Our story continues. And it moves ahead with a split narration as our heroine finds her own voice, provided by Susan Dellert, telling the story from her perspective to balance that of our hero.
Will there be a third voice? A third person limited point of view? An omniscient narrator to pick up everything our protagonists cannot see or know?
Or does our story play out in tandem?
And we need a title. Send suggestions please. And send them soon.
Part two by Susan Dellert
A pale pink light filtered through my eyelids as the sun entered my bedroom.
Mornings always hold such a mysterious promise of fresh beginnings mixed with the certainty of unexpected events. Taking a moment to enjoy the cozy cocoon of my sleep warmed sheets, I stretched languidly. Dressing quietly in the near dawn darkness I thought of the fields surrounding this old shotgun shack, awakening also, as the sun heated the night’s dew from the crops. I made my way through the sleeping house without disturbing even the cats. The breath of spring greeted me through the open door as I walked toward the front hall. The moisture in the air beginning to cling to my skin as I pushed open the screen-door. I slipped soundlessly onto the damp grey boards of the porch, easing it to the frame silently behind me. The morning was so mild, the day so fresh, it felt odd to keep on my boots, let alone my heavy jeans. Each step off the porch and into the day took my mind as far from the house as my body, leaving the gossamer door behind.
The greenness of the Earth opened my senses and a gentle glow of peace filled my spirit. As the warmth of the soil and air passed through my bare skin I let my muscles relax. The sensation of calm glided up my legs and brought with it harmony. I sensed the Ancient Ones all around me, greeting me, as I greeted the day. Stretching as I arched back, reaching at each side for the distant oaks, I gave my face, my self, fully to the sun.
I slowed my breathing and tried to be perfectly still to hold on to the moment, but a movement at the end of my driveway flickered across my sightline. My ancestor’s spirits evaporated and my thoughts shifted to the person walking up the long, tree lined path from the road.
It was too early for any of the volunteers to be arriving to work the plots, so I stepped back into the shade of the porch and awaited the arrival of today’s first unplanned occurrence. As the figure approached it became clear it was a man, from the way he sauntered slowly with shoulders erect, to the firmness of his gait. I was at first, unable to make out any features of his face. He took his hands out of his jacket pockets as he came to the steps and when he looked up at me, the color of his eyes made it hard for me to focus. They danced with a golden amber as perhaps a wolf’s or coyote’s would. I realized he was speaking and pulled my mind from his eyes to his voice
“…and I sure would appreciate if I could borrow it,” was how he finished. Not having a clue as to how he had begun his sentence, I decided to stall.
“I haven’t had breakfast yet, would you like some coffee?” was the best I could do. The surprise registered on his face but was quickly replaced with a blush and a smile. Not waiting for his response, I turned and headed into the house. Holding the screen door open for him as an invitation, I faced him and looked again into those eyes and barely heard him as he spoke.
“Thank you,” was all he said, as I put a finger to my lips. He silently followed me through the long center hallway toward the kitchen. The moist morning air smelled of herbs here, smelled of sunlight. I reached for a large blue kettle to make the promised coffee, filled it with water from the ceramic crock next to the counter, and, placing it on a front burner, struck the match and touched beneath the kettle, turning the knob and watching the flames grace the edge of the enameled bottom.
I worked, as I normally do, in silence, as if having him there were completely natural. As though he belonged. I made no attempt to engage him in conversation, making only occasional intense eye contact. That deep concentrated gaze said more than any words could. His eyes never left mine, his attention never left my face. Yet I felt at ease, having this unexpected visitor, who seemed not so much a stranger, watch me prepare a meal. And as he watched, silent as I, comfortable as I, the heady aroma of coffee filled the kitchen.
How strange, after so many years, to have this morning captured in crystalline perfection in my memory. Every scent, each breath, is replayed without hesitation as I recall our first encounter.