A Snow White retelling set in 1920s Germany
Ingeborg and Dagmar came to the front terrace from the main door and went down on the curving flight of stairs.
The cars were killing their engines one by one, giving way to silence still broken by people calling and chatting while unloading. The night was falling, but the car lamps illuminated it with cones of white light.
Grete stood in one of those cones. Possibly by chance, though looking at her in the illuminated dusk like at a film frame, Ingeborg wondered whether Grete calculated it. Maybe even by instinct. She sure knew how to make an entrance.
“Grete,” Dagmar called from the foot of the stairs.
Grete turned with a pirouette that looked like a dance and had nothing about surprise to it. The light from the cars cast her face in light and darkness with a dramatic effect that once again reminded Ingeborg of film stills.
Close to forty, she looked at least ten years younger. Her skin was smooth and unblemished and always perfectly made up. Her mouth was that perfect Cupid’s Bow that had come from America with their rare films, and her eyes were big and smoky. Her hair was covered by a fashionable felt cloche that had a big white rose pinned to the dropping side. Her glacial grey coat designed a tube around her lean figure, but flourished in a huge fur collar around her shoulders and wrapped her arms in bell leaves, also fur-rimmed. Her shapely legs were uncovered by the short skirt, slightly shimmering of the new rayon fabric in the light of the cars. If her position in the limelight had been chance, her attire surely wasn’t.
“Girls,” Grete purred. “How splendid to see you both.” She opened her arms in an elegant gesture embracing both of them and brushing her cheek against theirs lightly. Then she watched them up.THE FROZEN MAZE by Sarah Zama – Episode 5 – Grete – She always thought Grete was the best advertisement for her cosmetics business. Close to fourty, Grete was as beautiful as a movie star #historicalfiction #retelling Click To Tweet
“Inge, child, you look so tired. Don’t tell me you came here with those horrible trains.”
Ingeborg smiled. “They’re very comfortable, Grete. Although I’ll admit the trip on the couch here—”
“You should have called me,” Grete scolded. “I would have offered to bring you here, had I known you still don’t own a car.”
“I was perfectly fine, Grete.”
Grete shook her head, then moved her attention to Dagmar. “I’m so happy to see you here, sister,” she said, grasping her hand.
Dagmar raised one brow. “Were you expecting me not to?” There was amusement in her voice and also in the scowl Grete gave back.
“What are all these people?” Dagmar asked. “I thought you just had to talk to Inge and me over dinner.”
Grete swatted the matter away with such an elegant gesture that Ingeborg wondered whether she practised it in front of the mirror. Not for the first time. “There’s time for that. I thought you shouldn’t bother about getting the house running.”
“I always worry about keeping the house running,” Dagmar pointed out.
“I know, I know. But if we were to hold a party, would you be able to manage that with your people?”
Ingeborg and Dagmar stood silent for several seconds.
“Why would we want to hold a party?” Dagmar finally asked.
“I haven’t said we will,” Grete said. “I brought my staff just in case.”
Dagmar cut her a sideways look. Grete shrugged the matter away.
A man came up to them. “Should I show everyone to the back door, Frau Weiss?”
“Yes, Müller, please do,” Grete said, turning to him just slightly and craning her neck like a swan.
“We should go inside too,” Dagmar said as Müller went back to directing the small army of boys and girls, women and a few men surrounded by all manners of suitcases and bags. “It’s getting cold out here. I told Hannah to keep tea ready for when you’d arrived.”
“What a beautiful idea,” Grete beamed as they all turned toward the manor. “I hope you’ve taken out the porcelain set.”