Woman Of Feather ( A Short Story )

A ray of light reaches through the blinds and gently pulls on her eyelash. He watches as she opens her eyes, full and bright. As if the distance from dream to wake is as simple as stepping from one room into another. 

I leave tomorrow, He says. After that, we may never see one another again. Tell me the thing that matters for us and for life. Tell me what it is you want me to know above all else.

She takes a concentrated breath and then says,”You couldn’t have chosen a better time. Just like birds, you are leaving in early autumn„. Smoothing her long dark hair with a hand, she sighs and then continues on a fainted voice, „we have only 24 hours left„. She frowns, and a thin line between the eyebrows, arises. She’s not sad, he knows that. Although her figure seems fragile, he never saw her unhappy or angry. Not even close to tears. The closest grimace to any of these moods is the face expression she puts on right now. He knows her so well, and when her teeth bite into her lower lip, he smiles. She turns her face to the window, and through the vaporous curtain, the september sun rays sparkle her pale orange skin. Seems that nothing can resist her power of attraction. She closes her eyes, and he imagines the rustle of those long eyelashes. Her breaths are deep and timed with a slow-tamed heartbeat. The perfect soundtrack for the image he is about to lock inside his mind. Forever.  

There is only one clock in the house, the blue porcelain antique, hanged on the wall. He checks it. 9 o’clock sharp. „Is there anything else ?„, he asks, on a lower voice. Her small chin moves. Her lips barely open to let out the most unexpected answer, „E-very-thing„. 

Eccentric!„, he replies, swallowing that „E-very-thing” with lumps,” I am sure I wouldn’t want to miss any of the whole„. 

  „No, you won’t„, she says with a blink of the eyes . His fingers draw imaginary question marks on her smooth skin. He tries to read her face, but there are no signs of a mood change. She looks like a perfect autumn day. No traces of electrical storms in her thoughts. Not that he expects that, since he is frequently confused by her answers, which seem to deliberately avoid any reason.

Her eyes open toward him, waiting for the next question. Those eyes have a life by themselves. They speak in a sort of a grey color language. Today the grey is darker than the deepness of the abyss causing delays in his reactions. Will she close them again so he can increase the slowing down of his body functions? This magnetism can keep him in a trance for minutes, hours, or who knows how long. She finally shuts them ( and he imagines the rustle again ) and instinctively, he turns to check the time. The blue porcelain clock shows that only 3 minutes have past over nine.  

He feels the need to kiss her and reaches abruptly for her lips but she pushes him away gently. Too much playing, he thinks. His jaws gnash firmly and his face muscles contract, due to the unbearable pressure she puts on him, both mental and physical. She eases his imaginary pain, when she gently takes his hand and kisses the back of his palm. It is the prelude she always does before saying something important. Her eyebrows narrow and she speaks, „The only reason why I am here is you.”, on the most tender voice one can ever imagine. 

Last night’s chess game comes into his mind. She purposely left her king open, so that he can win. She told him that winning was his vital point, while she just enjoyed to capture his queen so that there would be no other female presence in his head. So, trying to guess what is now in her mind, that is quite a challenge. But still, what does she mean? He twists the answer in his mind but he just find that the most relevant meaning would be her love to play games, any kind of them, whenever she can. She interrupts him, ” This is not a game. I am talking about here” and she points to her heart. With her eyelids almost closed, she holds his gaze for few seconds, then she quickly looks away. 

Suddenly his heartbeat is taken by storm. His veins become as visible as the branches of a tree and spread the deadly poison into the arteries. Traveling between heart and brain, one thought. Tomorrow will come, and he will might not see her again. The air feels heavy and every breath tastes like cold bitter plumb. Truth is, he felt forced to approach this final decision, since she never answered to any of his questions regarding their future life together. He was looking for straight lines and she just seemed to slide in circles, pushing his limits until he had no other way than telling her he will go, for good. Her reaction was not what he expected, but now he is getting the punishment. And she had the right to do that, yes! so he should stop asking himself why she keeps on pushing his limits. Not that he wouldn’t like that, but given the circumstances, and the shortage of time, he would rather be „inside”. As she would sense his agony, she leans over him, pulling him closer with her hands and pushing her fingers into his stomach. A second ago he was an ocean liner in the danger of drift and now he is a submarine, safely floating under her skin. Each electric impulse she sends, provokes a mass destruction explosion inside him, crashing his systems, from atoms to tissues. Great amplitude waves of desire collide in each and every molecule of his body. At all the levels, conscious and subconscious, their beings are connected and still, like that is not enough, they crave for the deepness of the depths. Or at least he wants that, but when their breath seem to run as one, she suddenly breaks from the body’s entrapment and jumps out of the bed: „come, we don’t have that much time

Try as he may, he can’t get more of her. Either her unpredictability is extreme this morning or it’s just him trying too hard. But why would she be in such a hurry when HE is the one leaving, not her. Besides, she never cares about time, if it is too late or to early.  

It was his most intense relationship he ever had. He loved her in all the possible ways a man can love, and even more. Their unions were sometimes angry, intoxicating, full of energy and blasts. Other times, their love making was smooth and deep, and no matter how long they lasted, they would always long for more. What will happen to his existence when she will no longer be there?  Maybe I should stay longer, he thinks, but on the other side of the world there are still other unexplored territories, waiting to be found.  What territories, comes another thought, when you have such a fascinating universe is in front of your eyes. The book. This was the most appropriate reason for which he believed it was wise to leave. Almost half year since he stopped working on his novel. Not that he didn’t want to, now he even had the subject. He wished so many times to find her, he dreamt so many nights of her, of course, he never thought something like that could exist in flesh and blood, until he found her in the Blinding Lights bar, on a full moon night in early spring. The most perfect incarnation of a porcelain china doll, with an almost see trough skin and mystic eyes that would never make anyone guess what kind of essence she’s made of. Feather and steal covering layers of unexplainable senses.   

As much as he tried, he couldn’t lay more than two or three paragraphs on paper. As soon as he would start translating his feather woman into words, his mind would freeze. He couldn’t figure out how to play her back, nor he could find ways of translating her into metaphors or any other kind of language. There was no way of splitting her ways of being, her beauty, or the ways she was making him feel. There was no logical explanation or a cursive judgement for the fixity of his mind.

He looks around the room. Green silk folds from the high celling onto the walls. The windows are  large and round shaped and there are no corners. No lines, no rough surfaces, so that everything flows. So genuinely thought and built. Part of the room is a flower garden, her ‘inner garden’, as she likes to call it, a place where she sits often to quiet her thoughts. In the mornings she opens the door to the wall sized golden cage, so that the canaries can fly out. There are as many as 17. She never fears they would fly away, even if the windows are wide open. They keep very close to her and when she moves they look like an orange train of feathers. Every night, just before the sun sets, with a soft hiss she calls them back to the cage. One comes first, then two by two, all seventeen. Birds, too, are hooked by her magic … is his last thought before she opens the door of the cage and lets the canaries fly out. 

You can start dreaming of me tomorrow„, she says, with a smile on her face. Her eyes brill with excitement and right now, he can interpret that as a sign of joy caused by his departure. Unable to bare the question inside anymore, he just screams it loud, „for god sake, why don’t you ask me to stay?” The space, the walls, the pressure in his head and his tighten nerves perpetuate the echo, and the question seem to last longer in the air than it took him to say it. Only when the room turns silent she tilts her face up to him and says: „love of my life, I could not ask you such a thing„. Followed by the canaries and him, she climbs up the spiral staircase. His eyes don’t look down but straight, following her body almost-moves. Because she almost flies and her feet barely touch the ground, another of her hypnotic effects or just another peculiar interpretation in his mind.  

Two more steps and they reach the corridor. Narrow in the beginning, it opens in a larger space, with tall colonnades which converge in the hexagon glass ceiling. Another wonder of her universe. The dark green marble floor and the miniature forest of bonsai trees get sun light all day long and moonlight at nighttime. When it rains, the glass roof opens, and the water just fills in the tiny shafts along the corridor. He sighs… His sensors have been tickled in the most wicked ways he could have ever imagined, yet he has failed any possible way of giving them the chance to reincarnate in words. Quite a paradox…

On both sides of the corridor there are small doors, just like midgets would live inside. Each room has a different space shape, depending on what kind of „items” it holds. The question here is, was the room made for the objects it holds or were the objects gathered for that particular room? When he asked her that, some time ago, she simply answered that those were not objects, nor rooms. They were „planes” . And yes, they were made for each other. She told him she inherited the planes and understanding from her father. That was the one and only time she has mentioned him.

They were spending a lot of time in the upper level of the house, and he eventually learned not to ask her questions, because her answers were too sassy for his pragmatism. Truth is, without him asking, she would lead him from one plane to another, explaining him her ways and meanings of anything and everything. They were traveling without moving and the main ingredient of their trips was the „unpredictable”. Don’t try to translate as you will fill yourself with misunderstandings, she told him that very often, for all that it is just is.  

What is a statue?, he asked her once, when they were in the pyramid plane. You should ask the one whose hands, filled with love and ideas, carved the stone. You should ask the stone who accepted to lose its hardness for the love of those hands that made her become what it is. You should hold It in your hands and ask It to define Itself. The beginning was hard. How to hold a cold piece of rock into his hands and talk to it. But he did it. „What are you”, he kept on asking the stone, thinking if anyone can get more stupid than that. After some time, the stone and his hands got accustomed, his eyes got acquainted with its lines and finally his mind deciphered the secrecy of the stone. He saw an ocean from which a mountain raise and then a massive rock which fell and broke into pieces. That’s when the stone became solitary. And then he saw those humble hands that picked up the stone from its sad solitude; he saw that through the eyes of the stone carver who melted the stone in his vision and then he saw the transformations which made it become what it is. Just before his imagery ended, a bluish haze surrounded the stone, which absorbed it with thirst inside. When he opened his eyes he wanted to tell her everything but she told him that this is his truth and he should keep it for himself.

We are Here” she says and her voice brings him back to the present . „I was somewhere else„, he answers, on a strong and present voice,” and you were there with me, too„. All a smile, she catches his strong face with those feeble hands, „as I said, you can dream of me tomorrow „. With an elegant raise of the hand she sends the canaries away, and the entire flock is now flying back the corridor, the way they came. She leans her other hand towards him, and catches his palm. She takes it close to her lips, just like she would want to kiss it, but instead, she simply blows on it, and fast closes his palm, holding it tight for few seconds. The warm breathe hardens and he opens the palm, stunned to see how the air materialized in something that resembles a key. Needles for him to ask anything at this point. This was not a mind imagery or any kind of something similar, this was real. REAL. „It’s a trick I learned from a book. Quite simple” and she’s blinking fast, acting like a shy girl caught into some kind of tricky situation. She points to the door. 

This was a door they never went through. The key was lost, she told him some time ago. But what plane is this, he asked her. There is no such absolute word to come even closer to what it is. 

He inserts the key into the lock a with a click, it opens. „ I can’t go further„, she tells him. „The plan can only hold one consciousness as it connects to you in the most absolute way. As long as the plane reveals, you will not be able to leave. Only when its continuum stops you are free to go. The door will open by itself. And only then you will find the real meaning of the key.” 

Will you be here?, he asks puzzled.

Always. Everywhere.

   – end of 1st episode –Image


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