(I truly meant for this to be Flash Fiction, but the story just developed. Sorry about the way – over word count.)
Grandma June huffed at Natalie, her granddaughter visiting her at home.”You’re not getting any younger, you’re thirty-eight. You can’t barely have babies anymore!”
Natalie rolled her eyes at Grandma June,”Gran, I’m an elementary school teacher. I like going home and not having to worry about kids.”
June sighed,”It was that man, you were supposed to marry. He’s a thief and stole your heart; I’m right aren’t I?”
Natalie ignored June’s question. She hated when her Grandma or anyone, talked about Christopher. She’d never admit he was her one.
He hadbeen since she was in grade ten and Christopher an attractive senior in high school. It was when he had first asked Natalie out. They’d broken-up, having had incompatible lives with Christopher away at university soon after.
Then, seven-years-ago, they’d ran into each other and started talking and dating again. Natalie had convinced herself this was finally it. Sadly, a few weeks before the wedding, Christopher had disappeared; the memories were agony for her.
Two-week’s later, Grandma June called Natalie up to invite her to a wine and cheese night she was hosting for her neighbours. She had tried to decline but June was adamant Natalie attend.
She arrived at her Grandma June’s surprisingly lively wine party, in jeans and a white t-shirt. She had barely bothered to apply makeup as Natalie had come from the gym and was worn out.
“Oh you came,” Grandma June said excitedly, approaching Natalie as she let herself inside. She hugged June and kissed her cheek, as June poured Natalie a large glass of red wine and filled her plate with bread and cheese. She winked at Natalie and left her alone in a small sitting room to rest before joining the other guests.
“Natalie?” A deep voice said. She turned on the sofa towards the sitting room door. Christopher’s voice shocked her, she had almost doused herself in red wine. His familiar timber filled Natalie with great pain. She peered up at him feeling raw, as if he’d only left her yesterday without explanation.
Tears began dripping down Natalie’s cheeks; she was crying and couldn’t stop herself. Christopher immediately sat down on the sofa beside Natalie and pulled her close; he wiped her tears away with his thumb. She tried to jerk out of his arms, but he wouldn’t let her move.
“I’m not letting you go, ever again,” Christopher swore.”I can’t explain much about why I had to leave you, only that I didn’t have a choice.”
Natalie shoved him hard, “You have nothing more to say, nothing at all?”
Christopher was noticeably upset, “I told you I worked as an IT consultant. But I could never tell you or anyone who I worked for until recently. I worked for Special Forces in the army and I was called out to a job. It’s the only thing I can’t about. The job lasted years, and I wasn’t allowed to contact anyone. We saved countless lives, but it was awful what I did to you and being without you. I’m sorry.”
Natalie rubbed her swollen eyes, “You’re a liar Christopher. You could’ve mentioned something, anything. What do you want now? To stay for a while and then leave?To rip me apart again?”
Christopher buried his face in his hand, before gazing up at her: “I’m out now Natalie. I swear to you I work for regular businesses now, nothing to do with Special Forces or the army. I’ve no more secrets other than experiences of war and blood. I came back here for you, I even moved into a house on your Grandma June’s street. I hoped somehow, you and I could be together again. I love you.”
Natalie made a sound of frustration. Emotions of both anger and feeling relieved assaulted her. Despite her anger at Christopher, Natalie knew inside, there would never be another man for her but him.
To Christopher’ surprise, Natalie moved to sit in Christopher’s lap and be closer to him, to breathe in how delicious he smelt.
“Marry me now and we can do whatever celebration our families want later. I’m still mad at you Christopher but you’re it for me. I’ve always loved you and always will. If you can be with me and never leave me like that again, I can forgive you.”
Christopher nodded at Natalie, saying: “I promise.” He held Natalie tightly and kissed her lips hungrily.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the sitting room door and Grandma June walked in, a smile on her face. June’s boyfriend Nigel was with her and so was the local United Church minister.
Natalie looked at Christopher, “Did you do all this?”
Christopher shook his head, squeezing Natalie tight and kissing her cheek. He pulled out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring set from his pocket. He slid the engagement ring on Natalie’s finger, and Grandma June handed Natalie a ring which had been her Grandfather’s wedding ring.
June smiled at Natalie and Christopher, a gleam in her clever blue-eyes. All was at it should be, she thought as her and Nigel witnessed her granddaughter’s wedding ceremony.
Tess held the torch in her dexterous hands, melting white-gold until it was workable. She shaped it until she formed a cuff for a woman’s wrist. Before the gold cooled, Tess placed in the center of the bracelet a pink diamond. Circling the pink diamond were tiny white diamonds.
Her buyer named Adrianne, had been specific about the quality and karat of raw materials used. She had been malicious to Tess as well, bruising her arm with a forceful grasp and spitting in Tessa’s face saying:
“This bracelet must be your most perfect design yet or else. I’m not paying you so much money for nothing.”
Fortunately, Tess knew Adrianne had a horrible allergy to nickel. Tess had procured the finest dust of nickel. When she packed up Adrienne’s bracelet she threw in silver and black glitter in the cuff’s box for decoration; the nickel dust hid well in the glitter.
“You’ve out done yourself,” Adrianne admitted giving Tess a surprised glance. She paid Tess for the remainder of the bracelet and walked out the shop door scowling at Tess on the way out.
She noticed Adrianne scratching her wrist and arm where she’d tried on the bracelet; Tess smiled.
Distance may separate, years pass –our love’s sworn.
Who was she? Thank her hurtfulness thoughtfully,
Pain healed, gave –love, passion, silence comfortably.
Life rolls by you think you’re forgotten but wait —
Your heart holds me , for love it’s never too late.
——– The Licentia Rhyme Form, a poetic form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of at least three – 12-line stanzas with 11 syllables per line. Of course, the poem can be elongated adding on to the following rhyme scheme: aabbccddeeAA, BBffgghhiiAA, CCjjkkllmmAA. The Licentia Rhyme Form is named after Laura Lamarca’s signature, “La” and “Licentia” is Latin for “Freedom.” – Shadow Poetry
Thanks to K.L. Caley of new2writing for hosting #Mayday prompts. Today’s theme is a battle or fight of some kind. Also, Part 2 of a continuing series After The Plane Crash. Read Part 1 here. The battle I’m showing is the main characters fight through her fever and aches from being lost in the wild two weeks.
“Young lady are you awake.” A woman’s voice whispered to me quietly. “What’s your name?”
I make a noise, not wanting to leave the land of my dreams. It’s safe and peaceful here. Danny is with me and we’re drinking a beer together like old times. I know my friend is not real but I don’t want to admit to myself in my dreams; Danny is dead.
A gentle hand feels my forehead. “She has a high fever. I’m not surprised being out in the wilderness that long. She’s sweating. I think it was an excellent thing the doctor got here so fast and we were able to hook her up to an IV to get some fluid and nutrition into her body.”
The woman’s voice was soft and sensible. She sounded like the voice of a lady who was a mother. She smoothed back my hair and I sighed in my state of half sleep. I was cold and sweating at the same time. Iceness overcame me and I shivered trying to pull plush blankets around me as I sweated.
“Aunt Tabitha, what can we do? If we keep giving her the IV as the doctor said, and introduce her to some soup and other food in a few days, do you think she’ll be alright?”
The voice I heard speaking was the deep male voice I had heard before I passed out. The voice had a rich timber, it sounded young and attractive.
A small smile shaped my lips, then I groaned as cold sweat overcame me. “Poor thing,” Aunt Tabitha said. “I’ll take care of her Eric. Don’t worry, your Auntie took care of you when you were ill as a child and I would do the same for this poor young woman.”
“I appreciate it Aunt Tabitha. I really do. I didn’t know who else to call. The workers wanted nothing to do with her.They thought she had some awful disease the way she appeared to them.”
Tabitha gave a harsh laugh. “Ha, those locals are full of stories and superstitions which have no basis in reality. This woman will be fine. When I clean her up a bit and later when she can wash her hair, I imagine she’s a beautiful girl, Eric. I hope the man who died in that plane crash wasn’t her boyfriend.”
“ I don’t know . . .” Eric said softly. “I’ll leave you too it.” I heard him walk away and a door shutting.
I was awake but not fully. I faded in and out of feverish dreams, nightmares where I was trapped in a never ending forest. No animals in sight. Nothing edible and carrying no water. Only dead silence filling my ears.
I was dressed in a bra and panties and had nothing else on — not even shoes. Darkness descended and it began to snow and my body was wracked by cold as the wind picked up and the snow built up around me. I couldn’t move. I was so cold I was frozen stiff like an ice sculpture; I shrieked aloud.
Eons pass where I am stuck inbetween what’s real and what’s in my dreams. I dream about my Mom and Dad, how worried they would be about me. I know it’s been past two-weeks now since the plane crash. My feaver hasn’t abated for days but Aunt Tabitha dutifully stays at my side. At night there is a hired nurse. A thin bird-like woman who doesn’t speak English but sees to my needs.
Aunt Tabitha is with me whenever she can be. I’m aware of her reading on her tablet. Sometimes she reads to me, but I want to tell her she’s only giving my mind more material for nightmares.
I know she has asked me my name several times but I have trouble finding a voice strong enough to answer her when I feel semi-lucid. Only when nightmares overwhelm me do I scream and plead for them to stop using my voice loudly.
Today my head feels much clearer. I look to see the IV attached to my arm and am thankful it’s giving me nutrients because I think food would repulse me right now. With heavy eyes I scan the room. Strangely, Aunt Tabitha isn’t here.
I move my head and neck gently, testing my muscles which ache from being in bed too long and from hiking through the woods. I wiggle my toes and stretch my legs. I straighten my arms infront of me and put my arms above my head, stretching my whole body like a cat. I feel a jolt of pain in my side.
Pain throughout my body becomes apparent. Bruises and scrapes mostly. I look at my one wrist and see it’s wrapped in a bandage.I must have sprained it. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice when the sprain occurred.
I feel dirty and have the urge to scrub my body until my skin is pink. A bath would be heavenly. My hair is limp and greasy on my head, I can’t remember ever having hair this scungy.
I lean up in bed regarding the room around me. It’s a large bedroom and the room, a work of art and design. The room has a peaceful ambiance, painted in grey-blue.
The furniture including the head board behind me is bleached wood like drift wood from the ocean. I feel relaxed in this place, gazing towards a giant white window with a padded blue window seat full of pillows matching my bed’s dark ink blue duvet and silver and white striped sheets.
I haven’t seen the sun in days. The bright white light of the sun bathes me through the window, but is too bright for my eyes. I shade my face with my hand and gaze in awe at the lush greeness of the mansions front yard. They’re fountains and flowers in the distance.
“Wow,” I say and my voice feels gravelly. I start saying random words and sentences aloud to make my voice sound normal but I can’t seem to rid my voice of its weakness.
I raise my body into a sitting position, crossing my legs under the bed covers. My body cooperates slowly and with aches, but I manage.
I have decided to have a bath or showe. I’m certain I can stand and walk. On careful feet as if I were a toddler, I slip out of the bed and start walking to the bathroom I spied at the end of the room.
It feels so far away at first but my legs remember how to walk quickly and my steps are more assured as I go. Resting against the door frame, I peer into the bathroom.
There is a large tiled glass shower with a wooden bench inside; I am thankful for the bench.The bathroom is designed well with a heavy marble countertop, twin sinks, and dark blue cabinets underneath the counter. A vanity table near by, holds a few cosmetics, clearly for a woman. The toilet is inside a closet in the corner of the bathroom.
I drop my clothes on the wood floor, carefully removing them as my muscles are still sore. The loose grey sweat pants and large white T-shirt are far too roomy to be my clothing and I leave them on the floor.
I open up the shower door and hobble over to the bench where I sit turning on the shower nozzle convienantly located near my head. The shower is hot, too hot at first. But the showerhead gives a cleansing rainfall shower. I sigh in pleasure as the water washes over me. Picking up a puff hanging on the wall, I squirt jasmine scented Dior body wash on it. I scrub my body free of natures dirt and fevers sweat.
My body’s skin is as pink as I imagined, when I reach for Dior face wash and volumizing shampoo. I wash my hair four-times before I’m satisfied it’s clean and I condition it, letting the conditioner soak into my dry long brunette strands before washing it out. The sun has caused some of my brunette strands to bleach blond.
When I’m done washing, I relax and let the hot rainfall water run massaging my muscles which ache. I stay inside the shower longer then necessary but I haven’t felt this well in forever.
“Are you ever coming out?” a deep voice asks outside the shower chuckling.
I gasp and quickly turn the shower off fumbling. I cover myself with my hands uselessly. Eric is outside the glass shower and I’m naked inside, no towel within reach.