Today I'm participating in the Storyteller Writing Challenge for the first time... yaaaayyyy! This challenge is hosted weekly by Shah Wharton over at WordsinSync. (Go check her out, she's awesome!)
Today, I'm choosing both.
Oh yeah - I'm a rebel.
The picture is the one you see here (beautiful, right? Done by Titusboy25), and the word prompts are: Birthday, Compassion, Embrace. I'm not following the three-minute rule though, because I can't stand not editing.
Without further ado, my entry:
The cold stone of the bench penetrated my thin dress. The clouded sky above my parasol didn’t help.
I gazed into the trees beyond our cobblestone walk, waiting. I knew I was alone, but I also knew it wouldn’t last long.
It was my birthday. My family had forgotten. I didn’t mind. They had other matters to fret about. The state of my clothing said it all. I ran a hand over the worn-out folds of my best dress. I looked up the staircase that led to the back entrance. The house was still ours, but for how long?
I heard a snap. I turned to see him approaching.
I knew he’d come.
Always mysterious, always on time, never speaking a word – I did not know who he was, nor where he came from, but I did know one thing. He understood me. He understood why I didn’t fight my parent’s distance. He understood that I was alone – alone in a family trying to hide their misfortunes from the world.
I didn’t want to hide.
I only wanted him.
He came to me and I stood, lowering my parasol to the ground. His dark eyes and shy smile wished me well. He took my hands in his.
“Why will you not speak?” I asked.
His face fell.
“Please,” I begged. “It’s my eighteenth birthday. All I ask is for your name.”
He hung his head and sighed. It was sounds like this that let me know he could speak, and chose not to. I felt such compassion for this man. His clothing was worse off than mine. I’d thought many times he had to be a lower class worker. I didn’t mind. If he loved me, he would care for me any way he could – I trusted that.
I put a hand to his face and lifted his gaze to mine. The passion and pain mixed in the lines of his face so much that I felt I might cry.
Suddenly his arms were around me. I gasped. For a moment my arms didn’t know what to do. I wound them around his neck and held on for my life. His heart beat fast and strong against my corset.
His embrace was like the dawn of a new day. I let myself feel every bridled emotion I’d ever had. Love, desire, ecstasy; the ache in my heart melted as his breath released on my neck. I wound my hands through his dark hair. I told myself I would never let go. His arms were cuffed around me, making me his willing prisoner.
Then I heard it.
“Solomon. My name is Evan Solomon.”
My eyes widened.
This was Evan Solomon?
THE Evan Solomon, who was supposed to be so sick he was never seen in public?
I pulled away, but did not let go. Our eyes met. He smiled guiltily.
“How can this be?” I asked.
He shook his head, placing a finger to my mouth. “No more today. Speak of this to no one. I promise I will explain everything tomorrow, here, same time. Now I must get back.”
He leaned down and softly kissed my sworn-to-silence lips. Chills ran down my back.
Before he left, he placed something in my hand. Then he bowed, turned, and disappeared.
My mouth hung in disbelief. Then I looked to his gift.
A note of pardon. Signed by Lord Heber Solomon himself.
My family could be pardoned of all debts. We could keep our home. Get our life back.
But would it be enough? Even if I was restored to being a well-off upper-class lady, could I ever see Evan in public?
I sat on the cold stone bench again, stuffing the note down the front of my corset. I would wait for his explanation. A smile crept to my lips. In the meantime, I had plenty to think about.
What do you think?