St. Francis of Assisi called this church his little portion. A large basilica has since been built around it. Funny, I never felt closer to eternity than in the small one–a church of the grandest Scale.
A hollow ting echoed down the darkened shaft. The sound triggered a rush of excitement.
Their labor of love cut through years of research, mounds of red tape, and ancient earth with tools the likes of toothbrushes. It climaxed with the sound Professor Morrison had longed for when the dig began a decade earlier.
“At last, la chambre d’immortalité ,” he squealed.
“It’s right where you said it would be,” Jacques exclaimed. “It’s the passageway to your own immortality.”
“You mean from the mark this will leave on Archeology?”
The professor hesitated for a moment to consider the possibility. It had a sweet ring to it. There had been so many obstacles and frustrations. The quest had turned him into a laughing stock among Archeologists. None of it would have been possible had it not been for Jacques who stood by him in the face of overwhelming mockery. He choked up to find words of gratitude when everything went black.
The following week, Jacques told reporters of the mine shaft collapse. Although in his heart he knew he was just another grave robber, he figured the sting would eventually wear off in his new life in Tahiti.
Ryan studied the sumptuous junction between Jule’s upper and lower halves. He gently stroked his finger along the curve, wondering exactly where the top of her legs ended and the rest of her body began. Twixt in the line of demarcation was a spot that typically triggered a contented sound akin to a purr that had somehow fallen flat in their morning tangle between the sheets. He didn’t think much of its absence. Instead, he was happy enough to lose himself in his own musings.
Jules was in an entirely different universe, staring off into the bedroom wall as Ryan caressed her from behind. There had been a reckoning coming for some time now, and the coldness she felt throughout her body signaled its unavoidable arrival.
“You’ve been distant ever since you finished your book,” Jules announced.
“I’ve been here with you all the while,” Ryan replied.
“Oh cut the crap. You know what I mean.”
“It’s not crap,” Ryan shot back. “I just sent the book to my publisher this week. I finally have time to do things, but you’re the one staying out late at work and too tired to do anything when you come home.”
“I know,” Jules admitted. “It’s just that something inside you has changed.”
“I assure you, I haven’t changed,” Ryan said. “You’re the one who has been avoiding me.”
“Please hear me out,” Jules returned. “It’s not something I can put my finger on. It’s a feeling I’ve had for the past month. I can’t explain it, but it’s something I know in my soul. You’re leaving.”
“I don’t ever want to leave you,” Ryan said.
“I didn’t say that.”
“You just said I was leaving.”
“Yes, I said you were leaving,” Jules said plainly. “I’ve known for some time now that Watkins Glen was too small of a place for you. I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want it to ruin your flow. Now that your book is done, I think it’s time we both face the truth.”
“What is truth?” Ryan asked glibly.
“Please don’t play any mind games now,” Jules pleaded.
“I’m not playing mind games,” Ryan persisted. “The truth is that I love you and will do whatever it takes to make it work with you.”
“Even stay in Watkins Glen for the rest of your life?”
Ryan hesitated. He could feel his windpipe become constricted by the mere thought of staying in the small community on the Finger Lakes in New York. It was perhaps the most picturesque place he had been to in the United States. Yet, the world was larger still and his experiences in places like Interlaken, Switzerland, the Isle of Man, and Crete seized hold of him and clamped down on his vocal chords.
There was a long moment of silence. Ryan looked up at the back of Jule’s head. She still faced the wall with only a small sliver of her face that shown next to her frosted hair that dangled down to her shoulders. He could make out a tear as it trickled down her cheek.
Jules wasn’t the only intuitive one in the room. Ryan knew something intimately about Jules too. She was a rare gem–a precious commodity in every sense of the word–who exuded an inexplicable and tantalizing sense of security in all the things she did in life. She was content to let the world come to her doorstep in Watkin’s Glen. All she longed for was a man to settle down with who had his sights on a child or two with a dog and a cat in their corner of the world.
Ryan had never intended it to go so far. He had come to Watkins Glen to write his latest novel. Yet, there was something about Jules that seduced him. There was something archetypal in her womanhood that allowed him to lose himself in the fantasy of settling down in a small community, living a conventional life with a traditional wife.
It took him only an hour to gather his belongings. He neatly packed his clothes along with his Fender guitar in his old Ford Mustang. In the end, it was too painful for either of them to even look at each other let alone kiss goodbye. Ryan spent the next four hours in the car ride to New York City wondering why his thirst for travel and adventure was so strong. He surmised that he had already lived a thousand lives in the books he read. He figured he’d need a thousand more in his travels.
Submitted in response to Friday Fiction Challenge hosted by Simply Marquessa. The challenge is to write a piece of fiction based on the lyrics “I’ve been all around the world and as a matter of fact, there’s only one place left I wanna go…” from Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettle’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
Pedestrian bridges, walkways, and crossings attract a lot of photographers in the Netherlands. I’ve developed a habit of making a photo opportunity out of their photo ops. I find it interesting that there is a picture inside the picture.
Here are some photographs of photographers in pursuit of their art. Pedestrians, or are they?
Jules sat on the edge of the bed, one step away from her daily routine. A strange force held her down, making the move from bed all the more difficult to take. There were over 50 dead and 200 injured in Las Vegas. How did we get there?
She always heard her name as Jewels. Like a precious diamond, her soul was forged over millions of years of unseen processes. There was none more pivotal than the time she marched with her love sign on September 12, 2001.
Love was simply the answer back then. If only all the grown ups could see with such clarity.
Jules looked back at Ryan cocooned in the comforter. There was a line of drool on the side of his mouth. There was something about it that captured the struggles of love.
“Love will win in the end,” she announced. “In the mean time, we will have to fight for it.” In her heart, she knew random acts of kindness were key. Ryan would require more drastic measures. (175 Words)
Four generations of Carters sat around the old home, toasting Grandpa into the wee hours of the morning.
“He said Dr. Seuss stole his idea,” Jack recalled.
“Maybe it was true?” Susie wondered.
“Oh come on, he made it all up,” Bill said.
“How do you know?” Aaron asked.
“Whenever he moved his mouth, he was making things up,” Bill insisted. “Like how he told people he went fishing through the hole in his living room.”
The room erupted in laughter.
“They say truth is stranger than fiction,” Anna pointed out.
“Everything was stranger with Grandpa,” Jack exclaimed.
Again, the grandchildren let out a laugh. There was a momentary stillness when the merriment died down. It was followed by a flicker of the lamp next to Grandpa’s chair. Their jaws dropped, and all eyes landed on Bill sitting in the beloved chair.
“Grandpa was right about one thing,” Bill announced. “His story of The Fox in the Box with Rocks in his Socks was a lot more interesting than the Cat in the Hat.”
Contented sounds followed which united them in complete accord by an unavoidable truth; life was stranger but way more interesting with Grandpa.