This Friday is a storyteller

This Friday is a storyteller and each story is sealed with a kiss. Happy (Full Moon) Valentine’s day!

And per your voting request: a happy love poem, a sad love poem, and a short love story:

A Long Monsoon of You
By Annette Marie Hyder

You are a rain song
caressing turrets, tiles, and cobblestones.
Your words are water kicking up its heels
against the slanted roofs of my ears.
You fill the deep wells of my eyes
fringed with fern and pussy willow,
make saltwater taffy of my heart
sweet and soft and wax paper sealed
with the heated dew of your kisses.
I want beads of you braided all through my hair
want more than your rainbows —
something taboo.
I want your rain barrel arms — prodigious
and paddle boat legs — cypress from the bayou.
Give me
a long monsoon of you.

Les Jours de Pluie
By Annette Marie Hyder

The days came gift wrapped
in ribbons of rain.
We ran our hands over the shimmer
of their outer wrappers as they melted
like sugar.
I can taste them still.

In those days
a constellation of coincidences
lit my way
and even the heavens, it seems,
were showing me the way to you.
I have memorized the path
without trying to.

When the sun rose,
when the rain stopped,
and I made my way blinking
from the tent of your arms
the birdsong soared
but not as high as my heart.
What use have I for this feather

that I saved? What use the memory
of sweetness
and a path that pulls me still
to want to wander?
Your arms have transformed
from woven tent to a stone wall
that I know not to loiter near.

Was that cheating, because you have probably read those two poems before if you have read my blog faithfully and you wanted something new?

Well OK. I know you have not read the following short story because I have never posted it before. This one is also sealed with a kiss (and a few tears).


Illustration by Erin Kelso

Feathers and Moonlight (Flash Fiction)
By Annette Marie Hyder

It
was on the first day of June that she started hearing the music. She
didn’t think much of it at first. It was background noise and very faint
as if it came from the neighbor’s apartment — like there was a radio
leaning against the wall and crooning.

Now, it is the 23nd day and the music threads itself into the rain that is falling as she makes her way along rue de l’Arbalète
in the dark. In the dark she thinks about dark things as the song notes
fall around her like golden coins. Her thoughts follow the raindrops in
logical progression as they plink their way down to the sewers; make
her think of les champignons de Paris (the mushrooms that were formerly grown illegally in the dark tunnels far
beneath her feet and fed from the sewage of the tunnels), how they
flashed white in the dark like a crop of campaign buttons for hope —
how good things can come from crap.

She thinks of how
the catacomb city of night (largest necropolis in the world right
beneath the city of lights) along with the tunnels beneath her feet are
the bony hands of ancestors, in their limestone and gypsum earthworks
but also in the actual nests of bones that are to be found down there in
a sort of reverse aerie, one that is underground instead of up in the
sky. But it is an aerie nonetheless in that it is a place for souls
to leap forth from and fly.

But darkest of all, as she walks
beneath the rain wavered moon, is the thought that now she knows the
meaning of the music she has been hearing and she also knows what she
must do.

An ex of hers had said, and it was true, “You never give yourself wholly
to me — you always hold something back. I feel that you are never
truly mine.” It was true. She knew this to be true. There was a part of her soul that sang to the stars at night.

“These
kisses are bread crumbs” he said. “And what am I to do with
breadcrumbs?” she asked. “Find your way back to me of course” he said.
“Well in that case kiss me harder” she said. “For it was not the
breadcrumbs, but the pebbles that did the trick in that fairy tale.”
Afterwards he would whistle a tune that she fell asleep to. It was like a
low hum really. It called to her and opened some inner cage even as the
cloth of dreams was dropped over her eyes.

Yes, some part of
her, in the depths of the night, sang to the stars. And once she was the
only one privy to that song. And then it was gone. And then it was back
again — as the faintest sound in the background like the sigh of a
flower opening, like the overture of champagne bubbles just waiting to
be set free from behind their cork. Then stronger and stronger until now
— it is all around her in the night. And far above her, la lune looks
down in pity.


She
arrives at her ex’s apartment and yes, just as she expected, the song
becomes louder and clearer. She chances a glance through his window as a
prelude to knocking on the door and yes again. There he is. He has
found it. Given it a nest in his heart.

He has stolen it really
with his breadcrumbs and low whistling tune — like a shiny ribbon. Such
mundane things have lured that part of her into his arms. Sneak thief,” she says to herself.

How to get it back?

She will start with the parcel of melt-in-your-mouth macarons that she has carried with her all the way from Laduree,
probably the most famous Parisian patisserie, where they specialize in
the tiny almond flour cakes. Yes. She will invite him for macarons and
coffee and lay some crumbs of her own.

Finale


And
it was established that if he would give her her bird back, she would
agree that he could, if it would, have it to perch on his finger and
sing with the understanding
that there was always a place for it (“A gilded cage,” she sniffed. “A
bower,” he corrected) in his home. In exchange for all of this — he gave
her the moon.