Iron Behind the Velvet - Chapter 45



~ The Steep-Coiled Stair 1


The moment stretched between them – delicate, golden – like a thread of honey.

“There aren’t words for it, really,” Catherine said. “I’d need to ... to show you. And then, in an instant, you’d know.”

In for a penny ... The adage danced from her memory. Not three weeks before she’d used that very phrase in a conversation with Mouse, tossing it off-hand about an inconsequence, spending then the better part of the next half-hour in explanation of coppers and pounds sterling, emerging from a maze of discussion only by agreeing with whatever Mouse argued - something about a pennyweight of nails. She turned, knowing her eyes were wide and glassy, to find Vincent leaned against a bookshelf, his arms crossed, the white of his teeth gleaming in the chamber’s lamplight. What? she’d asked.  

The poetics of risk, Vincent deemed it, smiling into the curve of her neck. In for a pound, Catherine. Even now she could feel his chuff of joy on her skin, the determination in his arms.

“After I saw you in the laundromat ... after what you saw ... I didn’t want to leave without ... I, I wanted ...” She gripped her desktop, her fingers tingling as if poised over a piano’s keys, new music pleading through them for voice. “Last night ... it was dark when I ... when I came up. I started for home, but drove to your house instead. I hoped it would be all right to invite myself for tea. You weren’t home, but I parked and waited for you, and every time a car would slow down as it passed–”

A hollow clang – metal on metal – splintered the air as Stan wrangled the emptied waste cans to each desk. Eimear winced at the sound and when she looked up, something – Is it worry? It is ... fear? – dragged at her features. Catherine’s heart seized as if she’d skidded in loose gravel.

Was I wrong? Wrong about her, about this connection between us? She inventoried her words. What have I said? When I came up. His world. Nothing that means anything. Nothing I can’t disguise or deflect.  But the acknowledgement – what you saw – would require either explanation or another letting go.

A cold eddy of disappointment reached for her. Aloneness loomed, gray, featureless, oppressive. No! she cried, refusing to sink to her knees before its threat, and over the fizz of blood in her ears, she heard a whispered affirmation. You know. Deep inside you, you do know. She stepped back from sorrow’s creep. I’m not wrong. I’m not.But the bright pitch of Eimear’s demeanor had dimmed, the playful smile she’d turned on Joe now hedged and unsure, her eyes shadowed. Wait, Catherine said to herself, the hours paging back. I know that look. Saturday afternoon, walking the garden. Phone call, Flynn announced from the porch door. Afterward, pouring the tea, a tremor shook her hand. Your face looks funny, Rosie said. She’d been right. It still did.

“What? What is it, Eimear? I’ve been so wrapped up–”

“I shouldn’t have barged in on you as I did. At the least I should have called from the lobby. ‘Twas rude of me.” Eimear said, tugging a ringlet of hair straight. “And now I’ve kept you late, rabbiting on.”

“No, you haven’t,” Catherine assured her. “I’ve done all the talking.” She scooted her chair closer. “I’m glad you’re here. What would I have done if you hadn’t come? Your timing was magical. Plus, you distracted Joe. I wasn’t ready, not for him, and I was sure he’d start asking questions.”

Eimear studied the office aisleways as if charting a route to the elevators, radiating an almost incandescent energy. Like the hummingbird, Catherine remembered, one she’d seen in the park, in the Shakespeare Garden, hovering before the funneled cardinal flower, in the light and cloud-shadow of decision – to sip, to flee. Eimear worried her wedding ring, circled it on her finger. The symbols engraved on the wide silver band spun past, inscrutable. With a final twist, she righted its jeweled, shield-like center. “As was I,” she said, “worried for his questions. When I called, asking for you ...”

“Joe said he left your message for me, and Jenny’s too, just before she– I didn’t have a chance to–” Catherine began a search of her desk, lifting first the telephone, then the tub of chocolate candies. Pink squares fanned onto her blotter – Phyllis’s handwriting, Rita’s, a note to call Edie and her new number in D.C. Then, Joe’s scribble. Jenny called. Wants to talk to you. Here, five-ish. When the print blurred, she turned the message face down on her desk. The fold of newspaper, ragged where she’d ripped the property listing free, tented over a paperweight. She plucked it off and underneath found a yellow scrap torn from lined paper, its rough edge just showing.

“Eimear needs to see you,” she read. “Leaving Woodlawn at four.” Below the scratched words was a question mark, made bold and uneasy with the heavy stroke of his pencil, a double-underline. She smoothed the paper flat.

staircase sculpture, close-up
What do you want. What do you need. She asked me that herself. There’s a difference. She knows there is. The question on her lips, Catherine raised her head, but Eimear leaned over her desk, reaching past her for the unearthed paperweight. She cradled the heavy bronze in both hands, inspected it, traced its detail. Gingerly, reverently, she returned it to the desktop and untucked her jacket from the arm of her chair, pulling it across her lap.

Don’t go! she almost cried, but Eimear made no move to leave; instead, she digging into a pocket, withdrawing a closed hand. Her fingers, pale and slender, dotted to their tips with freckles, curled about some secret, as had Martin’s around the angle scope.

“Do you believe in signs, Catherine?” Eimear went on without an answer. “Between Mom and Martin, we couldn’t escape the litany of omens, good and bad. A hare should not cross your path before sunrise. Three magpies on your left spell trouble, but two on the right bring prosperity. ‘Tis lucky to meet three sheep on the road. And we’d laugh, Ro and I, and they’d exchange a look. All our lives, Martin counseled us against cynicism and doubt, swearing there were bridges between time and eternity, between the mystical and physical worlds.” She laughed. “Between the fairy realm and man’s, swearing there’s no coincidence, no accident, that what seems pure chance is a message, one that comes at precisely the right time to send us on a new journey.”2 Her fingers opened to a miniature of Catherine’s paperweight, the same spiral stair, the shared mystery. She balanced the trinket in her palm before she settled it beside its larger twin.

“Wh-where did you–?” Catherine stuttered. “Who?”

Eimear fished a card from her purse and placed it on the desk. Catherine inched it closer. William Litton. Artist. A chortle threatened, as did tears. Catherine pressed two fingers hard to her lips.

“What?”  Eimear’s hair, a fiery copper in the office light, was wild about her face. She raked it back, raked it through again ... and tipped her head. “Tell me,” she pleaded, bending near.

Catherine folded her hands on her desk. “At least,” she managed at last.

Eimear twirled the card and read it again. “At least ... what?”

“At least ...” She swallowed and smiled and pointed. “At least, on the card ... at least he put his phone number on it.”

Eimear shook her head. She giggled, in spite of the question in her eyes.  “I don’t ...”

“You will.” Catherine swiped at her cheeks. Thought and image spun past like carousel horses, her world blurring golden, emerald, azure, pearl. “I’ll tell you,” she began, the words strong and sure after all. “I’ll tell you everything.”

“Then we have a lot to talk about,” Eimear murmured.

“We do,” she answered. “But I think ... you should go first.”

_____________


Vincent stood in the passageway long after Kanin’s footsteps died away. The dust of his leave-taking, of their afternoon’s work, stirred and swirled in the current of air. A lowing wind returned a spritely hum, the song, Vincent knew, of a hopeful man.

It was his imagination, but he saw Kanin’s dodge from the tunnel, his shuffled edge against the wall along the tracks to the ladder, his climb to the platform. He could feel the quickened breath, the burn of destination, the demand, the necessity ... to hurry home. He knew it as if it were his body, his need.

Coming to me ...

Coming to him with a full heart of gifts – her outstretched arms laden; her anticipation a tremor, her hand to his. Coming to him exhilarated with discovery. Coming with a measure of sadness he would bear altogether if he could, that he would, by his most tender efforts, halve. He would meet her, rest with her in sorrow, offer his strength to bolster hers, meet her sparked with his own new insight, roused with–

Your clear shoulder, when the clothes have gone, seems so sure of us 3

The pull to her, a fervent magnet, pulsed in his veins. He turned his hand, the throb evident at his wrist ... touched his lips to the persistent beat. He parted his mouth and tasted on his own skin the life she brought: the salt reminder of love’s expression, of will and determination, of tears both mournful and glad shed throughout their years.

Years, she’d said they’d have. Now was what he wanted.

He cast a last longing look south toward the park. Too far for him, in distance and practicality, too far from her ... their boundary a frustrating glass, silver-misted, almost – almost  – traversable. And until she would come, too many hours, if it were but one. The lavender scent of their bedding, the softness of the linens embraced him, a gift of breeze and meditation. They would need the night and half the coming day ...

But where?

He opened his eyes and sagged in acquiescence. The wooden crate he’d convinced Kanin to leave behind held their rarest tools, tools he must carry back to camp. He dragged its rope strap over his head, situating the box against his hip, hoisted his pack to a shoulder. Before dousing the last lantern, he lit a torch.

tunnels - narrow passage
Still, when he came to the main junction, he chose a different path north, one that meandered in his memory of summer adventures. Searching the shadowy crags, he found it – a side tunnel he’d once streaked through, so narrow that now, to pass, he had to turn his shoulders, leading with the toolbox held out, the strap twisted in his grip. At its end, iron fencing barred the way. A wave of his torch through the closely-spaced rods illuminated the mystery that had once kept them camped nearby for days, that had fueled their fireside stories and at least his dreams.

tunnels, iron barrier

There was no gate, no visible hinge, only metal crosspieces embedded in the stone and rusted uprights between them. “It has to open,” they agreed, goaded by denial. In the cramped space they took turns – they rattled the bars, planted their feet and pulled. Vincent ran his hand across the bracing, up the length of one paling as high as he could reach. Grasping one, he turned it. “The key!”  Stuart and Noah crowed and both punched his arm.

“Let me try,” Stuart demanded and Noah sat back on his heels. A few steps behind, Vincent held the lantern high.

“There has to be a pattern,” Noah said, wiping his face with his shirttail. “We gotta get in there. Go right to left this time, Stu. Or every other one over, then back.”

Stuart nudged Noah away. “I did that already, remember? We ought to be writing this down so’s we don’t do the same stuff over and over.”

“Yeah, I can’t keep track of what we’ve tried.”

But Vincent could. “Can’t you hear it?” he wanted to shout. “The click when the bar ratchets into place? It’s a sequence. Prime numbers. This one,” he pointed in his mind, “clicks twice. That one, three times. There’s a slot up there, see? In the crosspieces? We get them right, the rods’ll slide together and we can pass.” But he waited his turn. Then, last on his knees before the barrier, when the gate gave up its secret, he proclaimed it luck. Like Stuart, like Noah, he grinned and pumped his fist.

The toolbox at his feet, the torch wedged among the wrenches, he twisted the gritty dowels in an order that came instinctively to his hands. With only the slightest pressure, the bars accordioned and he angled through.

wall carving, heart in palm
In this even narrower passage, still unexplained, the walls were crudely etched – knights supplicant before royalty; knights on horseback, swords raised. Mysterious symbols punctuated the crowded drawings: circles within circles, hearts within palms, the three rays, the five-fold spiral. After a half-day’s work gaining entry, they'd later returned with food and supplies, with brown paper and heavy-leaded pencils and plans to carry rubbings back to Father’s library for clandestine study. Ceremoniously, they rolled them into cylinders, securing them in their belts, convinced they’d found a chamber of the Otherworld, one through once, magically, Arthur had traveled – or Culhwch and Olwen – sure this carved message was a map to the fabled pearl-rimmed cauldron of Annwfn. Nine maidens, Noah reminded them, his eyebrows arched. Their breath heated the vessel, he said, which would not cook the food of a coward. Vincent laughed, remembering their solemn swear to secrecy, their oath an intricate splice of knuckles and thumbs and not a little spit.

A second gate worked free, he traveled a cleft of stone and soon began a spiraling descent, stepping at last into a vast ballroom, its floor smooth, packed sand. He turned in the echoey space, in the same box-step of decades ago, his torch aloft now as then.

iron betty oil lamp

From their huddle, each peered over a shoulder. Noah caught his eye. “Anybody?” he whispered. “Any ... thing?”  And he’d shrugged, though he’d discerned only a long – but hopeful – stillness. They’d found the high-arching walls studded with iron bettys – some fashioned after dragons – from which hung oil-filled cresset lamps. At first they’d crept along, hand to shoulder in a linked queue, lighting the bowls, growing braver with the burgeoning light. “It’s as big as a gym,” Stuart exclaimed when the last wick flamed, and Noah agreed, knowing of such things, both having gone Above more than one Saturday morning to play basketball, materializing in the hallway, out on the polished floor, pretending to be new to the neighborhood, vague with the regular boys about school and address. But three were too few for such games, if they’d even had a ball with them, too few for scatterbase, and they were too old for swinging statues.

“Race ya,” Stuart dared.

That summer, they ran sprint after sprint – one stade and two stade races – trained for the long-distance match, first four, then seven, then fifteen stades. They built low hurdles, graduating to higher and higher obstacles. They measured their long jumps, running and standing. A few times ... he won.

Late one night, near the end of that first summer, he slipped away from their bivouac, leaving Noah and Stuart rolled in their beds exhausted from the day’s trek. They’d christened it The Stadium, and there he stripped to a single thermal layer, shedding his vest and sweater and shirt. He shook out his arms; his ... containment ... sparked from his fingertips. He broke into a slow lope, lengthening his stride on the second lap, savoring the power in his newly-muscled calves and thighs, the fire delivered from his deepened lungs. On the third pass, he surrendered ...


“This place ...” he wondered aloud. “I’d nearly forgotten. Perhaps ...” But as he swung the torch in a slow arc, as he readied it in a ring embedded in the wall, the joint of his elbow complained. The reprimand of the week’s work charged from knees to neck, deltoids to trapezius. A hollowness weighted at the base of his skull, one he’d endeavored to ignore, chided him. Martin. His wee dram. He retrieved his flare. No run then. Instead …

The ballroom floor was dimpled with footprints and, circled along the walls, a narrow, shallow path was worn in the sand. Someone ran here – recently, often – someone light and fleet. Across the room, at the exit, he touched his flame to the last lamp. It flared, its scent immediately redolent of pine and lemons, different from the coal-oil odor he remembered. Rosemary.

chute to the pool below
He hurried through a straightaway, his eye trained on an opening in the wall, a smooth-sided, angled tube. They’d perfected the timing and the sideways vault in. Shoot-the-chute, shoot-the-chute, they’d chant on the run – an undulating whoop, a whoosh, a plonk and splosh signal to the next. Though memories teased him to try, he was too wide-shouldered for it now. Too laden. Too clothed. He passed by without a pause.
The staircase down, its steps round-edged from wear, the cold mineral spray, a strange wafting perfume of ginger ... all so familiar. His heart pounded in his chest. He dropped his pack and the crate of tools, pulled at his clothes. He hopped foot to foot, yanking at his boots. Catherine’s smile teased him as he ripped free the buttons of his fly. She’d laughed at him, at this very dance, as she stood under the pour of their bathing chamber ... too long ago. Later, he might laugh at himself, but now, his sound gathering, he leapt for the water, arcing into a pool two hundred feet across, incalculably deep, pure and still and raven’s-wing-black, rimmed with white rippled flowstone and shimmering cave pearls, lit, from a high ocular with champagne-satin light.

But as he sailed from the lake’s edge ... a shifting shadow, perhaps a scuffled tread ... perceived too late, his last thought before the plunge ...

Someone.

Comes.



Click HERE for Chapter 46
_________________

1. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. World's Worth. from Poems. A New Edition. 1881.
2. Murray Stein. Jung's Map of the Soul. Chapter 9. Of Time and Eternity (Synchronicity). Carus Publishing Company. 1998.
3. John O'Donahue. Love Notes from Echoes of Memory. Dufour Editions. 1997.

32 comments:

Three Writers said...

I can be awed by you, Carole, person and writer...I must be. "The reprimand of the week's work..." I don't know what to say about that...it's genius. This whole story, this part of the chapter...the memories of that summer's fun. You amaze and thrill and leave me so eager for more. Carole...you should be published. Think of everyone waiting for you out there ... the NYTIMES is holding a place on their Best Sellers List. This story is such a joy! Thank you for I/V, for every word you've written for us. Thank you. Nancy

Carole W said...

Nancy, you … you … sweetheart! Published … If only! though I have promised you I'd try. When I/V is done … which may be why I can't seem to get to the finish line with it. LOL.

You know how I feel about your work. I'm always just stunned at your perfection. I know you have dozens more poems just welling inside and I'm awed by that!

You've given me so much - inspiration, encouragement, a necessary prod every now and then. You've listened to me worry and fret. How can I thank you?

Carole

NYC Utopia said...

Oh, what a gift. Like honey indeed. Thank you, Lady Carole.

Brit said...

someone
comes
CAROLE! I am waiting with abated breath.

Thank you for continuing writing.
Much Love
Brit

Anonymous said...

Carole - Nancy has expressed quite well MY continuing hope that you will be published one day soon.

I suppose my ongoing complaint - that I have run out of superlatives, that when I attempt to offer you the praise you so deserve I become finger-twisted at the keyboard and tongue tied - is hardly news to you.

But oh - the perfection in the image of the steep coiled stair! The sensual textures that take your reader THERE . . . this is truly magical.

Trying to tether my imagination now until the next installment . . .

Thank you for this!

Gail

SandyX said...

Wahhhh! What a cliffhanger ...

Carole, you’re so very good at getting inside their heads that I can truly feel their emotions as I read. Catherine’s momentary fear that the connection she had sensed with Eimear might not be real, might require another letting go, arrrrrrg. Vincent’s thoughts of Catherine, too far and too many hours away, arrrrrrg again.

I love these ever expanding glimpses into the tunnel world. They're gorgeous and fascinating.

Write more ... quickly. You’ve teased us with this “night and half the coming day...”

And, oh, I had to smile at this one: “thought and image spun past like carousel horses ...” (wheeeee!)

Hugs,
Sandy
ps I hear your voice as I read now [sigh]

Krista said...

Oh, Carole. I can hear you now as I read these words (sigh)...this is truly a wonderful chapter (and you worried that "nothing" happened? LOL.)

I loved Catherine and Eimear's moments of connection, Catherine's fear (as Sandy said, and I agree with her) that it might not be as true as she thought, then realizing she should trust her instincts. Vincent's recollections of a post-Devin boyhood are truly charming...and sad too, that he felt he had to hide so much even among his friends.

A cliffhanger? AND Nekkid Vincent? How do you do that, making us want more just as the last segment is done? :-)

Lovely...again and still,

Krista :)

Carole W said...

Claire, thank you. I read this over and thought … wow, this is quiet. But 'things' are gathering. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

hugs,
Carole

Carole W said...

Brit! It's great to see you. Thank you for reading and writing to me here. I really appreciate knowing you're there.

Yes, someone comes. Yes, finally, C and E are in the spiral's center together, ready to talk. They've been chattering away in my brain for the last month, waiting for me to get them there. I hope I can do them justice.

ASAP - starting to work on 47 tonight.
Carole

Carole W said...

Oh, Gail. Thank you! You are too kind and I can hardly believe you, but I'm touched that you'd say such nice things. Your words make me want to work harder, that's for sure.

I'm so glad to know you like this new section of the tunnels. Sometimes, watching the episodes, I'd think, Manhattan is a big place! What all's down there? And when I saw those fan-drawn maps with the Bronx and Queens and Brooklyn all with tunnel access, I realized there must be 100's of dwellers down there. Who are they? Vincent must have roamed all over as a child. It's been a lot of fun to imagine, but always, I'm a little nervous that what I see in my head doesn't, can't, won't translate out of there. (You know just how nervous I am about posting anything!)

It's a dream - to publish one day. Reading Bird by Bird, I learned that Anne Lamott believes it's not The Thing but just once …

Thanks again, Gail.
Carole

Carole W said...

Sandy, I almost put one of our carousel ride pics in the chapter text. I have one that's really blurry that would work! I almost deleted it off the camera, but didn't after all.

Oh, thank you for mentioning that phrase 'another letting go'. Catherine bears so much, so gracefully, so willingly. Vincent told Father once it's way harder for her than for him (of course, F disagreed. LOL) I'm always worried that I missed the mark, not saying what I meant, but those words are the crux of it.

Argh! I want to write more … quickly! These next scenes have been dancing a jig in there, stuck in the murk of my brain. I gotta stay off Facebook though. LOL.

Thank you again, Sandy, for reading and for being so nice to me.

Carole

Carole W said...

Krista, we think alike! Nekkid Vincent. Vincent Nakey (as Cyndi says). All plunged in the water and … no towel! What's he gonna do? The water's pretty cold, but still … :-P

I have to imagine that the first summer without Devin had to be the worst for Vincent. And yet, in his nature is the will to appreciate, to see the best. Devin wasn't his only friend and even though he says Devin was the only one who dreamed V out, he might not have been truly listening. We'll have to see.

But darn Father's lectures that suggested V should hold some of his light under a bushel and, yet, laid the community's reason for being square on his shoulders - even extracting a possibly death-bed promise from him. Natural leaders are often such lonely people.

LOL, you know I worry. And worry some more.

Thanks for reading and everything else …

Carole

RomanticOne said...

Yep, any time you want to portray a "nakey" Vincent, I'm on board with it! :) Catherine is learning to face down her fears...finally. Loved your comparison of Eimear with a hummingbird. I could literally see the indecision on her face, just as I could see Vincet's yearning for Catherine on his. More, please.

Carole W said...

R1 - You're always so good to read and comment. I really do appreciate your patience with me. I kept promising a nakey Vincent, and even though this isn't the nakey-est he'll be, well, it's a start!

It really helps to know what passages speak to you, where things feel right … Thanks for your encouragement all along.

Carole

Brit said...

Carole, I love Facebook and I hate it! ;-) Feel free to find me on there
(Brittany Stem-from Beaufort SC) oddly enough I have found there are a couple more of me out there
Anywho Im glad to hear 47 is under way! :-)
Brit

Carole W said...

Brit, I'm the worst Facebooker out there! I just tool around other's sites. I have pretty much nothing going on on my page. Please don't be surprised if I appear totally and completely dull.

I'm glad to be working on 47 too! We're drawing toward the finish. Toward, not to! But one of these days it will be finished. :-)

Carole

Brit said...

LOL! I don't do much on Facebook either. I'm not really sure why I even have it. :-)
I love hearing progress is being made! Exciting!

Have a great weekend
Brit

Kemara said...

Carole,
I finally had the time to savor this chapter as it deserves. Beautiful as always! Is it odd of me that I read Catherine and Eimear's conversation out loud? I could just hear them so clearly. Ohh! Who's coming? Friend or foe? Known or unknown? I can't wait to find out....write quickly!

Carole W said...

Hi Kim! It's great to hear from you. How's your dance group going? And Nanowrimo is coming up. Do you have an idea percolating already?

Oh, that's great to hear - that when you read the dialogue out loud, it sounds okay to you. That the back and forth sounds natural and specific to character is really important and I do try my best. I read the dialogue out loud too. Actually the whole chapter. It helps me to catch (most of) my mistakes and typos, left-out words, etc. and I can hear the sentence variations that way too.

Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading and your patience. I know it's been a long while between these last chapters.

Carole

Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,
I agree w/anonymous - I have long since run out of adjectives so must always repeat myself! I've said for months and months that you should be published - yours is a gift that must be shared. I can't wait to buy my copies of your work!!! They will be a special treasure and I believe in you that it will happen.

Another wonderful chapter - I agree that we are there - in the moment - hearing and feeling every word.

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting - patiently! - for the next chapter.

Take good care and xo, jitterbug

Carole W said...

Jitterbug, you are making my day! Thank you for this, truly, you make me feel like anything is possible. And you know my long-lived, held-aside dream is to just write, edit and send something in that's publishable.

I'm working on the next chapter and I have lots ready to say. Troublesome though, that beginning paragraph. Somehow I can't progress until it's exactly right. I like my first and third sentences, hate the second. I'm sort of stuck, but the weekends aren't usually good times for me to get much writing done. Too many distractions.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day on record, heat index over 105. I thought T was kidding me when he reported the weather to me, but I think it's gonna be true. A good excuse to sit in the cool inside all day at the keyboard.

Please send 'progress' vibes to the muse who is grinding her teeth over the chapter's beginning. She's making me anxious.

Thanks again - so very much - for reading and for being so kind to leave messages of support.

Carole

Sonia Who? said...

Finally, Catherine deciding to trust her instincts and confide in Eimear. Can't wait to read their conversation on the next chapter.

I think it's sad how when Vincent was a boy he felt he had to hide his gifts from his friends. Even as an adult he still does, never really being truly himself in front of anyone, not even Catherine, though he's probably hiding less from her now that they're married and intimate. I hope that will change and he will feel more comfortable with himself, with exposing more of himself at least to Catherine who loves and accepts all of him completely. And hope that Vincent no longer lets Father diminish his light.

Loved imagining Vincent doing his balancing dance as he strip off his boots and clothes, him seeing in his mind Catherine joyfully laughing at him as she watched, and how Vincent sees Catherine naked under the pour of their bathing chamber, as he undress himself. Mmmm, a nakey wet Vincent. Yum. (lol) Can't never have enough of scenes with a nakey Vincent.

Who is coming? A cliffhanger ending. I too await the next chapter with bated breath.

I agree with the others who say you should be a published author, you are just too talented a writer not to be published and recognized for your literary works, which are wonderful written art. I know it will happen for you.

Glad you were able to make it to this year's con and meet wonderful new friends, that you had a great time and unforgettable experience. I'm sorry I didn't get to go to this year's con, really wanted to meet all the talented writers, including you, Krista and Michelle, as well as JoAnn and Demian, and the artists that attended. I'm really hoping to go to next year's con so you better all go too.

Hugs,
Sonia

Carole W said...

Sonia, thank you for such a lovely, thoughtful post. You're very kind to me about the publishing. You make me feel like maybe I can.

I know - Finally! E and C have moved close enough together that the pull can't be denied. And I agree about Vincent. It's a shame he has to restrain his light, but when I think of just how brightly he could shine, it's almost - almost! - beyond bearing. His is a celestial glow and even if he always holds back, if he had just a moment of appreciating all that he is (and all he could ever be) ... Well, I hope he gets that moment! ;-)

I agree. Yum

The cliffhanger will be resolved next chapter, I promise. I'm having fun with it.

Thanks again, Sonia.
Carole

Brit said...

sorry to hear you are sick and a root canal.. ugh! no good. I hope you start feeling better very soon Carole!!

Carole W said...

The root canal was last month. Now, my eye. But I actually went to a doctor and have meds for it and I'm already much better. I haven't had pink eye since I was a kid!

Thanks for the get well wishes, Brit.
Carole

Brit said...

Oh no not pink eye! I'm glad the medication is working!
All in due time then, your recovery is well on the way! Good to hear!
Brit!

Anonymous said...

Oh Carole, this, this, this, this, THIS --

"Coming to me ...

Coming to him with a full heart of gifts – her outstretched arms laden; her anticipation a tremor, her hand to his. Coming to him exhilarated with discovery. Coming with a measure of sadness he would bear altogether if he could, that he would, by his most tender efforts, halve. He would meet her, rest with her in sorrow, offer his strength to bolster hers, meet her sparked with his own new insight, roused with–

'Your clear shoulder, when the clothes have gone, seems so sure of us …'"

-- is so WONDERFUL and so apt! The sense of yearning and anticipation, the desire to share and to know, and the NEED to annihilate the distances between them -- all of that boiled down into a few atmospheric, breathable phrases. I LOVE it!

For both Catherine and Eimear, the spring has truly been tightened down practically to the breaking point, and the need to release all that tension, to say, to share, to confess, to learn, to know, to understand is almost unbearable.

Ach! I can't WAIT for the next chapter! SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE!!!!

Best regards, Lindariel

Krista said...

There are so many charmed bits in this---Eimear and Catherine, the larger spiral and the smaller one, drawing them closer; Catherine finally getting someone on her side of the river (or getting close to having someone there.) Vincent and the nearly nekkid Vinny boot dance. ;)

This is such a magical chapter, and I'm so happy to see its return. :)

-Krista

Carole W said...

Lindariel, thank you so much! I know you know that when a reader pulls a particular sentence or image out as one that resonates, the writer is so encouraged and grateful. I am that - so grateful you found this part meaningful and real - and encouraged, because I always write and then wonder if it works at all.

And then, what you said - to say, to share, to confess, to learn, to know, to understand - that's gotta come for E and C, and I hope in the next chapters I can do that great need justice. I'm pleased to know the story so far has set up that necessity.

Thank you again,
Carole

Carole W said...

Hee, Krista. The nakey Vinny boot dance. I can just, ummm see it. Whhoooo! Glad you enjoyed the visual. :-D

You know how to make my day a happy one - using the word 'magical' in reference to this chapter. That makes me want to work harder on the story - so encouraging, so kind. Thank you. Again and always.

Carole

RomanticOne said...

This chapter doesn't just evoke emotions. I can actually feel them in my gut. I can feel Catherine's longing...to share the truth of her life with Eimear, to be with Vincent. I can feel Vincent's childhood memories and his equal longing to be with Catherine. Now I'm literally left with my breath caught at the sight of a "nekkid" Vincent diving into the water. Can't thank you enough for this chapter and those feelings.

Carole W said...

R-1, It's Vincent who leaves us breathless, but if I had any part in creating the vision, then I'm glad.

Thank you too for finding in this chapter all I hoped you'd find. You summed it well and I'm pleased. Sometimes I worry that I keep too much in my head and muddle the works. You've encouraged me - again - to keep working.

Carole