NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
We simply cannot allow Ariadne to suffer such hardship. Can't we do something so that the dear girl doesn't have to face a long and bitter winter, without silk stockings, hot toddies, fresh flowers and the other necessary creature comforts? Is there no one here among us with some idea as to how we could help?
As the following communication indicates, the matter may be more serious than we knew.
Please be aware that the last several months have witnessed a virtual epidemic of missing blondes in the London County Council area, roughly coincident with the opening and rising popularity of the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. Several nearby hospitals specialising in emotional disorders, including St. Yvyanne's Neuraesthenia Clinic in Kent, have reported disturbing incidents involving lost, abandoned or confused blondes who had just left the said Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. [See this Archive]
Despite severe budgetary constraints, the Bureau has nonetheless established a number of lost blonde claim depots at major railway termini, London Airport and near the main department stores. These depots are furnished with powder rooms and lounges for blondes who have forgotten their destinations and or home addresses and telephone numbers and have arrived at the end of the line bewildered, often in tears. Some are delivered to us by department stores when they are found wandering about after closing times. As soon as a positive identification is made, the brunette mummie, brunette sister or wife, as the case may be, is contacted and the blonde released into her custody.
Based on our experiences, we are convinced that sense of direction
In the case of the above-referenced Ariadne, a description of age, height, weight, eye colour and hair length, style and colour rarely suffices to effect a positive identification. Our staff require additional information regarding general taste in clothing, particularly lingerie, including not only style and colour, but the actual brand names, if known. "Gorgeous silky cream slip with a deep lacy hem" is simply too vague for us to go on. That's almost as useless as telling us that a blonde has five fingers on each hand.
Should Yrsula be able to assist us in our inquiries by providing
said additional details, we shall be pleased to pursue the matter.
INSPECTOR VYOLET SARACHILD
BUREAU OF MISSING BLONDES
ARISTASIAN EMBASSY SECURITY DIVISION
The sweet scent of perfume to wash away the ever so tiresome odor of
masculinity clouding my every pore! Pardon me, may I sit with you? Now
if I may put my bags... just so... There, everything is in order. May I
just cross my legs, sitting comfortably to listen in? I'm new here.
Music Playing: Freda Staire singing "A Fine Romance"
Why, Jewel, how charming of you to say so! The new coiffe is quite a change from the waist length hair I left lying in ringlets on Miss Yekaterina's floor.
And I must quickly add that my heart is warmed to see Ellhedrine
and Janet reconciled; now all that remains is the delightful stories
to be told...
And speaking of blondes, what has become of our own Ariadne? She seems to have dropped right off the edge of Elektraspace without leaving the vaguest trace. I dropped by her flat just yesterday (I had peeked at the St. Yvyanne patient register to find where she lived) and was told she had moved several weeks ago, leaving no forwarding address.
The poor sweet gullible muddle-headed creature was quite destitute -- in fact in debt -- and I am quite concerned for her safety. If any of you pettes have an inkling of her whereabouts, please let me know.
Music Playing: the Quirinelles singing "Music, Music, Music"
When you're seen anywhere with your hat off
Have a Marcel wave in your hair
Someone around these parts really knows her popular music. Could it
be that quiet little blonde behind the bar? Or are some of the patronettes
themselves responsible? I noticed the wonderful Quirrie-art-deco juke box
in the corner, all chrome and coloured neon. How does one work it, may
Well, yes. Virtual juke boxes can be a little tricky until you get the hang of them. You need a virtual shilling piece. If you haven't one, then the simplest thing is to ask the bar-blonde to operate it for you. It has (as you may have noticed, a very full selection of the music of Marychild's Dance Orchestra (from Trent - all brunette except for their vocalist, Lindy Lynne) and The Quirinelles, the pony-tailed blonde vocal group from (you guessed it) Quirinelle; but, being a magic juke box it can play virtually any popular song, provided a) it was not written after 1960 and b) the artists are female. We say virtually, because, of course, no juke box can hold every record, but why not give it a whirl? You are all welcome.
somehow I am feeling very nervous. Its a strange feeling for me, as
I usually feel self confident. This environment is new, and I am unsure
as to how to proceed. This is my first time here and I have already bookmarked
it. I look forward to returning. I hope to be able to enter the inner sanctum
soon. Until then, I will read the conversations in the cocktail bar and
learn more about how to write so sensually and descriptively. Until next
PS - I am a redhead. We have gotten little mention on this site. Are there any other flame colored beauties among us?
Just to put all you newcomepettes in the piccie, blonde and brunette are not descriptions of hair-colour here, but of sex. In Aristasia blondes are fair-haired and brunettes dark-haired (hair-colour being a secondary sexual characteristic), but among Tellurians of Aristasian leaning, a blonde might be raven-dark and a brunette lemon-gold, and, of course, either might be red-headed. So, dear Chantel, despite your delicious red tresses, you must also decide whether you are blonde or brunette.
Music Playing: Marychild's Dance Orchestra playing "Keep Young and Beautiful"
As always, the cocktail bar reverberates with such sparkling company. I am so excited at the prospect of getting to know you all a little better. Dorinda, darling, your coiffeur is absolutely the last word in brunette chic. I myself have favoured the marcel wave of late, but perhaps something more au courrant is called for. Perhaps you could recommend your stylist?
Miss Divina, let me be the first to welcome you in. As a new girl here myself, I know how thrilled you must be feeling to find yourself in such delightful circumstances. All the more so for one who spends so much time travelling - it must be rare indeed to find yourself in so convivial a situation.
Dear Janet, I should also like to be among the first to extend
my hand in friendship. Beneath that tough brunette exterior, I am sure
you are a sincere and well-meaning girl, who was merely led astray by one
too many cocktails. As it would go against my upbringing to turn down any
kind-hearted or well-intentioned offer, perhaps the bartender would be
so kind as to mix me a Daiquiri and send it over to the fire, where I shall
be waiting. It seems the chills haven't quite abandoned me yet.
What an exciting story you told about your visit to Sister Athleen.
Now that winter is drawing on, perhaps we should all tell stories round
the fire, things that have happened to us
Alright, I know what you're thinking, only you're all too pretty and
polite to ask. "What happened?" You think I'm going to tell you?
Well, maybe just an itsy-bitsy bit. Just let me hop onto this bar stool
Okay then. I was offered Miss Barbara's option of spending a day and an evening in nylons with obvious runs (laddered nylons as we say where I come from) as a penance for putting my hand uninvited up young Ellhedrine's skirt. I turned it down (the penance I mean, not the skirt). I'm tough, but I'm not that tough.
The other option was Yrsula's
It took a few days to arrange the assignation. Sister Athleen was just finishing a week of night duty. I offered to go down to the clinic (I kind of wanted to check the joint out after what Ariadne had said about it) but I was told Sister Athleen was coming to London and I should meet her there. I said okay.
It was a foggy evening when I set out. London was London. Not the run-down, gibbering, fluorescent parody of London you'd find in the Pit. Blondes in chic coats, white gloves and hats. Brunettes in wide skirts and perfect lipstick, their faces painted like china dolls. Even a few em-ee-en in bowler hats with furled umbrellas. The cars were all black, tall and curvaceous, like show-blondes in mourning.
I got to the place. It was a respectable, suburban semi-detached. What was I expecting? An opium-den? The lighted windows glowed yellow, promising a haven from the swirling Autumn fog. At any other time they would have looked inviting. But this wasn't any other time.
I knocked on the door. Three times, as arranged. It was opened by a parlour-maid in a crisp black uniform with a starched white apron. The frills of her shoulder straps stood out like two tuck-pleated butterflies against the suburban wallpaper. I had the feeling she would have opened the door just the same if I'd knocked four times or even five. But the proprieties have to be observed. If I'd remembered that a few days ago, through a haze of Fountains of Youth, I wouldn't be here now. But I hadn't. And I was.
"Come in, miss," said the maid. Ordinary words. You can hear them any day from any maid in any house in any street in this city or any other. Ordinary words, but to me they were heavy with significance. I looked at the maid, trying to remember something out of long ago. Wondering if she knew, or guessed, what I was here for. Wondering if her black stocking-tops showed when she bent down to dust the low places. Or did she? What did she know about low places? She looked like a pretty classy maid to me. She probably had girls under her to do the dirty work. I watched her and wondered.
"Well, come in, miss and stop letting the fog in," she said.
Was it the fog they wanted to keep out, or the prying eyes of
I was shown into a long room. It looked like a study with a desk at the end. Behind the desk sat Sister Athleen, devastatingly neat in her nurse's uniform. Not a hair out of place. Everything about her was starched from her apron to her voice and the chrome watch pinned above her left breast might have regulated the movements of the heavens. I sensed that when Sister Athleen was in charge everything was on time to the second and in place to the inch. On the desk in front of her was a long, slender cane in a rich dark colour with a crook handle.
"You are Janet, I take it," she said.
"That's right, Sister."
She lifted her watch with her right hand and looked down at it. "You are two minutes and twenty seconds late," she said.
Well, pettes, I said I'd tell you as much as I was prepared to, and that's as much. I think I'll stand at the bar for my next drink. These stools put a lot of pressure on the tender places. I'll say this for Sister Athleen. She's an expert all right.
Jewel, may I buy you a drink? And barmaid, send one over to Ellhedrine, if you would, with my compliments. JANET
And then to return with chastened dress and demeanor and receive this
most delightful intelligence
Of course I'm intrigued! Describe her, please, perhaps I can remember
On moonlights waters,
Dost you transcend.
Unto the hearts of others,
Oh goddess heaven-sent.
Mine heart been lost,
I beseech your love.
Please lover returnest from yon loft,
Soft turtle dove.
From a lonely Nippon Amber-Brunette,
I was just breezing by when the scent of fading lavender mingled with
rich rum chanced upon my nostrils and drew me so irresistibly to the inviting
violet hue of this rather amusing bar. Goodness how gorgeous you all are!
I must confess that find my senses pleasured by all that I see here. What
a honour to be in such delightful and enticing company! My travels are
many and it's not so often that one finds such an astonishing show of beauty,
dash and polish. Exquisite, really, quite exquisite! I do believe that
more than a splash of fun could be had here. I'm not about to make loud
gestures, but I'm sure that the classic cut of my velvet breeches and the
quality silk of my stockings will divulge a little of myself to any onlookers
who may have cast a fleeting glance over here. Darlings, I feel tonight
will indeed be fun, mines a velvet touch, if you would be so kind, Bar
What can I say? Except the frisson I am now feeling is almost too much (but not quite, dear hearts) Thank heavens for cocktails, don't you think - so steadying for one's nerves - although I must confess that I've nearly ripped my darling little paper umbrella to shreds in all the excitement.
The cocktail bar is divine. Why didn't I find you sooner?
So glad you did come in. Jewel. May we buy you a drink and congratulate you on your courage. I say, move up you pettes, there is a delightful blonde here who needs a seat. It is a little crowded at the moment, dear, but do make yourself at home.
Orlando and Sasha, you dance beautifully together! Don't you just love
the waltz? It is just like champagne in the way it makes your head spin
and your body all tingly, as if the bubbles were rising against your skin
DORINDA, smartly bobbed brunette
I would certainly love to come to your darling Christmas party, and time is drawing near.
I will now continue mulling over my marguerita, and allow another charming lady to speak.
Yours in petticoats,
Actually, this question is not all that embarrassing. In Aristasia there is not really a clearly defined class of brunettes who like other brunettes. Most brunettes appreciate their own sex at times, and a certain amount of flirting (and even kissing) goes on between the same sex, both among blondes and brunettes. I don't think any brunette would think you - I mean, your hypothetical brunette - odd for being attracted to her. She would tend to be flattered even if she did not reciprocate.
Dear Polyhymnia, would you be so very kind as to buy me a drink. I do
not know, I confess a great deal about cocktails. What do you think a blonde
Welcome, Harasina. Do not forget to tell us what sex you are (you look blonde to me, but it is hard to be sure in this light)
Tap pants? We've heard of tap shoes. Is that what you mean? In England there are some winter events coming up, including a pre Christmas cocktail party (interested girls in England should let us know if they would like to come). Here in Elektraspace we shall have to think about decorating the Cocktail Bar with holly and tinsel, but we don't like to do it too soon. Once December starts we shall be serving hot rum punch at the Bar at threepence ha'penny.
ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION
Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.
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