War and Music

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Music

Music. Beautiful music.
Even in her dreams, Gwen began to cry.

Her Robin had been gone for three years. Drafted for the war, he had left after the Sunday Mass, marching off in his new, bright green uniform. He had kissed her goodbye with a smile, saying “When I return I will ask for your hand. Then you will be mine forever.” And his eyes had brightened at her returning smile “I am already yours, like you are mine.” And they had parted, like every other pair of lovers in the town, proud to be serving their country, not knowing what the price was to be.

The beautiful music…
Gwen woke up, tears on her face, still hearing the tune of her dreams. It was late at night, and very dark. The music wafted from her mind, seeming to invade the room like her dreams. The lyric stream caressed her chest, flowed through her body under the thin summer sheets. A flute, like what Robin used to play for her…

The day he got the draft letter, Robin had taken her out to their place by the water, called the triangles for the odd-shaped tree stumps that made up the seating there. Sometime in the past many of the trees must have grown together, and then been cut down to form the triangles. The forest had grown up around it, concealing it, until the day Robin had showed it to her, had brought her to the place by the water, in order to play the flute for her so it would carry over the water. A goodbye present. It was so calm there. Almost like a dream.


No wonder it had carried into her real dreams. But it was so clear, how could she have remembered it from three years ago?
Gwen got up and went to the window, still reveling in the memory of music. The music danced along with the tune, and its face was eager, seeming to beckon to her, urging her outside where the wind could take charge, could blow her long hair that he had loved so much…

He missed her eyes the most, the letter said. The last letter, sent two years previously. He could still feel her auburn hair, silky through his fingers and see her eyes, dappled green with specks of blue. She had smiled at that letter. Still no idea of the cost of war. Still no idea that war meant death, killing. Not knowing it meant he might not come back. And he didn’t tell her, at least, not until he stopped writing. Then she knew. She knew…

She had gone to the triangles. She hadn’t cried. The knot in her chest wouldn’t have let sobs through. She had wanted to rip the knot out herself, to cry and shout. But she couldn’t get inside her chest. She had only sat there, rocking, until she slept.

Now she was walking down the same path as before.
But how,
How could the music be getting louder?
It couldn’t be.
But it was.
Gwen turned into the clearing, where the triangles hid, and the music blossomed, opening to embrace her, opening to reveal the flute player, the piper who had piped her here.
His face was more lined, his hair long, and his leg was stretched out as if to soothe a pain. But his hands were sure, and his eyes were calm, as calm as they had been on that Sunday so long ago. And he was playing her lullaby. The last note petered off, quietly, and with it went the dreamlike quality of the triangles. He stood stiffly, leaving the flute on the stump where he sat.
He smiled.
And Gwen was in his arms, and the knot had loosed, had broken and set forth the tears, but she was laughing and he was laughing. His fingers stroked through her hair, and he repositioned himself slightly to compensate for his poor leg.
Her Robin. Her Robin.
“I missed you.”





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romancejunkie said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm
Great I felt everything as I read this
 
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