The following is a short story that I recently completed. I will be posting it in two parts for your reading convenience. The text was taken from my Werdsmith account, which is where I first published the story. I will also be posting the story to my Wattpad account.
That evening she felt restless and decided to take a walk. Discreetly slipping out of the small but clean apartment, she breathed in the chilly, aromatic air of an October twilight in Manhattan. All around her were gaudy, flashing lights that vulgarly beckoned the eager masses into gaping jaws of exuberance and entertainment. “New Clara Bow premiere, next Friday ONLY!! Tickets almost sold out!” “Come witness the amazing Barnum and Bailey’s, on Coney Island October 31-December 21! Elephants, dancers, lions!! Fun for the whole family!!”
To escape the raucous screams of the signs, Maria strolled to a nearby park bench and sat down gracefully. As she looked around her she saw at least two men stop to admire her. Surely she was a delicious sight to behold, her pale green dress lightly flirting with the breeze, her deep blue eyes sparkling with warmth and romantic splendor, her slender arms bare in the rising moonlight. Pleased with the attention, she pulled a slim tube of lipstick and compact mirror out of a small, hand-beaded purse and delicately applied the crimson stain to her small mouth. Leaning back slightly, she admired herself in the mirror. The rouge was striking against her pale face and chocolate hair and made her look ravishing, more like a bewitching socialite than a naive, timid twenty-one year-old suffering from morning sickness and nighttime isolation.
It was only a facade.
Despite her beauty, every day was still filled with uncertainty–her only companion–and every night with silence–her only friend. Her husband would always be absent, her coming child always a nomad, and herself always brimming with the ache of a thousand unspoken wishes.
A tear slid down her soft cheek. Quickly brushing it away with one regal sweep of her hand, she suddenly noticed the bracelets softly clinking on her slim wrist. She gazed at the smooth texture, marveling at the apparent flawlessness of the carved jade. Such a pity to throw them away.
Hesitantly, she walked across the vast expanse of the park to a lake and came across a dainty wooden bridge. The stream beneath her gurgled in ecstasy and reflected diamonds into the night sky.
Closing her eyes, Maria took a deep breath and in one quick motion slid the fine bracelets off her wrist. As the bracelets fell into the stream they broke upon the rocks, the jade cracking into thirteen different fragments. These shards were all that remained of her luxurious gift. She stared at the fragments for a moment longer, watching the remaining pieces of her old life being swept away by its lover, the crystal clear stream.
All being done, Maria returned to the now chilly and dark apartment to pack her belongings. As she was on her own now, she would travel light, with only a few dresses, her toiletries, the latest Agatha Christie novel, a small hard-bound Bible, a gold-engraved jewelry box with her favorite brooches and earrings, an envelope filled with enough money for bus fare and hotel lodges, and her small handbag. Hastily she called a taxi and waited, looking around the softly-lit bedroom one last time.
The silk curtains were a rich wine color, lightly kissing the breeze and shimmering with delicate silver threads interwoven in the silky fabric. The burgundy bedspread, which had barely kept her warm on the coldest and bleakest of nights, was neatly folded over the mattress, all corners tucked in properly. Maria lightly stroked the velvet pillows one last time. They were the first gift to her from her husband on their wedding day, presented with a smile and a kiss and nothing more. Lost in thought, she stared at them endlessly, imprinting their texture in her mind along with the image of the shattered jade bracelets.
An impatient honk out the window brought her back to reality. Collecting her packed necessities, Maria slid a note under one of the pillows for her beloved and hastily ran out the door, driving into the unknown and uncertain future to escape an unknown and uncertain past.
To the west the moon sank slowly back into blissful oblivion, allowing her fairer sister to rise and warm the world with daily-renewed promises, hopes, and misgivings.
I sincerely hoped that you have enjoyed reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it! Constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to posting more of my short stories…and poems, of course!