“Can it truly be a for whole twelvemonth we have been road-weary, living rough?” she asked, turning to her companion.
Both sat upon the low edge of the rampart precipice, their feet dangling down the wall of the crumbling keep.
He, looking the scruff; for his hair and beard much needed the royal barber and his clothes wanting a fitting by the court tailor.
She, seeming no finer, dressed in cast off leggings, jerkin and long shirt, too large cloak gathered by a filagree brooch of thin aragon about her neck. Kicking the heels of her worn-down boots against the stones, she chipped away at a hole in the mortar.
He nodded, “Fair more seasons if you count time spent journeying afore meeting up.”
She smiled, pushing a strand of wind-whipped out from her eyes. After a lifetime of traveling, mostly alone, he proved to be a good and stalwart companion, assured by his presence.
An ancient strong-box was lodged between them, rusted back hasps broken and front locks pried. Three battered chalices, rimmed with blood red wine, were poised on top.
They raised their cups in honour, in salute:
To those risen and those fallen
to those who are the shape of our hearts
to this sliver of a moment
between inhale and out
She finished her portion, then slowly took a pull from the third. He did the same.
The chalice representing all that was lost so this chest might be found.
He wondered, “dare I broach her, tell how she truly is the shape of my heart; the origin of my comfort.
“Is for all the well-beings”, he said softly, touching the hand she placed upon the top of the box.
“I know,” she replied. “It is just . . .” her voice trailed off, sailing on the swirling winds.
Opening the box, she exclaimed “these papers be now for the sport of the ravens and crows.” She skimmed a handful like stones across a still lake. The tightly-scrawled pages floated like autumn leaves.
He dove in, laughing as he tossed handfuls high up into the air. A snowstorm of wisdom; paper flowers of knowledge fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
They tipped the empty box over the ledge. Then, holding hands, smiling into each other’s soul, encanted: “For if hope is on the horizon, all needs be known by any, is the direction of sunrise and sea.”
And, without hesitation, in unison, they pushed themselves off the ramparts. Free falling, calling to the ravens: “For every death, a birth; for every birth, a death – thus is our creation.”
My abecedarian for 2021.
~~ fan favourites used ~~
#1 same but different – writing with synonyms for words: year; health; happy; safe; beginning
#2 double take: brooch and broach; whole and hole
#3 opposing forces: front and back; high and low
#4 unique personality (personification): the flowers were fluttering and dancing in the breeze
#5 mad about metaphor: hope is on the horizon