Become a Fan
By Jo Janoski
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Not rated by the Author.
A short story for a workshop requiring 500-word minimum - about the wind(s): how they can effect or symbolize life - in a tragic or joyous way.
Elisabeth pressed the crimson rose against the tiny hollow spot on her neck. The smooth petals were cool against her skin. Where had he found a rose in late winter? March winds howled outside, reminding her that spring remained elusive this year.
Her soft white hands tucked the flower in her elaborate black hair, waist length but piled on top of her head in abundant rolls and curls. The rose glowed in dramatic contrast to her black dress, long and full with a hemline swishing on the floor with every step. She had other frocks, but they were still at home. She had been unable to pack them when the men came and took her away...to this place.
James kept her captive here, waiting for the woman he adored to say yes to his marriage proposal. He had no intention of letting her go free...ever again. His minions came by dark of night, breaking the door down, and pulling her from the parlor out onto the street. A barbarian covered her mouth with his hand and lifted the poor woman onto a horse, mounted behind her and sped off in a gallop to this place. She would never forget his hot fetid breath on her neck.
Elisabeth walked to the window in weak little steps. She spied the outside with longing. The wind rushed through the trees, making every limb quiver, then swooped down to rustle what few leaves were left on the ground after the winter. The breezes twirled and swirled like happy children at play. Yes, the forceful wind was happy. It was free, free to wander at will, to dance and to sing in its low humming tones. She wished she were the wind.
A key in the lock distracted Elisabeth. The maid came in with a tray, placing it on the table, turning to leave. Elisabeth could see steam rising from a bowl of broth with plain crackers, next to a cup of fresh tea.
"Good day, Miss!" the woman said as she reached the door.
"Wait!" Elisabeth whispered.
Startled, the maid turned to her. "Miss?" she asked.
"Tell him I'm ready...to marry him." Elisabeth made the remark and turned her head away, a shiny tear glistening in her eye.
"Oh, yes, Miss! I'll tell him right away!" The surprised maid left in a flurry of excitement.
She would marry him and be free, physically at least. Free like the wind to travel, free to make limbs quiver and leaves rustle up to the sky. Physically, she would be free; emotionally, she would be trapped... like always.
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