It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

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Image: Pixabay

10 Months ago

Shadowed Dreams

Apologies for not having anything in this post if you’ve either stumbled across my blog or were looking for this post. I somehow managed to lose the contents today of all days (Halloween…). It was my response to Bernadette’s (of Haddon Musings)  writing challenge, It was a dark and Stormy Night. The post was death related…

Today

My original story was never meant to see the light of day, I understand that now for a variety of reasons. It was a stark story of a woman searching her home town for familiar faces on a dark and stormy night, one that ended badly for her. The spirits were in no mood to be trifled with on that chilling night, even the incursion of this writer into their realm was unacceptable. Hence the disappearance of my offering into the aether. Okay, it sounds melodramatic but I’m just setting the mood. All I wanted to do was make a few amendments directly on the site, forgot to keep a copy of it elsewhere. Then it vanished. How green and inexperienced I was during the early days of blogging. Sigh.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the storm lashed location for a final ending. The story has been tweaked a lot and shortened. Perhaps due to my mood at this time:

I want to go home but this damned weather is making it harder and harder. Only been gone one day but everything looks so different, like years have passed. This isn’t possible. I’m tired and hungry, it’s disorientation, that’s the only explanation. Don’t feel well, why the hell is my stomach churning so much, I’d only eaten yesterday? Concentrate. There’s the road and looks like a car approaching. Hello! Please stop, stop! He didn’t even see me, what the hell is wrong with people?

At least the road is clear into town. Should be able to get a lift, more people travelling in. So cold, not surprised as I’m soaked through. Need to keep my mind occupied, otherwise I’ll not make it like Vida didn’t that night. They sent search parties out for several days but no luck. I miss her so much. This isn’t helping. Thank god, I can see lights now. Got here quicker than I thought, not complaining though.

There’s someone at a window. Hey! Please open up, I need to get home. Hello, hello. Why isn’t she opening the door? What’s happened to the townspeople? It used to be such a friendly place. The place feels, different. I can feel their thoughts, so frightened and angry. Their heartbeats are loud and fast, throbbing endlessly. They cling on to life selfishly and waste it so easily. Vida thought this was the case, she saw beneath the surface of this town, saw its rotten core.

Wasting my time here. Not far to go now, I can see the old district. Home, I’m coming home. That’s it, just keep remembering that but it’s hard. There’s this deep, deep emptiness inside. It’s a dark place with the shadows hiding things that shouldn’t see the light of day. Ah maman, what am I going to say to you? That I’m only home for this last time, then the world awaits. Freedom, of a sort! The wolves are stirring in the mountains, how chilling their cries sound but I love it. Always have oddly enough. They’re moving quickly through the forest, hunting, one mind, one purpose. We’ve almost destroyed them in our fear and revulsion of what they represent. The heart and spirit of true wilderness, Nature in all her glory and mystery.

Agh! I’m so thirsty and my stomach’s griping badly. What’s happening to me? There’s Mathilde. I’m so tired, a few more steps. She’ll know what to do. Eh, what’s Bastien doing here, with her? So thirsty. Bastard, he always fancied her. Surprised? I wondered when I’d catch you two. You look shocked, why? Because you got caught.

“We buried you ten years ago. You’re dead Vida”

That’s it, run away you coward and leave her here. Stop screaming woman! So thirsty but then you’re going to make that go away Mathilde, aren’t you? Lovely, lovely veins. Such soft skin and ruby, ruby wine in those veins. Don’t struggle, that’s a dear.

Perhaps my original story was never meant to see the light of day.

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Passion and Pathos: Spirit of the Dance

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Image: Pixabay

The dancers moved intuitively to the sound of their hearts as the music swelled and sobbed. It finally paused, waiting for the lovers to catch their breath. This was more than an interlude in a cafe that had seen glory and laughter in a bygone age. Few tourists ventured into the old quarter of the city, much less enter through the portal of this place. The ones that did manage to find this near mythical establishment were fated to come. Their souls were infused with the elixir of passion and pathos. Forever rising on the swell of the rhythm and then slumbering in the arms of the silence that followed.

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Image: Pixabay

A woman sitting at a table in the corner of the room stared intently at the dancers. They presented a magnificent picture; gentleness, poetic beauty in the lines of their faces and a certain melancholy in the embrace. Her dark eyes glittered, mirroring the luminosity of the stars and moon. They mirrored hope in a world that appeared to have embraced shadow and pain. The spirit and soul of humanity were being sorely tested, falling prey to the excesses of materialism and naked cynicism. Was she being naive now? A laugh escaped her blood red lips. She was present in this space set apart from time, present during day and night.

The dance rose from rather less salubrious origins, in the bars and brothels of the old quarter. It was a magnet for travellers from across the globe and some had hinted, from across hidden worlds. This is not to tarnish its reputation but to explain the soil its soul had taken root in. Its root went deep, deep into the fabric of stone and brick. Deep, deep into hearts and minds of the people moving through the city. The woman closed her eyes and travelled down streets clothed in shade and dappled sunlight. Her ears took in the chatter of thousands of voices, each reflecting sorrow and bittersweet regret, each reflecting joy and exuberance, each reflecting darkness and light, each reflecting boredom and inertia. All found solace in the heartfelt tune that rang out of doorways and windows, a memory of something thought lost but only lying hidden within mystery. This was the spirit of the dance, she was the spirit of the dance.

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Image: Pixabay

A voice interrupted this reverie. She opened her eyes and spied a green-eyed god staring down solemnly. He respectfully held out a strong, elegant hand. She grasped it and was gathered gently in his arms. They moved as if one being. Sinuous limbs gave expression to their hearts’ yearning, entered into each nuance and tone of the music washing over the couples gathered in the room. His silence spoke to her of things lain hidden for generations, of perceived shame, of deep regret. She listened and did not judge. She never judged. For that she earned his eternal gratitude. Even gods are inclined to give in to vulnerability now and again. The music soon ended and the radiant god kissed her hand and disappeared into the shadows of the bar. He did not leave empty handed but carried a pearl of the dreams she freely gave to all who were in need. The spirit of the dance returned to her table and carried on gazing at the magical ritual she had created, something filled with awe, passion and pathos.