fiction / flash fiction / Uncategorized / winter

Ice, Ice Maybe

Dixie had to go to work and it was snowing outside. Why did folks have to pass away in the dead of winter? She combed the purple streak in her hair. Even though it was cold, Dan had promised to take her to the ice display at the Freemont Hotel in Dallas. Giant ice sculptures, art crafted in frozen beauty. Dixie loved art and design, and perhaps that is what drove her to be a hairstylist for the deceased. The living irked her, they talked too much. She preferred the silent. Dixie remembered the first time Charles the undertaker had asked her to work for him. “You aren’t afraid of dead folks, are you?” She considered it for a few moments and decided that she was not.

Dan and Dixie had been a couple forever. Way too long. Now he was taking her to a special place she had always wanted to go. She had a feeling that he was gonna propose. After all, the ice art display at the Freemont hotel wasn’t exactly cheap. After years of holding out hope, years of watching Dan’s car disappear into the distance, she knew he had finally surrendered to his heart. No doubt. Dixie was certain.

Outside, Dixie’s car chimed a weary, “Whrr….whrr…whrrrrr….” The starter on the aging Chevy Malibu didn’t like winter at all but finally gave in. Dixie drove cautiously to the Charles Brumley Funeral Home. Her hands on the wheel were cold as ice.

“Hi Dixie,” Charles called as she entered.

“Mornin’, who we got today?” Dixie asked.

“Martha Sellers,” said Charles.

“Oh poor darlin’. I heard she was ill.”

“Yes, she died early yesterday,” said Charles.

“Well, she always liked her hair a little raspy through the middle. I thought it looked good on her. That’s what we will do. And a blue rinse.”

Mrs. Sellers still had a nice head of hair; she had cared for it nicely. Outside, the snow lifted a bit. Saturday night with Dan and the ice sculptures would be on for sure. Dixie was finally going to hear those words. Those words she longed to hear. He was going to ask. Hair done, Dixie left Mrs. Sellers blue and cold.

The snow had melted on the way to Dallas, but Dixie felt a little like Charlize in The Huntsman movie, regal and spoiled. Dan and Dixie spent a full three hours gazing at the magnificent sculptures in the massive hotel lobby. It was if they had fallen into their very own glacier and let the world melt away. At dinner, they sat at a grand table, people drifting in and out of the hotel restaurant like snowflakes.

“Dixie, I have something to tell you,” Dan said.

“Oh Dan,” Dixie smiled back at him. “I’m listening.”

“Dixie, there is someone else, she…”

“What! What do you mean, Dan? What do you mean!”

“I’ve met someone. We need to break it off. You have been a good friend and support system for me and -”

“I, I don’t understand. You love me! What do you mean? Who? Who is it?”

“Well, I met iCandy and Facebook, and …”

“iCandy! That’s not even a real name. That’s some, some floozy!!”

Dixie jumped up. “I can’t listen to this now.” She ran through the lobby in her dinner dress and heels, purple hair streaming then out the front lobby doors leaving the doormen speechless. Dixie felt the cold wind rush up to her taking her breath away and feeling like ice daggers were shooting into her heart. She kept running through the freezing courtyard until she became brittle with the shock of it all, the frost glistening on her lips.


31 thoughts on “Ice, Ice Maybe

  1. I worried that purple streak in her hair might be too much for Dan but no, it was
    Icandy all along. Great story LT. Not the read with the light on type I was expecting from the opening… much worse! Guess it’s back to tonging among the Tombstones for Dixie, curling with the corpses, dye(ing) with the died. No, don’t go I’m on a roll(ers)…

  2. Aw, I feel sorry for the poor girl! It’s not everybody called to beautify the deceased; one would have wished her some happiness in her own life. Sigh.

  3. the story had me in the first paragraph. if i’d met dixie when i was young,… well, i should probably stop before i get into trouble. but women who drive old chevy malibus are my weakness. this delightful story has echoes for me of evelyn waugh’s novel, dearly beloved, one my favorites.

  4. Awesome character sketch, loved the dialog too. Had a feeling old Dan wasn’t going to pop the question. Poor Dixie. No wonder she prefers working with dead people. 🙂

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