This isn’t exactly a short story … well, it’s not. For Fiction Friday I’m posting a Fiction Thought, which is essentially the glimmer of a potential story.
One such glimmer (even shorter than this), which I wrote about eleven years ago after a walk through the woods, has grown in the past decade from about five sentences to a 100 000 word novel I hope to release in the next few months! Its working title is The Corners of the Evening, though I’ve had much debate from beta readers on what the best title would be. I’m planning to send out a survey in the next few days to followers of my newsletter with other potential titles. If you would like a say, sign up at the bottom of this post!
And onto …
Genevieve sat on the back porch, sunlight slowly roasting her. The sound of cars on the distant highway raced in and out of her existence, mixing with the sweet, disjointed sounds of someone from within practising Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. The birds seemed to revel in the sound, chirping along and tweeting indignantly whenever the player paused or had to replay a certain section to get it just right.
A cheap, old, blue and white flowered tablecloth gently lifted in the breeze, drawing Genevieve’s attention away from the rapidly flowing chocolate river she’d been gazing at as in a trance. This near forgotten sheet, cast from the house to catch any overflow of rain water and prevent it from damaging the shelves beneath, seemed enchanted. It undulated as the wind caressed it. An angel dancing couldn’t have been more graceful.
“That’s what I want,” she whispered, only loud enough for the flies to hear. The cloth rose and fell, rose and fell, the motion syncing with her own breath. Peace. Simplicity. That’s what she needed.
The wind picked up and the sheet danced, the Canon grew in intensity, fingers flying over porcelain keys. The player was doubling the tempo now. The birds met the energy with a chorus of their own and amazement filled Genevieve’s lungs. This was what life was supposed to be. She’d gotten it all wrong. For years, she’d made the wrong choices, followed the wrong dreams, when all along the answer was here, waiting in the place she’d begun—at home.
She knew, though, the answer could have been anywhere. She just hadn’t seen it. She saw it now. This was what mattered, the ability to be present, to see. To recognize she, in all her tumultuousness, was part of a universal dance and meant to glean joy from the song. This was life. But how could she hold this truth? It’s a lesson she must have known at some point. Babies knew it. Birds knew it.
As the wind settled, as the player stretched her fingers or rose from the stool, letting only the memory of the music linger in the air, Genevieve felt lost, or knew that she soon would. Silence floated around her as she sat, staring at the now inanimate sheet, hearing nothing but the gentle whoosh of the river and the more pronounced zoom of the cars.
She let her eyelids close and sensed the weight of them. If she focused, she could sense other parts as well, along with the thrum of life within her, ensuring that she was indeed alive. She was indeed alive. In this one moment she was okay, had everything she needed to exist. This, she thought, is life too. This is peace. The Canon began once more. Genevieve breathed, because she could.
Did you enjoy this edition of Fiction Friday? The more I hear from readers, the more regularly I’ll post! Suggest a word, an image, or an idea in the comments below and I’ll use it to write another Fiction Friday piece in the weeks to come! (And reference your suggestion.)