Thursday, August 2

This and That

If we've met in real life, chances are you know that I write fiction. You may also be aware of the fact that I'm a little obsessed with the story of Trystan and Isolde (or Tristan and Iseult or Tristram and Yseult). In fact, the title of this blog is based on a quote from Parke Godwins "Firelord" that is spoken by Trystan. Well this week my favorite story has been on my mind and I thought I would share a bit of short fiction, and a song that goes with it. I'm one of those people who hears a song and goes "Oh this reminds me of Trystan." Or "This song makes me think of Faramir". Does anyone else do that because Nick thinks I'm insane. This isn't something I took a week to do, or polished, but it's something that I love and think about a lot. Maybe we're looking at a new feature? We'll see. 

When she looks at him beside her she forgets about the others. Something about the space he occupies in her bed that translates to the occupation of her mind. Outside of this room life goes on, but the peacefulness of his face assures her that all is right. Long after the love making has ended and the tears have subsided and he has fallen asleep-- she watches him. The rise and fall of his chest, the movement of his eyelids as he dreams. She wonders if he dreams of another life -- one where they ran away that night on the shore. Where they forgot about their responsibilities and let their former identities fade away. One where they had children together and lived in a hut in the forest. One where they were happy. Where they had more then these stolen moments that always, always end in tears.
For a fleeting moment -- lost in his eyes -- she wants to call out to him. His eyes are pleading, even as he is forced from her in shackles, he pleads for her to say the word. If she asked him now, she is sure he would fight for her. Maybe he would die, maybe he would succeed and they would flee this place together. Maybe they would be hunted down again -- maybe they would be happy at last. She does not call out. Instead, she reaches out her hand and closes his fingers around her signet ring. Afraid to look him in the eyes again and loose her resolve she whispers the words. "Send for me with this -- and I will come." It is not an invitation to another life, it is a last resort. It is her plea to him. It is one thing to love and be loved, and another to be torn between two worlds. She is tired, so tired of the back and forth.
She rolls the ring through her fingers, examining its surface. Pockmarked now and dirty -- it has been in his hands for many years now. She imagines  new lines on the face of her love. Would he recognize her? Grasping the ring she watches as her ship makes the final push to the shore. There she is led to him by another women -- another Isolde. Has he lain with her? Does it matter? This other Isolde tells her of his injury -- a poisoned spear. She had suspected it was serious -- he would not have used the ring if he thought he would survive. Whispering a last prayer to the old gods she enters his room.
His face is peaceful as it was in sleep. So peaceful that the recesses and lines seem softened. He is almost identical to the man in her memory. The man she loved. She places her hand on his cheek and finds it warm -- turns the face towards her and away from the wall. You sent for me, love. You never forgot me. How could he have? She never did. And as she curls her body beside his on the bed and rests her cheek against the silent chest she imagines his last dreams. Of the other life, the children, the hut and the forest.


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