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Ron Sanders


Copyright 2010 by Ron Sanders

cover art by the author

Chapter One


The vanity mirror’s dozen rose bulbs flickered every time a neighbor switched on a major appliance. This flickering, barely perceptible under hard white light, was a dramatic event in Marilyn Purly’s perfectly dark bedroom.

Her ceiling and walls were papered black, her furniture ebony-stained. Carpet, bedspread, pillowcase and sheets: all were dyed Midnight, the deepest black available. Floor-length black velvet curtains hung in her windows and doorway.

But for Purly, the little black room could never be dark enough. That reflection belonged to a golden touch-me-not goddess; on the inside sick and dying, on the surface uniquely and breathtakingly attractive. Purly’s uniqueness, in heavily cosmeticized Southern California, came partly from being damaged goods, and partly from being an unadorned natural beauty surrounded by gaggles of underdressed posers. Through no fault of her own, this wounded nymph quality came off as a direct challenge to men, and as a slap in the face to women.

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