Answers

fa9b0ebc349855a9a24993414570521bFor one of my last assignments of high school, I was commissioned to write a short story based on a work of literature this year. I chose to base my work of fiction on the theme and premise of St. Augustine’s Confessions (my favorite Christian treatise, by the way!)

Answers: by Rebecca W.

He hurried down the street, swerving this way and that to weave through the evening crowd along the sidewalks. A glance at his phone told him the time, and just as he raised his eyes to the church tower, the church bells tolled, their rings echoing deeply throughout the city. When he heard them he did stop, and pushed his cold-chafed hands into his pockets. The steeple rose above the building tops, it stood out, an old red brick cathedral in the metropolis. The sight of it held him and with a tightness in his chest and throat he stood, staring up at it through the bare branches of the trees, over the cold surfaces of these buildings.

His phone vibrated, shattering his focus. He held up the device and saw that he had received a text message from his mother, his gentle mother, waiting at home for his return. She doesn’t need to always wait, he thought, almost bitterly.

“Augustus, I look forward to hearing about the first day of the semester. I’ll be waiting up. J

He replaced the phone in his pocket and started walking again, pressing against the frigid winds weaving like ghouls throughout this grey city. In all honesty, he began to believe he had chosen the wrong college plan. The wrong focus. The classes…they served to affix his mind with the philosophical questions, ponderings, and insights he had known and wrestled with forever, it seemed. His enthusiasm for investing time and energy in reading the meditations of classical ages…his enthusiasm seemed leaden within him, encrusted by icy indifference. And that feeling dismantled everything about his future, his present, and his past. Augustus’s stride quickened and at last, after an empty hour of pushing past people and ignoring the cold biting his face, he turned onto his street. The apartment he and his mother shared was at the opposite end, but he hurried, his drained mind hardly comprehending the space of time.

“I’m home, mom,” he called, slinging his coat on the rack as he slid the door chain in place. His mother suddenly appeared at the end of the hall in the kitchen doorway, surrounded by the golden glow from within that room.

“Augustus! How was it? How did you like your classes?”

He shrugged and slipped past her to set his backpack down on the window seat.

“Fine,” he said briskly.

She gave a small laugh but then as she watched him her smile became a slight frown. “Just fine?”

“I mean, not much happens on the first day,” Augustus sank into the chair to pull off his leather boots.

“Which class do you like best?” his mom prodded.

“Oh…astronomy, I guess.”

“What about the philosophy one…the Philosophy in Literature class that you signed up for?”

“Fine,” Augustus repeated, even more tersely. He pulled his backpack into his lap and unzipped it, shuffling around for his homework assignment notebook.

His mom sat down across from him, watching him with a thoughtful purse at her mouth. Her eyes, gray-green like his, gazed at him with a steadiness he suddenly found discomfiting.

He felt driven to answer her look, offer at least some explanation for his attitude of disinterest. “Things have changed, I guess. None of it clicks for me. I want to understand too many things, and I just can’t find a way to…relax. I don’t know…” he bit his lip and studied a pen he’d pulled out of the bag. “Maybe I just lost interest.”

His mother sat down at the table, resting her hands on the table. She leaned a bit towards him, and watched how his shoulder slackened, his head bent with weariness.

“Augustus, you were…so ready to begin last year. So full of enthusiasm to jump in, start studying, start working towards your goals…”

“It’s not the teachers, or the classes, or anything. It’s me. Just me.” He sighed, rubbing his jaw slowly. “Maybe it’s time I go a different direction. None of it feels…right…anymore.”

His mother sat back, biting her lip.

“Everything feels so indefinite. What we learn about. What we read. The professors don’t help. I want answers, but I can’t find any. No matter how much I try.”

“Answers to…” his mother prompted.

“Answers to why. How. I mean, it’s just so pointless. Why do I need to study what the Apostles wrote, what the saints of Byzantium wrote, the speculations of Greek philosophers? Maybe I’d be better off concentrating on one of the sciences. Biology. Physics. Those make more sense. I just…got so tired of it all today. I feel like I took the wrong turn in my education.”

As he spoke he sensed the rise of frantic dismay that had chased him on his way home. It caught up now, and he pushed back from the table, stepped out onto the apartment’s balcony, where he could hear the sirens and city sounds reverberating throughout the night. The stars were invisible against the glow of the metropolis. For one swaying, empty moment Augustus longed to see them. He didn’t care how many number of ancient writers, poets, and bards had written of the stars. At the moment, they were out of reach but real. The dizzying thought occurred to him that answers were the same as stars. Desirable answers that never appeared in the reading assignments or in the library books he’d borrowed for research. What did he need answers for? He knew his mother had wanted to ask, but didn’t, out of consideration. He folded his arms, causing his jacket to tighten along his shoulders, warming him in the chill.

Why did he want answers? Why did the disappoint strike him so hard when he lost a train of truth? Why did he open nearly every door available except for one? That one door…it stayed closed. It was the leather-bound book his mother had given to him at age 13. It was the book he ignored. Why didn’t he want to look for answers there? Maybe he feared the truth that existed, for real, within those pages. Like the stars, hidden from his view by the city lights. Always hidden and wanted. But never sought out. He still lived in the city. He still studied the answerless books.

Glimpses {A post of fragmented story}

 

7d09d4cc71a11a557c46a1d878c7d926So, just because, I thought I’d share some of the story I discussed in the last post. Heaven Sight is largely in the works, mainly because I haven’t come up with much incentive to delve into it, (I mean, seriously, hardcore!)

The parts of the story I’ll share are more like short stories, so they’ll be categorized as such.:)

The minute Anton caught a glimpse of Maria he could not stop thinking of how much he would like to paint her portrait.

“So you are the one,” she said the moment they had a chance to speak.

“The one?”

She regarded him from beneath half-closed lids, a lazy effect that was somehow comely. “Yes—the one who helped my brother. Do you think he would neglect to tell me of you?”

“I did not imagine that thanks was necessarily due.”

“Neither did I. But since you are here, I shall.” A flicker of warmth appeared in Maria’s eyes, eyes the color of rich chocolate.

Anton suppressed a smile and glanced aside at a passerby, pretending to be vaguely interested. “Then the honor is all yours. I am not the sort who one would easily thank. Considering the circumstances. Gratitude would be an extravagance.”

“I fully understand the circumstances, thank you.”

“Now, didn’t I just tell you to not thank me?”

Maria tossed her head back and laughed, a rippling sound that poured over Anton like a Mediterranean tide, warm and soothing.

He sucked in his breath, and began to laugh with her. So he amused her? That was evident, the way she peered at him, her lips parted and tilting with mirth.

“Oh-h-h . . . you are much too serious. Just as Armand said.” She shook her head, her russet curls spinning and glinting about her cheeks. “You sound as if you would much rather grate your teeth in oppose to laughing.”

Anton felt foolish. “Is that so?”

“Yes, it is so!” Maria cried. “Why, you sound as if you genuinely didn’t realize that! Gracious, how did you happen?”

Irritation bubbled for only the fraction of a second in Anton’s chest. “I have had little to laugh about. If that is an inconceivable notion, than I am at a loss to explain more . . .”

Anton helped Maria into a cab, and as they rolled off down the street Maria began, “You needn’t explain anything. You seem dedicated to excusing yourself. Is it a felony to laugh? A felony to cry? I believe there are far worse things in the world at present.”

“How clever of you to enlighten me on the state of world affairs.”

“Is calling a girl ‘clever’ rare for you, Mr. Heller?”

“Are you saying that I am closed-minded?”

“Narrow minded is more like it. But forgive me, I take too many liberties. You see, I’ve got a dash of Irish in me, good old common-sense Irish. I say what I think.”

Anton was shocked to see a blush in Maria’s cheeks. Somehow, she didn’t seem demure enough—like she said, too sensible, too straightforward for such modesty. But it pleased him nevertheless. He struggled with the momentary temptation to appear offended by her calling him narrow-minded, but the desire passed when he saw that she had sobered.

“I have every reason to hate you and to be grateful to you. I cannot decide which is better called for.”

“As I said, gratitude would be unwarranted.”

“Yet, you helped my brother when no one else would. That deserves something more than a handshake and a ‘thank-you’.”

Aaaand some more! I’d love to hear what any of my followers think, or just any random feedback in general (politely given, if you please :D)

“This may surprise you,” Anton said sharply, “but I haven’t any particular desire to be of service.”

“I thought not.” And the way misery pulled at Armand’s mouth indicated that he had known this long before.

Anton resettled his spectacles upon the bridge of his nose, something he had taken to doing when his hand began to feel unreliably tremulous.

“I have given you somewhere to stay, so that you wouldn’t resort to a doorway in some black alley.”

“Yes.”

Anton jerked around so that he directly faced the teenaged boy. “Then quit with the vague hints, will you?”

“Sure, sure.”

But Armand’s face paled, and he sat with a glazed look in his eyes, hands resting in his lap, too limp for comfort. Anton swiveled around in his chair to face the desk again, and trained his attention as well as he could upon the sheet of paper, his charcoal stick lying on the desk, ready to be picked up. Anton touched it with a shaking finger, a strange discomfort tingling in his nerves, so that he could not be sure of his present ability in rendering a suitable picture, a sketch even. He grimaced, his gaze wandering to the window in front of him, finding his dark reflection against the glass. The nausea that had become so familiar began to stir warmly in his stomach, and he swallowed.

The Angel

I wrote this poem and short scene for a school assignment. It was interesting, since I haven’t written something like this. I would love to hear how you interpret this.

I sought to find wakefulness

In unconscious sleep

Yet, how could I be conscious of

Needing to be awake,

When I stand in the midst

Of a dream?

He put a finger to my lips. Seeing him so close, I began to take in the glorious cast of his skin, his strange beauty, and I drew in a trembling breath.

This is sort of what I imagined the “angel” to look like . . . By Phobs (phobs.deviantart.com)

“When you speak you make the earth beneath you weak. You make the skies weep because you doubt. Humans have always felt the need to question—and all of creation must humor you in your philosophical erring.

Being modernly inarticulate, I mumbled, “Um . . .” What could I say in reply? He had me, his words rolling over my mind like waves, their breakers pressing down their power upon the person in their path.

As I peered up into his eyes I watched his pupils dilate. Could he read my mind, thoughts streaming out in different directions like so many ocean currents?

As I looked his pupils gradually encompassed the sparkling rims of his irises, spreading to cover even the luminous whites of his eyes.

I choked, and stirred away from his finger at my lips.

“Hush!” He pointed towards the woodland path, with fairy-lights dancing to and fro, trees maintaining oddly symmetrical balance on either side, as if they were specially planted to form a line. Their branches whispered and sang siren songs, and my ears welcomed the music, my head reeled with it, and embraced its rhythm.

“It is beautiful, no?” came the strange being’s voice.

The entire woodland swelled and throbbed with that music, with that shadowy wonder.

“Yes,” I agreed, still unable to raise my voice above a breath’s volume.

“Anyone may walk through there whenever they choose. It is open and available, for you, for everyone.”

“Is anyone in there right now?”

“Yes—many.”

So I wasn’t the first! I stared into the glen, shifting with the colors of dusk, mists wafting about like silver smoke, painting the trunks of the trees an ashy color.

“Go, for you will not be alone. You can enter. There is no one to bar you out.”

“It is like Eden,” I remarked, stepping close.

My companion gave a very soft laugh. It sounded strange, but beautiful. I tried to only hear the beauty of it. “Yes, it is very much like Eden. But there is no one to keep you out. You can sleep on the heather, and feast on the bountiful yields, and drink of the waters. It will please you so, nothing quite like it.”

I began to smile. “No one to keep me out.” Yes, I did like that. No angels standing guard, with glittering swords, no condemning glares that I had always imagined when reading that miserable chapter in Genesis.

But then a thought struck me. “Are you not an angel as well? Are you not one of the angels who guard Eden?”

He laughed again, but it was a more feathery sound. But a feathery essence has always been something of loveliness to me, an aesthetic quality that draws me. I looked up with frank curiosity, studying my companion again. I took in his skin, his terribly strange eyes. Note, the adjective “strange” is highly conditional. I could not decide the meaning of it, and how it defined those mystifying black orbs, no white showing.

 

The Window

//Listening to “My Immortal” by Evanescence//

//My stomach growls//

//Decides to fangirl//

So, I started this series of sketchy drafts of a story I really, really want to make write. It would a pet project, oh yes, but it would just be fun to work on when I’m trying to escape writer’s block. Here is the basic intro/explanation for it:

This small novel was derived from the originality of a train of thoughts. I suppose they are not so original, as they are inspired by one man in history, whose personality and presence in history books has made such a lasting impression on me. I began to speculate on what Meriwether Lewis would be like as a modern man in modern American society. If he were suddenly displaced from his own era, saved by the Grace of God, and allowed to “start over” in 21st century America. In my mind he developed as the intellectual, smart, arrogant, materialistic graduate of the Ivy League, strong supporter of the Left-wing movements, and as a Jeffersonian-Republican-bordering-on-Libertarianism, he would probably be an East-Coast Democrat. I can quite see him as a rationalist, a scientist, who is often coldly evaluating, passionate and stubbornly defensive of his opinions and views. It would be funny, interesting . . . and endearing to use a generated world-melding (in this case, Time melding) plot, wherein a horde of Lewis’s contemporaries and himself are stuck in the 21st century, and for a while do not even realize it. Gradually, as his life tangles and twists, and curves back around in the direction it was going just before he “disappeared” in October, 1809, something begins to happen. A strange young woman walks into his life, the only one who knows who he really is. Strangely enough, Lewis and Clark of the history books have melted into the background, overshadowed by Zebulon Pike. Why? Because the peculiarity of this time warp has caused it, that’s why. But Lewis and Clark really did exist. It’s just that Lewis and Clark themselves don’t remember it. Their lives have suddenly been moved to the 21st century. And it will take a lot for them to start remembering their real lives back in 1809.

I’ve already written quite a bit for it. *Blushes*

And maybe, I’ve even gone on Pinterest, and found a dreamcast for it. Gosh. What is wrong with me . . . I can’t even . . .

But namely, I discovered Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), and I did experience a frantic moment when I lost my breath for several minutes . . . .

tumblr_lrwgbazDQa1qekb10o1_500-2I began to write. And it flowed out, me grinning at the laptop screen, because, well, I relish this little fan-fic. The only fan-fiction I’ve ever written has been for my historical crushes. Yep.

“There is definitely a resemblance,” Lewis said blankly, staring at himself, painted in oil.
                “Yeah,” said Mr. Payton, with a small grimace. “It’s pretty spooky.”
                Lewis looked at him quickly. For the first time in a while he thought over what he was going to say next. And then—he said it. “I’ll give you two hundred dollars to take inventory of that painting.”
                “Thought you’d maybe like to buy a print of it in the gift-shop, show it around to your friends,” Mr. Payton mumbled.
                “No.” Lewis struggled to steady his voice. He glanced around to make sure no one was nearby. His mind reeled, and almost went off balance. “Three hundred?”
                Mr. Payton stuck out his lower lip. “I might get yelled at.”
                “Make up an excuse,” Lewis snapped. “It was a mix-up, or something.” He felt himself begin to shake and sweat, though. His rough voice might not hold out. “And the other one—with William Clark.”
                “Not that one!” Mr. Payton’s right eyebrow went up high on his forehead. “The Clark family comes in here regular—they’d throw a royal fit if his portrait disappeared.”
                “Oh, and my—um, the Lewis family wouldn’t react?”
                “I don’t here of many Lewis’s coming into this museum. The curator, he says most of them living out West now.”
                “Oh.” Lewis felt himself deflate.
                “Look, you seem like some pretty important man, sir, but I’ve got to get back to work. The boss, he gets around this place, I’ll tell you—”
                “I’m not that important. And you’re an a-hole if you tell me that three hundred dollars doesn’t mean anything to you.” A hot flame of desperation began to work its way up Lewis’s spine. It spread sort of like a rash over his face—an odd, chemical rash he could not control. He thought, ‘I get frustrated rather too easily, I guess.’
                “Offering me three hundred dollars to lug an old painting to the basement? If you don’t call that—”
                “Never mind.” Lewis scanned the portrait again—and again. A part of him wanted to turn and hurry from the building. Another part of him wanted to stay and stand there, gaping at the uncannily similar man who was supposedly dead. Dead for two hundred years. 1809. And now, it was 2009.

 

He tried to act normal, as he smoothed himself over on the threshold of the little house. He promised himself that he would thank the gods every day on New Year’s Eve for a friend like William Clark. And then he laughed at himself.
                “Open the damned door, somebody,” he said through gritted teeth, as water droplets spattered on his forehead. His seventy-dollar coat from his designer on Pennsylvania Avenue was becoming damp, quickly.
                At last the door opened, and there stood the Clark’s trim housekeeper. Her lips parted into a polite smile, and she stepped aside for him to enter. He handed her his coat, and turned his head to survey the quiet foyer.
                “Mr. Clark is in the living room, with his baby boy, and Mrs. Clark is in the kitchen.”
                “Thanks,” Lewis said briefly, and headed towards the dim living room. All of the windows were opened, their maroon curtains setting a wine-red glow upon the leather couches.
                “Merne!”
                Lewis peered around the high coffee table and pack-and-play to where a large, red-haired man and plump, red-haired baby sat together on the floor. The baby leaned against his daddy’s chest, a complacent smile on his face. It didn’t go without mentioning to say that the face of that baby matched his hair. Lewis could not help but grin at the scene, although he lowered himself down several feet away on the couch. He squeezed his hands, twisting them back and forth, and didn’t even catch himself like he tried to do, in public. Somehow, he felt that he could be sincerely nervous or tight-strung or critical with Will. Will would understand.
                But the strange thing was—Lewis could never bring himself to discuss his love life—he couldn’t start talking about it now. Especially now. He resented the fact that he usually spent his Sunday nights at the Clarks, for lack of anything better to do. It truly hurt to admit that, and he rubbed his knees, while simultaneously rubbing at his brain. His brain could ache from all this reflection. It was aching. And Lewis wished vaguely that he had not gone out the night before.
                “Ribs for dinner tonight,” Will said, looking up from baby Merne.
                Lewis permitted the corners of his mouth to turn up. “A delight,” he replied.
                “One of your favorite things.” And then Will laughed.
                “What?”
                “I just can’t imagine you telling the Senator and his friends about you eating such a finger-food. They’re the kind of people who take mimosa and shrimp, or tofu.”
                “I have certain . . . digressing . . . tastes.”
                “Digressing!” Will gave a loud laugh, and baby Merne looked up with startled eyes. “I’d call ‘em revolutionary.”
                Lewis might have been sarcastic towards anyone else who laughed at him. But he just smiled and chuckled with his friend now. They always shared a moment of hilarity. It was nearly a tradition between them.

 

Lewis groped for some form of control of the situation. The only thing that he saw, possibly attainable, lay in her extreme sensitivity. But he had never been too adept at reading women. Somehow, he always mistook a glance to be a stare, a smile to be a telling expression of come-hither interest. Well. This young lady took herself seriously. He thought so at first, in spite of her timidity, her quietness, and the way her eyes frequently brightened with whimsical sparks. He opened the door for her, a gesture that he hoped would impress her.

 

“Memorium Press?” The very name was blatantly old-school. Lewis could barely suppress a smirk, even though he couldn’t take his eyes off this quiet young woman. Everything about him struck him as Conservative—her jacket, her black skirt, her blouse with its flowing front. Nothing showy, but it all came together, the colors complementing her dark eyes and hair, her creamy olive skin emphasized by the blackness of her skirt.
                “Yes—Memorium Press,” her tone was low, but firm. She gave a quick smile, thus showing the twin dimples in her cheeks.
                “Well.”
                “So,” she exhaled, and it struck him that she was nervous. Very nervous. “I asked for an interview.”
                “I can,” Lewis said, in his warmest voice. She glanced at her hands, then right and left, and at last back up at him. Her thick black lashes fluttered. Lewis wondered if that was purposeful, but doubted it when her expression became sober.
                “Really? Oh, thank you!” She said coolly, and shook his hand. For some reason, he bowed slightly, and crimson rose into her cheeks and temples.
                “Tonight? I could take you to the new club that just opened on Congress Avenue. It would be no problem.” He decided to disregard her obvious Conservatism. No doubt, she was strongly Republican, some little girl from the Mid-West. He could tell as much by her accent.
                She gave a quick nod, and her flush deepened. Lewis decided to take command of the situation. “I know what Memorium Press puts out,” he said, rubbing at the leather of his jacket’s sleeve. “I daresay,” he grinned, in his most charming way, “that you will be fair, and not present me in a slanted light.” He tried to sound almost jocular, but she most seriously replied,
                “Oh, of course Mr. Lewis. Memorium Press is determined to present things—as they are. No personal bias.”
                Lewis could think of a sardonic response, but he refrained. He did not want to turn her off. If she was as honest as she said she was (and working for such a factual newspaper) she might very well describe him as a derisive egotist, one of those cocky Government bigheads. Sometimes he might have to slip into that role, but he wanted (women especially) to see him as a dedicated scientist and man of exploration. And of course—a man who was getting ready to settle down, still in the public life of course, but with an attractive bride to show off, some kids to boast of, for their intellectual competence–this lacking brought him up short
                “That is good to hear,” he said warmly. “I haven’t heard of Memorium Press yet, so excuse my—ignorance.”
                Her lips curved, for she caught his sarcasm.
                “I’m only interning for them right now,” she said frankly.
So they sent a little intern across my path—far too impertinent and full of themselves to send one of their better journalists. An intern! She’s just a kid—a college student. His warmness began to fade, maybe a little too rapidly.
                She lifted her head. “I’m a college senior—this is one of our credits, to graduate. Intern at a newspaper, local—well, Memorium Press is sort of local.”
                “UV?”
                “Patrick Henry.”
                He vaguely remembered hearing that name. But he was wont to shrug it off. He studied the young woman a bit more closely.
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flashes, flashing, flare (lighting up the night with my lamp and racing pen)

For lack of a better title, that actually sounds like a title. Because the post title I’m using sounds nooothing like one. Whatever.

this usually doesn’t happen. I mean, I’m usually not alone in the bedroom, but this weekend is an exception. My sister Abby (who shares a room with me), has flown away to TeenPact, leaving me here, to be a hermit, basking in solitude (JUST kidding, my sister. I miss you.)

My lamp is on, and there’s no one to tell me to “turn the freaking lamp down”. (But she doesn’t say freaking, usually).

My headphones boom “Neon Lights” by Demi . . . I have a Modern/Contemporia folder on Spotify . . .

I am in the blogging zone, a place of digital sunshine, flowers, and graphic exclamation marks. So. Here’s to kicking blogging-block to the curb. Farewell!

And . . . oh noes . . . my headphones are dying. Shucks.

54b2bde28d0068918dca0b604e9672fa (1)And now, here is some of my writing snippets that I’d care to sprinkle on now, as a (possible) blogging finality for the night. Probably won’t be the last word from me though. Shucks again.

It was an old joke that must have been over-exhausted by now. Even the puppet felt limp with it as Lydia pulled it out of her basket and examined its velvety material, the little bunny ears flopping forward on her palm.
            Grandmama tautly watched Lydia from her seat on the couch, shoulders bent forward. Not in the elderly stoop, but in the manner a person assumes when prepared to jump in, start commenting with enthusiasm.
            Lydia did not want to look up. She continued to watch the way the ceiling light glinted on the bunny-puppet’s velvet body.
            “Lydia?”
            Lydia’s lashes stirred slightly, as with her slight effort to look away from this joke of a puppet. She would have to slip it on her hand.

 

“Darling, I couldn’t wait for you.”
Her voice pierced him, although she never spoke. He could read the words in her eyes.
His throat slowly began to swell, until he could not even imagine speaking, until the pain constricted his every other sense, even his vision. Her face became blurred, her pile of hair an inky smudge over her brow. And her eyes! Like caverns, and his dizziness prevented him from seeing their spark.

The following was inspired by these lyrics:

//You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath

You think I’m crazy, yeah, well that’s my plan//

(“The Monster” by Rhianna and Eminem)

and these:

//But you tell me to hold on, you tell me to hold on,

But all innocence is gone

What was right is wrong//

(“Bleeding Out” by Imagine Dragons)

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“Look, something’s coming! Okay? Something’s going to happen and we can’t do anything about it.”
            “We can’t?” He sounded, for the life of me, like a dazed child. Tears suddenly burnt my eyes.
            “Yeah.” Because, I realized just then that he was lost, confused, and his ties that rooted him to past entangled every part of him. It became so disgustingly clear to me and I couldn’t stand to look at him.
            All at once it was like I was the older one. I the firmly-grounded, while simultaneously my heart orbited out into oblivion wildly—he stood so near. His breath touched my cheek as his fingers brushed my arm.
            “If i have done anything to give you cause to—to run away . . .”
            Why on earth was he saying that? Something in his eyes frightened me. I did want to run away now.
            I shook my head mutely.
            A slow smile crossed his face, startling.
            “The day ought to be fair, sweet—sweet, pungent of other greater things, and you must think me clumsy.”
The tremulous music of his voice flowed down over me to the ground.