He came to me after dark, as night lay like soft velvet in the hollows of the hills. The fire burned low, his feathered cape laid over the chair shimmering iridescent blue as the birds stirred and gave their first sleepy chirps, my breath coming fast as he touched me and held me close. He told me his name, and I spoke it as I emerged from the dream.
The day dawned bright, my room pale, my bed cold and lonely as it always was. Yet the dream stayed with me throughout the long day, making me blush as I worked behind the counter making coffee, smiling at the customers who ebbed and flowed like the nearby sea, only staying long enough to smile and talk, but not long enough to truly connect.
I felt like the island out in the small bay. Close to, but not part of the small town that bustled along the curving shore. It takes time, I told myself, to make friends. Moving to a new place is a big step for anyone. Just give it time.
But at night feathers enclosed me in a soft embrace, my dreams taking me beyond the lonely confines of my world. Sleep became a refuge from the cold days, the aching feet, my broken heart.
One night, sleep eluded me. I sat at the window, my breath misting the small panes as I watched night leave the hills, black sky fading to blue. Glimmers of light appeared below as the town began to wake, gold in the sky over the nearby sea, flashing from the steeple on the hill opposite, soft gold to white, then fading away. My eyelids became heavy, my head drooping over my hands. A voice whispered to me. ‘Come and find me, beloved. I am waiting for you.’
I didn’t go to work that morning. No coffee scented fingers, hair gone limp from steaming milk, mouth tight from smiling so much. Instead I went across the valley, taking a gravel path past mossy walls to where the ancient church slumbered in a cradle of yew trees. And I found him.
Armand De Courcy, the plaque read, much rubbed by time. And on the marble, next to the bones that marked his resting place, was a single feather. Blue, like the twilit hills, like his eyes, like my heart.
This is my response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt, my favourite photo prompt in blogland. For more posts, or to share one of your own, head over to Sue’s blog for more information 🙂
Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.
Another wonderful short piece. You’re really good at these.
Thanks so much, Craig 🙂 That’s high praise from a short story master like yourself. Am thinking of maybe grouping some of them into a collection – they sure are fun to write!
I think you should. They’ve been really good.
Beautiful story. It flows smoothly and so effortlessly. I truly enjoyed reading it.
Thank you so much! Really glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Pingback: Writing Links…6/11/18 – Where Genres Collide
Pingback: All That Remains – Helen Jones #Writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
Really like this 💜
Thanks, Willow 🙂
Loved this, Helen!
Thanks, Eliza! 🙂
Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.
Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
Such a beautiful story, Helen…
Thank you 🙂 xx
A lovely piece of writing, Helen.
Thanks so much, Robbie 🙂
Pingback: Photo prompt round-up – Remains #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo