Coloured Windows

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
How someone's taste in decoration can be another person's ruin.

Submitted: March 13, 2016

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Submitted: March 13, 2016

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COLOURED WINDOWS

 

 David and Michelle were driving towards her friend’s house when, as he was turning a corner, he saw another car - the same model as his - beside him. David noticed that the driver looked a lot like him. Michelle was fixing her make-up in a small mirror she carried in her handbag. David was rather disconcerted and distracted by the other driver, and said to Michelle, “Have you seen? We’re being followed by a car like ours, and the driver’s dressed the same as me?”

Michelle didn’t even bother to raise her eyes from her mirror, and went on applying fresh make-up. David, realising that Michelle wasn’t at all interested, said no more about the car nearby. He just kept on driving.

 

“There’s a car coming straight towards our living-room,” Daniela said to Brian. “What are we supposed to do?”

Brian was watching football on television, and replied, “It’s not our problem, and it’s not the first time a stupid driver, who’s probably had too much to drink, has driven into our house and garden.”

Daniela went into the kitchen and removed some pies and cakes from the oven. She enjoyed cooking, and often made pies, cakes, cup-cakes, and other such goodies for the local parties and for friends. When asked why she cooked so much, she answered. “I find it relaxing after working all week.”

A most beautiful lemon meringue pie had just been deposited by Daniela on the counter top in the kitchen, when the horrific sound of breaking glass and metal pierced the quiet afternoon. She knew it had happened again. Brian called to her saying, “Dani, could you ring the police, please. A car has crashed into the house?”

Daniela said, “No, I can’t. I’m busy getting my baking out of the oven. You ring them.”

When all the baking was set out on racks to cool down, Daniela went in to the living-room to see what had happened. There was the bonnet of a car that had somehow broken through the garden wall, and almost made it into the living-room.

 

Brian and Daniela, didn’t see David and Michelle at first, because they were busy trying to assess the damage that had been done to their property. There was a small crowd of interested neighbours - as are usually present when a sudden noise heralds a crash of some sort. The police arrived at the scene, and an ambulance followed behind them. The policemen told everyone to stand back, to let the ambulance in.

Brian said to Daniela, “Who’s going to pay for the damage? That’s what I’d like to know.”

 

David was still with his eyes on the man in the car beside him, when he felt he had hit something rather hard, and his head hit the steering wheel. Michelle saw what was going to happen before David ever did, and undid her safety belt, and opened the car door, and jumped out. She later learned that she had a broken ankle and was suffering shock. David was virtually dug out of the pile of twisted metal, and rushed off to the nearest hospital. The fire engine arrived, and did what they could to repair the broken garden wall, and the damage done to the exterior wall of the house. Daniela and Brian were not at all pleased with the accident, and told the police.

“This is not the first time we’ve had such a do with the wall. It must be because we’re on a corner. I’m going to put this house up for sale. It’s our only solution for a quiet life,” Brian said.

The police had a good look around the damage done, and said to Brian, “I think the so-called ‘privacy glass’ windows are to blame for the continuous accidents.”

A fireman knocked on the French window, and said, “Inspector, you’d better come and have a look at this.”

The inspector and Brian went outside and the fireman said, “The windows are glazed with reflective coatings, so, not only are they tinted dark like sunglasses, but to make sure nobody can see inside the house, they have a mirror effect too.”

The inspector turned to Brian and said to him, “I’ve got the idea that such windows are illegal, because of the accidents. This property is on a corner, making them doubly dangerous. This will have to be looked into.”

 

The hullabaloo was soon over, and Daniela went into the kitchen and wrapped up her baking, and leaving Brian watching sport on the television, got into her small car, and went off to deliver her goodies. The couple, who were still on the right side of fifty, were not upset by what might have happened to David, but to their orderly lives. The house was put up for sale, and in order to sell it quicker, Brian got new windows put in (without any mirror effect) and had a super strong fence set up, too.

 

By the time the new owners moved in, there was no sign that there had ever been an accident. Nevertheless they complained that they felt a lack of privacy being on a corner, and had a glazier put in specially tinted, but not reflective, windows - having been warned by neighbours.

 

David was in hospital for a very long time, and he had to walk with crutches for nearly a year. He and Michelle were no longer a couple, when he was discharged as being perfectly fit to resume work.  Michelle’s ankle had healed in a few weeks and she went to live with a brother of hers, who had a cottage by the sea. She said she didn’t have the strength to look after herself, let alone an invalid. It made no difference to David’s mental state, as he had begun a flirtation, which finally led to a full blown romance with one of the nurses.

 

As Alan came down the stairs, he had the same feeling of well-being as he always did. The hall and the stairs had a glow to them he had never experienced in other places, and he had stayed in many others. Alan was a man who had seen a lot of life, due to his job as a reporter, but had retired after having been offered a more than generous pension. He knew it was unusual, but had accepted it, and had sold his old property, and taken on the red brick house for the glow inside. He had no wife at that time, but enjoyed a series of girl friends who knew about each other, and understood how he felt after his ex-wife had taken him to the cleaners. He had found the house by chance, and liked it at once. Anyway, he didn’t have much of a choice with the money he had at his disposal. It was a bit of a shock, but eventually he began to enjoy his new found independence. That was how he got several lady friends. They were all in the same boat as he was, and didn’t want any responsibility.

From time to time he had dinner parties, which of cause was no longer in fashion. Everyone was going out to restaurants or pizzerias or any kind of take away. Alan liked cooking, and he had met Daniela at a cookery session held at the local town hall, where talks about everything under the sun were given.  Daniela had told him about the accident, and how Brian hadn’t been up to facing any kind of responsibility for the accident and that was why he had moved out and left Daniela to fend for herself. Daniela went to live in a new place alone.

Alan never asked her questions about Brian or the accident, only that she had been baking on the day it had taken place. Those who were keen to get on in the culinary activities were always being asked to prepare dishes together and have parties and name the dishes they had in mind. The guests were from the cookery classes, and they had to give positive criticisms when they were asked. Alan and Daniela got on well, as they both enjoyed the preparation of the ingredients.

The date for Alan’s dinner party was for the third week in January, when the roads were covered in snow and, on that particular evening, there was a strong wind creating flurries. Alan opened his front door and the first thing his guests said, was, “What a lovely warm entrance. It’s so cosy. You must hate going out in this weather.”

“Yes, it’s lovely and warm, and really makes me feel quite relaxed. Please come in and have an aperitif. There’s plenty to drink: before, during, and after, the meal.” Alan showed his guests into the combined sitting-room and dining-room. There was a log fire blazing in the fireplace and the furniture was reupholstered in a velvet type of material, the light brackets on the walls near the curtains, threw out a pink coloured glow onto the multi-hued carpet. It was then that the majority knew that the curtains were made of a transparent pale- pink fine material. That evening, there was no sunset and everyone had to be content with the glow created by the standard lamps and the wall lights. The dinner was served on pale pink plates and the champagne was pink, of course. Daniela had asked Alan when she visited for the first time, “Why do you have everything in pink, including the glass in the windows?”

Alan had said without preamble, “My life before was serious, but now I see everything through rose-coloured glass.”

Daniela laughed out loud, and responded, “Why did I never think of that? It’s the best thing I’ve heard for years.”

“I’ve seen too much misery and strife so far in my life, so I try to make it prettier although the moment I step outside the front door the fantasy disappears.”

That evening the dinner was a great success.

 

Alan’s popularity grew, and he soon had a harem of women who were always descending on him and his house. They all enjoyed the softness of the house and the warmth. Daniela and Alan were fast friends and one evening, when she was alone in her own home, Daniela received news that he had suffered a fatal massive coronary.

Knowing how much he had loved pink, his lady friends carried pale pink roses, carnations, gladioli, and the other flowers that were in bloom and in pale pink at the time. Alan was cremated and his ashes scattered in the formal garden of a stately home. Alan had seen pictures of the house long ago when he was very young, and had never forgotten the impact it had had on him at the time. Everyone could see why he had liked it so much - all the ground was covered in pink blossom from a flowering cherry tree. Daniela and a few of his lady friends scattered the ashes over the pink coloured ground as surreptitiously as possible. Those present couldn’t help but shed a tear or two at the greyness of the ashes falling onto the pink petals. They felt that Alan was present, and that he was smiling to himself at the show.

 

Daniela knew she was going to miss him, as he had become her friend and confidant. There was nothing else left for her to do, and she went house hunting in a district complete unknown to her.

In one of the first houses Daniela visited, the only tinted window glass was upstairs in the bathroom. The bathroom window was made of frosted glass, but at some time, one of the owners had set in a diamond shaped piece of glass which depicted an almost cream coloured background, and in the centre was a bright red heart shape, like a burning ruby. The redness glowed and the sun passing through it made it appear to come alive. Daniela was impressed and yet at the same time a little wary. She couldn’t understand why the coloured glass had been placed in the bathroom, and why the red heart?  Daniela decided against buying the house, unless the bathroom window could be replaced by one without any colour in it. The estate agent told her that the window panes in the window were being most difficult to remove. But Daniela told him, “No window removal, no sale. I really don’t fancy having any windows with colour in them.”

The estate agent told her, “I’ll see what I can do for you. The house has been empty for a long time now, and the owners are anxious to sell it, and get their money.”

“Who put the coloured glass piece in the bathroom window?” Daniela asked.

“The previous owner was an uncle of theirs, and was into that sort of thing. He fancied himself as having something like a stained window in his house. There used to be coloured glass panes in the front door too, but they were removed by the inheritors. There was some trouble with that, but nobody took any notice.”

“Why? What happened?” Daniela asked.

“The man who was removing the coloured panes cut himself badly and lost the use of part of one hand. So the coloured glass panes were removed by a machine. The glass was broken up into very small pieces, so that it could never be used again. Everyone said there was a curse on it.”

“I think something was wrong, but a ‘curse’ in this day and age, is a bit over the top,” Daniela replied.

 

The house was sold, but the new owners either hadn’t heard of the coloured panes in the doors, or didn’t care. The estate agent was happy, and so were the inheritors who were all paid handsomely.

 

Daniela bought a very well situated apartment near a large park and gardens. The apartment was on the top floor, to avoid memories of the house where she and Brian had lived with the mirror reflection windows. The windows were plain glass, and not too many of them either. Daniela was not into windows, and instead of curtains she had blinds. The apartment was decorated in white and silver, and was full of cushions and sofas and armchairs. The dark wood floor was covered in heavy white fluffy rugs. The whole look was cosy and clean.

 

The new owners of the house with the red heart in the window, had it removed and had a new plain-glass window fitted. Everyone liked the new window. There was more light, and the redness in the bathroom had gone for good. Everyone approved of the change.

 

Then, one night, not long after red heart’s replacement, there was a huge explosion. The remains of the coloured window had been placed in a glass recycle bin, and the heart had exploded. The cast iron bin was broken to bits, and all the glass inside it too. The red heart was shattered. There was a tremendous mess.

 

Those who had inherited the house had only just gone there to live, and weren’t very happy about the incident. The next day they went round to the estate agent, and put the house back on the market. The estate agent said that the explosion was a ‘one off’, but the owners didn’t go for it, and said to sell it.

 

When Daniela read about the explosion in the newspaper she was tucked away in her new apartment was very pleased she had never bought the house.

 

Daniela then felt the urge to move again to another apartment where there was nothing to remind her of anything sad in her past. The colour scheme of her new home was decided by the new man in her life, whose judgement she trusted entirely. There was no silver and white, no coloured window panes - and nothing had a curse on it!

 

The fashion for having coloured windows and mirror reflections, came and went.

 

Like every other fashion!  


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