She spun, head back, and hair flowing loosely around her shoulders. Her high joyful laugh split through the dark noiseless night. Fog was hanging, heavy in the air, obscuring her from the view of most in town, but not him. He saw; he always saw.
He stood at the edge of his heavy fabric curtains and air broke raggedly from his chest as he watched her dance and spin. Joy radiated from her upturned face as her laughter carried on the cool breeze through his open windows. He sighed at the sound of her voice, soft and child like, in his ears.
Oh how he had missed it; missed her. It’d been too long since the last time he saw her. She’s eluded him lately even though he sought her out. She seemed to always be just beyond his reach. He’d turn corners and see her flame colored hair only to realize it was another woman’s hood. It was never her…never his love, his obsession.
He watched her with rapt attention as her spinning slowed and then stopped. Her skirts settled around her slim legs and she stood, back straight, facing away from him. He couldn’t see her face but he knew her proud chin was held high and that her eyes would burn with mirth.
His attention was diverted as Mrs. Charles moved through her parlor. He watched as she made her way through the room and came to a stop by the far window. She looked out onto the fog-covered courtyard but seemed to see nothing. Her eyes weren’t what they used to be. He watched her long enough to see her draw the curtains closed then sought his love again.
He startled when he saw that she’d moved closer towards the house and was staring right at him. Panicked he checked behind him but saw his wife still on the floor with the children. Turning he looked for her again, desperate to feel her green eyes on his. He took a step towards the open window, just barely containing a strangled cry when he saw her walking slowly away from him. Soon she’d be swallowed by the fog and lost to him again. He couldn’t allow it.
Turning he made his way quickly towards the door, ignoring his wife’s called question and the wide eyed butler he hustled past. Throwing open the heavy door he didn’t bother to turn and close it, rather he took the steps two at a time in his desperate race to reach her.
He rushed into the thick fog, searching for her red glow in the grey, but couldn’t find her. Exasperated he called out desperately, “Evelyn!”
A glimpse of crimson and her soft laugher had him pushing forward into the night in search of her. Calling out to her again he ran, his shoes clicking on the cobble stone road. He was catching up, he called out again, begging her to stop, turn around, anything! She ignored his pleas, her billowing skirts and alluring scent of honeysuckle just out of his reach.
She stopped at the edge of town, a few more steps and there would be nothing but an old dirt road, trees and the river. The river, he shivered remembering it. She did turn then and he stilled. In her hand, unseen by him until just then, was a single bloom from the roses that grew wild there. She looked down at it, up at him, and then it fell from her fingers. He followed its decent with his eyes, watched as it bounced on the stones and came to rest. Frowning he looked up at her but she was gone.
He bent down to pick up the rose, afraid it too would disappear, and was rewarded by a prick on the finger. He drew back, sucking on the bead of blood that welled on his thumb pad. He leaned down again and lifted it more carefully. It was real enough. A gentle breeze brought the smell of honeysuckle to his nose and his feet moved to follow it.
Down at the shore of the river he stood, holding a lone red rose, the same color as his lover’s hair, lips, and passion. The only words she ever said in her own defense were, “I did it for love.” Oh how he longed for her. Oh how he missed her.
“Oh, Evelyn.” He called to the woman who had bewitched him.
*This short fiction piece was inspired by two things…the image used for header and this song. I hope you enjoyed it and welcome your feedback…Julie*