A little dusty place

He took a last look at the now empty apartment: between those walls he and his companion had spent some very happy hours, but also known doubts, and even fear. Times were changing, now was the right time to go home, to retrace their steps. Looking for his lost dream had been the goal, and he had failed, in some ways. Looking across the avenue, out of the bay window, he did not concede defeat. The task remained incomplete, the story unwritten. His search would continue.
He would miss this place, the city, the tree-lined streets, the vast parks and the lakes. How beautiful the country was, there, on their doorstep. Yet he aspired to escape, to hide from the beauty, to a different world of silence, and peace. He knew she was happy to go back, to her friends, to her garden. Life would be simpler.
He drove carefully out and took the direction of the Autobahn. They had a long road ahead of them, landscapes they knew, places where to stop on their way. His wife was smiling, on the radio he overheard news about election fraud and forbidden demonstrations. In the past year they had not paid much attention to what was going on, elsewhere in the world. At least he had not, perhaps she was more attentive to the voices, out there, to the ripples that did not reach him. She switched the radio to classical music. The landscape was changing, they were leaving. He would drive for another hour, and then his wife would take over: they were organised, relaxed, thoughtful. He thought of their journey, back to the city from the west, three years past. Then the landscape had been frozen, the trees delicate structures of glass. He’d hoped then to discover the truth, the elusive reality behind the dream. But it was not a complete failure, contact was made, he could still hear far away voices, from a past that may have been his, theirs.
His wife would soon be driving. Suddenly he was relieved: they had made their move, it was not the end of their search, only it would have to be done from a little further away. He smiled at the thought of their long rides along the Oder, the endless forests, the small villages nestled in the hills. They would go back, later, he was sure of that.


The place, their place, was so familiar, ramshackle, a little dusty. He walked to the bottom of the garden, inhaled the now moist and cool air, the small hollow was overgrown. He thought he would have to install a fence at the back, to guard against foxes and stray dogs. He laughed: this was so different, in its suburban quiet solitude, the city was far away. They would start clearing the brambles and dead plants, empty the shed of rubbish. They now had plenty of time, to plan, to decide, to work and shape the place the way they wanted. There was no rush.
They would take the time to unpack, to clean the house, to make this space liveable. A place where to love, and write again, he thought. His wife was walking toward him, handed him some tools. Pruning was the word. He would have to prune, go back to bare essentials. He wondered about the gnomes, the small people, were they still around, or had they followed him to the city, and lost their way? He smiled at the idea of furtive shapes haunting the large avenues at night, perhaps hiding in the parks. No, he was sure they were still around here, spying, mocking, planning their next trick. A grey heron flew by, majestuous.
It was getting dark, he must have been dreaming awake. His wife had gone back to the house, downstairs was lit. He would start working tomorrow, spend some time in the garden, then inside. As he started walking toward the house he heard a familiar chuckle. There you go, he thought, they are here all right, the mischievous lot. He would have to fix the outside light on the terrace. So many little and not so little tasks awaited him. He was looking forward to the evening. And the day after: the beginning of a new year.

Fallen leaves

photography of trees near river during fall
Photo by Alexandra Shchelkunova on Pexels.com

This year it may have arrived late, but now, it is here. The time of the year when shadows play tricks, shallow shapes appear, as if conjured up by a malicious genie, and then disappear, erased. This lovely vision may not be real, those blond hair, flying in the light wind, are not what they seem: as I got nearer, anxious to see the face, it’s nowhere, it’s just me, and some hidden gnome, invisible, yet present, and I think, laughing silently. The light is low, diffused, under the trees one does not recognise anything, cannot see through the light mist: I see you, but is it you? Or an ancient witch pretending to be you?

The waters of the canal reflect a deep green that doesn’t not come from the sky, but from an elsewhere, a deep, unfathomable to us, humans. We lost the skill to see this light, but was it ever a skill, or rather, a right? Gold and brown, grey and a colour which is undefined, a wavelength our eyes don’t capture. Dark knights ride in the clouds, bearing runes that may signal our end, our dismissal from what is, still, paradise. I feel small, in a world that, for now, and the next few months, no longer smiles at me. Those ghosts are not my friends, they merely remind me that life is short.

And Winter is coming.

Frozen #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

frozen

 

“I know where we are, we walked this path many times. Was it yesterday? It was summer still, and yet you see: today the ground is hard frozen, how can this be? ”

“My love, you are confused. We’ve travelled a long time, this place is not that you recognise, we are far away from home, a long way away from summer…”

“What are you telling me? Are we lost? How can we be now in winter?”

“We have to rest. You see, we have what it takes to survive, this far North, and we must keep warm.”

Snowfall #writephoto

Snowfall

chatsworth-snow-11

 

“Don’t get too close!”

“What do you mean? Do you think I could wake him up? It’s a rock, just a big ‘un! Relax!”

The snow continues falling, nothing moves, bar the flakes in the light wind. I know it’s not a rock, I know what’s there, and I don’t want to risk it. But this friend of mine is too cheeky. This could turn out pretty bad.

“I’m not leaving without touching it!” She really wants to tease me. “Come on! Let’s pull its tail!”

And she starts walking, toward the trees, toward it. It.

I see her standing there, in her big coat, pretty, rosy cheeks, her blond hair catching the snow.

“Hey! Look! It’s not moving!”

I sigh. She’s not the first one to do this. But now, it is moving, not the big mass, but the ground around it. I can see, I feel the light vibrations, something deep is fluttering, just a small tremor.

“Come back please, I am getting cold…”

“You’re just such a coward, you are!” She laughs.

She looks so young, her clear voice resonates in my ears, soon a murmur, as she slowly disappears in the frozen ground. A soft motion, silent, as I watch, petrified , and the snow continues falling.

In the Pale Light of Winter #fivewords

Weekly Writing Prompt #175

rypgos

charcoal, shade, pale, wake, lucid

The rain fell, almost silent, but she could hear the little stream, outside, through the open window. She called the instant the lucid wake: those minutes before the first signs of the pale dawn. Then, everything is clear, the events of the past days in sharp relief, as if lit from inside. His smile, the fire on the beach, the shade under the pine trees, the smell of charcoal. But this wasn’t yesterday, it was years ago, her already distant past. And then it had been Summer…

Then the wine had tasted better, the air cleaner, the waves softer. His skin was like the sun itself. Where was he now? The lucid wake: she was alone, all fires long dead.

She could hear the little stream. Winter would end, another Spring would come.

 

Image source: https://wallpapersafari.com/winter-beach-scenes-wallpaper/

Onward #writephoto

Onward

p1460213-2

 

We stop at the top of the small hill, and look down at the road meandering away from us. The bikes lie on the short grass, next to tall poles that remind us that, here, the snow can erase everything, and level the landscape, but we are too early for it. The air is cold, the pale rays of the winter sun lit the distant crags. Soon the night will fall. We set the tent not far from here, and lit a fire. Tomorrow is another day.

Turning #writephoto

Turning

hills

 

Yesterday… We walked in this valley, under the burning sun, hand in hand, believing in the eternal summer. Yesterday, perhaps, more than you, my love, I longed for Autumn, and the fall of leaves. Did I believe Time had stopped? Did I believe Earth was flat, after all?

Or was I inebriated, drunk in our love?

But now, Winter has come, silent, ineluctable: the hills are white with snow, our shoes leave no trace on the frozen ground. Nature has taken back what is hers, the air is cold, yesterday’s azure sky is now deep grey.

The light is out.