Saturday, November 22, 2008

Story Saturday

As she continued her walk, Emer found herself coming closer, and closer to a house that was very large, as compared to the other houses she'd seen so far on her journey. The house was painted a soft grey, and it had startling red doors at the entrances. A large bay window was located in the front, and on the window seat, a tiny calico cat lolled in the sun. As she got closer, the cat sat up, and looked her in the eye. After a moment, however, it dismissed her as unimportant, (as cats are wont to do) and, circling twice, it laid back down in the sun spot, and was instantly asleep.
Emer had intentions of quietly passing the house by, but she was startled to realize that the path she'd been using had ended. Beyond the house was a small orchard of assorted fruit trees, a rather smallish garden (in comparison with the others she'd seen) and what appeared to be a sea. It was a beautiful view, and Emer was entranced by it. As she stood, mesmerized, she did not hear the approaching footsteps, until a soft voice sounded near her elbow.
"Breathtaking view, isn't it?"
Startled, Emer let out a small screech, and jumped. Never known for her gracefulness, she actually tripped over her own feet, and fell down into the grass.
"Oh, I am sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you" said the soft voice. Emer opened her eyes, and peered up into the kindest face she'd ever seen before. Unable to stop herself, Emer got lost in the deep, seemingly all knowing green eyes that were looking down at her. A feeling of calmness, and peace pervaded her. She didn't remember the last time she'd felt so calm. After a time, she sighed, and began to take in the other aspects of the person she was looking up at. She was at least as old as Sami, if not older, with a head full of silver hair caught up in a bun, with two tumbling tendrils hanging down near each of her cheeks, which each sported a perfect circle of red rouge atop the road map of her wrinkles.
"I've been waiting for you" said the lady, twinkle in her eye.
"For me?" squeaked Emer, surprised again.
"Of course. I knew you were coming she answered. "I'm Breena, and I take care of this realm, and all that are in it. Nothing happens without my knowledge. Ava was sent to you for a purpose, and she has done an admirable job. Now, however, it is your turn to take care of yourself. I believe you have a decision to make?"
"Y-y yes, I do" stammered Emer.
"Well, lets get you up onto your feet then" she said, reaching for Emer's hand. Emer reached up for help, and found that the lady was very strong, and spry for her age. Quicker than she thought possible, she was on her feet. Breena did not let go of her hand, but, instead, kept it in hers, and led her towards the big house.
"There are some things I want to show you" she said, towing the young girl towards the large, red door that would let them into the home. "There are things I want to say to you, as well." Swinging the door open, she ushered Emer into the home. The calico cat merely flicked an ear as they passed her (for surely, it was a her). "That's Abigail, she will not disturb us" said Breena. The cats tail flicked, and the settled, around her nose. A contented sigh was heard as they continued in their journey. Emer appreciated the simple beauty of the house as they passed through it. The colors Breena had chosen to use in her home appealed to Emer greatly. Calm colors, sage greens, sand, soft blues.
"Your home is beautiful" she said, softly. "Thank you" answered Breena. "I am quite partial to it, myself." Breena led her to the dining room, where the table was set for a meal. "It is nearly one o' clock, surely, you must be hungry?" she asked the girl. Finding she was ravenous, Emer sat at the table, and smiled shyly at Breena. "I guess I am". Breena sat down, as well, and rang a tinkling bell. Two tiny, smiling twins came out the swinging doors at the end of the room, bearing more food than Emer thought she could eat in a week. Roasted chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, fresh, steamed green beans, and a chocolate cake that was almost as tall as Breena. A basket of fresh baked bread was placed on the table as well, and, after conferring, each of them was served a large, cool glass of iced tea to drink with their meal. A pitcher of the beverage was left on the table between them, should they run out. The two tiny ladies exited through the doors from which they had come.
Tucking into the food, Breena and Emer were quiet for awhile. As their appetites became less, small talk began to flow between them. Finally, Breena started in on what she had brought Emer into her house for. Getting up, she went to the sideboard of her table, and brought forth a scrap book. Inside, were pictures of Breena, as a youngster, and two adults.
"My parents" answered Breena to Emer's unanswered question. I was once just just like you. JUST like you. Only I was dying on the streets of Venice, not Paris.
"Oh" was all Emer could think of to say.
"I had a full day to make my decision, as well. I obviously decided to stay" continued Breena. "It was one of the hardest decisions I made."
"Have you ever regretted it?" asked Emer, curious.
"I would be lying if I said no" answered Breena. "But, as a whole, when I look back at my life, I have been very happy, and fulfilled here."
"What about home, though? A husband, children, a career? Do you regret not having any of those?"
"Maybe, once, I did, but now, not so much. I have many children, and a very rewarding 'career' as it were. But, my time here is over, Emer. And, if you consent, you are to be my replacement."
"Me?" squeaked Emer, shocked.
"Yes, you. But only if you choose to. If you choose not to, you will be sent to what you chose, without animosity or harm, and another will be brought, and given the choice. Truthfully? You are not the first asked. I have been disappointed more than once. But yet, I continue to hope".
Emer studied the kind face watching her so carefully, and slowly turned the pages of Breena's scrap book. There were very few pictures in it, and they were very, very old. When she came to the end, Breena took it back, and said "Come, let me give you a tour of the house. This will be your home, should you choose to stay."
Wordlessly, in shock, Emer followed Breena around the house. It was as if each room had been designed with her in mind. She loved them all.
"does anyone else from our world come here?" she asked, as they were touring the extensive library, which was, coincidentally, filled with her favorite books.
"No, not unless a replacement is needed" answered Breena, being truthful with the girl. It was a tough decision to make, and she knew it. Emer asked a few questions as they walked the house, her mind now spinning madly. Each time they passed a clock, Emer was concious of time passing. The time in which she had to make her decision. At long last, Breena led her into the last room. It was a quiet room, with a small fountain, a comfortable couch, and lots of windows to view the beauty of the outside world. Dusk was just beginning darken the sky. Soon, the sun would be going down. And Emer's decision was still to be made.
"I am going to leave you here, Emer, the time has come. If you decide to go, all you need to do is say out loud the place you want to be. If you choose to stay, then, stay, and watch the sun go down. Once that happens, the next phase will begin. Do you have any last questions?"
"No" said Emer, already seated on the couch, looking out the window.
"Good luck child" said Breena, as she pressed a kiss onto her forehead, and quietly left the room.
Emer sat, lost in thought. Thinking of the past, the present, and what she wanted most for her future. She saw how happy and content Breena was, and she wondered, could she be so content? She thought about having a husband of her own, children of her own. She always thought she'd have that, someday. She wanted to have that. But yet, this life, it was so appealing. After all the loss she'd been through with the death of her parents, she wasn't sure she could handle more. She stretched out on the comfortable couch, watching, as time slipped through her fingers. Her eyelids drooped once, twice. She was sleepy. "Why not just stay here, and experience what this has to offer?" was her last thought, before she sank into slumber. A warm blanket dropped over her just as the sun made its final descent.
"Sleep well, child, tomorrow will be a day of change" whispered Breena.


Mary said...

I'm surprised, I didn't think Emer would decide to stay. I'm very interested in seeing where this goes.

Daryl said...

Umm ... never an easy choice to make .. especially since she knows how life will be if she stays .. will the lure of the unknown take her away?

ACK ..