She was full of birdsong at sunrise
written notes, long conversation
a sin and a prayer
the scent of cut lemon and crushed rose
Seventies rock and shuffling blues
With a little bit of save the world
And I loved her for all that she thought she wasn’t
~cashmere and cotton
and the sky faded to dark
she leaned into the porch swing, lit a cigarette,
closed her eyes,
and whispered his name
She believed in more. More time to wonder, to imagine possibility in an ordinary moment. To believe in two strangers on a crowded street, the unfamiliar hand that reaches to hold a door, one certain glance.
Everything had changed yet she knew. His eyes looked like home.
And sometimes you forget
the sun will shine
the seasons will change
sad times won’t last
you will always have my hand to hold
“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.