the kohl girl & her mermaid tattoos

He couldn’t take his eyes off her shoes. She sat with one foot curled behind her other ankle, the spiked heel tapping against the floorboards. Interesting choice for a job interview, he thought, but for our girl six inch zebra print stilettos were a casual morning shoe.

Her eyes were rimmed with kohl and her mane was tousled; lesser women couldn’t pull off the sultry look with such ease, but she looked as though she’d been born in a film noir. Well, one filmed in the back of a punk club, with mermaid tattoos and smoky whiskey.

She was smiling at him. It made him nervous. She smiled with only one corner of her mouth, a wry tug at the corner of glossy red lips, and he had to look away. The others would be here soon, and they could get started – although what Ms Jenkins would make of her could only be guessed. He moved some pencils around to appear busy, and tried not to look up at her again.

The kohl girl smiled at his down turned eyes. Her resumé lay on her lap, scented with ginger and bordered by dark etchings of snakes, and she licked her lips as the other interviewers came into the room.

A straight spine, a tap of stiletto, and out our girl came.

‘So can you tell us something about yourself?’ The woman didn’t even look up, just started scratching her pen across the notepad in front of her.

‘I’m a scorpio with a honey addiction and mild kleptomania.’

The woman looked up. ‘Excuse me?!’

‘I swear in German when I’m snuck up on, and will need every third Tuesday off to go to the airport to watch the flights to Cuba. I’ll also need February 6th each year as Axl Rose Appreciation day, but we can work around that.’

His chest shook as he looked at Ms Jenkins, trying to keep his laughter silent. This was going to be better than he thought. She didn’t know what to say, her pen poised mid air in confusion. Mr Cooper was equally perplexed, staring in silence.

The woman blinked lazily at them, and crossed her legs.

‘If you do hire me, it’s only fair to tell you I’ll be happy in winter, saucy in spring, and am best avoided on the 13th of each month. Moths make me laugh and if crumpets are on the lunch trolley, I’ll shriek like a girl.’ A tap of zebra heel on floorboards, and she continued. ‘ I’ll bring you in copious clients who’ll send me gifts of lilies and complain about my days off, and colleagues who will respond well to my use of colour and dirty laugh. I’ll never call in sick and my screen savers will generally involve buxom Russ Meyer wenches and bewildered cats….if that’s ok with you, that is.’

He had a fabulous grin, and she resisted the urge to press her index finger against the dimple in his left cheek. He had dice cufflinks and seventies facial hair, and she imagined their water cooler conversations would involve Elvis and rum. Every woman loves a sideburns man, after all.

‘So what can you bring to the company, if you don’t mind my asking?’

‘Well, I’m fluent in all three Khoisan click languages’ – her tongue sang out sharply against the roof of her mouth, making them all jump – ‘and am pretty damn good at discerning the secrets behind wary eyes.’ She gazed steadily at Ms Jenkins, nodded, and kept speaking. ‘You…you’ve got a dozen staplers stowed away in your drawer and use the photocopier to print out drafts of your novel, which you won’t show to anyone until you’ve had three too many Bacardi Breezers at the staff Christmas party. How am I doing?’

Ms Jenkins looked like she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She capped her pen, and opened her mouth to speak, but the kohl girl got in first.

‘I think you actually did have one too many Breezers at the last staff party, and shared a moment with him’ – she tilted her head towards Mr Cooper – ‘that makes you awkward when you’re in a room together. You haven’t even looked at each other once. Ah, never mind….’ She winked at the startled expression on Mr Cooper’s face. ‘It’ll be our little secret, hey?’

The sideburns man grinned at the kohl girl. ‘Anything further you’d like to tell us?’

‘Yep! If I’m to work in this company, I’ll need a crèche for my cat and an affogato waiting on my desk each morning…oh, and pot plants tend to quiver whenever I pass, can’t really explain that one. And my hobbies are wig spotting and eating red fruit. Now, do you have any questions for me?’

‘Just one.’

A raised eyebrow, and three people leaned forwards in their seats.

‘What’s your favourite biscuit for morning tea?’

The smile on the glossy lips was something special, and he wasn’t surprised that her laugh was throaty. ‘Jaffa Cakes, of course – everyone needs a dash of tartness with the sweet, don’t you think?’

He watched her hips swivel as she headed out to the reception area, heels clacking on the hardwood floor. He waited until Ms Jenkins’ back was turned before reaching into the bin to retrieve the scrunched up resumé. As the kohl girl sidled past the secretary’s desk, one slender hand reached out and curled around a fountain pen, and he saw it being slid into her red velvet purse.

One sly look at him over the curve of her shoulder and she was gone, trailing the scent of ginger behind her as the door closed.

As he pressed her number into his phone, he made a mental note to hide his pot plants, and buy some cherries.

the kohl girl & her mermaid tattoos


Melbourne, Australia

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

I think I like this girl…..a continuation of The kohl girl & her lime pips.

Something playful to welcome summer.

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