General

A face like an overstored apple appeared from around the door frame. It was roughly at the same height as the children but with as many creases as a scrunched up brown paper bag. Her skin was the colour of melted chocolate but I suspected it had a texture closer to leather. Yet the eyes sparkled like a teenager. When she moved into the room it was with a scatty and hesitant motion, like she was unsure of being in the room. She grinned showing a perfect set of white teeth. I was about to ask her who she was when she giggled. I'd know that giggle anywhere. "Saskia!" The lumpy form shrieked.

"Daddy, don't you love it?! Isn't it great! Can I go now? Can I?"

What could I do? I pulled out my cheque-book and wrote one out to the special effects make-up school she'd been raving about for the best part of a year. Apparently medical school was off the agenda. She squealed again and dove in for a hug. I almost pulled away from the bizarre "old lady." But by now I had red lipstick kisses galore.

General

In his weather beaten skin was a fine meshwork of red threads. From the depth of his wrinkles Mac put him in his eighties. Even without a blood flow to back it up the skin was tanned. There was fresh dirt under his nails; dark like peat or compost from a gardening centre - certainly not the pale clay around this old junkyard. Why had this old boy been here at all? Presumably he still had been living in a home with a backyard, but it was quite possible he was gardening at an assisted living complex or nursing home. There was dirt on the knees of his pale corduroy slacks, but this was the pale sandy sort from this yard. If he had been wearing a jacket it was gone, in the newly bracing air of fall Mac expected one, it was something else to enquire about. Lying sprawled on his back with the entry wound at his temple no-one could mistake this gent for someone sleeping or a natural death. For now it was a new homicide, an isolated case, but as ever he would be looking for ties to Gregor.

General

She had a kind of understated beauty, perhaps it was because she was so disarmingly unaware of her prettiness. Her black skin was completely flawless. I doubt she used face masks or expensive products, that really wasn't her m.o. She was all about simplicity, making things easy, helping those around her to relax and be happy with what they have. Perhaps that is why her skin glowed so, it was her inner beauty that lit her eyes and softened her features. When she smiled and laughed you couldn't help but smile along too, even if it was just on the inside. To be in her company was to feel that you too were someone, that you had been warmed in summer rays regardless of the season.

General

From under the garish woolly hat peeked a pair of brown eyes, the rosy hue of the cheeks almost matching the pom-pom. But the rest of the skin was quite pale, as if the blood had retreated in shock from sudden arrival of winter. Her grin was small and fleeting, then she turned into her mother's legs, her poker-straight black hair running down her parka in a plait.

General

In the dark of the club all I had seen was his high cheekbones and mischievous eyes. He danced like no-one was watching, but of course they all were. He just hadn't cared. We had jived and boogied to rave music like it was thirty years previously, every move a throw back to an era that had belonged to our grandparents. At the end of the night we had burst through the doors in to the artificial glow of street-lamps, staggering, failing to hail a taxi. In the charcoal of almost-dawn we had arrived at my apartment and fallen into bed; asleep before we had time to get frisky, or at least I think that's what happened. In the late morning sunlight that streams through the blinds as if they weren't really there at all I can see his face bares the pock-marks of teenage acne. There is still some pinkness to it from the scars. Otherwise he is tanned, but I suspect it is natural rather than sun-induced. With that black hair he has a Greek look. Before I can fix myself up his eyes crack open ...

General

Gregor's usual robustly ruddy complexion was gaunt. His weathered skin lay in folds like ice scraped from a mid-winter windshield. He was cold to the touch, not that anyone dared come close enough to find out. Already his wife and son could taste the power coming their way but his daughter had arranged both a doctor and a supply of antihemophilic factor. It would take a few days until a bulk supply of the vials could come via a chain of debtors eager to work off their dues with some illicit handling of stolen goods.

General

fair, black, flawless, rich chocolatey brown, the colour of caramel, the colour of an ice-cream wafer, freckled, tanned, sunburnt, peeling skin, as dry as an autumn leaf, like an overstored apple, crinkled like an old paper bag, shrivelled like a raisin, net of wrinkles, creases at the corners of the eyes.

General

greasy, spotted, pimples, acne, blotched, moles, blackheads, threaded with scarlet, rosy, flushed, smooth, clear, glowing, youthful.

By angela, March 29, 2012.