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Another short story in the "Only the Moon Knows" series; just jotted it down real quick last night while listening to some music.
Only the Moon Knows
- Bell of the Night
By: Brandon Herbert 08/07/07
The mist unfurled it’s tendrils through the labyrinth of holly and ivy. As the smiling face of la luna climbed over the far fence of trees; the shroud of night snaked through the garden. Jonathon watched it with weary eyes, from his vantage point on the patio of the manor; the plaster columns and moldings glowed blue in the pale moonlight. The chorus of the night brought no solace to his ears, for his inconsolable soul was out wandering with other company tonight.
“My sweet ‘Bella… Where are you this night?” He spoke to the mists and the trees, “Bella mio noche…”
As if in response to his words, a sliver of silver flickered through the fog. His eyes affixed themselves to where he had glimpsed it, and his heart raced. He strained to see through the deepening darkness and the obscurity of the fog; struggling to decipher that which he longed for.
A soft laugh rang through the night like the ringing of fine crystal, and there it was again, moving toward him through the twilit maze. He stood from his seat on the patio, and moved forward a step or two. Finally… there!
He saw her face, smiling at him as she darted through the opening of the labyrinth; her white gown glowing like ribbons of etheric silver in the moonlight.
“Isabella!” he cried out to her. I knew they were wrong! He told himself as he sprang down the steps toward her. Those men had told him to rest, told him not to exert himself; told him she was gone… FOOLS! Here she was right here, and he would not be separated from her any longer!
He flew toward the entrance to the labyrinth just in time to see a flash of silver slip around the bend to his right. If it’s games she wants… “Figlia de la Luna, It’s a game you’ll get!” And he plunged into the fog haunted corridor.
He raced after her, never catching more than a glimpse of her glowing dress or a snatch of laughter that seemed to catch on the hedge’s reaching limbs as it floated through the night air. He rounded a corner and came upon a carved angel statue, staring down at him with unblinking eyes of marble. Which way had she gone? He turned round and round, staring down the different paths; not knowing which one had held her blessed presence.
He sat down on the bench beneath the outstretched arms of the angel, and glowered down each branch in turn. The breath of the night sighed around him, carrying a sound like chimes or bells, and yet not… The night’s wind seemed to whisper his name…
He whirled around to look behind him, and stared up at the impassive face of the statue, and it seemed to whisper again…
A fair face emerged from behind the angel’s back, and smiled at him as if Fey. Before twirling in a fan of ebony curls and flying off down a trail behind the angel, one that had been hidden to him by the very statue he had rested upon. He darted around the angel’s wing and pursued her again; down a corridor of deep emerald green, with the rare flash of red holly berries shining in the night like beads of blood.
He chased until at last he emerged in an open space, with a white marble building in it. Part of him thought he recognized the place, but he quickly dismissed the thought. There was no room for thinking now that she was no near.
She grabbed hold of one of the poles holding a flickering lantern, and leaned away from it, swinging from it and smiling at him. Her teeth gleamed like pearls in the lamplight; and as he stepped toward her, she locked his eyes with her own and drew him toward the interior.
“’Bella de la noche… Vinire qui…” He whispered as he stepped over the threshold and beheld a bare bedchamber; graced by nothing more than a few lights, bushes of sweet perfumed roses, and a sumptuous bed adorned with linins of crimson satin, and spread of midnight blue velvet. All was but as nothing compared to the beauty that drew herself upon her bed, and looked to Jonathon welcomingly. He came to her, unable to tear his eyes away from her even if he’d wished to. He soaked her in, the pattern of lace in her dress, the scent of herbs and roses that clung to her, the satiny sheen of her soft skin in the light; reflecting the light of the moon that stole in through the open ceiling.
He ran his hand over the scratchy lace strap on her shoulder and down her arm. Her skin felt cool to the touch, the mist having sipped the warmth from her. That only made him more determined though to make her feel warm again; as he leaned in a kissed her gently but passionately on her lips.
“Will you stay with here with me? Never part with me again?” she whispered to his shoulder as he took her into his arms.
“Si, my bride…” He pulled away and looked into the depths of her eyes, “Mi amore…”
“Amante mio… eterno…” She kissed him and he felt a distant pain within him; but it was soon lost to her, as it felt as though she pulled him from his very flesh. The bed gave under their weight, as they fell upon each other and made love in the blue of the night.
He rubbed her face with his thumb, gazing in wonder at her beauty; all flushed and chilled no longer. “Mio bella Luna… Isa—bella…”
“Sleep amore... sleep now…” and as she kissed him he slipped away into darkness there in her soft bed, breathing in the scent of roses.
He was not there to see his family recover his body from atop the cold marble slab in the center of the labyrinth… nor could he care any longer when they moved the white slab and beheaded his beloved’s body while whispering fearfully of ‘Vampiro’ and ‘Strega’. He cared not that their mouths were stuffed with garlic; or their bodies burned to scattered ash… they had no use for them any longer; they were finally free, wedded eternally under the holy light of La Luna. Only the moon knew the true tale of the Bell in the Night.
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