Confrontations

Confrontations – an excerpt from Remember To Love Me

The monotonous view of field upon field dazed her eyes. With the soft motion of the train and warm sun that streamed through the window, it was easy to doze. In and out of consciousness, she drifted, dreaming.

Hidden beneath the leafy boughs of the vast tree, she could taste the cool lemonade on her tongue; hear the sweet morning song of the birds. His hand on her skin, tenderly it touched her cheek. Her eyes closed, she could sense the brightness of the sun through her eyelids. Her mouth open, her lips eager to speak his name.

     ‘Hush, my darling, we need no words.’

Her cheeks blushed; her skin tingled, as his tender fingers traced the line of her chin, her neck, and her breast. Her dainty hand moved up his back; through the cotton of his shirt, she could feel his shape, the clarity of each defined muscle. Over his shoulder, she reached his bare skin, his neck; warm, fragrant and soft. Her forefinger came to rest on his lower lip, his mouth open, the warmth of his rapid breath moist on her fingertip.

The closeness of his face cast a shadow over her eyelids, and she heard his heartbeat, its pounding rhythm, fast and in time with hers. Slowly and tentatively, she opened her eyes, his wondrous face, so close, his striking eyes penetrating hers through to her very soul. Gently, he slid himself closer, pressing his aroused body hard and heavy on hers. Just the fine layers of fabric between them, hindering them, preventing them. Every inch of her was over-laid by his strongly defined body, his blood pumping fast through his veins; pulsating with hers.

He laid his hands on her face, easing her tousled hair from her flushed cheeks, smoothing it away to see her features, glowing and radiant. His face lowered to hers, his moist lips touched hers. Warmth spread through their flesh, their breath mingled, becoming one.

With a bumping motion and a loud whistle, the train came to a stop. Emily blinked open her eyes, her cheeks flushed and her hands hot and clammy within her kid leather mourning gloves.

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Love & War

Love & War – an excerpt from Remember To Love Me

My Dearest Emily,

It is so very hard to sit here in the blistering sun, knowing that you, my love are there without me. I promise you, my love, I will be home very soon. You are my life and being without you is no life at all, I just exist and barely at that.

I am not sure how long this letter will take to get to you. It is your Birthday in a few weeks and I hope it will be with you by then, so, Happy Birthday my love, my Emily. How is life there, I hope everyone is well, please give the family my regards. You must not worry about me, the war will soon be over, and I will be . . .

‘You alright there, Corporal,’ the familiar gruff voice startled James. He put down his pencil and carefully folded the piece of paper. ‘It’s all right lad. You go ahead, you write to your gal,’ the gruff voice continued. ‘We don’t have much else, do we, other than the thought of who we’ve left behind,’ he paused with a sharp, crackling cough. ‘This damn dusty air, give me some good old, wretched English weather any day.’

 James simply nodded with a half-hearted smile, ‘yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir.’

The dusk was falling and the air was thick with the warmth from the day’s blistering heat, corrupted by the stench of sweat and fresh blood; comrades lay bleeding in sodden bandages, muffled, suffering murmurs tainted the dusty air. His Sergeant’s coughing travelled into the distance as James’ thoughts once again revisited his love. His mind wandered to the vision of her long hair and big eyes, longing to touch her petite curves. His loneliness was immense, mounting with each dawn. James knew that he was not alone, but his fellow men with their own stories of love back home, although equal, were no consolation to him. Emily, his gloriously exquisite love, his wife, now alone each with only their memories as few as they were. James had envisioned their lives to be full of happiness and joy, never letting Emily out of his sight; her absence was tearing a hole in his heart.

James imagined Emily’s embrace the sweetness of her breath on his face and the softness of her lips pressed against his. With the tip of his forefinger, he eased the collar of his jacket around his neck, releasing the stench of stale sweat on his skin. The coarse material of his uniform tinged with blood and ground in dirt chafed his sunburned skin.

Unfolding the paper and licking the end of his dull pencil, he continued.

. . . with you very soon and our lives will be full of happiness. All the boys have been writing to their families. John, he is a really good chap, his wife is expecting a baby. He talks of nothing else, but his lovely wife and how good it will be to be home. He comes from a small town by the sea; he tells stories of how good the place looks in the summer and how much he misses the sound of the sea. I like hearing him talk of home; I think life by the sea would suit us. What do you think, a little cottage near the beach, and our children playing in the sand? It is thoughts like these that are keeping me going, and the thought of holding you in my arms, my dearest Emily.

I love you, James

Seascape

Seascape –  an excerpt from Remember To Love Me

Sleep was something of the heavenly life that had long gone. Now, Annabelle’s days and nights mingled into one long continual form of misery. She had never felt so alone, so empty, so superfluous. Even with the death of her mother, recalling the confusion and incomprehension, that melancholy nothing to this desolation. This loss brought understanding, perception yet still she had no power.

A little past five, she crept from the cottage and headed for the sand dunes. Under her arm, she clutched a canvas, in her hand an easel, in the other a large case with paints and brushes. The sun was already up; she felt her heart curse its bright abundance, lavishing the seascape with its copious brilliance. She had adopted this part of the dunes, naming it her own. As the day awoke to the sunlight, she made her journey in her daily ritual.

Time was simple up here upon the lookout of life. She could exist with the elements, having to hold no regard for their feelings. The last two days had weakened her soul beyond what she thought could be healed, one simple phrase had crumbled the walls around her insular world. She would listen to it no more.

Amongst the long spear-headed grass and bare patches of coarse sand, Annabelle pitched her easel. Removing her shoes, kicking them in the grass she stood barefoot on nature’s carpet. Random clusters of dusky mauve heather and gathers of small violet blooms bejewelled the otherwise bland dunes. Holding her dress above her ankles, Annabelle strolled, watching her bare feet caress the grass, the sand seeping between her toes.

She unfolded a blanket, spreading it over the rough land and unpacked her paints. She squeezed colour onto her palette, shades of blue and green, and amid them a daub of stark white. Eyes closed against the world, Annabelle swept her brush. A flood of intense azure blue masked the weave of the canvas. This was her world, sedated and numb. She continued to paint as the sun grew high above her. She could feel the hours pass as the shadow cast her art.