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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Writing Prompt 62: A glimmer of hope

Prompt: A picture is worth a thousand words. Write the story behind this one. 

       The great stone castle surrounded me. I walked its paths everyday, yet nothing seemed familiar or comforting. I was here for my family, locked in an extravagant cage. I was here because he wanted me to be. This strange Beast. 
       Every morning I walked the palace alone. Every evening he asked me a question, and then left me to the shadows. I began to feel lonely, and I knew that my heart was breaking. Being isolated from all I knew had its own freedoms, but today it felt stale. It was as if my very act of defiance had condemned me to sorrow. Confusion clouded my brain. 
       Why was I here if I was not needed? And why did my heart long for a creature who ignored my presence until he wished for my company? 
       Memories haunted my dreams. My few friends when we lived in the bustling town. My family in our peaceful cottage by the river. Loneliness eventually became emptyness. A bird does not belong in a cage, no matter how beautiful it was. And I was already letting him see too much of my heart. 
       I became desperate for his company, and I scolded myself when I acted like one of those flitty girls who giggled like idiots when a man walked toward them. 
       Was I falling for him?
       My heart already knew the answer. 
       Yes. Yes I was. 
        I found his attempt at conversation endearing. He was always polite, and never interrupted me, even when I belived that I was boring him. He always bowed before dinner and afterword once I answered his question. 
        I noticed that he did have emotions, but they were very well hidden. The way he watched me while I accidently knocked over a salad fork or a bowl of strawberries because I had never learned proper ettiquette revealed a touch of amusement. When I told a joke poorly, he supressed a laugh by muffling the sound with his napkin. Even the slight pause he made before answering my questions revealed a nervousness I couldn't understand. 
        Each answer he gave me brought more questions. Questions I knew he wouldn't answer. Why was he like this? What caused him to live this way? How long had he lived with loneliness? Why was he the nervous one when I was the guest and he the master of the castle? 
       So, that night, I decided to do the unevitable. I invited him to walk with me. The rose garden was finally in bloom, and no one should miss such a sight. I was bored of the cold walls and dry halls. I longed for fresh air and a step in the sunshine. 
       To my surprise and delight, he agreed. 
       The next morning, as the fog crept over the hills, a gentle knock sounded on my door. 
      "I know it is early," the Beast said, "but I thought the garden was best before the fog leaves."
       I followed him to a stone stairway, and we walked into the hazy air. The walkway was a maze, but the Beast offered his arm, and I took it, entranced by the beauty of the flowers dancing in a soft mist. The walkway ended at a bridge made of stone, and that bridge lead to another stone building. 
      Light graced this area, and the building had tall windows with wooden frames. The forest reflected in them now, with fog shrouding the edges of the glass. A set of wooden doors stood before us, as we crossed the bridge. 
     "It's beautiful." I told him, "What is it?"
     "The library." he said, "Would you like to see?"
     I nodded eagerly, and a weight lifted in my chest. While the castle was cloaked in shadow, and the garden in a hazy fog, the sun shone on this building and the flowers surrounding it. It was a glimmer of hope.

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