April, 1978

Diana Lynch stretched and opened her eyes to the sound of Purple Rain, sung by Prince, coming from her bedside alarm clock radio. She pushed aside the dark orchid satin sheets and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, admiring her lavender toenails as she did so. The nail polish was a perfect match to the lavender walls of her room. Holding her left hand out so the facets of her engagement ring of amethyst, surrounded by diamond brilliants, could flash purple, pink, blue, and gold in the rosy April morning light, Diana noticed that the book on her nightstand was no longer "To Kill a Mockingbird", but The Color Purple. Underneath that was a picture book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.

"Oh, well, I have to read The Color Purple for my Lit class anyway," she said aloud to herself. Maybe I got it out and left it there while I was putting my other books away last night. Although it seems like I would remember doing that. Still, how did Harold and the Purple Crayon get here?"

Shrugging her slim shoulders, she got out of bed, sliding her feet into violet velour slippers that matched her nylon negligee and robe. Diana had always loved keeping her room neat and prided herself on keeping her personal domain tidy. She immediately pulled the slippery sheets straight and fluffed her pillows. Next, she unfolded the puffy comforter from the foot of her bed. "This bedding was such a great bargain," she exclaimed, talking to herself as she often did in the morning. "How did I get so lucky as to find such a gorgeous thing for that price and in just the right color?" She smoothed the luxurious comforter, which was printed with a design of violet, lavender, orchid, and deep purple pansies on a pale lavender background, with a few golden yellow blooms included for contrast. Next, she tossed the accent pillows onto the bed, their colors echoing the colors of the comforter. Finally, she checked the violet dust ruffle to make sure it hung straight.

As Diana stood back to admire the results of her efforts, the radio DJ announced, "Now we have a real treat for all you baby boomers out there! Here’s Sheb Wooley, singing Purple People Eater!"

She danced and sang along with the song, which had always – for some reason – been a favorite of hers. Opening her window slightly to freshen the air, she inhaled the morning breeze, scented with the fragrance of a blooming lilac bush outside. The last notes of Purple People Eater faded away, and Diana danced into the bathroom adjoining her bedroom. A row of African violets sat on the windowsill next to the vanity, and she carefully watered the dainty plants, being careful not to spill any water on their fuzzy leaves. As she picked spent blooms of purple, orchid, and lavender, she sang an old song her mother used to sing to her when she was little.

"Roses are red, my love,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet my love,
But not as sweet as you."

"But I never understood that song. Violets aren’t really blue. Even the blue ones are really more of a dark purple." Her brow puckered in a slight frown, she stepped into the shower, enjoying the scent of her Yardley’s English Lavender soap and shampoo as she sang along to Jimi Hendrix.

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things don't seem the same
Acting funny but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky


Purple haze all in my eyes
Don't know if it's day or night
You got me blown Blown my mind
Is it tomorrow or the end of time?

Feeling refreshed, Diana exited the shower and dried herself with thick plum-colored towels, then brushed her teeth with a grape-flavored toothpaste she was testing for a new-product marketing class. "Nope, this will never make the best-seller list," she said sadly. "It’s a shame because it is so pretty!" The toothpaste was indeed a delicate pale lavender in color, with stripes of purple.

The radio continued its retro playlist with Smoke on the Water, by Deep Purple.

... But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky ...

Dressed in her favorite minidress of violet and navy plaid on a lavender background, with a fine green windowpane check running through it, Diana drank coffee from a heliotrope ceramic mug and ate a bagel spread with grape jam, while checking her mail from the previous day. A postcard from her friend April caught her eye. It was a reminder that it was time to submit the dues for her pen pal sorority, P.U.R.P.L.E.: People Understanding Reasons Purple Love Excels. As always, April had written her note using a pen with dark orchid ink. Diana admired the picture on the front of the postcard: a scene of rolling West Virginia countryside in spring, dotted with frothy lavender-blooming redbud trees against the green hills, under a blue sky. She propped the postcard against her empty coffee mug. "That will help to remind me to mail the dues today," she decided, before grabbing a sturdy purple tote bag filled with textbooks, notebooks, and a purple umbrella.

As she locked the door to her apartment and began to prepare herself mentally for the day’s classes, Diana heard her radio playing again.

"Why in the world is my radio going off again?" she wondered. Checking her watch, she discovered she had time to go back inside and turn it off. So she unlocked the door and started back to her room.

Diana Lynch stretched and opened her eyes to the sound of Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog, sung by Creedence Clearwater Revival, coming from her bedside alarm clock radio. She pushed aside the dark orchid cotton sheets and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, admiring her lavender toenails as she did so. The nail polish was a perfect match to the lavender walls of her room. Holding her left hand out so the facets of her amethyst and diamond engagement ring could flash purple, pink, blue, and gold in the rosy morning light, Diana glanced at her nightstand and noticed "To Kill a Mockingbird", was back in its expected place on her nightstand. Not The Color Purple; not Harold and the Purple Crayon.

"That was an oldie but goodie, from just a few years ago!" announced the DJ.

"Wow, what a fabulous dream that was!" she exclaimed. "Everything was some shade of purple. I can’t wait to tell Mart about it! And April will never believe it. But Purple Rain ... who was that Prince guy anyway?"

1136 words

Author’s notes

Random House owns the rights to the character of Diana Lynch, from the Trixie Belden series. I am receiving no profit from writing this story, although I hope it produces a few giggles for its intended audience.

As always, I want to thank my hardworking editor, Trish. She had several inspired suggestions, which did so much to keep this story at the violet end of the color spectrum. Thanks, Trish!

El_/Vivian is totally responsible for alerting me to the thread on the Jix MB that was the inspiration for this bit of fluff, and she made the original graphic design for the page, based on an idea I sent her. I loved the page but as I wrote more and began to design my own pages, the style I chose for this story didn't match the page design for my other stories. In January 2019 I redesigned the page, but I'll always be grateful for Vivian's work AND for her amazing patience in teaching me!

Many thanks to Mal, Chromasnake, Dana, Kate, Mary, and Steph H, who suggested the elements.

Mal – you started it with your comment about the Lunesta sleep aid commercial: the entire set of sheets was dark orchid. Her nightgown was purple and the walls were lavender. If the chick had had dark hair I would have laughed myself silly. It was Di Lynch's dream room.

Chromasnake (terry) – suggested the title: "A Study in Lavender"

Dana – challenged Jixsters to write a fanfic

Chromasnake again – thought that ... perhaps... Dianafan should write it. Just to keep in the theme, of course. She also suggested some background music: Deep Purple; and of course, the One-eyed, One-horned, Flying Purple People Eater...

Kate – insisted on adding " Purple Rain" and " Purple Haze" and " Purple People Eater" to the soundtrack; as well as The Color Purple!

Mary - wanted Harold And The Purple Crayon. Mary also came up with the acronym P.U.R.P.L.E.: People Understanding Reasons Purple Love Excels.

Steph H – wanted to make sure that our favorite Dark Orchid-loving gal wasn’t left out.

Originally I was going to place this story within my "universe"; then I decided not to, since Purple Rain was released several years later than I wanted to set the story.  Then I decided that since it was a dream, it didn't matter ;-).

I hope you all enjoyed this candied violet confection, and don’t mind that I changed a few of the elements around ;).

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