“People don’t think as you do.”
“I know no other way.”
“Then carry a shield,” she said. “Soft hearts bruise.”
Our stars crossed long before we met. From faraway I’d heard her heart beating, felt her skin on mine. Anna Bellerose. Every breeze and twig snap had me turn.
“Two souls tangled in time,” the townsfolk said. Others murmured, “Damned” and spit upon the ground.
A single thread entwined our destiny. Controlled on a loom, the silk was measured and cut by the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.
Goddesses. At night, they stood in the heart of the forest, long robes lit by moonlight. Hands held, they circled and sang. Silvery notes chorused heavenward. Even the stars winked back.
In one moment, three women had proclaimed eternal law, a steel trust that sealed our submission. The stories of two lives were to play out without obstruction. Their magic art would drag me across territories, to leave me standing on a snow covered doorstep.
“Old souls,” the keeper said, as he led me to a darkened room.
Anna stood beneath a broken chandelier, trapped in the shadow of a single memory. Her face, a moon in a well to wish upon, her crooked crown, from a fairytale. On a table lay an open book.
I knew the tale. Spoken words locked in time had already pinned me to the page.
She turned to me.
I met her with a smile.
She is drowning in a tsunami of emotion.
His presence reminds her of something quiet and treacherous: the first snow fall. A system enters unannounced. The world softens. For a moment, everything seems extraordinary.
Hidden undercover is plain truth. Perhaps he isn’t what she imagines him to be. Behind his faraway eyes, she hears the whispers of hard scrabble stories not meant for her ears. The voices go low, suggest regret. His pull is magnetic; his push, cold.
Together, they are on a collision course.
She had shared a mention of his troubles with her mother. He’d assured her that change was in the works. The upkeep of two homes was a nightmare.
“Of course, he’d say that,” her mother said, “To you.”
The words bit.
- opening a chapter- draft (Pronouns used in place of ‘names’ for post.)
- Narrator’s POV, character’s POV
“I pity you. Your heart has turned to stone. Stone hearts must be guarded, polished, and held forever. Breathe. Exhale the battles, regrets, the unyielding memories. Trust again.”
The streets are quiet
Photograph: Anne Watson
He was like a steamship coursing an endless sea, always traveling somewhere else. Far away and faded from distance and memory to reappear on a winter’s morning.
All I’d ever wanted was for him to stay awhile. He’d drop anchor having found his home in me. We’d find joy as hoarfrost turned to blossoms.
In truth, we were lovers snatching moments. Memories danced from projector to wall. Each clip a scene. In one: a café in Barfleur. The next: a foray through a hidden bookshop. As we lifted the jacket of an all but forgotten ‘Emma,’ history rose dusty and reminiscent of bourbon and oak.
Desire is a fickle mistress. Once more, I’d wake to discover he’d left.
Such a pretty tale you whisper
In the honeyed middle of a night
Of ships and sails, silver and gold
While moon beams bathe the veiled dark
We cast pearls upon the sea
One for love and two for loss
Three, for rumpled dreams
Awakening to shaken rain
Each word spoken, locked within.
Julie de Waroquier Photography
Whispered words tip toe across rumpled linen
to nestle in her ear,
“A broken heart is beautiful,” he said.
“It was a love beyond my control. A touch familiar yet fleeting, my June in December. Our minutes were numbered, we didn’t count them. Such is the love between the moon and the sun.”
~siddickens Memory Blocks
I will search for you in crowds, coffee shops, and blowing clouds. At traffic lights, beneath starry nights. I will pluck you from the rest: my dream, my wish, my love.