All Dolled Up (HTML excerpt)
Kim scowled. “All dolled up,” she muttered, “and nowhere to go.”

“You calling this joint ‘nowhere’?” The bartender pretended to be offended. “I like that. ‘Nowhere.’ Slaving for you day in, day out, where do I get? Nowhere.”

“You know what I mean, Joe.”

“Yeah I do. Stood you up, didn’t he? Not such a stand-up guy, this one.”

“He didn’t have to be. He just had to be a date.” Kim sighed and downed the rest of her usual, a skinny double latte with a shot of creme de menthe. She surveyed herself ruefully. She’d done a damn good job tonight. It had taken her the better part of two hours, and she sparkled. She glowed like a Hollywood goddess. And for what?

She didn’t make this kind of effort often. She preferred not to. Her day-to-day uniform was an aging T-shirt and an ill-fitting pair of jeans, beat-up sneakers, and, if it was cold enough, a decade-old hoodie. Barring outlier events like other people’s weddings and funerals, nothing more formal was ever required of her, not even at work. Especially not at work. She was a software engineer for a company who thought it was still the late 90s. She could walk inp dressed in bubble wrap and duct tape for all they cared. Laziness, so the saying went, was one of a programmer’s great virtues; a programmer will go to great lengths to ensure she needn’t expend more effort than necessary going forward. Kim had meticulously and successfully programmed her life for lazy.

But every once in a while, every other month or two or three, she got what her Ma used to call “a wild hair.” She’d put on her best dress, maybe buy a new one for the occasion, she’d do up her face and her hair, and she’d go out on a blind date....
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This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for September 9, 2016. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1278 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.

Cover art incorporates “1988 Feeling Fun Barbie Doll #1189” by Freddycat1 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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