So Beautiful

by | Mar 5, 2014 | Fiction, Short story | 6 comments

Here’s the first of a five-part story I’ll post over the next several weeks. It expands on a little snippet I posted a while back. I’m inclined to not post pictures to go with it. That might change

So Beautiful
By Laura McHale Holland

Engulfed by early morning fog, Marcie spots a dusty green bottle in The Gap’s storefront window. Beyond vintage, the glass vessel leaning against a mannequin’s boot is conspicuous amid the stylish denim and knits on display. Marcie, wrinkled and bent, is drawn to it.

She’s been longing for a potion—a strong one—so she can jump up and down in the stands at a baseball game. Rain pouring or wind roaring, it won’t matter. It won’t matter because once she takes a sip, she will be thick skinned with rosy cheeks and nary an ache in her joints.

She wants a magic elixir so Arturo, her true love, can return to her, so they can make love from dusk to dawn in a tent on a far off beach, no worries about what the future will bring. She wants a potion to take her back—if only for a day—so she can race full tilt down the sidewalk to catch a streetcar and know in that moment exactly how beautiful she is.

She leans closer to the window and instinctively stretches a gnarled hand toward the pane. When her fingers meet the glass, they slip through, as though dipping into water. Startled, she pauses, holding her breath. Then she reaches forward. When she is in up to her shoulder, she grabs the bottle, snatches her arm back and slips the treasure into her trench coat pocket. Circles ripple where she had permeated the glass.

Marcie watches, transfixed, until all is still. Then she touches the pane, tapping at first. It’s solid. She slaps it with her palm. It doesn’t give. Pressing with both hands, she leans against it with all her weight. It’s like any ordinary storefront window.

A bus pulls up to the curb. Marcie boards.



Second installment coming next week.

Want to join my creative journey? Sign up for Letters from Laura at the sidebar to the right.

Share this:

The Kiminee Dream: Now Available!

My new novel is coming soon. Mark your calendar!

Influenced by folklore and magical realism, The Kiminee Dream is a lyrical story with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. If you like depth as well as whimsy, arresting twists, and details that rouse your senses, you’ll love what is both an eloquent exploration of acceptance and a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.


  1. Word wrangling woman

    Enchanting and engaging. Bravo, Laura. Your writing is so easy to love. P

  2. admin

    Thank you, P, for taking time to appreciate my work. Receiving such a comment is a wonderful way to start the day. You said quite a bit in a short string of words, an indication of your word-wrangling skill, my friend.

  3. Nancy

    You hooked me at “wrinkled and bent,” and reeled me in with the second paragraph. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  4. admin

    Thank you, Nancy. It’s so good to know you eagerly await the next installment. … There are some publications that accept stories from writers who’ve posted them online previously, and this is one I’m thinking of submitting.

  5. Barbara Toboni

    Keep going. Love it so far. Can’t wait for more, but until then can you tell me what Gap store that is so I can get my own bottle?

  6. admin

    Hahaha. That’s funny, Barbara; I’d like one of those bottles, too! I’m envisioning a Gap like one that was in downtown San Francisco (don’t know if its still there). I’m not depicting San Francisco specifically, because I want the story to be like a fairy tale in some ways. I’m glad you’re looking forward to more. Thanks!


  1. So Beautiful, a short story | Laura McHale Holland - […] The first two parts are at and […]
  2. So Beautiful, a short story | Laura McHale Holland - […]  […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up here to receive your free copy of Just In Case

Subscribe to Laura McHale Holland’s newsletter

Thank you! Watch your inbox, your welcome email should arrive soon.