“AVALON! AVALON! Mother is calling you. I think your dress is ready.”
The little girl ran playfully through the pasture. Her beaming smile merged magically into her skin and it into her curly hair that reached gently towards the heavens. She loved Mother’s dresses and was wearing one now, and it flowed like the wind into the grass, completely covering her chunky little legs. Jasper took notice of her and gave a few happy swishes of his tail. He was quite fond of her as she always brought sweet potatoes or apples. They had been friends her entire life.
“Your dress… it’s….it’s….- breath -…..it’s so pretty,” Omni exclaimed as her little lungs filled up with the fresh countryside air again. Out of her pocket came a sweet apple for Jasper, who let out a little neigh of approval. As she fed him the apple, I inspected her dress for the little cuckabugs that sometimes would get caught in the fabric when walking, or in Omni’s case, running through the pasture. I picked them out and toss them into the wind, watching it carry them north, over towards the lake.
Mother learned how to make dresses while designing for Louis Vuitton and still handmade our dresses for every event we attended. Her dresses are always so breathtaking . You wanted to wear them all day while just lounging around the house, riding Jasper or Cannon or eating in town at the cafe. They were extravagant dresses made of materials mother had delivered from places all around the world. She named them after famous women of our heritage who had accomplished amazing things in their lives. Sometimes, as she added the finishing touches on them, she would tell us stories of these women and how they inspired her.
“Come onnnnn,” Omni said impatiently as Jasper finished his snack. I agreed.
“Let’s take a shortcut to save your little legs, and my legs too” I said, readying Jasper for a short trot through the field.
Om’s eyes lit up as she knew exactly what this meant. She loved riding Jasper. His dark chocolate coat almost glowed with its sheen. His sheer power was something to marvel at as muscles ripped through his body. Surely he could win the Derby if Papa wanted him to be a prize horse. We would take him with us sometimes to race with other horses as they prepared for the races. He was so fast and powerful that it was amazing how gentle he was with us.
We climbed on Jasper and he took us back towards the house, where my other sister, Aspen, was standing alongside Mother. Aspen was one year older than me but we looked like identical twins. Our figures were tall and slender, our skin so opaque, Papa would tell us that sometimes he could see Orion’s belt in our cheekbones.
Mother held an elegant dress in a color that reminded me of sweet cream folded over her arm. Her ponytail pulled tight and high. She looked so regal standing there, the wind coaxing her ponytail towards the lake with the cuckabugs from Omni’s dress hem.
“Come and try this dress Avalon, Aspen’s is already done”
I hopped down off of Jasper and reached up to grab Omni, who was playing in his hair. As I grabbed the dress from Mother, I gave her a kiss on the cheek and inhaled her aroma. She always smelled so good. I went into the dressing room and unzipped my day dress. I gazed upon myself in the mirror. I really was beautiful. My ballet and pilates workouts were creating muscle definition and I was becoming increasingly happy with my body overall.
I stepped into the new dress just as a small knock came at the door.
I opened the door and no sooner did Omni and Aspen join me in the mirrored room.
“Can I zip?”, Omni asked, stepping up on the stool so she could reach my shoulders with the zipper. As she finished, Aspen handed me a pair of long black leather gloves. I slid them on, stepped back into my shoes and twirled, letting the dress catch up to me. When I stopped, Mother was standing in the doorway.
“Come now girls, let’s take a photo”