By the fire – Poem

It was winter, if I remember right

The snow had fallen, the only thing in sight

I was seated back inside, as the wind blew cold

I never thought that I, too, would keep growing old

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Update

So life has become a bit more complicated. Too complicated to really explain, as the roots of everything reach ten years back at least. So I’m trying my best now to post one text per week, at least. So see you on Fridays!

And see also my new project Stories from New Haven piers here!

 

~ Just waiting for the light to return.

Missing – Short story

It had been a few years yet she hadn’t said a thing. No one knew who she was, where she came and why. One day she just arrived among one of the ships, tied up and gagged in the cargo hold. They dragged her through the harbor and that is when he found her. He was around the same age, a local inn keeper, kind at heart which really wasn’t something to take for granted on the island full of thieves and murderers. Pirates.

He had been running the inn for years already sense his mother passed away. Thomas, they called him. Somehow he had managed to cherish the softness with in him, and that was all thanks to his mother. His father had died at the sea when he was only a little boy, and the mother did everything in her power to keep him on shore. And now he had taken her under his protection, which at first did awaken some strife among the pirates. That wasn’t anything different from the usual tho.

At first she kept to herself as much as possible. Thomas came up with tasks that helped her to stay in the shadows. Her bruises healed slowly, but there was no rush as she was washing the plates in the back room or cleaning the sheets. He taught her how to cook before the next spring came and that became something she loved to do. Occasionally she smiled at Thomas. It was one of those shy, well hidden smiles when he walked by, but Thomas smiled back. They had long talks, except she didn’t say a word, yet it was okay.

In time she started to come out of her shell. She smiled more often. At times she would come out of the kitchen, take plates, bring food to the tables. There still were some bad days, as in any life. But Thomas did his best to protect her, and slowly she started trusting in him.

Then  there came one single night. It was almost near dawn already, when she had finished the washing up. He knelt by the fire with the fire iron. The embers were burning out, only small sparks flew as he tended the fire.

“Thank you”, he heard a shy voice behind him and smiled without turning his head “I… Wanted to say thank you.” She walked little closer and sat down on a bench. He could hear the heals of her shoes tapping the wooden floor.

“No need”, he said still smiling to himself, it warmed his heart to finally hear her voice. He had started to think that maybe she doesn’t even speak English.

“Yes, there is. When you found me at the harbor… It was terrible. I-I don’t know what-” she stuttered almost breaking down in tears. At that point Thomas turned to her and in the dim candle light he could see her shivering and shaking, squeezing her handkerchief with her both hands.

“It’s alright”, Thomas said and picked himself up from the floor. He took two steps towards her before she stood up hastily and lifted her head. The fear in her teary eyes made him step back, even though he would have wanted to just comfort her.

“I’m sorry” she whispered and turned on her heals. Before Thomas could say a thing she had disappeared to her sleeping quarters.

 

The following days were quiet again. Thomas greeted her in the morning, yet she only nodded as an answer. After what happened that night he didn’t want to scare her again, so he kept his mouth. Even some of the regulars noticed his silence, he was more chatty usually. But now he had a lot on his mind.

About a week after that Thomas was going down the stairs with a lantern. There was a storm outside and some of the batten shutters had been left open. They were banging loudly as they swung against the window sills. He was walking past her door as he heard weeping. For a moment he stopped in his steps and stared at the closed door. He couldn’t just pass by and knocked.

“It’s me. Is everything.. Okay?” he asked and it became quiet in the stairwell. Then the latch clicked, and soon following the door creaked open. Thomas gently pushed it a little more and shone his lantern to the small room. She was sitting in the opposite corner of the room, on the floor holding her knees close to her.

“Can I come in?” Thomas asked. Again she just nodded for an answer, not even glancing at his direction. He still stepped into the room, leaving his lantern on the dresser behind the door. He walked up to her bed and sat down on it looking down at his boots.

It was silent in the room. Only the thunder roared outside. Rain drummed against the roof, at times thunder would strike pretty near, and that was when she flinched. Thomas held his tongue not to ask any stupid questions. She was scared. He could see that without asking but he didn’t want to scare her off. He himself was afraid too, especially that if he did scare her again she might leave.

It was not a usual relationship the two of them shared. Some might argue if it was even mutual. He had simply got used to the company as being an inn keeper had gotten lonely at times.

“I was supposed to get married”, she started to talk after a while.  She had shut her eyes tightly but it wouldn’t stop the tears from rolling down her face. “He…” She stopped to think for a moment, until continuing, “He wasn’t a bad man. I just-“. It was hard enough for her to find the words without the thunder cutting her speech short. Thomas listened almost holding his breath to not interrupt her. He sat right on the edge of the bed and leaned in a little so he could hear the frightened girls voice better. That is all he really could do.

“I couldn’t”, by finishing her sentence she started her story. She told Thomas how her family had been on the verge of loosing everything after her father had started gambling. That was the bottom reason why she became engaged to a man, who wasn’t just any man. He came from respected family, with great authority and a lot of gold.

He wasn’t a bad man. That was true from what she told Thomas. He treated her with great respect from the second they met. He showered her with gifts and jewelry which she did hide from her father – just to be on the safe side. He also treated his servants nicely. She even thought that he could have been perfect. But as in any love story, she didn’t love him.

For a moment she lost the track in her story. With great self-blame she spoke about how she could have loved him. How the feelings could have grown with time after the wedding. How he would have taken care of her, about that she was so sure. But she wasn’t in love with him. She held someone else dear.

Few years before the girl had been born, one of the maids had a son. As she hadn’t married the girls mother had felt petty for the child and allowed the boy to be raised among the other servants. After the maid died the boy was taught to work in the kitchen. At times the girl had played with the boy ever sense they were little.

 

“Leandro..” she whispered softly and Thomas could feel the longing in her shivery voice, “His name was Leandro”. In time she had fell in love with that boy, and for some time she thought that he had too. Yet the deal had been made. Her father would be out of debt and she would be married of to another man. A stranger.

She had submitted to her faith and was going to say her farewells to her sweetheart, but everything didn’t go as planned. At that point of her story she stopped. She teared up more than she already was and Thomas was helpless. He just looked down again and waited. The window shutters still kept banging outside as the wind threw them around, but Thomas had become deaf to the sound. 

It took a long while. She just sat there crying and he looked away even tho it hurt to see her like that. The air felt heavy and it felt hard to breath until she opened her mouth again. The whole night, her last one at home, went through her head. She could see it, feel it. She smelled the hay in the barn along with his scent. She could feel her fingers running through his curly hair. Yet that was the part she left untold. 

“They came in. The door slammed open and he was pulled away from me” she hardly got the words out. Thomas could hear her breathing across the room, through the storm and thunder. She told him how the boy she loved had sold her out right at that moment. With horror in his eyes he blamed her. He told her father, who had caught them, how she didn’t want to marry the man she was engaged. How she had talked him into the betrayal. Her father pushed the kitchen boy away, towards the door and he ran out as fast as he could. Then the father turned to her. He raised his hand. 

She was dressed in a maids outfit. Her bag was packed and she was sent away that very night. She didn’t see her father anymore, but she could still remember the disappointment and anger in his eyes.  

Thomas listened in silence. He could hear her nightgown scuffle but he didn’t lift his head. And before he even noticed it she fell down to her knees. She lied her head on his warm lap and he held her. As tight as he could.

 

***

So this is part of a bigger project of mine, now called Stories from New Haven piers, which I have been dancing around for a while. Tell me what you think!

More about the whole thing you can find here.

Terrifying nightmares

How do you know that stress is starting to get you? Of course I’m not completely sure that is what this is about, but it just might be.

Last night I woke up to about three different nightmares: First was about bees. I have always been afraid of bees, have been stung three or four times. One time I was stung in the neck as I was driving my bike near home. It got stuck in my helmets strap. So that has a completely rational reason.

The next nightmare was pretty weird. I had put my phone number to some website or something. I got a phone call and as the caller ID there read “God”. Not even kidding. English isn’t even my first language so even that is odd to me. Then my father started asking what is that and who is calling me. The panic was probably what woke me up and I could still feel it after words. I tried my best to shake it off by sleeping a little more. Don’t know why but it wasn’t a good idea.

The third and the last nightmare of last night/this morning was somewhat a mix of some video game. I was running around in the game and something was after me. I kept getting stuck every where. Weirdly that is the nightmare which I don’t remember about as much as the two first ones. Hope to sleep better this night.

Good night! Or morning.

Just my luck

So school is starting again in a week now, if I can really call it “starting”. I have been studying for the summer, so haven’t been taking that long of a break this summer. In a way it’s actually nice. I like learning new things, I love writing essays and reading is a passion of mine. The worst thing is just being afraid of social situations and “summer school” hasn’t required that from me.

Another problem is that I’ve become quite sure I want to change my main subject. In a way it makes me feel like an idiot. I have been studying in college now for a year but in my heart I think I have known it for longer. I just haven’t listened to myself, which isn’t like me. But that is something I’m going to do now.

Just that everything wouldn’t be too easy, I went and got myself a flu. Hope it’ll be gone by this time next week, so I can also get my wisdom teeth pulled out.