Friday, October 24, 2008

The drawing room

Just in case you are a new reader, here is an explanation:

I am in the middle of a short and continuing tale titled "The Lady of the Ring", posted every so often. Due to a coincidental discovery of this photograph which I found here (thanks Suse!), I realised that it would be interesting to illustrate each chapter with a picture or photograph from another blog. So, for Chapter Four, I linked to this photograph (thanks Julia and C) as my "illustration".

I hope that you will understand that I am not copying other artists' work by doing this, but rather linking to it, because the thing I love most about blogging is the constant artistic energy generated by so many wonderful bloggers I read, and communicate with, every day. I really do feel as if I am living in a global village, as corny as that may sound!

The three illustrations I have chosen for Chapter 5 can be found here. They are three photographs of the multi-talented Journeymama, taken by her multi-talented husband.



Chapter Five



Upon entering the drawing room, everything came back in a flash, for standing before her was the woman in black, and on her head was a small, velvet black beret with a very long peacock feather which was attached to one side and formed an extended arc over her head. The feather quivered slightly as the woman blinked, and its colours were emerald and turquoise and topaz and jet, all glistening silk and feathered sharpness. The young lady gasped and pointed at the woman in black and said, “It was you, that night.” “Yes,” the woman nodded and the feather waved, twice, in affirmation. Still pointing, her voice now a vicious, accusing whisper, the lovely lady said “You are the jewel thief, the jewel thief,” and then she raised her left hand from its pocketed hiding-place and thrust it towards the lady’s wide-eyed gaze. “Take it off and take it back, you thief, take it off, take it back,” she shouted with all her might, and as she repeated herself, her voice become even louder and stronger and desperately urgent in a way which was quite terrible to witness. But what was worse, far worse, was that the lady in black simply shook her head and said, quite clearly and calmly, “No, I’m afraid that ring is yours now.”

The young woman let out a deep howl which brought her to her knees and then pushed her down until she was in the most dreadful state known to woman – a state of complete and utter helplessness, cruelly combined with an acute self-knowledge which scraped up against the truth, over and over again. The wind whipped through the tall firs which lined the driveway, the walls of the house shook, the staircase expanded and contracted like an old-time accordion, the flowered wallpaper wilted, a piano was heard from a distance playing an eerily familiar tune, and a tiny baby’s cry pierced through the thick sunlight and cut a hole in a window-pane. The two women, one lying on the thick carpet beside the marble fireplace, the other standing beside the large, forest-green armchair, stared at each other, and then everything stopped.

The lovely lady crawled towards the chair and slowly, painfully pulled herself up. She paused for a moment and then, in a burst of energy most surprising, she hurled herself towards the door of the drawing room. The door was pushed aside and there she was, racing down the long corridor, limping slightly, sweat beading on her brow, lips trembling in anger, and fear, and then she reached the kitchen. Steadying herself on the counter, she reached down and flicked her wrist so that an entire drawer and its contents landed on the black and white tiled floor. With one hand still holding on to the counter, she bent down, reached out, and grasped the thick black handle of a long, butcher knife. The knife glistened in its silvery sharpness, her knuckles turned white as she closed her fist tighter and tighter, and she prepared her left hand by bending each of its fingers, except for the ring-bearing one which lay long and steady, waiting. Her right hand raised the knife and prepared it for the fall, but just as it began its descent, a third hand reached out and grasped it, stopping it in mid-flight.

“No, my dear,” said the woman in black, in her low, calm voice, “Your flesh, and blood, and bone, my sweet, are no longer at the mercy of the knife, but at the mercy of the ring.”

2 comments:

kim at allconsuming said...

I'm so far behind!

So much to read to come up to speed.

Are there Cribb notes?

Eleanor said...

Well...dear Kim...I'll tell you a little secret...because, you see, we are all alone here in my comment box (it seems I have scared everyone away, hehehe)...so...the secret is that the entire tale was inspired by reading your post a week or so ago which was titled "mothering".

So you see, you are not far behind. On the contrary, you are far ahead!!