Guest Post: Red Stilettos by Louise Phillips

Yesterday’s guest post was an interview with writer Louise Phillips by Michelle Moloney King. You can read it here: Today, Louise shares a piece of her short fiction inspired by a photo prompt. I asked her to give a short explanation of how she started using photo prompts.

“Ever since first coming across creative writing prompts through workshops and writing groups, picture prompts have been my favorite. There is just so much creative potential in them and you are not limited by being given a set of words thought up by someone else to work with. Not that words are not a great way to jump-start a story, but picture writing prompts inspire you to write a story by looking at a picture and imagining some sort of happening, situation, relationship, character or something similar behind it. Generally once I have the grasp of a story, I write for at least 20 minutes nonstop.  Afterwards, I go back over and edit until eventually, I am happy with the final draft.  There are some great visual prompt sites online.  One of my favourites is .  It is a brilliant site and I have been very lucky to have a number of my prose and poetry pieces posted with some wonderful images there.”

And this is Louise’s piece:

‘Red Stilettos’

It is a ritual.  I arrive expectantly late, no less than ten minutes, no more than twenty, sufficient time for him to scold.  I stand outside the panelled doors of his private rooms in the Saint Paul hotel, wearing my camel coat with the fake fur collar and red stilettos; his favourites.  It is late evening. Above me a glimmering chandelier cascades its light down the gold and ruby entrance which always leads me to him.

I can hear his footstep as he waddles up the hall, then nothing – one, two, three, the silence just before he opens the door.  His face is angry, lined, flushed with alcohol, his eyes narrow, piercing.  He is dressed in a black silk dressing gown and matching slippers, revealing curled grey hair on his rose-stained chest.  The gown is loosely tied with an extravagantly large bow beneath his roly-poly waist.

‘You’re late slut.’  He holds the door ajar, waiting. I pass him by, looking forward.  The whiff of Amouage Die Pour Homme soils the air, nothing but the best of fragrances, for a man like him.

I hear the click, click, click of my stilettos on the shiny tiled floor.  Closing the door, he will watch me until he is good and ready.  Even with my back to him, I know his eyes are on me, taking, without touching.

There is champagne cooling on a side table.  He pops the cork, hands me a glass. I swallow fast, bubbles; sharp, cold, tiny droplets tease my face.  I drink some more, feeling instantly better; braver.

I have a role to play.  I look chastised. He likes me this way.  He calls me a ‘slut’ again.  I’m still standing in my coat as he talks to me about Degas the artist, and all his many masks.  I balance on my red high heels, his pretty audience.  He pretends a lack of interest, engrossed in his own clever conversation.  I reach out, untie the silk gown.  He looks shocked at first, he always does, then smiles, liking to play the game.

‘You tart, you fucking, dirty, shameless tart,’ as he removes my coat with the swiftness of a master.  His right hand pulls my hair, yanking it, using a ferocity which I have come to know is part of how he sees me.  ‘I forgive you,’ he whispers.

Naked, standing before the mirror, he stands behind me.  My eyes stretch, the player with the well-rehearsed modesty as I wait, his mouth opening ready to consume me.

Afterwards, he will cry like a baby.  Ask me if I despise him.  He will be gentle then, talk, and I will listen.


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12 thoughts on “Guest Post: Red Stilettos by Louise Phillips

  1. Thanks Derek for settting the prompt and inviting me to do a guest post! It is brill to come over and visit. I hope your writing retreat is going well. Looking forward to your return – Mondays would not be the same without you!

  2. Brilliant, Louise, very powerful. They would love this over at #fridayflash if you are interested in putting up a link.

  3. Just back in for a couple of minutes – Thanks everyone for the great comments! 🙂 Will check out #fridayflash maybe 4 next week as rushing around like a lunatic today. Also Caren – Scarlett Mag – the name certainly matches the heels!

  4. Well i wasn’t expecting that…!
    “I can hear his footstep as he waddles up the hall” makes me imagine a short, fat, baldy bloke.
    Brilliant stuff.

  5. Loved this Louise – really well written, especially liked the description of her drinking the champagne:

    “sharp, cold, tiny droplets tease my face”

    and the horrible image of this gross man:

    “his mouth opening ready to consume me”

    Well done.

  6. Thanks Maria, Mark & Susan. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you but we had visitors staying with us last night and they have only just left. Reallly appreciate the comments! X

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