© Lisa Shambrook
Dust motes swirled and danced in the ray of sunshine that flooded the bedroom, and Eli gazed at Aoife’s tumbling dark hair as she stood by the window. The sun glinted and bounced off the silver hairbrush she swept through her curls. His chest rose and fell with a heavy sigh and he relaxed back upon the white cotton pillows. The sheet she clutched slipped a little as she tugged at a stray tangle, and Eli imagined it dropping away from her shoulders altogether. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile and he wondered what she looked at every morning through the window.
“What d’you see out there, angel?” he asked lacing his fingers behind his head.
Her arm paused, mid-stroke and high in the air then she put the brush down. She pulled the sheet up and rested her hand against the window pane. “Trees, as green as the Emerald Isle, tall woods, stretching back as far as you can see…mountains, huge, snow-capped mountains…” she paused, her hand still flat on the glass, “and lakes,” she added, “up in the mountains. Rivers…blue ribbons of rivers and waterfalls cascading down – can’t you hear them? The water rolling and gushing, icy and cold…”
Eli grinned, his eyes still fixed on her bare back, her spine disappearing into the loose white sheet. Her lies filled the room as the air-con’s chill spread goose-bumps across his skin. He could hear Monday morning traffic, hurrying and bustling through the city streets, and the only green was bright traffic light go. Tower-blocks filled the view as far as the eye could see and the distant mountain ranges had been disguised by a film of smog for as long as he could recall.
“Waterfalls cascading…” she continued, “down to…” Her voice caught and her hand trailed down the glass, leaving an imprint that faded as quickly as her words.
She turned, slowly, the sheet bunched about her body, and her eyes met his. He drowned in her clear blue depths, and his own breath caught in his throat.
“Waterfalls…” she repeated, her yearning eyes filling with unshed tears. “Cascading down to the ocean… To the salt water, the sea, to waves crashing upon beaches and wind dancing atop the foam.”
She stared straight into his heart, salty tears slipping silently down her cheeks.
Conflict battered his soul, as compassion and desire fought to surface. His base passions won and he beckoned her to the bed. “Come, sweetheart, come…” He patted the bed beside him. “One day, my darling, one day I’ll take you back… One day we’ll run away from the city together, we’ll own a cabin in the woods, and we’ll follow the river down to the ocean… One day you’ll swim again in the sea.” He gazed at her, as her white fingers clutched tightly to the sheet about her body. She sat lightly on the bed and he rubbed her shoulders leaning in close to kiss her neck. He whispered as he feathered tiny kisses across her shoulder and down her arm. “One day, angel, but until then you’re mine, and until then we’ll play together…”
He pulled her down onto the bed and gently stripped away her sheet. He ignored her wet cheeks and the way her eyes glazed over as he caressed his prize.
Her expressionless eyes remained open as she slipped away to a far, far ocean and his promises faded, lost and buried in the same place as her pelt.
My Blues Buster as prompted by ‘Home in the Woods’ by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons. There’ll be more tales to read if you pop over to The Tsuruoka Files…