Being fifty and wearing jewel-encrusted denim skirts down to her little pixie boots was never going to stop her from hearing the crepitus in her knees. As she descended the stairs slowly trying to shift some of her weight on to the hand rail, the grinding was still audible, just slower in its execution. She had tried going quickly so that she almost skimmed the surface of the treads and whilst it seemed better at first, the impact of the landing on the hall floor at the bottom outweighed the benefits. Furthermore, it was risky; she could easily trip on the frills of her skirt or misjudge the positioning of the treads as her eyesight was not exactly perfect. So she crept slowly.
She’d just cleaned the bathroom and the satiny cuff of her cerise blouse was saturated; she hoped that it was just water. The pressure from the wood underneath her palm passed through her grip smoothly except for one particularly sticky patch. She paused but decided that it was too late to scrape it away because to do so would probably reveal a nakedness of the grain that she felt unable to face now. Inevitably, polish would need to be applied to the area to conceal the flaw and these things always took time. Anyway, the doorbell had already rung and her momentum down the stairs, now restarted, the swing of her hips and the swishing of her skirt against the wall, the rustling of her petticoat underneath and the whisper of friction from her tights at her thighs reminded her that today, it was really going to happen.
She’d seen him watching her through the glass. But when she got to the door, it wasn’t the window cleaner, it was her husband. Like casting pearls before swine.