Monday, June 04, 2007

White Roses, Part 2

(My tribute to the Victorian ghost story, but written in the uncommon second person present voice. For Part 1, click HERE.)

The wind blows, and the woman's hair feathers across her shoulders. A hand drifts up, wistful, and draws the barest touch across her neckline.

"Do you smell the roses? I don't remember ever smelling anything like it."

You frown. She's pretty and young. A stranger.

The air settles once more, and silk blond strands fall over her eyes. She smiles at something far, far away.

"They're too beautiful to touch."

The dark windows of the house peer down. Sometimes the old woman looks out. Sometimes she watches the empty garden.

"I can...." The words are slow, and the young woman's breath fades.

"Can what?" you say.

Her face softens as if she's curled in the arms of a dream.


"Can what?"

Her lips part to say the words, but close again. No matter. You've experienced it. You see the enchantment shadowed in her face.

Hear him.

Her chest rises and falls. A warbler speaks in the hush.

The garden hasn't been tended in years. Under the weave of high grass and tassels, the last flakes of rosewood rots into the dirt. Nothing blooms there anymore.

"You should go," you say.

The words float past her.

"Now!" You grab her arm and pull her in the direction of the street.

The jolt penetrates, and her eyes dart until they find yours and cling.

"But I--"

"You should go."

She blinks.


Your hand forces her toward the wisteria and the sidewalk beyond.

She looks back, but does not speak. Her expression clouds when she sees the decrepit garden. The rose bush is gone.

On to Part 3.
Back to Part 1.


Anonymous said...

Nice. For some reason I was reminded of a Bogart movie. Can't remember which one, but the POV, makes me think he made one where he told the story as the movie played out.

mermaid said...

The old woman sees what has happened to the house, the garden, the roses. With age comes decay, but it doesn't have to be that way, does it?

I can't wait to see where this will lead. He knows her, which makes me wonder why he is so drawn to the house, to her.

Anonymous said...

Steve, it's a very forceful POV. I can see why it's rarely used.

Mermaid, as always, you are very perceptive. This little ghost story is about to wrap up. :)

angel said...

loving it!