It is a medium-sized acrylic lacy shawl with strings coming loose. Pale blue. A plastic doll with curly, bright gold hair, is inside it. Together, they are on the an old-fashioned quilted bedspread, white cotton with orange and brown leaves and cotton frills on the edges and dark brown legs poking out the bottom. On the scratched wood dresser which has four drawers, black plastic and silver metal handles, is a tube of crimson lipstick, curved at the top with a plastic lid, the inside of which has red smears. A pale pink compact with the paint rubbed off and vaguely visible writing; an orange brush with a black ridged handle, ridges following the square cross-section.
A woman holds the brush, its ends frayed, studies her face. The mirror on the left, on top of one drawer, – tall and rectangular - has stains on it, white-fuzzy stains, bits of plasticine, a pair of colourful shiny birds with squished faces on a yellow plastic perch, and a paper cutout of a too-big head attached to a minute neck attached to a skirt attached to skinny legs attached to fat shoes, coloured in with felt-tip scribbles. The mirror on the right, on top of three drawers, is round and rotates on a brass rod when she pushes it.
The woman puts down the brush, sits on the bed. Moves the shawl, finds a thick black textbook lying open. “Case study. John is a 23 year old...” It goes onto the pile between the dresser and the bed, after the yellow highlighter is flicked out of the way. There’s another bookshelf on the other side of the bed, full of novels and poetry. Two shelves, dresser-height but coloured darker. One of the white-painted wardrobe doors at the foot of the bed is held open by a tiny baby rubber duck. There is a girl, in amongst the clothes, stroking a pale green satin-and-lace nightgown.
Word count: 321