Thursday, September 17, 2015


Day 17 of StoryADay September
Today’s prompt is about the inner self of your character trying to break out, to be seen, to be heard, to simply be acknowledged.
Think along the lines of being present in a group, yet you’re being discussed as if you were not there.  Now multiply those feelings by 100 for your character who, for reasons you will develop, cannot (at the moment) speak up for themselves.

“Tomorrow is your wedding day,” Miriam says, as she places a platter on the table.

Elize drops the mug in her hand, splattering cider across the skirt of her dress, the mug skittering across the floor until it crashes into the wall to my right. “No,” Elize says. “Dad promised!”

She’s right. Paul did promise, Miriam. Miriam does not acknowledge me, as usual.

“Your father is dead, Elize. Things have changed. I cannot provide for both of us.”

“I can work, mom. Let me earn my own way.”

“And make yourself forever unwedable? That is not what your father wanted.”

No. Paul wanted her to marry me. He knew Elize can free me.

“He didn’t want me to marry someone I don’t love!”

“Maybe you should hear who you’re marrying before you decide you don’t love him.” Miriam moves to Elize, trying to slip her arm around Elize.

I lean closer, not wanting to miss the name.

“I’m not in love with anyone, mother. It does not matter who you have planned.

The bitterness in her voice makes me cringe. I hope that Elize will love me.

“Elize, please. Just give this a chance. Give Jarrot a chance.”

“Jarrot?” Elize and I cry in unison.

“He’s old, over forty.”

“He’s healthy. He makes a good living, he can provide for you, Elize.”

“Mom, he’s the undertaker. I will be constantly surrounded by death. How can I be happy with that?”

H fancies, boys, Elize. That’s the bigger issue. She does not hear me.

“You will adjust, dear. That’s what every marriage is. Adjustment.:

“I don’t want to adjust. I want love, mom. You and dad had it. Why can’t I?”

The room is silent. Miriam searches for words, but cannot find them. Finally, she speaks. “It is done, Elize. Get some sleep. It will make more sense in the morning.” Before Elize can protest, Miriam has moved into her room, closing the door firmly between them.

Elize follows Miriam with her eyes, her mouth hanging open. “It will NOT make more sense in the morning. This will never make sense. And I will NEVER do it!” She yells this last at the closed door.

She turns, scanning the room, searching for a solution. She looks to me.

Elize, it WILL be okay. We can fix this. You have only to ask.

She moves closer, stopping mere inches away. Her hand drifts up, coming to rest gently on the frame surrounding me. “I wish you weren’t just a painting. I wish you were real. You’d get me out of here, I know it.”

I am real, love. Just stuck. I want to touch her.

“You are the only thing I have left of him. The last thing he gave me.” She laughs. “What will Jarrot make of you, I wonder?”

I draw in a quick breath. Don’t give up. Ask, girl! I think for a moment that she hears me. Then her eyes get a far-away look, glazed and dreamy.

“I remember my dad singing a song to me when I was little.
            You are my love, my light
            A beacon in the darkest night.
            In my hear it’s you I see
            Won’t you please come back for me?”

I smile, feeling the warmth rise as her voice echoes through me.

“Elize,” I say, stepping from the frame.

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