Flickering fire lit the lamps and the open bonfire in the middle of the tribal house where the entire community gathered. A young man whose messy black hair perpetually fell into his eyes held an older model of camcorder on his shoulder, somber as he watched the people file in through the lens. It was the coldest night of the year with a thick cascade of snow falling silently from the heavens, brushing the hats and shoulders of each citizen, lingering even longer than the young man expected as the building offered little improvement in temperature from the frigid outdoors. The snow only disappeared from the privileged individuals who had earned a seat near to the central blaze, but the rest wore white flecks on their clothing, visually separating who was in control. It wasn’t something the cameraman liked to consider because his father and grandfather had taught him that every individual in a society was equal, even if they performed different tasks in the community. But they had never lived on this island in the vastness of a polar ocean. Here it was survival at its sharpest, often cutting ideals out of the equation in favor of the majority of the community still living by the time spring arrived. Each season had its own cruel beauty in a way outsiders could never imagine. No flowers pushed through topsoil to announce the arrival of a new time of year. The frost merely melted and it was possible to bury the dead from the long, dark winter with enough natural light to forego the torches until autumn. Summer was a blinding mass of sunshine and melting water, mud and mosquitos that created an entirely new risk.
The leader of the town banged a gavel on the nearest bench reserved for the elites. The meeting had begun.
Hours later, the young man shivered in his hut, wondering if he was a type of elite himself because he was equipped with the necessary electricity to power his camera. Records must be kept and the town leaders realized the logic of supplying him with what would accomplish the objective.
After plugging the camera into the power source, the man fell to sleep rather quickly, spent by the cold. As he dreamed, his lips curved into a smile as he saw the graceful and brave young woman who had defied convention and lived on a rock in the ocean, riding above the standards of the town. She lived her own life, even if only inside his imagination.
By the light of dawn, it became evident to me that I never stopped still mourning my first home: peace, green grass and rolling hills. It has blended with certain dreams and a few peculiar things take me back in the blink of an eye, the note of a song. Like being pulled out of my own world, I’m suddenly amid the optimistic crowd of people and cars with skyscrapers in the distance, laughing in a way that the joy reaches every inch of my body. It doesn’t flee like a shadow, forgotten as quickly as it arrived. It is a sunny spring day, just warm enough to chase away the chill of winter. Yet even winters here are spectacular because there is a candle in every window and the scent of fir trees in every room. Today I let the sun caress my skin and the wind sing through my hair, for I am home.
Even as the song that transported me to my home ends, I can still smell the aroma of sweet tulips on a breeze.
You told me you need to get out of here. So you can have life, breath, control of your days again. I’m all too willing to sign up for the next adventure, but you really hit it out of the park on this one, taking me to your glass flat. Here I will stay, my hand tucked neatly, safely inside of yours. Here I will finish what was taken from me and here you won’t get found by those you wish to leave behind us. The only scary moment was when I asked you to stay; you thought I meant for a few months, but I meant forever. However, all of it was more than compensated for when you said yes.
They are nothing if not adaptable… the way her eyes widened in the darkness and it doesn’t seem so hard to get stuck in the time period from which they cannot escape. It is their fondest wish but it has died on their lips, the words downing in the winds and the waterfalls and driving rain, never to surface again. Still they meet in their corners, away from everyone with whom they do not desire to share secrets. She is certain that the time capsule they uncovered is the sweetness that makes the bitterness palatable. With the option to raise one’s voice beyond the occasional northern lights, all have a better chance of surviving the unimaginable.
Okay, so it’s a couple of days since New Year’s, but since I’ve not blogged since 2015, I still want to wish you all a very happy 2016! I hope this is the year you find all the happiness and joy in the world!
I’ve started editing my November 2015 NaNoWriMo novella, still undecided if I should keep its original title of Freedom. That, as some of you may know, is the title of the flash fiction series I wrote here on my blog in August that became the inspiration from the novella. Maybe one of my resolutions should be to learn how to title novels better. It’s never come naturally to me to find a title very early in the process. Only after spending some time with the characters and plot does something evolve in my imagination. My favorite part of the novella is the couple at the center of the action, once married spies Aidan and Tasha. I love to write about them, so I wouldn’t rule out any additional projects involving them.
I like to let my goals develop as the year progresses, so I don’t have a list of ten resolutions, but one thing I do plan to do in 2016 is finish the mystery novel I started last June at JuNoWriMo. I had to put it aside, unfinished for other things, and I miss it. Once again, the characters are calling!
Today is a special day here in the U.S. because it’s the Masterpiece Theatre premiere of Downton Abbey! My favorite show is in its last season, but I’ll just say I know things about the finale that make parting much easier. Thanks to overseas friends, I know what an international feed is, but I won’t give any spoilers all season long! The best part about the domestic airing is my season pass to iTunes, which will allow me to download each weekly episode the following day and enjoy on my iPad. It makes me very grateful to the person who gave me an iTunes card for Christmas!
I wish everyone a great day!