Tuesday 13 November 2018

Miss Stevens

by Roger Noons

a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. 

Dorothy Stevens is a regular at St Luke’s; not only on Sundays, but on any weekday when brass needs polishing, crockery washing or woodwork dusting. Appreciated at the Church as she accepts all requests, doesn’t gossip and carries out her duties diligently. She speaks little but when she does, expresses considerable common sense.
    She appeared one day in Southgate Road, one of Mr Braithwaite’s new tenants, moving in without fuss. She washes her net curtains and cleans her windows on a weekly basis, has few visitors and when spoken to, has a smile and a friendly response. 
    One Thursday morning while tidying the vestry, she moved a box of hymn books and found a collection of magazines. Assuming they were comics which had been confiscated at Sunday school or Junior Church, she moved to set them aside until a slightly larger, glossy magazine slid from the middle of the pile. Picking it up she saw it was a copy of Men’s Monthly. After looking around,  listening and hearing nothing, she closed the door and sat down.
    She flipped through the early pages until she found the first feature. Introducing Helga from Germany, the caption read and over six pages there were several studies of Das Fräulein without clothes. They were black and white and the studio lighting was such that whilst her upper body was clearly portrayed, there was mystery surrounding the area where her thighs met her trunk. Two pages later, there was a similar set, this time of Monika, from Denmark. Comparing the two sets, Dorothy confirmed that it was the same model wearing different wigs.
    She spent some time studying the poses, smiling as she recognised familiar props and settings. Nodding, she recognised the well-proportioned body and facial expressions which were neither lascivious, nor as her mother might have said, smutty. She felt the images were artistic and had they been paintings, would have been lauded and hung in galleries.
    There was a third collection, covering eight pages, in which the settings were in the countryside. The lighting was soft and a grassy mound provided a base for reclined poses. Although the pictures had been taken thirty years previously and showed none of the discomfort caused by insects, tree roots and at one time a passing grass snake, they were the best of the lot. She was again excited by the results. There was no mention of the model’s name.
    Dotty sighed as she closed the magazine and slid it back between the Dandys and Beanos before she hoisted the collection on to the top of the wardrobe. Shaking her head, she wished she had kept her cameras and darkroom and not been put off by bullying from male picture editors and glamour photographers.

About the author

    Roger is a regular contributor to Café Lit.

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