Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix’s double take prompt using the words presence – the state of being present/ presents – gifts and holy – with religious significance/holey – perforated, with holes/ and wholly – fully, completely.
Credit: Emily Mortar via Unsplash
The variegated violet sky was an odd site in winter as rain was dangerous this time of year, an ominous icey presence; Jane turned the ring her boyfriend Finn had given her as a Christmas present and her engagement ring. His holy and reverent attitude towards his Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring was strange, Jane thought, as she gazed at the large gleaming diamond and the holey pinpoints around the central diamond filled with tiny white diamonds too. She turned back to the window, staring at the sky outside and recalled telling Finn that all she wanted was a small purple diamond; Jane did not desire this heavy weight of history and duty that hurt her finger; it made the love she once wholly felt for Finn feel cheap and worthless — her preferences did not matter to him, she realized they never would.
For Day 5, the NaPoWriMo poetry prompt is ” to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often.” The accompanying A to Z Challenge today starts with a GoodRead’s author’s quote, with a name beginning with the letter E.
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ― Emma Goldman
Down the path of foliage, between all the trees,
It’s where I find my space, my home sweet home.
There’s something about crisp green leaves,
Wet after the rain, while the dew clings, not letting go.
With road passing through, steps to eternity,
Enthrall me in summer’s breath, the scent of the morning,
Let me stay in mother nature, her security.
Tree branches entwining, limbs gripped with passion,
Used to the presence of parallel lovers.
They’re completely attached, unwilling to let go,
Nymphs holding fast, enraptured with each other,
With the road passing through, steps to eternity,
Absorbing the thrill of the mid-summer fairy dance.
Let me stay in mother nature, her security.
Some brilliant reckless person crafted this road,
Travelers speeding through trees, guarding the sacred path.
Some pause knowing they’ve discovered sanctuary,
Freedoms breeze, they’ll stop to admire the sentinels guarding.
With the road passing through, steps to eternity,
A place where verdant nature, holds a secret prosperity.
Let me stay in mother nature, her security.
For hours I’ve wandered through lush trees,
Delicate roses growing, shadowed by dripping leaves.
Overcome am I, by epic beauty, of roses sweetly pink,
Crushing them in my hands, to absorb the memories.
With the road passing through, steps to eternity.
Inhaling the fragrance of aspiring life, in roses soft,
It was difficult living on the farm, being cutt-off from other people when there was a blinding snow storm for days. Marion felt the numbing loneliness deeply and her husband James only amplified her sense of isolation.
They were still a relatively young couple but James made her feel as if she were old, dull, and boring. He barely acknowledged Marion except when he wanted food. He hadn’t actually conversed with Marion for what felt like years.
She observed as James lived alone in his head, always ignoring her attempts to talk. As the harsh winds and snow isolated them in the farmhouse, James isolated Marion in their marriage.
When the blizzard ended, Marion had had enough. She peered at James one last time and left. She drove to the nearest city and caught a flight home.
Tallia anxiously glanced at Teegan who was asleep on her waiting area couch. She was sure Teegan would be angry at her for drugging his coffee, but Tallia didn’t feel she had a choice. Something was off about Teegan and the darkness surrounding him and Tallia didn’t want to make his potion rashly; there could be dire consequences.
She had found one ingredient which was odd, scrawled off to the side of the ingredients and directions for the potion for Teegan in her Aunt Willow’s tome. Apparently, the potion required a giant gold fish. Tallia wasn’t sure why Teegan’s potion would require the gold fish, but it was something she would have to leave the store to buy.
Teegan had told her if he drank his potion the darkness surrounding him, the shadow that caused a sensitive magically inclined person such as Tallia to hurt and feel pain, would leave for a long time. How long was a long time? And how old was Teegan really? To her he looked about thirty-five.
If he was as old as she thought he might be, she knew he might understand the sleeping drought in his coffee, knowing Tallia as a magic shop owner, had to be wary if Teegan’s potion involved dark magic. Tallia had no way of knowing how long he would be asleep from the drought. She had tried calling Jude, the owner of The Black Coven magic store numerous times on his cell.
Jude must be having a brisk business at his store because he or his assistant, never picked-up the store phone either. Jude was about eighty-years-old as best as she could guess. But his family magic shop dated back to the Middle Ages. He had to know something about Teegan and the potion.
Tallia checked on Teegan one more time, she hoped he’d be out another two hours at least. She needed to leave the store buy the giant goldfish as well as visit Jude. Something inside her told Tallia it was vital she gathered as much information she could get on Teegan and his potion before she set about making it.
She drove her Vespa to The Black Coven first. It was located in an ancient, rundown part of town dating back to the 1400’s. But those who needed to visit Jude’s magic shop, knew how to find it. As Tallia’s own magic shop had been with Aunt Willow, Jude’s place was also a hole in the wall.
The streets were narrow here and Tallia knew her Vespa would be more inconspicuous, as well as, she would be able to travel down narrow streets she couldn’t maneuver with her car. There was a bit of parking lot a block down from The Black Coven. Tallia parked, leaving her Vespa in a parking space.
She walked down to the ancient magic shop, opening the creaky old wooden door and removed her side-bag. She had placed her Aunt’s great tome in her bag. She turned the book to the correct page, listing ingredients and directions to make Teegan’s potion in the script Tallia did not recognize.
Then she called out, “Hello Jude, are you there? It’s Tallia, Willow’s niece. I’m sure you felt me coming. Was there a reason you didn’t pick up the phone? Or have you guys been extremely busy today?”
Tallia received no answer. She gazed around the dusty store, it appeared empty.”Um, Jude’s assistant, Aspen, are you here? We’ve never meant, but last time I talked to Jude, he’d said he hired you to take over from him?”
Again Tallia received no reply. She walked around the magic shop. The Black Coven was a mishmash of magical items all stored on old stone and wooden shelves in no particular order or thought to design.
Powerful and dangerous items were among those items which were standard, and pretty harmless magical items. She saw crystal balls, different statues, and a wall with ingredients for potions and spells kept in jars.
She was shocked to see certain items used only for dark sorcery. These items frightened Tallia. She could sense there blackness in her mind. They were much worse than the darkness which followed Teegan — at least she thought so.
Jude had always been grandfatherly to Tallia. She had meant him many times as grew-up. He often had coffee with her Great-Aunt and Aunt. She wondered why he wasn’t answering her. Tallia walked up to the counter where a 1950’s cash register sat in dust. There was a bell and Tallia dinged it a few times.
Eventually, a man about the same age as Teegan came out. He looked Tallia over and before she could say anything he held up his hand.
“We knew you were coming Tallia. It’s alright. Jude hasn’t been well lately and he’s in the hospital. For his age, he has done well until now. It’s why he hired me to handle things. I’m one of his great-grandsons, I’m. . .”
“You’re Aspen. I know, Jude told me about you last time I saw him a few months ago. He attended my shop’s re-opening. I run Fairy Dust.”
“Yes, Jude told me about you. You rang his cell, but he has trouble talking right now my Aunt told me. He had a stroke. I’m sorry I was busy when you called out in here. From what I can glean from you, you’re dealing with some sort of darkness from a client and you need some advice,” Aspen said.
Tallia nodded, “Poor Jude, that’s awful. I’m sorry for your family.” She put the tome in front of Aspen and waited as he read and reread the potion procedure and ingredients.
“These seem to be pretty normal ingredients, except for the large goldfish. But maybe the potion requires it’s life force? I’m not sure what to tell you Tallia. What’s Teegan like?”
Tallia couldn’t help but blush thinking about Teegan.”He’s demanding but seems to be understanding enough. I thought he was about your age, when he first came to my shop. I could feel the shadow emanating from him. It made me sick, especially when he came back the second time.”
“The second time?”
“Well I pretended I was sick the first day, even though he did give me a headache. I went home for the afternoon and I hoped he’d go somewhere else. But the next day he was back. He told me he was old. My Aunt and Great Aunt made him his potion before. He was able to stop me from feeling ill, from hurting me, by chanting a few words,” Tallia said.
“I’m not sure what I’m dealing with, will the potion truly make Teegan well? Will it make such evil leave him?”
Aspen was paying attention to Tallia’s words carefully. She noticed he was concentrating. He wasn’t bad looking himself. He had auburn hair and bright green eyes. He was tall but not as tall as Teegan. He was attractive but more in a nice guy way. Teegan was definitively what women would call a bad boy.
“Well,” Aspen said,”I think your Teegan is cursed. That’s why he needs the potion, quite badly I’m afraid. You really should hurry back and make it for him. We’ve an extra goldfish around here somewhere, we must.”
“Cursed, cursed by what or whom?”
“It’s hard to say Tallia. Jude would know more I think. Even so I believe Teegan is much older than Jude by hundreds of years. I’ve heard whispers of Teegan. He must have done something terrible in the past would be my guess. Something awful enough to warrant being cursed to live so long and to require a potion.”
Tallia sighed, letting out her breath.
“I have a feeling if he doesn’t get this tonic, he’ll be a resistant foe to deal with Tallia. There’s a reason he takes it. I doubt he wants to be who he is when he’s dark. He wants to be normal and this potion allows him to be.”
“You know all this?” Tallia questioned. “How did you know?”
Aspen smiled mysteriously, “There’s things I’ve heard Tallia. Also, I can read through you, what you felt around Teegan. I can feel his presence too, so could Jude; he’s a powerful guy. Go back and make his potion quickly. He’ll be awake soon.”
“But . . .”
“Tallia, such as you and many other magically inclined people, I have a sixth-sense. That’s how I know these things.You have one too, although less developed. It’s telling you to go back to Fairy Dust and hurry.”
Her blue eyes became huge and Tallia nodded mutely. Aspen handed Tallia a bag with the giant goldfish.”On the house,” he said with a grin. She wondered how they had this giant goldfish just lying around. It wasn’t a typical magical ingredient.
Tallia called back to Aspen lightly,”Stop by come check-out my store some time; have coffee.” He walked her to the door and Tallia stuffed the tome back in her side bag.
“I’d like that,” Aspen said grinning. He winked at Tallia as she left. She was deep in thought and was surprised to find herself getting onto her Vespa, placing the fish on the back of it.
She told herself to payattention and hurriedly drove back to Fairy Dust. Tallia too felt she needed to make Teegan his potion and fast. She prayed he wouldn’t be angry with her or worse. With such darkness within him, she didn’t want to be an object of Teegan’s wrath.
“Sorry do I know you?” A handsome man around her age asked Jolene.” You seem familiar. And well, you’re beautiful, who could forget you.” Jolene indulged the man with a smile. She was anxious to return to Kasia and Aunt Cathy. No doubt Auntie Cathy had spilled all of Jolene’s carefully guarded secrets to Kasia.
“I don’t believe we’ve met before,” Jolene told the man. “I’m only visiting Cathy Lumiere, with my daughter. I’m Cathy’s niece. I used to live with Cathy when I was in highschool.”
” High school that’s it,” the man mused smiling. He had beautiful lips Jolene thought and such long dark lashes covered his chocolate eyes. “You were the head cheerleader and Prom Queen, you dated Scott Jeune. I never liked that guy. He was obnoxious and a narsaccist if you ask me.” Jolene looked at the man thinking he didn’t realize how true his opinion of Scott was.
” What’s your name, Monsieur?” Jolene asked the man.
“I’m Luc Devreaux, Jolene. I own Chateau Blanc.” Jolene’s eyes went huge when she learned Luc owned the Chateau. She studied his face, staring. Jolene tried to remember if she’d ever seen a Luke Devreaux at the Chateau.
Luc cleared his throat and Jolene realized he’d been holding out his hand for her to shake. Instead of shaking her hand though, he went in for a kiss on each of Jolene’s cheeks. Jolene blushed. Luc smelt delicious, spicy, and citrus.
“How French of you,” Jolene said and Luke gave her a charming grin.
“You have been gone so long you have forgotten about your French roots?” Luc asked Jolene and she hesitated at Luc’s question.
“Well, I travel a lot for work. I wasn’t from Nice or even France originally. I was born in Montreal, Canada. And except for business I have lived in Ottawa with my daughter for five years now… I’m trying to picture you Luc as you looked when I was in highschool, but I can’t remember you. I’m sorry, I was a wild girl at sixteen and seventeen -years-old. I went out with many boys until I met Scott. Lucky, the thing with Scott was only temporary.” Jolene felt she was rambling but Luc made her nervous in a wonderful way. He made her feel as if it were fine for her to be herself.
“Well we went out a few weeks,” Luc began, “but I wasn’t living at the Chateau then. I inherited it from my father later. Mon pere and ma mere have been divorced since I was twelve and I lived with my Mother, who had custody until I was eighteen. But I visited my Dad here in the summer. I remember you well from when you went to high school. You were amazingly pretty, full of yourself, but what pretty teenage girl isn’t. I wanted to keep seeing you, but Scott asked you out. Even though, I was a few years older than you, all you cared about was Scott.” Luc said sadly.
Jolene thought hard. Slowly, a few threads of memories came together in her mind. She remembered a handsome guy, older than herself, who resembled Luc. She had met young Luc on the path to Chateau from the beach where she had been sun tanning. Luc had been good-looking in a classically handsome way, lanky and athletic. He wasn’t charismatic as Scott had been. But Luc as a young man was an unwavering presence. He was thoughtful and concerned about what she had liked and wanted to do. He had manners and everything wasn’t about himself. In addition, as he said, Luc had been older than Jolene. She had been attracted to the fact he was a university guy back when she was seventeen-years-old.
” I remember you Luc,” Jolene said happily. “You were visiting your father and we met on the pathway. It was dark and thundering and the waves were splashing high on the path. They waves were making it hard for me to stay standing on the pathway as I ran to the Chateau. You came and helped me across and we had hot chocolate together. We dated three-weeks, you were caring and concerned. I thought you were a real catch — until Scott. I was obsessed with Scott for far to long. I’m sorry if I hurt you, dumping you for Scott. You were the better guy.” Luc laughed and grasped Jolene’s hand between both of his larger hands.
“I’m glad you remember, finally,” Luc murmured. “I heard from some of the other staff that Cathy’s niece was going to be staying here awhile. I’m glad you are. I seem to remember we had quite a bit of fun in my old apartment when you were in senior year.”
Jolene lifted her eyebrows, “I believe we did.” Luc laughed.
“When you have time between visiting with your Aunt, come see me in my office. We can catch up… I never heard you had a daughter.” Luc added.
Jolene grinned her hands still enclosed in Luc’s warm hands, ” Yeah, she is great, fifteen now. I will come see you in a few days. I’m a bit run down from travelling and I have a lot of explaining to do with Aunt Cathy. . . when I left years ago it was quite sudden and we haven’t seen Aunt Cathy since.” Jolene admitted to Luc, unsure why she felt like being so honest with him.
” I’m not used to this again Luc. I haven’t dated or really done anything since my daughter was born. There’s been a few random dates but nothing concrete. It’s hard to trust someone for me Luc. Especially, after Scott . . .” Luc nodded brushing a stray hair out of Jolene’s face.
“It’s okay Jolene. We’ll just enjoy each other’s company while your here and see where things go. There is no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable doing.” Luc assured Jolene holding both her hands again.
Jolene looked into Luc’s eyes which seemed to pull her in and hold her close, like she wanted his arms to do now. She realized she had an affect on him as he tightened his hands around her hands and Luc’s breathing quickened.
” I work, I model a little and I run a chain of clothing stores for woman. I am with Kasia, my daughter as much as possible. I wasn’t always able to be with her when she was a bit younger as much.” Jolene said feeling herself flushing again under Luc’s stare.
“What a lucky girl to have a mother with such beauty and intelligence. I’m sure she inherited those qualities from you. I would like to take Kasia’s pretty mother to dinner, after she comes to visit me in my office. Oui?” Luc said. His voice sounded sexy to Jolene.
“Oui, Luc,” Jolene said quietly. ” Kasia will be surprised. She has gone on more dates than her mother has in many years.” Luc smiled at Jolene squeezing her hands in his still. Luc let Jolene’s hands go slowly, trailing his fingers along hers as he let his own hands drop and hers.
Jolene walked away from Luc back to her Aunt Cathy’s sitting room, willing herself not to catch her black boot heel on a carpet edge. She looked back once to see Luc standing where she left him in a hallway, watching Jolene walk away. She gave him a small smile and Luc waved.