||[29 Jul 2004|08:18pm]
This is not a Xander/Cordelia ficlet. I used those images because they worked. And Charisma is hot :p
I hum happily, rearranging the flowers in the vase. Ethan bought it for me, as a birthday present. He was so embarrassed, and I’d laughed at him. We’d only just met, and he hadn’t known what to buy me, and he’d bought the pale blue vase on his sister’s advice.
Of course, Ethan had had the courtesy to bring me flowers to fill it with. I smile broadly – he’d bought a dozen red roses for me to go in the vase. I can remember it like it was yesterday – the scent of the roses, the deep red of the petals… even how smooth the stems were. I chuckle quietly. Ethan had painstakingly cut every last thorn off the roses so I wouldn’t prick myself. Oh, he was so thoughtful!
And now, each year, he’d bring me roses for my birthday. I nodded to myself as I put the finishing touches to the bunch of dahlias he’d bought today. Still humming, I place the creamy flowers and blue vase on the mantelpiece.
“Cass, are you ready yet?” Ethan calls me, and my heart beats as his words reach me.
“Almost!” I answer, quickly taking two candlesticks off the mantelpiece and dancing quickly back to the table. Placing them gently into two holders, I strike a match and light the balmy pink candles. The dining room basks warmly in the soft glow, and it warms my heart.
“Now I’m ready,” I say, practically bubbling with excitement.
Balancing two plates in either hand, Ethan enters and smiles at me. “Here’s yours,” he tells me, setting the two plates down on opposite sides of the table. Ever the gentleman, he pulls up a chair for me and I give him one of my best smiles.
After dinner, we tidy up – a joint effort. He always insists on helping me clear up, and my friends tease him – nothing horrible, just gentle ribbing – about his old fashioned ways.
Ethan’s at the sink, washing the dishes. We’ve left the candles lit in the dining room, and out of the corner of my eye I can see the light flickering calmly in the room.
“Cass, there’s a letter in there for you,” he remarks casually. I stare at him: I didn’t see a letter. “It’s on the mantelpiece – go and have a look.”
Sure enough, there it is, leaning against the blue vase. Addressed to me, and in Ethan’s own handwriting. Both puzzled and intrigued, I open it:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
But they both pale
In comparison to you.
My heart stops, and then – for reasons I’ll never know – the first thing I notice is the distinct lack of dishes being washed. I raise a hand to my mouth, and I’m trembling.
“Well?” His voice is so soft and gentle. He’s standing at the doorway between the kitchen and dining room, bathed in the golden glow of candlelight.
Tears of joy begin falling. Without answering him directly, I throw myself into his arms. Breathlessly, I utter an astonished “yes!” and start smothering him with feather-light kisses. And then the icing on the cake: Ethan takes out a dainty gold ring set with a diamond, which glitters in the light of the room. It’s a perfect fit.
Just like Ethan is.
The other half of the entry for Lexical Challenge #1. Feedback = loved
||[29 Jul 2004|08:08pm]
Glistening shards of a broken mirror pepper the floor. My eyes scour the room frantically; where is he? It’s dark in here; he must have been so scared. I can smell something – coppery. Nothing like his smell, one of peppermint and lemon. He always smelt so fresh… and now I’m thinking in the past tense. My brow creases with worry, and I call out for him, my voice no more than a cracked whisper. Nothing.
I step further into the room – our room, I correct myself. We’ve only been here for a few weeks, and it already feels like home. Now though, without his comforting presence, this place feels alien. I want him here, now, and I want to leave. There – a flickering light from the bedroom. I stumble towards it, all too aware of the darkness around me. Enshrouding me, and yet I can only think of him.
A candlestick is bordered with a hazy halo of light. It’s a small beacon of hope in the bedroom – after all, he must have lit it, so he can’t be far away. As I get nearer, sidestepping the tatty blanket that’s fallen off the bed into a misshapen heap on the floor, my spirit drops. The other candlestick is beside this one – but it’s broken, snapped in half. My breath catches in my throat.
The light falls on something shiny, and it’s a photo frame. Happier times – his arms are around me and he’s smiling joyfully. God, where is he? Why isn’t he here, calling out my name? My hands smudge the polished silver of the frame, and I rub at it with my top, and it’s such a silly thing to do, with him not there. And then I can hear something. A raven’s cry. It startles me; the creature feels so close. And then I see why – a dark silhouette is perched on the tree outside. The window’s open, and I’m on the second floor.
I move, setting the frame down – with a flush of shame I can still see my thumbprints all over it – and I head for the window. I sidestep the blanket again, mentally scolding myself for not having bought a new one sooner. Winter is coming, and he’ll be cold with that ragged old thing around him.
Glittering eyes look at me coldly – the raven. I reach up to close the window, and the vile thing croaks again, but this time, it feels like the damn bird is mocking me. Hissing beneath my breath, I clap at the creature, warning it away. And then I close the window, and turn back to the room. The faint light from the candlestick is all I have to go by – we couldn’t afford electric lights. He’s not here.
My eyesight blurs, and I blink away the tears that threaten to overcome me. I’ll find him, and I’ll look after him. He’s my baby, after all. And I’ve always been there for him. Shaking my head quickly, I start for the candlelight. I’ll search the entire house if I have to – he probably had a fright and hid somewhere. I say ‘house’, but all I really mean is the second floor, which we rent from Mr. Constantine.
And then I trip over the worn out blanket. And a thought occurs to me – why does it feel so solid, this little mess of a blanket?
My hands shake, and the tears spill. Please, please let him be alright… please! The blanket finally unrolls, and he’s there. Cold. Bloodied. Lifeless. Gone. I break down. What else can I do?
Written in response to Lexical Challenge #1 at Lexical. Feedback is welcomed lovingly
||[26 Jul 2004|09:36pm]
Welcome all members, to The Power Writers Association!
"Do you feel the power rushing from your fingers to your quill to that piece of blank parchment in front of you? That there is inspiration."
Have fun, enjoy yourself, and do the write thing. :)