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Back to the City: Pyre returns to haunt the city where he first met Becca.
Posted by Douglas, Nov 25, 2008. 2467 views. ID = 2051

Back to the City

Posted by Douglas, Nov 25, 2008. 2467 views. ID = 2051
This post was written in 35 minutes.
This is the third part I wrote today, so be sure you don't miss one of the previous ones I wrote.

This one I'm also breaking up into two sections, so...I think that means two more to go. :)
This post has been awarded 19 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 16 of a writing series titled Kindle.

Eventually, after several months of aimless and lonely wandering, Duncan made his way back to the city where he had met his bride. He couldn't really say why he came back to that place; the memories that hounded him through the cities were memories he desperately wanted to lay to rest. Yet, in one of those strange human contradictions, they were also the memories he most longed to submerse himself in.

Occasionally he would walk through the park where he had first seen her, but he would find no beauty there without her. The cacophony of city sounds no longer formed an urban symphony; they were simply noises that overwhelmed him and washed over him, drowning out the one voice he longed to hear in his memory. Fettuccine, like lasagna, spaghetti, and every other meal he had once loved, all tasted the same, and that one taste was the flavor of sawdust. On Sundays he would sit at the very back of the church she had attended, but even here, without her, beauty was so hard to find. He would listen to the homilies about the love of God, and he would close his eyes in disgust.

He had met gods. He knew better.

When he tired of being haunted by these memories, he made his way across the city, and reserved a room in the motel where he had stayed for so long. She had never come here, so in this place he could be close to the memories of her without being overwhelmed. On the wall was a print of a mountain scene; Duncan removed the print and slid it under the bed. He replaced it with the one piece of Becca he had brought with him: an original painting of a sailboat harbored in still waters. Though no art critic would ever praise its merits, it had power to bring a small measure of comfort in Duncan's grief.

In the mornings he would wander the city streets, looking for odd jobs that would pay for his meals and his room. Sometimes it was stocking shelves for local markets, sometimes it was running deliveries. It never paid much, but it was always enough.

In the evenings he would sometimes walk out to the freight yard and sit with the old man who muttered meaningless nursery rhymes. In a strange way, he felt at home here. Not because the old man understood him, or because he understood the old man, but because they felt comfortable together, and because the old man never asked him questions he didn't want to answer. There was something peaceful about listening to a voice, and knowing that neither understanding nor response were required.

The months passed; winter turned to spring, and then to summer, and at last returned to fall - the season when he had first met his beloved Becca. On a brisk October day when leaves from distant trees began blowing across the freight yard, Duncan felt the stirring of both memory and desire, and he returned one more time to the park, knowing that his abandoned wife would not be there, and yet, hoping against all hopes for a glimpse of her.

She was there. And she was painting again.

Duncan skirted the edge of the park, careful to stay out of her line of sight; there would be no fading between them. Then his breath caught in his throat, for there, underneath her brush, was the picture he had seen only in his dreams - the heart-warming picture of the children playing in the park, and the little sister who kissed her big brother's cut finger.

Astonished, he stared at the painting, for it was exactly what he had dreamed, yet it was so much more - the power of that simple family scene brought him to the brink of tears. Then, as he thought of the family that he would never have - the baby son he would never meet, and the little sister that son would never have, the tears broke over the wall of his eyelids and plunged, like a waterfall, down his cheeks.

He left the park as silently as the Kindle, and she never knew he was there.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 19 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 16 of a writing series titled Kindle. The next part of this series can be found here: In the Motel Room.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version

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