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Today’s picture prompt and story starter (at the beginning of the story in bold) come from Marian Allen who has been an awesome blog friend and supporter since the last A to Z Challenge when I met her.
Day three and four continued to fade into the night and yet she did not waken to the world because day and night had united in her eyes, in her breath, her very bones. All that was left was a never-ending sunset, and the tower in front of her home that shot up into the sky.
Ever since she came to this house she’d imagined a sprite sitting high up there watching over her home. Through the years of her marriage, the beatings, the birthings, the making love, she kept her eyes on that tower.
She kept her vigil by the bedroom window now, afraid to move, lest she miss the moment he would walk in, slam shut the gate with unsteady hands, and she, annoyed, would whisper to him in a voice that carried in the thin summer air: The children are asleep, can you keep it down for God’s sake?
In her waiting she did not hear the wails of her infant daughter whose first sob startled her awake on any given night, and on to her feet. She did not move when her toddling son tugged at her skirt, nor listen when her parents tried to shake her, bring her back to them.
They found him, a week later, at a brothel where his heart had given out under all the strain he had put it through. She drew the blinds on her window, did not look up at the tower again.
Months went by. The funeral wound down, the neighbors left, as did her parents and his. She sat by the window, the baby now a toddler at her knee, the brother playing on the floor. The room lay cocooned in dark, the children fussed, and she could not breathe in the incense-laden air.
She snapped up the blinds, shoved the windows open. The room needed light, devil take the tower. No one had ever sat in it, she knew that now.
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.