Drama Fiction

Stars In Her Eyes

Beatrice Cranapple spent most of her days entertaining her elderly mother. She was born late in her mother’s life with her childbearing years almost expired. Beatrice‘s father was absent from the time she was born.  Some town folk gossiped that he was a traveling salesman, others stated he was forced to marry her mother by a shotgun wedding with an overbearing father. No one really knew of where he came from or where he went, even Beatrice. Her mother was no help in the identification of her father, and when the subject arose, she was hushed and told it was none of her concern. She receded to the fact that her only companionship would be with with her mother who was also overbearing.

Besides school, Beatrice’s only extracurricular activities involved church. Her mother made her wear skirts with her long hair tied securely in a bun even though the church they attended had no such doctrine. Make-up was never to be discussed even when Beatrice was in her early thirties. Her mother would call the girls at the church and school trashy when they would style their hair and wear make-up but Beatrice loved the look. She would experiment after her mother resided for the night with spices that she would apply to her eyes, lips and cheeks. Red food coloring was a mistake one night when the stain remained the next morning. It was v difficult convincing her mother that she had an allergic reaction to the cinnamon in her morning oatmeal.

Conservatively dressing was not the only restriction enlisted by Beatrice’s mother. They did not own a Television set, a radio or a telephone. The internet was not even a consideration. Their only contact with the outside world came from church and when her mother forced her to go to public school. With the constant teasing and bullying by the other children which seemed to always center around her shyness and meek personality, Beatrice would have preferred home schooling. Even at the church when she was young and several children attended, she was still shunned and mercilessly teased. She would hear the children not even trying to talk behind her back discuss how strange she was. The strange didn’t get any better as she matured into adulthood. She was now referred to as the Cat Lady’s strange awkward daughter. Beatrice and her mother only owned two cats but she was afraid that was enough to make the name, Cat Lady, stick. 

Beatrice’s mundane existence continued for a couple more years until her mother who was in her late seventies became ill. After several days and declining any medical care, she died in her sleep. Beatrice was distraught from her mother’s death and wondered how she would survive with the only friend and companion she had throughout her life. The memorial service took place at their church and several of the members attended. She realized when she looked around at the mourners that she was not acquainted with anyone under the age of seventy and they were not her friends but her mothers. After the service was over and her mother was taken to the family cemetery up on the hill to be put in her final resting place, Beatrice headed home. With her hair in a bun tied tightly up on her head, she sat in her room blankly staring at the walls for several days. Everywhere she looked in the house she grew up in , she could see her mother’s disapproving gaze. A brief moment she considered rearranging the furniture, but knew her mother would never approved and also continued to make only her mother’s favorite dinners. She refused to even consider that she was free to decorate and chose her own meals. 

Beatrice continued to live in her mother’s shadow until one day she went into her room like she did before her mother passed. She was in the mood to apply a little makeup as she did when she was younger and her mother had fallen asleep. She took out the spices from the spice cabinet and applied them to her face and used the red food coloring that she had once avoided. She opened up the kitchen drawer and took out a pair of scissors and cut her hair up to her shoulders. As she turned and looked in the mirror, she remembered the make believe name she had given herself when she was young and adorned with make-up, Trice Cran, a Hollywood starlet.

As Beatrice went to the bathroom to wash her face, she changed her mind and decided to continue with her new look and walked back into her bedroom. She pulled out a pen and paper and started writing. 

(Beatrice Cranapple went home to be with our Lord on the 3rd day of November 2019. She will be reunited soon with her mother who was her best friend and only companion. There will be no service or visitation and the body will be cremated by her wishes. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the local animal shelter for the spaying and neutering of feral cats.). 

Beatrice finished her obituary and then she mailed it to the local newspaper to be published on the following day. The house was put up for sell by an out of town agency who was instructed to release no information on the owner. 

She hopped on a bus and headed for Los Angeles, California.

Now that Beatrice was dead, she could start her life, and Trice Cran, wanted to be famous. With her new name, she knew she couldn’t be located or be made fun of by lousy year book pictures or old classmates... There would be no one to tell the paparazzi she was weird and had to sit by herself and eat lunch. None of the church people would tell the media that her mother would be so disappointed that she had turned worldly and no longer wore skirts and chose to wear make-up and cut her hair.  

The crazy cat lady was gone and she had reinvented herself without even owning a television set. Beatrice Cranapple was gone, she was buried in the family cemetery beside her mother.

November 01, 2020 20:17

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Alma Lewis
00:11 Nov 03, 2020

Cheryl, you have a gift for writing stories with unanticipated endings! Your writing skills are flourishing. Good work.


Cheryl Fulks
01:53 Nov 03, 2020

Thank you Miss Alma😁


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