The months fly, the seasons change, we live against darkening skies, awaiting the sleep that falls on all of us.
The months fly, the seasons change, we live against darkening skies, awaiting the sleep that falls on all of us.
The gypsies had been at the bottom of Farmer Dolton’s field for a week now. I had seen them on my way to the school house and back each day. They collected water, attended their horses, re-build their fires, cooked meals and talked in small groups. The sun shone off their brightly colored clothes and their strange accented voices filled the air. They seemed magical to me.
Everybody told me not to go near them. My teacher explained. ‘they are uneducated,ill-mannered and thieves. Not something young respectable ladies should be staring at.’
The priest said, ‘we shouldn’t love them like our neighbors for they are beyond God’s help. They worship Satan! We should all stay clear of them because they will led us into temptation! Just like the snake did to Eve.’
My maid added, ‘they kidnap children and sell them off to fairies!’
I wasn’t sure I believed any of them. I guess that’s why I did it. I sneaked under the fence and into their camp, early Saturday morning. The air smelt like burnt fire wood and herbs, mixed with the stench of horse stables. I moved around the heavily decorated caravans, my skirts all tugged in and trying to be as quiet as possible. Luckily, no one was around.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. I jumped, screaming and tumbling to the floor. Though my loose hair covered my face, I could see an old woman standing before me. She was bent over, leaning on a twisted stick which her gnarled hands seemed to be a part of. Her hair was long and light grey, her brown face heavy with wrinkles. She was wearing a bright orange skirt, dark cream blouse and a brown waist corset.
She looked at me, no doubt noticing my fine blue dress, black leather boots, matching blue hat and blonde hair. I got to my feet, brushing my hair back and then fluffing out my skirts. I wasn’t feeling afraid, what could this old woman do to me?
‘Your fortune told for a few coins, child,’ she spoke in a cracked voice that reminded me of bare tree branches rubbing together in the wind.
‘My fortune?’ I questioned.
She nodded and uttered, ‘I see all that the fates allow to be seen. Cross my hand with sliver and I’ll read your palm.’
I frowned, not sure I had any silver on me. There’s only a few copper coins in my coin pouch but I had been saving them to buy sweets with after church tomorrow.
‘Don’t you want to know if you will marry a good husband?’ the old gypsy asked, ‘led a comfortable life? Be blessed with children?’
‘I am too young to marry!’ I cried.
‘Does not matter. All our fates are already written,’ she spoke then held a hand out to me.
I tugged my red coin pouch out, opened it and stared in. I pulled out two copper coins and give them to her. There was still three left for sweets now.
She whipped the coins away faster then I thought she could move. She grabbed my arm, took off my white glove and raised my hand so close to her face I could feel her warm breath on my skin. I felt a pinch like pain and I tried to wiggle away from her, but her grip was so tight!
The old women began muttering under her breath and I could feel the tips of her long finger nails against my skin.
‘There has been a lot of tragedy in your life, I see,’ she mused, ‘too much death; brothers, mother and grandma. No doubt there will be more. You will marry twice but only have three children. You’ll have a long life but death will carry on shadowing you.’
I stared at her in shock and looked down at my palm. Questions popped into my hand, but I could not find my voice.
‘Beware of traveling over seas. There’s great danger in distant lands for you. I can see you are a strong, curious lady, that might cause trouble for you, but it will also save you. Reading will make you wise and respected. You will write and that will let you be comfortable in your old age.’
She stopped and looked at me with sparkling eyes.
‘That’s all?’ I whispered.
She let go of my hand, ‘all that’s in your palm,’ she replied.
I looked at all the lines crossing my palm and wondered how she could see all of that. The banging of a door made me jump and I saw a shirtless man coming out of one of the caravans close behind us.
‘Be off with you child,’ the old woman hissed, ‘ ’tis no place for ladies like you.’
Clutching my skirts, I dashed passed the old gypsy and to the fence. There I stopped and looked back. The old woman had hobbled away and was talking to the man as he washed at a bucket. I slipped through the fence and ran all the way home. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened. My fortune was my own.
We were like day and night, totally opposite each other but yet bound together. She was everything I wanted my wife to be and I was everything she wanted in a husband, but we were too different and so it didn’t last.
I’m reminded of her everyday as the sun sets and the moon claims the sky. She told me we were like them; lovers who should be together but could never be. For if the sun and the moon ever did join, what would happen? There’d be no official day and no official night thus upsetting the balance of life.
She decided to leave, thinking it was for the best because she had seen hints if how toxic we could be. I disagreed but she went in the night and I was unable to stop her. Now, I’m chasing after her like the sun does the moon, hoping we can figure things out.
(Inspired from; https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/weekend-writing-prompt-21-day-and-night/ with thanks).
The trees have already begun to change but it feels too warm for autumn. I walk in the park, kicking up some of the orange and brown leaves whilst in the background children play happily and dogs bark. I’ve always liked this season best, plus, Halloween is right there and I just love that!
In spring, summer and winter, people stand and stare at the girl all dressed in black, looking like she just got off the set of a horror film. It gets worse though when some realise the job I’ve come to do. No one really likes the touch of my hands, but they all have to face it some day.
In autumn, I can be myself and no one notices. I’m just accepted. Not that I’ve ever cared about that, I’m just me and I always will be, no matter how people see me. It’s just nice not to be stared at or to have whispers trailing you. I can fully embrace autumn which is something I can’t do with anything else.
What appeared before me wasn’t what I had set out to do. Studying the piece of art -if it could be called that, I felt a chill along my back. It wasn’t my own work at all, yet I knew I had painted the green skull which looked more like a mask, onto the paper plate. I had a strange wanting to press it to my face….but I didn’t.
(Inspired from; https://bikurgurl.com/2017/09/20/100-word-wednesday-week-37/ with thanks).
Who knew how long the boots had been in the shed but they were finally seeing light again. Gritting my teeth, hoping no spiders popped out, I carried the shoes onto the lawn and laid them down with everything else.
Something tickled across my hand. I looked and spotted a small spider. I screamed, flung my hand about then did a crazy dance around the garden. Breathing deeply, I glanced around, panic soaring through me. Of course, the spider was no where to be seen. Traumatised I rushed inside my new house and washed my hands repeatedly.
(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/09/20/22-september-2017/ with thanks).
She told me to meet her there. The place we had always met at as teenagers. I would have preferred a warm cafe with a choice of posh coffees and cakes, like a real first date should be but for whatever reason she had chosen to resurface our painful youths.
Climbing over the small hill, I tried to peer through the trees but they had grown wild and thick, their numbers perhaps doubling over the ten years since I’d last been here. Unsure, if I was now going the right way in the woods, I looked around for any signs. Anything I might have recognised was long gone.
Walking on, I trusted my gut that this was the right way and pushed through the low branches. Down before me, nestled in-between a clump of small trees and tall grass was the small abandoned wooden cabin. I smiled and hurried forward, expecting to see her there leaning out of the window as she often did, like a princess in a castle awaiting her prince.
There was no one there. I looked around and saw that the place was still in usable condition. Though I had to duck and squeeze through the door. Two windows let in some dim light on either side and it seemed that no one had been in awhile. Some old posters, torn from magazines and comics hung on the wall. I spotted a few at the back that I recognised; Superman, Batman and a few early nineties rock bands. On the low table were some empty bottles and cans, one of the chairs was knocked over and the old sofa that I recalled so fondly was gone.
There was a rickety staircase to my left and going over, I decided it wouldn’t hold my weight. I hadn’t put a lot on since being a teenager, going to the gym every two – three days helped that but testing the stairs I could easily see they weren’t stable. I stared up at the opening above, my mind remembering that there had camping beds and sleeping bags up there for those nights we boys had been brave enough to sleep out here.
Turning away, I walked out and there she was passing by the same trees I had done. I stopped and took her in. Of course, she had aged and put on a bit of weight too. Her hair was still chestnut brown but a lot shorter. She was wearing tight jeans with the ends tugged into high boots and a blue jumper; not the bright wild style of clothes that had draped her past self.
I felt a mixture of nervous, excitement and embarrassment, just like when she had first contacted me online. What would she think of me now? Would the sparks still be there? Other thoughts circle but I pushed them to the side as she drew near, having spotted me soon after I had her.
She smiled, tucked a loose stranded of hair behind her ear and came to stand before me. Her eyes roamed over me and she seemed satisfied. She held out her hand and took mine, the smile growing on her face.
‘I was worried you wouldn’t come,’ she said gently.
‘Well…I wanted to see you too,’ I explained.
She nodded and appeared shy, her eyes only glancing to my face. She squeezed my hand and focused on the old cabin. I looked over my shoulder at it, wondering what she was thinking.
‘It feels like so long ago…’she uttered then turned to me, ‘You’ve never been back here since?’
I shrugged and answered, ‘maybe once or twice after you left, but then….there didn’t seem any point.’
I felt and heard her take in a shaky breath.
‘It doesn’t matter now,’ I responded quickly.
I tugged her hand and led her to the cabin, feeling like a teenager again.
‘It’s not quite how I remember it,’ I pointed out.
She nodded, ‘I know! When I found it a few months back I couldn’t believe. I thought like my old house it would have been knocked down. I’m so happy it’s still here.’
We stopped close to the doorway and we looked up together. Then I felt the touch of her clothes against mine, her breath on my neck and her lips brushing my cheek. I turned to her, feeling the old stirring of our first love. I wrapped my arms around her, drawing her close and kissing her on the lips.
(Inspired from; https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/daily-picture-prompt-258/ with thanks).
Life is like the flow of a river, I realised looking up at the waterfall from the canvas I had been painting on. You start off like a spring then become a stream, turning this way and that as you take different paths. Then you join a river and carry on going through things; some good and some bad, changing and growing older. Finally, you join the sea ending your life.
I looked down at the canvas balanced on the small easel, the painting I had done was a likeness of the waterfall and mossy rocks below, but I didn’t like it. Some of the strokes looked childlike and I really hadn’t captured the true beautiful force of the waterfall. I signed and began to pack up. It was always the same when I paused and valuated my art; I couldn’t go on when I became negative about it.
When I was done, I stood and watched the river carrying on tumbling down. The sound was so calming and mixed in with the soft singing of the birds and the rustle of the trees this place was a peaceful spot. The river then bubbled past me and away into a cluster of trees towards the next waterfall. It began raining.
I looked up at the sky frowning then ducked into the cover of some trees. A thought popped into my head; this is the full circle of water. I watched the raindrops falling in the ground and realised that we too became a part of the earth, only we didn’t raise up again. It was a morbid thought but at the same time reassuring.
The river couldn’t stop it’s flow and nor could we stop the flow of life.
(Inspired by https://scvincent.com/2017/09/21/thursday-photo-prompt-flow-writephoto/ with thanks).
I came to the fork and I realised that this was my life at the present moment in time. Both led to the unknown but only one was my destiny.
(Inspired by https://katmyrman.com/2017/09/19/twittering-tale-50-19-september-2017/ with thanks).
He thought if he could just figure out what she wanted that would make everything better. Looking at her as she watched the fireworks like everyone else at the party, he decided that he’d just have to ask her. Even though that might threaten his manliness, it was a risk worth taking to get that first date.
(Inspired from; https://only100words.xyz/2017/09/14/three-line-tales-week-85/ with thanks)
A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!
Crimson's prose, poems and photos
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