Here in one room comes the voices, sweet blended youthful song, and another place of the scratching of quills upon parchments, in the next forum the concerted arguments of debate both pointed and inclusive, while in the last the soft silk and sash of the dancers as they lift and die, all movement conspiring to bring forth an inner truth of the human experience.
Now remember, you’ll sit on this side of the table and she’ll sit across from you. That way, you get the nicer chair and she has to sit on the bench, although, mind you, that bench is as old as the stone floors in this place. We had to replace the chair you’re sitting in after the fire, and they didn’t make the old benches since way back before, so we got this here chair, which you’ll sit in, and be thankful for the cushions. So no remarks, or she’ll know what you’re up to. Let her bring it up, maybe after a pint or three, and see what her terms are. You may be surprised. She may surprise you yet. Yes she might, with a civil arrangement. All right, then? Well, drink up. She’ll be here soon. It’s unusual, you know, to arrange your own marriage. But, times are changing then, aren’t they.
Each step hurts, pain from the ankle and knee sending Zeusian lightning bolts up through my thigh, electrifying my spine, exploding into my cranium and out into the surrounding atmosphere charging my skin and hair with loose electrons causing everything to shock me as I reach out or pass by. Even my eye lashes and brows crackle with negative energy, jolting my face each time I blink. My bones rattle, demanding release from the torment of muscle and sinew.
The next day, Lilly missed a step. She wanted to go back and try again, but time twisted and tomorrow became today and yesterday became tomorrow, which left today as the missing step. She looked for it when she walked to school, but the day was extra dark making it difficult to find things that went missing. Later, or earlier, when she went to bed, she had a difficult time falling asleep owing to the brightness of the night filling her room with invitations to get up even though she knew she should be sleepy. She missed her dreams that night, almost as much as she missed her today.
The ash from her cigarette clung like a charcoal worm, defying gravity. A steady hand and patience, along with many years of practice. She imagined all of her stress over the coming day revealed in a carbon tube of burned tobacco and paper. When the tingle of nicotine shivered up her spine, she drew in one last breath of the hot smoke, paused, then exhaled, ready for the day. The ashen remains of the cigarette broke off, dropped to the ground to be blown away by the coming winds.