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Crystal and the Seven Brothers

By Tamara Clay


Copyright© 2012 by Tamara Clay

Crystal and the Seven Brothers

The sound of breaking china rang out from the kitchen and Crystal Le Blanc winced. Another argument, no doubt. Another distressed dad to comfort and another evening meal spent trying to ignore her stepmother, Charlotte.

Crystal’s father had remarried more than ten years ago, years after the death of Crystal’s own mother, and for the most part it had been a happy marriage. Until recently. It had started with Charlotte demanding that Terry, Crystal’s dad, remove all of the mirrors in the house. She said she didn’t want to watch herself growing older and uglier. Crystal had been doing her makeup in a tiny compact mirror for nearly a year now. After the mirrors came the experimental cooking, with ancient cookbooks salvaged from antique dealers and boot fairs being used to concoct everything from chicken’s foot soup to liver and cabbage broth. Crystal had lost a lot of weight in the past year, but her curvy frame was still an attraction.

And a cause of jealousy. Crystal had given up trying to bring a boyfriend home, as Charlotte would scream and cry for her lost youth, or attempt to seduce the young man with her fading charms. The young woman now went to her partners’ houses instead.

At the sound of this latest battle, Crystal smoothed down her sleek black bob and walked into the kitchen to find Terry standing with folded arms against the fridge with Charlotte sobbing into an old tea towel in front of him.

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