Thursday, March 23, 2006

Story time...

A Night with Edgar...

Black clouds slammed together producing a thunderous roar as Emilie Smit closed the door against the storm after shaking torrents of water from her umbrella. Dusk was falling and the rain gave no indication it would be over soon as water streamed down the windows from horizontal blasts propelled by an angry wind.

Emilie had been shopping, and a tiny smile passed her lips as she laid a tiny bundle on the table. Her lucid blue eyes never left the package as she removed her coat and settled in an overstuffed chair. The lady sunk into the chair's comforts, but sat up quickly to reach for the bag, jostling her abundant auburn curls with the movement. They bounced around her shoulders and halfway down her back in cascades of shiny movement.

Her slender fingers undid the wrapping and lifted out a white box. Lifting the lid, she caught her breath spying the beautiful ring. The circle of gold was embellished with three tiny sapphires, gleaming blue and two little pearls at each end of the grouping. Lifting it up to the light, Emilie's heart fluttered with delight.

Slipping it on her finger, she stretched out her hand to see the sapphires sparkle. The jewels danced and glimmered in her view with all the beauty and grace of a dancing angel. They spoke to her of another era, where ladies draped in elegant long dresses entered grand drawing rooms bedecked in jewels such as these. Emilie closed her eyes and imagined an elegant ball where the wearer of this ring would be the center of attraction.

Clutching the jewelry to her heart and twirling on tiptoes around the dimly lit room, she swirled past the television and bumped into a chair. Even as she stumbled, Emilie smiled in contentment.

"Rachel, my darling, at last we are together. It is I, Edgar." The deep voice rattled her out of the sweet reverie.

A startled oh escaped as her eyes met a pair of brown ones that screamed with what looked like hot unbridled love.

"Rachel, I thought you'd never come," the tall man murmured, grabbing Emilie and placing little kisses up and down her neck.

"Excuse me! Do we know each other?" The words rushed from her mouth in a torrent of excitement ignited by the kisses. Next, startled, she backed away with quick, little steps.

"Rachel, why do you act like you don't know me?"

"I don't, and how did you get in here? Ooooh, I demand you leave my house immediately," she replied, her hand touching the moist spot where seconds ago he had showered her with pecks of love.

"I don't understand. Are you not Rachel?  You certainly look like her." The love in his eyes transformed to disappointment.

"No, I'm not. Now how did you get in my house?" 

"You put on the ring. Putting on the ring always releases me...from the ethers. I've been waiting for you, for centuries, you love." His hand reached to stroke her cheek.

She pushed him away, repeating his remarks in confusion. "I put on the ring, and it releases you to come to Rachel, or since I have the ring, to me."

"Are you not Rachel...or perhaps you would like to pretend to be?" He murmured the last phrase in a steamy whisper while taking her face in his hands and searching for an answer.

"Would that be okay...if I pretend to be Rachel?" Emilie asked in a little voice. Her eyes widened while her lips tensed into a slit above her chin.

"Well, the 'powers that be' would not be amused, my love. But I would never tell them." He showered her with kisses on her cheeks and neck. Emilie felt warm all over.

The following morning Emilie padded to the kitchen early to make coffee. Edgar was gone for now anyway, but she fully intended to summon him back again. A dark day presented itself in rain and thunder again.  

The watery sounds of streaming rain and stormy booms offered a startling contrast to the soft contentment in her heart. Last night she had been loved in a way that heretofore had been unimaginable. Fluid, total, wrapped in his arms--the object of his devotion, she surrendered because there was no way she could resist. A sigh escaped as she measured the water for coffee. Thank goodness she bought that ring. As long as she had it and put it on, dear Edgar would come and make passionate love to her.

bam sent her jumping in fright. Glancing out the window, she spied a tree on fire in the yard, struck by lightning. Running outside, she met her neighbor who had emerged at the sound, as well. The trunk was engulfed in flames wrapping it around it like sultry dancers, turning the old oak by the inches to a smoking black pole. The rain had reduced to a drizzle, allowing the flames to do their evil work unimpeded.

"Looks like that tree's a goner," the neighbor said, his hands on his hips like the undeclared authority he was. "I'll call the fire department."

"Thanks, George," Emilie replied while stepping back from the flaming tree. The excitement made her forget the previous night for a moment, but glancing up to her bedroom window reminded her again. 

Another bam propelled her heart into a startled orbit. Confused, she spied with dismay as another boom issued a bolt of lightning. The white hot streak danced its tendrils across the sky, reaching, touch the roof of her house. With a crackle and a pop, her home ignited. The flames roared, proceeding to consume the roof like hungry animals, next wrapping down along the walls. The wood frame house offered no resistance to the fire. 

"MY HOUSE! MY HOUSE!" Emilie screamed, running up and down the street trying to summon help, stumbling and getting up again to run again. The neighbors gathered, but there was nothing they could do. The fire department arrived to see the last of the walls crumble. Emilie's life in minutes became a stack of charred embers and ash. Her friends soothed her as she sat on the curb, dismal and empty.

"Well, at least I have Edgar," she murmured reaching to stroke the ring on her finger. As long as she had the ring, she could summon him was then she realized her finger was bare. She had removed the jewelry and left it on the bed stand. 

"OH NO!" she shrieked, getting up and rushing into the embers. Falling on her knees as black dust flew, she ran her hands through the ashes hoping to feel the tiny ring in her grasp.

"Emilie, you're going to get burnt! GET OUT OF THERE!" her neighbor cried.

"NOT UNTIL I FIND MY RING!" she yelled. After an hour, she found it among the ruins, the stones blackened and the gold melted. It was no longer a ring, but only a dull blob of metal and rocks. Only she knew its worth.  Laying the dusty chunk on her blackened hand, she hoped perhaps the magic could still work. But she knew it would not.

For years afterward, she wondered if the universe paid her back for pretending to be Rachel or if it all was merely a coincidence how a disaster happened after she lied. Figuring she'd never know, she took pleasure in the fact that at least she would always have the memory of her time with Edgar. 

On many nights, she looked at the starry sky and wondered if he ever found Rachel; after all, that was the woman he truly loved. 

Copyright 2006 JO Janoski 

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