Sunday, November 27, 2005

shimmering walls

She laughingly grabbed his hand and dragged him stumbling, off the road into the grass and daisies and brilliant sunlight.
“You will never guess what I have found!” she said breathlessly over her shoulder as she pulled him along. He smiled silently. There was amusement in his voice.
“What is it?”
“You will see.” She replied delightedly, throwing him a charming glance. He joined in her happiness and dutifully followed her guide through this dear meadow of their childhood. They reached the bedraggled beginnings of the forest and still she ran. He felt the strong grip of her small hand in his. Her hair shone red and brown and golden as the flecks of sunlight caught it through the dense trees. Suddenly he found himself blindly staggering down stone steps. The light grew dimmer. The roof was low and uneven. He saw wedges in the stone walls with candles lit to light the way. The stair was steep and winding. And then they were at the bottom. Antoine looked up and found himself in a large chamber of white stone. The ceiling was surprisingly high, like a great hall. The walls were rough but the floor was smooth as marble. The white stone reflected the candle light, giving a glowing impression to everything.
She turned to him, her eyes sparkling, her cheeks flushed.
“What is this place?” he whispered excitedly.
She smiled mysteriously, “I do not know! I found it one day while looking for violets for mother’s grave. There is the one entrance we have come through and another at the far end of the forest.”
“The far end of the forest?” He breathed in awe. “Why then it must be enormous!”
“Yes it is. There are dozens of rooms, each reached by tunnels. Most are not as grand as this one though.” She watched him staring up at the ceiling. “Not a day has gone by since you were gone that I have not dreamed of showing you this place. I run here to escape from Nurse and the clamor of the house. It is so pleasant and quiet and beautiful here. I sit and think of you…Now I shall love it all the more since you have been in it.” He looked down at her, his face softened.
She threw her arms around him, “Oh my dearest brother, how I have missed you.” she whispered.
Returning her firm embrace he whispered, “I have missed you too.”
There they stood, two figures, encircled by the magical light of the shimmering walls.


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