Monday, May 05, 2008


She listened to the cricket song mixing with the rhythm of his heartbeat. The two Earth sounds harmonized. She loved the way he seemed to be part of any place he stood in.

She snuggled against the side of his chest and laid her hand in the dark curls. Despite the summer-like day, a chill tiptoed in the May night.

A breeze whispered, and a ribbon of sweet fragrance tickled past her.

"Do you smell that?" she said.

"Yeah. It's nice."

"It's lilac."

"If it's going to get breezy, I'll have to put my clothes back on. I kind of liked the quiet."

"I always thought lilac had a purple smell," she said.

"Like the color of the flowers?"

"They can be white," she said. "Maybe other colors too."


The leaves rustled. He sat and reached for his socks.

"Hey, you're messing up my warm blanket," she said.

"Shouldn't we be going?"

"Not yet. Come on, lay back down. I'm warm."

He tossed the socks aside and buried back under.

The ghostly threads of lilac thinned.

"There used to be a lilac bush under my window," she said, "when I was little. If the wind came just right, it would fill my room."

"Nature's air freshener."

"My mother would cut blossoms for the kitchen. She used to sit on my bed and tell me stories."

"Nice memories."

"That was before I hated her."

He turned.

The air leaned on the trees again. The skin of her face felt cold.

"We should probably--"

"No," she said. "I want to stay a little longer. Close your eyes. I'll tell you a story about the fairy kingdom that spanned the valley around our yard."


Sarah Hina said...

I was just walking by a lilac bush yesterday, and thought about putting its perfume into a story. No fair! ;)

Memories, and people, embody the warmth and the chill. And scent is that fairy conjurer of both.

Aine said...

Lilac does smell like purple! I like that.

This makes me long for the innocence of childhood. I want the fairy stories to be true and the lilac to never fade.

jenn said...

I loved this Jason.

I'm living in a new town, and for all the beauty of the surrounding country, there are no lilacs here. I was really missing home today and between the images of warmth, home, and that wonderful smell, your story was such a comfort. Thank-you.

Geraldine said...

Wonderful Jason! Lilacs are my favorite flower and your story was so beautifully crafted around their gorgeous scent and appearance.

Thanks for sharing this. Photo was lovely too.

ChrisEldin said...

Beautiful!! I feel spring with this one.

And my favorite line is: The air leaned on the trees again.
A very clever way of writing breeze. It's one of those things in writing that need a fresh expression. Like "The sun slanted through the blinds" is so overused. Takes talent to put a fresh spin on description.

P.S. Hope you (and Aine!!) have time to pop over to my blog this week and play along in the contests!! Very easy and fun. And you'll see some familiar faces, I think.

SzélsőFa said...

I like how warmth and chill is displayed in both Nature and within the human characters.
I would love to read it further on.

Angela said...

I love this, Jason. A lover's afternoon turns into a fairytale complete with evil mothers - or as is mostly the case, good mothers who get a few things wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, lilac is like a spell. I'm not surprised at all that it conjured something for you. I hope you do write that story.

Aine, I guess what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't fade in intensity. Maybe it just visits less often.

Jenn, I'm very happy to have connected with something that was missing for you. It's nice to know when your words mean something. :) I hope you're settling into your new place.

Geraldine, thanks for the kind words. :) This photo is another example of stacking. I'm learning that mid-aperture pictures are best. If the aperture is too wide, little bands of blur sneak into the end result.

Chris, thanks for pointing that out! That's definitely the greatest challenge in description--new ways of seeing and saying things. Sorry Aine and I have not be getting around like we should. It has been hard to blog lately.

Szelsofa, I love mixing the characters with the environment--each adding to, and reflecting, the other. Yes, this scene could be continued, I think.

Anonymous said...

Angela, that's a great way of seeing it! Good to see you, BTW. I've been keeping up with your travels over on your blog.

JaneyV said...

Another beautiful piece Jason. You really provided a feast for the senses. I could see, hear, smell, taste and feel that warm May day in the heady aroma of lilacs. There's just something about may that makes me want to lie on the grass, look up at the clouds and breathe in deeply.

SzélsőFa said...

My other thoughts:
If we remove 'c' from 'lilac', we have lila, which is a name of a color in Hungarian.
Guess the color.
Isn't it weird?

lila is pronounced like: lee-luh

Anonymous said...

Janey, there's just something about May that makes me want to lie on the grass, look up at the clouds and breathe in deeply.... Yeah, that's perfect!

Szelsofa, lila. That's so perfect! Thank you for point that out. :)

Miladysa said...

Oh I liked this very much! A most enjoyable read and you left me imagining a whole scenario about this couple and what happens next :-D

mermaid said...

Even after hating her mother, she can still associate her mother with lilacs. Though this is subtle, i love the way the lilac's beauty overpowers the hate. (At least in my interpretation:)

Vesper said...

Interesting piece, Jason. Beautiful descriptions weaving romantic and prosaic aspects, real life and fairy tales...
Very nice!