The Girl with the Teacup Earrings

By: Carmellite Chamblin

She went by Vanessa Ives and she was an art student at the School of Museum of Fine Arts where she studied film and animation. Much of her time though was spent writing, sitting at Evans Way and the Harvard Schlesinger Library where, according to her Twitter and Instagram posts, she wrote poems about women in art, space and time, feminism, patriarchy, and the ways society would improve if women were in charge because women were simply better, period.

She wore colors that exploded in the backdrops of fall hues in October. Her black Doc Martens boots were always ankle length. Her skirts and jeans were either brown, black and made her seem like a 90’s teen too cool for the mechanisms of a normal life. Her plain T-shirts forever complimented her supple breasts and curved hips. Although both of her eyes were a soft brown, her left eye had a crescent blue streak that crossed over her iris and made it gray. Her lips were soft, the darkest shade of pink, and full. Her curly gray, bubblegum hair bounced in the crisp autumn wind. All the while her Cabotine de Gres reminiscent of my grandmother’s antique flower shop trapped the fortunate souls that crossed her path.

It took me time to notice possibly her best physical features that on most occasions were discreetly tucked away behind her curled locks. Smooth along the edges, patterned unlike any ears my eyes had ever come across, her ears looked as though they were fresh out of the oven and were always adorned by miniature teacup earrings which were opaque and decorated by blue daffodils. In simple terms: exquisite.

My girl with the teacup earrings, who much to my dismay would follow her sisters’ footsteps, was special, and she deserved more than this life had to offer her. It was Monday, October 13th. She wore a crocheted sapphire sweater over black denim jeans and mahogany Docs, had her pale orange backpack slung on one shoulder, and kept the pace of a dogwalker as her eyes trailed on notes in her sketch notebook. I’d been tailing her for about a mile now as she headed back to her apartment where she lived alone, because her trust and faith in people had as much value as a penny at the bottom of a trashcan barrel. We were alone.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. There wasn’t any need to follow her or any of the others, but opportunities like these don’t arise on their own. Blood, tears, sweat and meticulous planning are put into my craft that by the way, took years in the making. I’m often painted as a cold-hearted monster that has no remorse or feelings. But understand this: it’s never easy for me or any of us. My path was carved out for me by a force beyond any godly capabilities long before I was born, and so, when the time came for the knife to be held, I answered.

If I was getting an echocardiogram in this moment, you’d think my heart would sooner leap out of my chest. So determined on the task at hand, I wasn’t aware of the moon’s unusual pattern for the evening. It was only a quarter to six and it shone brighter and whiter than any other time in recorded history. It wasn’t just the moon that acted unusual. The clouds in the sky created an oval shape under the moon, and the night sky turned into a giant teacup for the world to see.

A flood of uneasiness swept over my lungs, and I feared my limbs would go limp at any moment. The last things I remember were the rushing of cars crushing their tires against the rocky pavement, and a motorcyclist chanting Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”.

The lights dimmed, the room was warmed and wafted scents of baked almond and chocolate chip cookies and chamomile tea. She laid at my feet, writhing, somber, and wary of how the night will unfold. It took some time to collect my thoughts and grow a sense of awareness of the space around me, while my hands grew impatient and my heart quivered with joy.


In memoriam, Penny Dreadful.
Thank you, Flore.