Hello to you!
Can you believe it’s December already? We hope you are keeping well mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.
Ron and I have not written much fiction this year – there’s been too much else to focus on, really – but we did manage to “throw a few words together” (ha!) and bring you our traditional Christmas/Winter offering. We hope you enjoy Joanna’s story and Ron’s poem. (The image is courtesy of the Pixabay graphics site.)
The Cabin of Silver Linings
If it were not for my boots squeaking against the snow, and the occasional snap of a twig surrendering to its burden of ice, I would be surrounded by a deep, velvet quiet. I’m considerably later than I expected; dusk has already fallen. Thank God I asked Molly to come and clean before my arrival. With my flight being delayed, there was a chance I might not even get here today.
But I had to. Two years ago, I made a vow.
I always keep my word.
This place is so familiar to me that my memories have almost written their own reality. Anna and I had snowball fights on this lane. As though the trees themselves captured it, I can hear an echo of her infectious laugh, how it bubbled out of her like a river of joy. She had a way of embracing life that made you feel you were fumbling around in the shadows until you met her. She saw the silver linings, the whole of the moon, the promise in the sun sliding below the horizon.
And there it is – the cabin, our honeymoon sanctuary eight years ago, which we bought three years later when it came up for sale. A light has been left on; bless Molly for her thoughtfulness. The glow speaks of safety, and warmth. And love.
My breath catches in my throat, some strange blend of excitement, anticipation, and fear. I stumble forward.
Before I know it, I’m reaching for the door, stepping into the large living room with its wood floors and old, comfy chairs. Anna’s acrylic artworks are vivid points of colour on the walls. Molly has decorated the tree, its white lights like tiny starbursts, and a fire is waiting to be brought to life. Once I’ve set it aflame, I place the kettle onto the Aga to boil.
The place feels empty. There’s no sense of Anna’s presence yet. What if I am too late? What if she came, and found me absent, and believed me to have forgotten? My heart stutters and clenches for a moment, the grief almost overpowering. She cannot think I would abandon her! How would I –
Then I feel it: warmth at the side of my neck, as though someone has breathed upon me. “Gareth,” I hear her whisper. “You’re here, my love.” Her arms wind around my waist, and I sink into their support, a groan emerging from my throat. Tears burn behind my eyelids. I give myself half a moment, then turn to her. Her skin glows with inner light, and her eyes are dark and full. She has always been attractive, but now her beauty is ethereal, lit from within by some power I cannot name.
How she comes to me, in this form, every evening before Christmas, in the place we loved the best … it is all a great mystery. Perhaps it is some gift from the world beyond … perhaps her inner light was so essential that it would have been cruel to vanquish it completely.
All I know is that I have twelve hours with the love of my life, twelve hours to spend with Anna as though nothing else exists. Twelve hours to last me twelve months.
All I know is that, just as energy is never destroyed, love never dies.
All I know is that we are together, across dimensions, and I am content.
© Joanna Gawn
Sound of vehicle wheels turning off tarmac.
Sound of tyre cutting snow-covered gravel.
This distant tune alerts, as times past.
This wakes me from my slumber.
Enough time to shake off dreamtime.
Enough time to prepare for their Christmas.
Silent creaks as the shell reforms.
Silent groans as shapes renew.
Bright porch light offers welcome glow.
Bright blaze in grate sparkles and crackles.
Thinking of the turned-down bedding ready.
Thinking of hot chocolate pot bubbling away.
Increasing drift from engine’s approach.
Increasing crunch of tyre on track.
Memories flow of that time before.
Memories of when all were here.
They pass on up to Trecar House.
They ignore my welcoming endeavour.
Empty is how these walls remain.
Empty the feeling now left within.
Am sure they will be happy there.
Am sure Trecar has readied for them.
Yet, I see their passing on up the drive
Yet quietly sighing I allow things to fall.
Empty house appears unchanged.
Empty house remains ever in hope.
Young couples loved here before,
Young couples will find my spirit again!
© Ron Dickerson
If you’d like to read the fiction and poetry we published in previous Christmas/Winter blog posts, here are some of our more recent pieces for you to enjoy:
The Rudolph Promise + Festive Fun Frolics
With lovelight blessings for your health and happiness,
and very best wishes for the new year,
Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals
fiction for the awakening