that part of the year when the cold fingers and desolation of winter have been
shaken off in favor of the warmth and hope that spring brings with it. That
hope is a gift to the youth. It is with hope that people start new chapters of
their lives. Hope gives power to the creators whose ideas are nearly realized.
Hope is what bonds two lovers together. What the youth doesn’t realize is that
this gift won’t last forever. Lives end as easily as they have begun, ideas
fall apart, and love doesn’t feel lovely enough.
was one of the first warm days of spring. The Young Man sat on the steps of the
promenade in the park. With his long, dark mane of hair gently flowing in the
spring breeze and his haute couture, he was the picture of youth and virility.
Nearby, a Willow tree beckoned, offering comfort and shade.
like these were made exactly for what he was doing: enjoying nature, listening
to the birds and letting his thoughts wander while absorbing the sight before
moved a few feet behind him. A smile bloomed on the Young Man’s face.
was attempting to sneak up on him.
was all blonde hair, blue eyes and her Sunday best clothes. He knew at first
glance that this was a girl who’s been fought over more than once.
that first glance, he unequivocally knew that there was something strange about
her. Her presence was like when you’ve misplaced something very important and
you have the inkling that what you are looking for is right in front of you.
Whatever it was, the Young Man knew it had something to do with her eyes. He
knew that there was something there, something that was swimming just below the
surface of those cold blue pools.
was a fly in those Venus flytrap eyelashes.
those few moments that they had observed each other, a dull haze had started to
seep in through the Young Man’s mind. Time seemed to hold its breath, waiting
for one of these two people to make their move. Before he realized what his
legs were doing, he was following her.
and talking like they were meant to love each other, and only each other since
the day that they were born, they held each other in the waning sunshine. The
Young Man had never done that with just anyone before. For some reason, things
felt “different” with her.
know, my mother never told me not to get into strange cars, with strange
women”, he said from behind a blindfold.
said she wanted to show him something back at her apartment but she wouldn’t
tell him what it was and that secrecy was crucial. The Young Man was no fool.
If it had been any other woman, he would have sat back down on those stone
steps and resumed his enjoyment of nature and all of its offerings. But with
her, he all ready knew it was love.
fortunate for you I’m not that strange”, she said smiling with her mouth,
only. Her eyes, her eyes were saying something else. A small kernel of worry began
to germinate in the Young Man’s mind.
the young lady who was trying to sneak up on me”, he volleyed back at her
in hopes of getting just a little bit more out of her.
didn’t understand until they had arrived at her apartment why secrecy was an
issue at all.
they had gotten out of the cab, the young lady had taken off the blindfold in
favor of covering his eyes with her hands. Dropping them away from his eyes,
she stood before him, just as lovely as when she first crept up on him, gesturing
like a showroom model at the silent behemoth of a building behind her.
nodded enthusiastically, eyes dripping with cold fire while her mouth did all
Young Man knew something wasn’t right.
small kernel of fear was starting to take root. He knew that he should have
been more pragmatic about the entire situation. The only thing that he could do
was to look up at this building and wonder where the top ended.
Tired of his lollygagging,
she led him by the hand to the front door. Once he took one look into the
frigid depths of her eyes, that fear was ripped out by the root.
turning off a switch.
was the biggest apartment that the Young Man had ever seen.
much space. For some reason, he found elation in all of this.
wasn’t long before she started undressing him.
know that this may comes as a surprise, but I haven’t been entirely
forthcoming”, she said.
a brief instant, there was a flicker of fear across his face.
ok, you can tell me”, he said.
you believe that we’ve met before?” she said as she continued to undress
what’s the rush?” he faltered, trying to put some physical distance
between the two of them.
she finally spoke.
said too much. You just seemed so… ready.”
some reason it made him love her. It. just… didn’t… matter. Clothing
proceeded to be shed.
awoke the next day feeling hollow but fulfilled at the same time. The young
lady was nowhere to be found.
exploring the cavernous and nearly soundless apartment, he stopped to take
stock of himself in a mirror.
always knew that one day my looks would get me in trouble”, he
with the elation of the other day and with the overwhelming sense of unease, he
still liked what he saw reflected back at him: rugged features, slim build,
full mane of hair, what more could be asked for?
small noise drained the self-absorption that the Young Man was drowning in. As
he followed the sound, the noise grew to a full mutter.
sense of dread was back.
in the shadows of the hallway, he took in the strangeness of the site that he
had found in the warmly lit room.
on one of the longer couches, the young lady was with four people he had never
seen before. She sat in the middle of them. Everyone sat comfortably with
their eyes closed and their arms outstretched before them.
one end of the couch sat a man who appeared to be entirely composed of knees
and elbows and seemed entirely too thin to exist. On the far end of the couch
sat a woman who seemed to be having trouble immersing herself as the others
have. She was doing her best though.
either side of the young lady sat a man and woman who were like no people he had
ever seen before. The man was dressed well in bright colors and had an
iridescent quality to his face. It was like the sun was being kept in the
container of a human. The woman was a pale beauty, dressed in deep blues and
black greens. These people who flanked his love were as opposite as night and
completely unsettled the Young Man was that they were all talking in unison but
it was unlike any language that he had ever heard.
cold sweat began to filter through the Young Man’s flesh.
walked slowly towards the center of the group, to his love, and knelt down in
front of her.
he put his hands on her knees, those impenetrable mirrors of her eyes opened
and his mind went entirely flaccid.
smiled, ensnaring him in her embrace. The others applauded.
the applause, he heard her whisper, “Deep inside of your soul, you know it
to be true: we’ve met and loved each other before. Just as sure as the sun and
moon sit beside me”.
knew that he should be afraid but there was something inside of him that was
keeping him from it.
it her?” he thought.
everyone adjourned to the balcony. Reeling in the haze of the moment the Young
Man became acquainted with these strange peoples. Try as he might, the only
name that would stick in his mind was that of the thin man. He referred to
himself as the Conductor. When the Young Man pressed him about such a strange
name, he would only say that it was a nickname that he was blessed with given
his “god-like” ability to keep things moving.
that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with his tall friend, the Young Man went
to the railing to asses the past couple of hours. There was something missing.
He just couldn’t nail down what it was. It was like someone had brushed up
against a part of his memories before the paint had had a chance to dry.
was a cool and cloudy night. The sky looked like a window mottled with steam
and streaked with condensation. When he turned around, the strangely
dressed man and woman were in the possession of musical instruments and were
tuning up, while the Conductor took his place amongst them.
Young Man wanted to question all of this but his elation at the sight before
him was clouding his judgment. All he could think about was how much he wanted
to dance with his love.
Young Man and woman had started to dance. There was no rationality to the chain
of events that the Young Man had become a part of. The only thing that he knew
for certain was that he was happy.
others looked on and smiled.
the air became too cool to be tolerable, the group agreed that sustenance and
libations were in order. As the food was served and conversation politely
filled the air, the Young Man began to realize that something still wasn’t
reaching this conclusion, the Young Man and the young lady had started to eat
what appeared to be a grapefruit from their plates. The Young Man began to open
the fruit with his hands. He realized that the fruit was certainly more exotic
than he had surmised.
the juice of the fruit bled through his fingers and dripped onto the plate, he
couldn’t help thinking to himself that the young lady was right: they had known
each other before. Pushing the fruit’s pit up and out into the atmosphere of
the dinner party, the Young Man regarded it with a feeling of regret. It sat
there in his fingers; slimy and pulsating like a heart.
of those feelings of dread, the weight of the unease of everything, he finally
felt assured as the identity of the young lady had finally dawned on him.
turned to face the young lady. Regardless of any realizations, the love was
still there between the two of them. As he was about to speak her true name, a
wave of disgust erupted on her face. Reaching up to his head, she fingered one
silver strand, a gray hair.
plucking it from his head, she turned and stomped away like a scorned child.
to read the faces of the “dinner guests” in hopes to find some clue
as to the travesty that he had unknowingly brought into being, a shockwave of
fear thundered through his body.
were all gone.
night had turned into day.
was like it had never happened.
he going mad?
click of a woman in high heels echoed through the apartment.
after it, he had found her at the end of a hallway. It was the woman who didn’t
seem like she was to be a part of the group. A brief glimmer of hope pin
pricked in the man as she regarded him, her entire being radiating
on her heel, she walked on, deeper into the room at the other end of the hall.
into the room after the misplaced woman, the Young Man had found her, the young
lady, in the embrace of another woman.
look so… happy”, he thought.
both stopped long enough to look at him. Their faces were polite but it was
obvious that they were unhappy with this presence.
young lady gazed at him with those dangerous pools she called eyes.
Young Man heard her speak. Her mouth wasn’t moving. She was speaking to him,
inside of him.
as the moon and sun sat beside me last night, you know that I am The Dawn. I am
of the oldest of the old and we have been acquainted numerous times. I bridge
the gap between the days and I exist to rob you of your youth. Eventually you
will be like me, Young Man. You will be no longer lovely enough for love. You
made your peace with that last night when you realized my true name and yet you
still had love for me. Go now, young man, you have served your purpose”.
eyes began to tear. As he blinked them away, he found that he was back where he
started, in the park.
Unaware of what happened, the Young Man still felt at ease with himself as he moved from the steps to the nearby Willow tree. Watching his son toddle around in front of him, he knew despite the feeling of unease, that things were as they should be.
Continue reading ““The” Short Story.”