Writing Contest: Timeless Love, My Entry
This is my entry to billybuc's writing contest. It was a pleasure to write another short story and to meet Bill's challenge. I hope you enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it!
On this cool day in September, the air was sweetened by the subtle scents of lavender, hyacinth, honeysuckle, and deep rich earth as Elizabeth and Jonathan putted through the foothills of Cherokee on his 1946 Knucklehead. It was truly a classic; not many seen on the road in these modern times. The sun spread its godlike wings through the canopies of the mighty oaks, defining a path through the dirt road in this beautiful countryside, which made the world around them come alive.
As they rode through the labyrinth of Nature’s design, Liz closed her blue eyes and raised her petite face to the sun. (She often closed her eyes in order to absorb all the beauty of the world without prejudice of sight). The wind blew her long auburn hair behind her as if to invite and absorb into her very soul all the smells and warmth Mother Nature had to offer. The thunder of the Harley seemed to remove them from this realm and the stresses of life they had left behind. This moment was a moment of freedom and bliss that sweetened every breath she took. Liz never felt closer to Jonathan than she did when they had the thunder of the Harley guiding them along their journey.
As they rounded a bend, Liz opened her eyes, as if willed to do so. Just ahead to the right was a path leading to a beautiful Victorian house. It was cloaked in blue, with white entablatures at the upper levels displaying all the charm of years gone by. She leaned forward and whispered into Jonathan’s ear, “turn here”. He resisted at first but Liz insisted. Upon turning into the drive leading up to the glorious structure, butterflies began to flutter in abundance as the Blazing Star and Black Eyed Susan swelled to grandiose proportions, as if welcoming the unannounced guests home.
They parked the scooter between the azaleas that lined the path to the front door, dismounted and paused for a moment, wondering what force brought them to this glorious yet desolate home. Liz led the way as if she belonged. The front door opened easily, beckoning them to enter. She led Jonathan through the house with the grace of someone who had walked these halls for a lifetime. She felt a tad dizzy and tingly, but held tight to Jonathan’s hand as she led him up the stairs to the attic room on the third floor. She wasn’t sure what drew her there; the window to that room had been painted blue, as if to purposely dissuade the sun from penetrating the room.
As they entered the attic, a strange sensation came over both of them. The dark room suddenly became bright, filling with the sounds of laughter and conversation. What’s happening here? No sooner had the thought entered Liz’s mind when the room came alive. But it was no longer a room at all. Liz and Jonathan found themselves in the midst of a street party somewhere in town. They looked at each other, confirming they were seeing the same vision. What was the significance and why were they here? Moments ago they were in the attic and somehow they had been transported to another place in another time.
They held tightly to each other as they walked through the chattering throng. No one spoke to them or even acknowledged their presence. It was as if they were invisible. The air was filled with the enticing smells of South Carolina’s favored cuisine: crab soup, barbecue and collard greens, boiled peanuts, crab cakes, shrimp and grits and even peach cobbler. Soon the couple began to relax as the wonderful smells permeated their senses. They strolled leisurely, enjoying the sunshine that warmed the day.
Without knowing how they had gotten there, Liz and Jonathan found themselves standing in front of a familiar site, or so it seemed. They were no longer at the street fair but stood facing a small garage with double doors and multi-paned windows. The doors were padlocked, and of course they had no keys, so they ventured forward to peer through the windows. What they saw took their breath away, replacing it with a paralyzing sense of fear. There in the middle of the locked garage, stood Jonathan’s precious Knucklehead! How is this happening? One minute we are in the attic, the next we find ourselves at some street fair in a time unfamiliar to us and now this! How did the bike get in the garage? We left at the house… Their minds seemed to be speaking the same thoughts as they stared, frightened yet in awe of what they were seeing. As they looked around, they realized they were back on the property of the grand Victorian.
Silently, Liz and Jonathan made their way to the house and ascended the stairs once more to the attic. Perhaps if we return to the room with the painted over windows, we’ll wake up and realize this is all a dream. We’ve been on the road all day and are tired. We probably fell asleep. That must be it – this is just a dream.
They entered the attic room with trepidation. The windows were no longer painted. Beckoning rays of sunshine shone through as if God Himself were reaching out to them. Liz and Jonathan were drawn to the window which now gave a breath-taking panoramic view of the creek that meandered below in the Cherokee Foothills. In the distance they could see the gentle curves of the Blue Ridge Mountains ablaze with the colors of Fall. From this vantage point, they were able to make out reflections in the clear water below; reflections of their souls which were now free to follow the light.
It was on this day in 1948, in this very room, that Liz lost her battle with cancer. Now, 65 years later, Jonathan was free to join his beloved once again.
She had come to take him Home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Shauna L Bowling