Snapshot Stories: Golden Dawn

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind old photographs? Snapshot Stories is a series of short, fictional narratives prompted by that curiosity. This installment features a photograph by Cecil Beaton.

Rose would have preferred to survey the wreckage alone, between sips of her earl grey, but the morning light drew her attention to blonde and jet black curls weaving into folds of fabric. She hopped up on a bar stool and watched them sleep. Both were blissfully unaware of how many cocktails had lulled them into soaking their hair in her curtains, now glistening with the star of the evening. Golden Dawn, Walter’s new concoction, was a hit. Even the bergamot notes in her tea could not erase the sweet signature of orange juice and apricot brandy that mingled with her sweat all night. It was the gin that caught up with these two.

Poor Blossom. She was used to the stage but inexperienced in the art of declining drinks. Rose knew she should have taken her out of the chorus line when her steps lost their usual precision. But her hair matched so perfectly with the beaded fringe that more than one patron had pronounced her the golden girl of the night.

The brunette deserved a less dignified exit. A college girl down from the convent, judging by the look of terror on her face when Legs gave her crooked smile through puffs of his cigar. He recognized her, so she had to be a politician’s daughter or something of the kind. Rose expected her to be out after a few nervous glances at the bar, but she was ready to throw away reputation for celebrity before the girls were on their third number. She was practically throwing herself on Sullivan and everyone thought it too funny to tell her he was a gossip columnist.

Rose finished her tea as the light moved on to uncover lost sequins and feathers. She was reluctant to wake them up. Sullivan would be back to ask her about the girl. If only every guest could come to her parties without leaving their reputation in her hands.