(as found in Offbeat: Volume 10: Noises from Typewriter Keys)
it was three am. her eyelashes fluttered into a suddenly-wide stare. a creak was heard beneath her feet.
she moved out of and away from her room. one foot in front of the
other, she conquered the ancient stairway and groaning floorboards
masterfully. the house was nothing like she'd ever known: it was quiet,
with intricate details and deliberate patterns twisting like vines about
the walls, doors, and ceilings. the furniture was dusty and worn, there
were no soft carpets to lay a foot on, and yet still, it was home.
he slept, a portrait of serenity with his soft brown hair that curled
at the edges. one arm was thrust over his features - over his hidden
eyes and sunburnt lips - and lay limp against the armrest of the old
she watched his chest rise and fall for a moment, her own
breath stolen by the sight. it had been far too long since she'd touched
that skin or tousled that hair or brushed those lips with her own and
the urge overcame her like a violent wave.
soon she was at his
side, kneeling, of course. her delicate fingers trembled as she reached
to brush a tendril from his unknowing forehead. the face was so familiar
- the asymmetrical wrinkle that graced his brow, the forty-something
freckles that danced across the bridge of his nose, the dark eyebrows
that peaked and arched midway to create a constantly amused expression.
she lay her lips against his, he stirred, mumbling inaudible phrases
from exhausted vocals. his own eyes revealed, he found his hands, found
his strength, and found his voice, "who's there?"
but he found himself alone.
(a continuation not-yet-published)
"hello?" he said, to no one.
momentarily, he was
frightened. he had been dreaming again. he sat up quickly, throwing
both bare feet to the cold floor and shoving the ancient quilt to the
opposite end of the couch. a warm breath escaped him as he struggled for
balance and fought to stand.
as he walked the perimeter of the
room, his senses caught a floral scent - faint, but familiar. there was
warmth, excitement, intrigue flooding through him. the old house had
character, he knew, but seldom was there life.
beside the banister of the old stairwell. his hand traced the aged wood -
etched beautifully with subtle intricacies. he was searching for some
sign of contact - something purely.. alive.. that he could grasp onto.
his brow furrowed when he found nothing. outside, the wind whistled a
autumn was both his favorite and loneliest time
of the year. the colors that cascaded through the trees and the smell
of dead leaves and wood-burning stoves brought him back to a less
senseless time. things had been different so many autumns ago, and he
missed her even now.