Note from L:

Hey! This is the prologue of a longer piece that’s set in the 1920’s and follows a trio of three flappers who live together whose stories intertwine in ways they never expected. This part is told from the perspective of Molly, who is the main scribe of their story. Hope you enjoy!

Here it is:

The smell of New York that year was like no other scent in the world. It was the scent of cool, dusky air and the color purple and the wooden door in the local speakeasy that gave you splinters as you crept in. It was the scent, the sight, of sharp, crisp paper and soft, rich red lipstick. It was the scent of an era of empowerment and the modern wom–

“No, no, no!” I pull the ribbon out of the typewriter and smash my fist onto the keys, which produce loud clacking noises but no letters. No, no, no.

I peruse through my makeshift diary – entries written in various types of stationary, different paper, some handwritten notes, others typed up. Pictures are few and far between. I never drew in my book, like Cece did. I never wrote poetry, like Evie did.

Although they left two days ago, I try to believe that Cece is simply on the balcony, puffing on a large cigar and sketching out her next creation. I try to imagine Evie in her bedroom removing her eye shadow before her vanity, the way she does it – almost lovingly, admiringly. I try to – no, I need to believe this.

“This isn’t how the story ends,” I mutter to myself. “It’s not.”

I didn’t use to talk to myself. I used to laugh at the people who did. But that was before.

I continue to flip through the pages, searching for answers to how I got here, but I am at a loss. It would be better if I could rewrite the story. Tell how it should have went. I was so worried that I would lose them that I tried to capture them on paper, and I did.

But now, there is no eraser for ink. Oh!

I have to write the ending, now. Our story is ending. It is over now, and I must write the ending.

The ending, the ending, the ending. This can’t be the ending.

But it is, and they are gone. Cece is not smoking on the balcony and Evie is not admiring her makeup in her room. And – oh! She is dead.

Surely not.

The girls left their journals here. They said that perhaps if I read everything, what happened this year, and look at it all together from the start, that perhaps it would be of comfort to me. I took little comfort in it. The only comfort is the smell of their perfumes wafting off the pages. When I take it in, they almost materialize beside me.

How can I possibly write the ending to a story I don’t understand, or like? And – and oh, I’m already forgetting it all.

I take deep breaths. I must start from the beginning. I must rewrite the story. I pick up my journal first, smooth out the first crumpled page, and start over.

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