A Short Story: Lily, My Love

By Joe Temblador, Clarion Staff

The snow fell languidly to the ground, as though God were dropping powdered sugar from the golden arches of heaven, glazing these worn country fields in a sweetness that coats the tongue, and cleanses the heart, and because the morning was still early this immaculately undisturbed scene was not yet desecrated by the inevitable destructive power of time.

Inside a pristinely white house no life made a sound. The beings that roamed there were simply abstractions, entities that had escaped the surly bonds of actuality. Although they were alive, they were not living. The covetous grasp of the sentient no longer kept him bound to this white citadel. Not since that paragon of happiness with her sweet smile, and soft hair, and eyes the color of a lush country field during summer, was swept away amongst the lillies… her eyes were the kind of piercing that left one feeling more whole, a lush green with sprinkles of a summer iris within an iris. Her absence left him empty in way of desire for this place, and so that night he left that swath of his commiseration. He took nothing with him; none of his earthly belongings nor previous desires, for he did not plan to return.

In his departure he was greeted by the penetrating bite of sorrow that rode the wind the same way a commuter might ride a subway, coming and going as it pleased to remind him of what he had lost and what he still stood to leave behind. Yet he continued, trudging forward, each footfall leaving him more drawn than the last as the snow bit at his heels and numbed his toes. He continued in this manner for centuries, or perhaps only hours; it’s hard to tell as relativity is distorted by the ruthless passage of time.

Soon he felt he could go on no longer so he fell to his knees, and was enveloped by the gelid scathing grasp of frost and loss, but as the cold clutches of time enveloped his every being, he was once again pulled back by an ex machina of renewal. In the peripheral of his vision, standing silently amongst the tree lines was a doe. She was gaunt and tired looking, ribs protruding from what seemed like days of malnourishment and fur torn and ruffled from years of hard living; yet she carried something in her eyes. They were somehow understanding, ethereal orbs peering into the inner sanctums of his anima. Her green eyes, with specks of iris within an iris were a thing to behold. Just as he felt their gaze had met long enough to have exchanged a deeper level of understanding, she was gone.

As quickly as she had appeared to him she retreated back into the clandestine clutches of the forest. Behind her she left a trail of lilies, perfectly undefiled in this frost laden land.

His journey ended in that spot, as he was consumed by the snow, which fell on top of him apathetically, varnishing these old country fields in an all enveloping rime, and because the night was still young this immaculately undisturbed scene was not yet desecrated by the inevitable destructive power of time.

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