There were three of us in the grandmother's room conspiring to build a scaffold out of the dining room chairs. The plum-cheeked boy, the girl with the red, red lips, and I clambered upon the chairs, clutching and scrambling to reach the topmost shelf of the china cupboard. Carefully, and not rattling the leaded glass in the doors, the boy reached in and pulled out a very special dish. It was a very heavy serving dish with pretty pictures of animals all around the circumference. The girl took the platter in her hands, "See what we can do." As we all watched the plate, the woodland animals capered through the minutely painted twirls of ivy, and little buds blossomed and twinkled pinkly. Fawns and rabbits and brown bears on their hind legs danced under the crackled glaze. I took hold of the plate. "No, we must put it back now." They protested. I felt a blush of anger as I wrested the dish from the rosy fat fingers of the other children. I made the bear to swallow up the rabbits, then he swept his razor claws through the spindle-necks of the fawns. I thought I saw the tiniest, wettest ruby well up through the cracked glaze, and then I broke the plate on the floor and stamped down the pieces. It was all because I despise that girl with the glossy black hair and the red, red lips.
This is a story that I've expanded upon and even considered making illustrations for. It is based on a dream that my college roommate told me she'd had. We used to get up everyday and smoke about a half a dozen cigarettes and talk for an hour before we could get ready for school or work. I miss talking to her, but I'm glad we don't smoke anymore.
I can only think of this John Singer Sargent painting of The Daughters of Edward D. Boit from 1882.
or even better this Sargent- Portrait of Edouard and Marie-Louise Pailleron. Sargent's handling of paint was masterful. Close up it is very loose, but when you stand back the details, the lively snaps and quicknesses become very clear. I also adore the mood of these haughty, idle children of privilege. They go perfectly with my little narrative.