic, you see.” “I see,” said the match. “Well, if you’re happy with that.” Almost as an afterthought she added, “And congratulations.” * “She said it was fully furnished, Liam. I promise you.” Jenny felt tears rising as she watched her boyfriend slowly scan the bedroom, empty save for a bed with a bare mattress and a full-length mirror hanging on the wall by the door. “She said it had all the ...
    fittings. I can’t believe this!” “It’s ok,” said Liam. “Don’t worry.” His words echoed in the empty room so that to Jenny they seemed louder and more damning. “But I do – you’re starting work on Monday, we’re getting married in a fortnight. There’s nothing in the house. They’ve – God, they’ve even taken the curtains.” Jenny, turning away from Liam in case he saw her welling up, skulked over to the bedroom’s large window. She blinked in despair. “And we’re overlooked!” Jenny stared out at a window, not much more than ten feet away and level with theirs. Jenny could see their neighbours' three-piece suite and coffee table. Squinting her eyes slightly, she fancied she could even read the title of a book sitting on top of it. “We might as well invite them in! Oh why didn’t I ask to see round first?” “Jenny, Jenny,” said Liam, moving over to the window to wrap his arms around Jenny’s waist. “You did your best. I'll order blinds. And look. We finally have a place to ourselves after living with your parents.” Despite the bare surroundings, Liam looked happy. Jenny had always said to her friends that she’d found his most endearing character trait – puppy-like enthusiasm – irresistible. And it had served him well in his job too, leading to his recent promotion and their move. “And anyway,” he said, “there’s nothing that won’t look a lot better after a cup of tea.” Jenny loved the way he could soothe things. His soft-spoken brogue calmed her before pausing.But she tucked a strand of her dark ...
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