I loved this week’s Writing Challenge and had so much fun thinking up this story. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
A whispered urgency cloaked the meeting in the confines of the barn behind the Livingstone estate.
“Please,” he pleaded, “Run away with me.”
It wasn’t the first time that Louise had heard him say it, nor was it the first time that she had given it serious consideration.
“You know I can’t, Simeon.”
It broke her heart to see him this way. It broke her heart when she didn’t see him at all.
“It’s this town, Lou. It’s killing us.”
“I can’t leave, not now.”
“You know that it’s never going to change.”
“It can’t stay this way forever.”
“It won’t. Your pa’s going to win out. You’ll end up marrying…” He couldn’t bring himself to say the name. Even the thought of it brought bile to his throat.
“Simeon,” she said, cradling her hand around his face and turning it in the direction of her own. “I love you. You know that don’t you?”
“And you love me?”
“And you trust me?”
“We’ll leave. Soon. I promise. But not now.”
“Soon. It’s always soon. One day soon isn’t going to be good enough.”
“LOUISE!” The voice echoed loudly through the empty space reverberating against the wooden panels and back at them in their corner.
“Soon,” she promised as she looked into his doubtful eyes, and gently brushed her lips against his as she stood to straighten her dress before running towards the door.
“Wait,” he said in a voice louder than a whisper but softer than a call, and she turned back to him in surprise.
She nodded, a smile playing on the corner of her mouth.
“The usual spot.” And with that she ran out of the barn towards the house where her father stood waiting with a watchful eye even after she had returned.
The moonlight cast shadows across the forest floor, and every breathe of wind caused them to dance, exaggerating every movement and making it impossible to tell what was real from what was not. The silent paws moved stealthily through the undergrowth, their owner nothing more than a shadow himself. The fox hunting his prey.
Down by the lake, they met and danced around each other – their beauty exaggerated by the rays of light that covered their feathers, drawn into the black and reflecting off the white. They cut through the water as they waltzed, spreading ripples that transformed the tranquil scene into one of fun and beauty and love. Together they glided, side by side, until they reached the forest, where they escaped to settle in together for the night, the contrasting black and white feathers mingling so naturally together.
Louise was woken by the cold, and wondered where Simeon had disappeared to. It wasn’t like him to abandon her, not when they are in their forms, when there are so many dangers that faced both of them.
“Simeon,” she whispered into the morning, but there was no response.
“My love,” a little louder this time, but still nothing.
She slipped into the forest, the slowly rising sun lighting her way just enough to be able to see and hide among the shadows at the same time. She moved swiftly to find the clothes so hastily abandoned, but carefully hidden before the change. Her’s were not alone.
“SIMEON,” she shouted, panicked now, as she raced back to the water’s edge.
It had become lighter even in the few minutes that Louise had been gone, and the reflected light from the lake glinted off the pools of blood that had been invisible a moment before. Louise’s heart caught in her chest as she followed them into the forest, tears rolling down her cheeks unnoticed.
He lay in the centre of the glade with trees surrounding him, staring up as the light danced before his eyelids. He could remember being in pain, but his body was beyond hurting now. All that he could think of was his beautiful Lou. His Lou. His. As he closed his eyes, he sensed more than heard the rushed footsteps coming towards him. As she pulled him towards her, he could tell that his body was moving, but he couldn’t feel a thing, his mind not able to control his body, his body not able to control itself. His eyes refused to open, his mouth to speak as he slipped away in her arms, her head on his shoulder, her tears christening his bare back.
“Lou,” the familiar voice came from behind her, loud and confident.
“How could you?”
“He was going to kill me.”
She pulled him tightly towards her, protectively.
“I won’t leave you.”
“Lou, I love you.”
But Lou couldn’t hear his words of love over the hatred that filled her ears and her heart. All that she could hear was the blood rushing through her veins. All that she could see was the familiar lips that had kissed her every day of her life. As Simeon walked away, she lay with her father in the sunshine of the glade and let her tears run free.