Monday, February 7, 2011

Echoes of the Past: A Magpie Tale

The symphony is over.  Now, for the walk home.  The rain has stopped and a haze begins to rise from the brick walkway.  Cloaked in the miasma of time, she drifts into thought.

Years ago as a newlywed, she walked down this same path with her husband toward their pied-a-terre near the symphony hall.  Back then, secure on the arm of her husband, she delighted in being cloaked in the mist.  It created a special world just for them.  The echoes of the other theater goers' footsteps faded into the background as they created their own magical space, filled with joy and contentment. 

Tonight the footsteps once again fade away, but not because of the security of being loved.  Most symphony patrons have drifted toward the parking ramp that was built next to the grand theater.  She, alone, walks in the opposite direction toward the faded glory of her apartment building.  Her footsteps on the deteriorating bricks of the walkway echo in the mist to remind her she is alone.  Harry has been gone these twenty years but she is still there, walking the same path.  It's moments like these that she feels him still with her. 

A second set of footsteps begins to echo in the darkness.  For a moment she thinks it might be Harry.  But no, that can't be.  The neighborhood's not what it used to be and her heart begins to race as the footsteps get closer.  Her fingers tighten on the sequined bag that holds her opera glasses and she begins to walk faster.  The sound bounces off the walls of the tall buildings around her, making it impossible to discern the direction of the footsteps.  As her pace quickens, so does the stranger's.  Whoever it might be is gaining on her.

A man emerges from the darkness and her heart skips a beat.  But it's only the aged doorman, stepping out from the apartment building to usher her in from the mist.  He's been watching for her to be sure she gets home safely.  His kindly smile brings her back to her present reality... in which she is alone with her memories.

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Willow over at Life at Willow Manor  has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the other fabulous writers participating in Magpie Tales this holiday week.  You'll be glad you did! 
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