in the orange light
of a lovers moon
we were consumed
in each other’s dreams
of heated love
and tender passion
in the orange light
I remember when we loved
When passion was our only rite
We placed our trust
In all that ever was
And loved until the morning light
I gathered white lilies and wore pink lace
And you were searching
For elements of grace
Neither of us knew
Innocence in place
What could only be in the hands of fate
I opened the door and let Beauty in. Beauty was wet and muddy and I tried not to get mad. I cried. Then I laughed.
“You should probably leave it alone,” my sister said of the odd box I found in the attic. “What if there’s a ward, dark magic?”
“Why would there be a ward?” I said to her over the telephone, but I left it alone. Instead, I walked Beauty. We went to the pond. Beauty barked at a squirrel and I laughed. Back at the house there was a scream, but it was only the TV so I got beauty and we went inside.
“Why did you leave the TV on?” Charlie said.
“I was walking Beauty. Did you know there’s a box in the attic?”
“There are lots of boxes in the attic, Jess.”
“Well this one may harbor some magic, according to Marley. She said not to touch it.”
Charlie scratched his head. “Let’s have a look.”
Beauty began barking when we got to the attic. “She barks at everything, Jess.”
I watched Charlie as he examined the box. I imagined him being blown to bits.
“Maybe Marley’s right about the magic,” I said.
Charlie got it open. There was dust, but no magic.
Beauty curled up in a corner and watched me. Charlie went downstairs and I cried. I peeked in the box. There were some old letters and photos.
“How magical is that?” I said to Beauty.
Eliea prepared herself for what her mother was about to tell her. She feared what she was about to learn about Julian. More than that, she feared for Julian. What was he? What had he become? What had he done to her in the aftermath of the accident that caused her mother, and her guardian, Mathilde, to have such great consternation?
Lady Eleanor finally stopped pacing and faced Eliea. She glanced at Mathilde, then looked at her daughter.
“You were badly hurt. The coach had rolled off the cliff. You remember most of it, but not all.”
Eliea tried to shut out the vision. She was ready to hear all of what her mother had to relate, but she could not relive the event in her mind.
“That wasn’t really the worst of it.”
Eliea had been sitting, but she stood and walked to the bedroom balcony to hear the rest, too nervous to remain still.
Her mother paused a seemingly interminable length of time before finally continuing.
Eliea herself suspected what was coming and braced herself against the balcony balustrade. Mathilde went to her side.
“He’s not human,” Lady Eleanor said. “He’s one of the undead, a vampire. He kept you alive with his own blood and now we fear you’re one of them. Or soon will become one.”
Eliea didn’t say a word, but before either her mother or Mathilde could stop her, she climbed up onto the balustrade and jumped.
This is something I originally posted August 1, 2013, on Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads.
[This takes the form of a dramatic monologue; the opening is from a poem I wrote.]
If you don’t forget me I am not gone
If you love me I will live forever.
The Greeks called me Demeter and relied on me to bring the earth out of cold, barren winter. Each year I was unfailing, giving them their spring with a bountiful harvest, but that lost any meaning for me when I lost my daughter. She was my whole life, the center of my existence. My raison d’être as the French call it. So long ago and here I am in Paris searching. Not for my daughter for she is in the place of her choosing. Rather I search for myself, or my self-worth as the psychologist called it. For when you have no self-worth, you are forgotten, and being forgotten is equated with being dead.
So I search the avenues of the city of light, but there is only darkness inside me.
“Le reviendrait, papa?” Will it come back?
The child’s ball rolled to the other side of the street and I watched, detached from the scene. Perhaps at one time, I would have intervened, but that was long ago when I remembered what it was like to be a mother. When I meant something to someone.
If we have someone to remember us, we are not gone. We continue to live in their hearts, in them, through them. And we have self-worth because we will have left something of ourselves behind.
The Moment Before
by Cate Derham
I am the dream you’ve never dreamed
The love you’ve never loved
The moment before you wake
The peace before the storm
I am the sparrow in first flight
The road you haven’t crossed
The life you haven’t lived
The night of perfect slumber
The moment before you wake.
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