This comes from the start of the fifth section of Chapter 83, “Halloween Happiness,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. It takes place over Halloween 1950. This week’s snippet starts as successful local pinup model Lyudmila Kotova (née Vishinskaya) arrives at a Halloween party in Minneapolis and meets her future second husband.
Lyudmila and her identical twin Raisa impulsively married men they don’t love just to finally beat it out of their small rural town, and only belatedly realised what a mistake they made. Raisa’s husband has become increasingly abusive, while Lyudmila’s husband left her barely enough money to live on when he re-enlisted in the Army and deployed to Korea.
This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines.
Lyudmila gives her cheetah-trimmed sable to the coat check lady at the Halloween party. Though the building has central heating, Lyudmila shudders. Her black cat costume consists of a strapless bathing suit with a sewn-on tutu and long, curled tail, peep-toe heels, bicep-high velvet gloves, a headband with fuzzy cat ears, round onyx earrings, and a black pearl choker with a silver tag advertising her as Very Naughty Kitty-Cat. Lyudmila notes with pride how she’s wearing one of the sexiest costumes. Many of the other pinups are wearing more modest costumes, as though they don’t routinely show as much skin as possible during their photo shoots. That’s not how one gets positively noticed by higher-profile photographers and agents.
Lyudmila looks to her left and sees a very tall, handsome man with deep blue eyes and sable hair like her own, in a gladiator costume. His upper arms and legs are quite muscled, much better than Denis’s physique, and the cranberry cloak brings a splash of color to the otherwise all-black outfit. Almost as an afterthought, Lyudmila realizes he pronounced her name with a Russian accent.