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Lucinda - A new short story introduction
The backlight of the computer screen seemed to be taunting him. It highlighted all the words that he deemed insufficient, calling unnecessary attention to his lack of grandeur. The sentences ran on without any sense of direction, no passion – erratic and meaningless, attempting to communicate a thought so vital that they could not due to their limited form.
And as he stared at the paragraphs, highlighted by false halo, he stared at himself. He was there, on that page. He was that little blinking line at the end of his last sentence that pulsed in the rhythm of his heart. He was the “undo” button, waiting to be given the command to wash away all past efforts and start over.
He was trying to put her in the story. He was trying to communicate her scent and how the scent would linger after she’d left the room. He was attempting to describe how her smile was at once mocking, but yet not threatening, because he knew her. But she was not in this story. She could not be contained in a story. His attempts to reconstruct her where futile. His attempts to demonstrate the full meaning of what he felt by her absence were a failure so tragic that he’d stopped typing. Never before could anything awaken him out the madness of his Art.
He was mocking her, as she had only jokingly ever mocked him. And now the backlight was laughing at him, calling itself a light, when it was full of insurmountable darkness. And the juxtaposition of these two adjectives placed together in one unholy glow made him what to write about it, to describe it, because if he described it, then maybe he’d be describing himself. And if someone read his description, then maybe they might know him the way that he’d known Lucinda.
Lucine, the Roman Goddess of childbirth, was the giver of first light to a newborn. Saint Lucy, who’s feast day is called “The Feast of Light”, was the patroness of Sight, as in a metaphysical ability to predict the events of the future. He pictures Lucinda, on the terrace, her unruly red hair hanging down over the sides of her oval face as she gazes dreamily and transfixed into her champaign glass. What wonders and secrets were held behind those glassy green eyes in that doll face? And was she about to speak then? In a moment, if he had waited, would she have turned her wild gaze towards him and prophesized in a strangled voice that the sky, as they both knew it, would not be held up by their mere love alone? Would she have crinkled her perfectly shaped eyebrows together in a look of consternation that was so strange and humorous on her angelic face that was so obviously meant to be happy?
“Would you like me to refill your glass?” For it was half-empty, and she always kept it full until the bottle was gone.
And then Lucy, with tears in her eyes, “No,” as she gazed out over the city sky-line. Lucy did not speak again that night. Lucy sat in her off-white summer dress, barefoot, twenty stories up, chill New York wind sweeping her hair, as she looked off into the distance at something that he could not see, and he watched her though the glass balcony door.
Lucy, with tears in her eyes. . . and there was something about that door that seemed impenetrable. As if he could not breach the barrier between him and her if he’d tried. No, the door was made of fire. To touch the door to the patio and slide it open would have been unthinkable.
The haunting light from the computer screen still glowed in all of its daunting glory. He laid in their king sized bed and could almost smell the scent of vanilla and jasmine from her hair. He’d left the computer on. He’d left the light shining. He’d planned on letting its bitter radiance carry him away to safe insanity tonight. He had come to the firm conclusion that he deserved it.
Lucy, twenty stories up. . . Lucy, jumping from the terrace. He, not able to open the door.
Lucy’s body never found.
* This work has been copyrighted and is the sole property of the owner
What happened to Lucinda? Where would you like to see the story go from here?
© 2015 Marié Patricia Nicolina Murray