When I’m writing a book, the pages are endless. It’s no hardship, I love being absorbed by the rhythm of the words, the voices of my characters and the satisfaction of a subtle plot twist. It’s good to finish things too, though, and these tiny shorts, fragments, glimmers of a tale are a great way to give myself the utter relief of seeing something completed while I also continue to plough through the new book. So, as I wade through the unknown of my current plot, the darkness of the words, occasionally overwhelmed by it’s enormity, here’s a little something to give me a sense of completion. A short short.
Through the darkness
Through the darkness he came; death and love on his shoulders. Waiting, watching in the shadows, time and darkness creeping around him, a cloak against his betraying heart. Would he knock on the unforgiving door? Would he risk the rejection? He breathed; vital, alive, desiring. He knew he should walk away but roots grew from his feet, tethering him to the pulsing, beating energy of the earth. Love unasked for swamped him like a fever. Walk away, walk away, this path has a shadow side. Walk away, walk away, back to safety. Yet, still he stood, staring, heart thumping as the alchemy of night took hold and starlight gilded his hair.
She was on the other side of the silent, shadowy door. Was she alone? Perhaps sitting in a pool of light, her skin bathed golden, her hair falling in soft folds to her silken shoulders, tickling her with delicate fingers as she thought of him. He shook his head, trying to shift the image. Frost was forming around him as he stared ever harder at the place where she sat, unseen, only imagined.
Was she even real?
His arms ached with the need to hold her but instead of her intense warmth, they felt only the cold swathes of icy moonbeams. Each one freezing him with its beauteous touch, each glimmer a silent jeer of derision. Walk away, walk away, to the familiarity of retreat. Walk away, walk away, to the balm of the known. But his heart would not let him move, instead, he stepped nearer. Could she feel him? His breath through the darkness reaching her in folds of passion or was she wrapped in the oblivion of disinterest. Her smile nothing more than a façade, her words traps and demons rooted in darkness, pebbles skimming the surface, sinking without trace or meaning.
What if she wasn’t alone?
He shuddered, the torturous image of other hands, another mouth, a stranger’s heart and soul commanding her attention. Fear filled him and he felt his legs hurry him forward, wanting to reach her, to beg her, explain, he was here, he was hers until he stood, illuminated, the moon shining her silver radiance on his dreams and fears. His breath coming in gasps, each one keeping him moments from death, pumps of blood, contractions of muscle, a perfectly tuned machine of flight carrying him to his destination and then: he had knocked. Terror, hope, despair, love, fear, happiness, rejection, acceptance. Shaking, he waited, lost, knowing the axe would fall.
The door opened against the night and golden light shimmered forward to engulf the silver of the moon. She stood, watching, startled, her eyes a question. He smiled, a half smile, an apology, a white flag, a promise of love. She shook back her hair, breathed, then nodded, welcoming him into the warmth.