The Spindled Girls - Juliet Cook
The spindled girls have cheeks that never heat up, no matter how obscene the situation.  They are wan and wilty and blue-tinged.  They drag their attenuated limbs like dress socks that have lost their elasticity; like a rope fashioned from sloppily tied-together white sheets that never got long enough to enable their escape. They congregate in pastel sitting rooms, slumped into divans in such a way that one can barely see them.  They blend into the faded purple & gold striped wallpaper.  They whisper amongst themselves and flip through romance novels with a lackadaisical air of disdain.

The spindled girls have eyes that glaze as they sharpen their scissor blades.  It seems as if they are forever trimming their fast-growing flaxen hair.  They also trim their elongated fingertips.  Only a little bit of watery lavender blood seeps out, which they collect into vials to use for small transfusions when one of them begins to look especially pale.  There is a high incidence of lazy eyes amongst the spindled girls.  There is also an almost uncanny proliferation of flesh-colored moles. One is tempted to snip them off with sewing scissors.  If one did so, a spindled girl would softly moan and wring her hands, wrists flopping like wet gray kittens.

The spindled girls have names like Priscilla and Lilia and Blanche. They play long drawn out parlor games in which they sign their names in tiny cursive with old-fashioned fountain pens and then blot & blot & blot until their signatures are nearly indiscernible.  They subsist on alfalfa sprouts and watercress and an occasional spoonful of small curd cottage cheese.  They dab their lips with bleached handkerchiefs and vacantly gaze across the room.  This one seems utterly oblivious to the aphids crawling all over her limp lettuce leaves as her eyes randomly roll in no particular direction. This one auditioned to be a fairy tale princess, but didn't make it and doesn't have the wherewithal to try something else.

It's sad to observe the youngest of the spindled girls; one can hardly help but wonder how else they might bide their time instead of languishing - letting their translucent eyelids droop; letting the pale waxy cuticles overtake their nails.  Lackluster moons.  Melting candles. Weak approximations of albino sylphs posed incidentally on cooling racks that have long been cold. Some of the spindled girls live in infirmaries.  Some of the spindled girls spend days on end in dilapidated bakeries.  They feed on pinches of granulated sugar.  They collapse into abandoned vats of dusty flour. They roll out dough that will never get baked into tarts.