... and what, pray tell, does a bear-maker do in her spare time? Now there's a question! It's one to be answered this Friday evening, while my wine glass is half full, lest I draw a cloak of invisibility around me and shy away from answering the question.
I haven't done any for a while, but there are times when I dabble and by dabble, I do indeed mean DABBLE (!) in a little overly creative and glaringly cringe making writing. The evidence? Oh go on then, after all, what do I have to lose by owning up to a little 'extra curricular' activity?
Okey dokey, here goes:
From my den, I watched the grey dove nestle in his hands. Head bowed, he sank to his knees, an image of prayer as the sun casually eased behind the Saracen stones, lazy golden shadows reaching for a land beyond.
The incantation reached me gradually, borne on an idle breeze as the final burst of fiery glow bathed the circle. His voice rumbled like the first warning of a thunderstorm and I felt my heart pound to a rhythm unfamiliar to me.
When he rose from his knees in quietude, tenderly placing the dove on the mossed altar before him, I was transfixed. The bird swooped for freedom, circling the great stones and when, as if bidden, it descended once more to the altar, every hair on my body shivered disbelief.
The man reached inside the folds of his cloak and as he did so, a blinding flash pierced my vision. Blinking frantically, my eyes found focus enough to witness the dove’s life force drip steadily onto the hound, hunched at his master’s side. Moments later, I witnessed the soft carcass placed on the altar once more.
I could not tell you how many moments passed me by as I waited in the shadow of those great stones. With the first opalescent glimmer of an early crescent moon, the man and his dog drew slowly away. My gaze, unable to relinquish the mysteries of this ancient circle, clung once again to the altar. Dusk fell stealthily around me, its breath chilling my skin as I waited silently, until the dove swooped once more.
She had gained a few pounds and on closer inspection, a few delicate lines etched around those pretty eyes too. I raised a hand, sweeping back my unruly hair, determined to see her more clearly. Once a sassy mane, her nut brown hair had faded, vitality tiring under an opening sally of powder grey. Her skin, in my mind’s eye radiating freckled vivacity, now a watercolour of honey pastel.
Alerted by my gaze, her elegant brows arched questioning my study. I returned a wry smile and the soft bow of her lips mimicked me. I sighed the merest hint of relief, those eyes at least remained untouched by time’s mischievous stroke, sooty lashes framing crystal green familiarity.
As I leaned closer to the glass, misting her features, the fleeting illusion of yesteryear’s confident beauty crumpled. Stumbling from the mirror, my hands trembled as I slipped the gold band from my finger, placed it carefully on the hall table beside my key, reached for my case and opened the door.