Iron Behind the Velvet ~ Chapter 61

~ Between the Wish and the Thing, the World Lies Waiting 1



Well done, my love. Well done.

In the weeks since Flynn’s last ordeal, he’d more strongly felt her presence – a magnetic light – bringing his head round and round and round again. From whatever occupied him – his hands, his thoughts, his service – he’d look up, turn an ear, an eye, in the direction of the archway. But even with Lily’s cosmic encouragement, his own efforts to affirm Flynn had come to naught. He’d begged her help, and, his intercessor, she’d channeled his petitioning, Vincent’s arrival being the answer to his specific prayer for a compánach naofa, a bráithreachas síoraí, for Flynn ... and, as it turned out, for Vincent, whose singularity had been so long, so stoically borne.2 Oh, the celebration awaiting them, their revel in recognition ...

Overlooking, of course, the minor detail of their actual meeting. Somehow, he must broker that exchange between the two champions. What had he understood last night, understood and pronounced, before buckling to exhaustion? If I’ve a part in this, Vincent, ‘tis in a later act. That transcendental moment would come, when two such dignified creatures should behold the truth of each other. He’d awakened to the murmur of his name – Martin – to her inspiriting directive – Need you. Perhaps her call was to work beyond the veil of the ordinary. Best I bunch up my wits, be ready ...

A Sidhe gathering
She lived at once, he believed, among the clouds and angels, among the golden Sidhe-folk in vast cities beneath the green barrows of home, with the Tuatha on the mist-secreted isle of Tír N-aill far out to ocean past Innishmurray and the ninth wave. But at dawn, in his study, he’d willed the walls to thin between them. Dreamingly close, in her Otherworld, in her divine silence, she’d sweetly listened, yet he hadn’t ... he hadn’t told her everything.

But must I? You see things I cannot. And the things I do see, you’ve surely long known.

That wretched last day she’d coughed and gasped, panted out the words. Rosie. EimearMy ... wee girlsNeed you. To. Tell me. Always. And he’d vowed to watch over, to watch out, to convey, always.

Do angels worry? He’d wanted only to spare her by not naming and thereby not giving form and substance to his own worries. Soon he’d be to his breakfast hour – tea and toast and his privacies at his kitchen window. What he’d held back, he’d finish. Keep his promise. Tell her.

The pews were emptying, more than half the morning worshipers needing to catch transport to jobs. He’d best hurry to the narthex if he had any hope of shaking the majority of hands. And wouldn’t he be forgiven for thinking again of Lily?

By his God, yes, though not, necessarily, by her.

Slowly, carefully, he descended the few narrow steps from chancel to nave. A pain, it is, having to be so all-fired peer-y anymore, he grumbled to himself. He hated to admit it – the list of such acknowledgements growing at a rueful rate – but looking down sometimes made him dizzy; the maroon and gold-patterned carpet often blurred, the flare of his cassock confounding his footing. Still, a goodly number of his flock were older than he, and the stone staircase from the front doors to the sidewalk was steep. Always, after early Mass, he’d escorted the elderly one at a time to the street, and he would again today. He would.

The slipper-clad foot thrust into the aisleway nearly tripped him up.

“Father, I’m in need of ye. Your blessing, Father.”

Martin’s eyes widened. His knees popped and ground as he knelt by the third pew. “‘Tis not me you need, Mrs. Sheedy, but a doctor.” How had she managed the five blocks from her house to here? When had she last been to services? And seeing her then, did she hobble or wince? On whose arm did she arrive? Had she arrived alone? Had she?

Croagh Patrick's peak socked in with fog
Guilt stabbed at him. He’d allowed in too much distraction, through one avenue of his mind running the numbers, as his bishop had glumly requested – Demographics, attendance, counting up, comparingIs that my purpose? he’d groused on his way home from his weekly meeting. What about rekindling lost hearts? Or bringing respite to the wearied? Through another avenue ... like a pilgrimage up Croagh Patrick, rocky-strewn, steep, and socked-in with fog, stumbled the contemplation of his own future’s path. Would he find, shrouded at the summit, a home in his twilight years? And through yet another ... concern for Flynn. And for his darling Eimear, for whom he–

“Your blessing? Please, Father. I’ve supper to get on the stove.”

It’s but 6:55 in the morning, he wanted to shout. And someone should be preparing your meals, not the other ‘way round. His mouth covered with his hand, he stopped his first-forming words and looked up into her lined face. Her skin had long since lost the high color he tended to remember and replace; much the same as he did when he beheld himself in the mirror and saw not the white hair on his head but the curling black. Her breath came too shallowly, and she took up such a small, small space. As if she was undeserving of more. Or even enough. Still her uncommonly dark eyes pooled with trust and patience. Faith, he recognized.

Bí thusa mo threrú I mbriathar, Is i mbeart, he silently entreated.3 And repeated.

He cupped the air behind her blue ankle, let his other hand hover over the strained terrycloth scuff. He wouldn’t ask after her daughter only over in Riverdale, but as well as across the channel, a once-ruddy woman having of love and necessity taken in her three grandchildren. He’d call first to Parish Visitors, make sure Mrs. Sheedy went on their twice-daily visit list, then later ring up her doctor, inquire about Home Health. Though he’d rather call directly upon Sister Felice. Maybe, just maybe there’d be an opening on the nursing floor at Maryfields; maybe there was a string he might pull, Mrs. Sheedy on the precipice of an emergency and all. Decades before, she’d been the rectory’s housekeeper; Seamus might well remember her efficiency, her deftness with the simplest altar flowers. He’d be buoyed by her, would he not? Brought 'round a bit? Either way, she’d not walk home. He’d pull his car to the side door, carry her out himself ... if he could.

Or fetch Flynn to do it. Flynn, yes, home surely from covering his teammate’s second job. Hadn’t he appeared the morning before just past daybreak, early enough to catch him wobbling about with a spatula in his one hand, the other on the churchwall door? Once he’d settled Mrs. Sheedy, he’d ring the house or kip out the back and up to the porch window, halloo for help.

He hauled out his mental list, scribbling in Albie’s and Maricel’s and their wee poor baby’s names. All the way to hospital in Queens and back, his practical voice whispered, and not one of your parish familiesNot your chargeAnd weren’t you there just yesterday, the room crowded by her doctor and her own Father-confessor? 

But souls important to Flynn, he argued back, in his imagination defiantly underlining the  entry. Queens Hospital was but blocks from Maryfields and a sit-down, face-to-face with Sister Felice, thus two birds ... He’d work a visit in between his scheduled appointments.

Two of which I could dispense with in but a trice, he grumbled, if he weren’t required to sit and listen and ask searching questions rather than right off the bat offer his good advice, which, for the conflicted Father Cleary and the fulminating, long-married Delaneys, both at the brink of throwing in the sponge, would be the same. Snap out of it!  Did it not occur to his fellow priest that he might, himself, teeter back and forth between belief and disbelief a dozen times a day, going to bed convinced of one thing to wake convinced of another? Could the warring Mr. and Mrs. simply practice as much patience with the other’s shortcomings as they did with their own, act as if they liked each other? They had, once upon a time. He’d offer the same advice he’d sent along with Vincent – fake it till you make it. After all, was it not his own ... what did the young people call it ... mantra? And to Sean Burke and Runa Irvine, twenty years old and fidgety to marry, he would suggest enough. Enough talk, regardless of their parents‘ reservations. Whose life was it, anyway? They should strike while the iron is hot. Why should they not? Why so ever should they not?

But he’d dithered on too long, and Mrs. Sheedy sat barely breathing; he should cause her no further distress. He murmured the words he knew she waited for, afterwards asking, “Will you stay, Noreen, and have morning tea with me?”

Her smile nearly broke his heart.


***


Mary in her room
Twenty years she’d lived in this chamber – if no one counted the refugee days she’d necessarily spent with Sarah during the troubles – the move to it her third since coming below. Being only one corridor turn and hurried steps from the children’s dormitory and on the route from there to the classrooms, to the dining hall, it was the least private of all her residences. The smallest, as well, though accommodating enough, her being just one.  Only proper to have offered up her larger space when a new family’s need arose.

She’d come below with little, just two leather suitcases bound with buckled straps, and ... accumulated ... since, she acknowledged. Gifts from her charges, shelves of books, two chifforobes and a wide dresser full of clothes. A Tiffany floor lamp she’d repaired. An open cabinet stacked with quilts she’d stitched. So colorful, the brightest fabrics she could salvage from the cast-offs she sorted through. The armoire’s doors she’d removed herself, wanting the rainbow, always. Hands on her hips, she assessed the room. Compared to others’ quarters, hers were restrainedly decorated. Uncluttered, she liked to think. Everything in its place.

She checked the scarf knotted around her neck, smoothed the fringe. Neated the wisping sweep of hair at her temples. Reseated one and then another and another of the plain brown pins that hemmed her bun. Lowered her arms and sighed. Sighed and crossed the room.

It was there, of course it was, in the wardrobe, hanging pressed between her old winter topside coat – a pumpkin-orange color she’d once boldly worn – and a crocheted bedspread far, far too delicate to ever be used again. She parted the neighboring hangers. Drawn from the closet, held aloft, the wine-red dress with the scalloped collar and swirling skirt was amazingly unwrinkled. Dismayingly so. Dismayingly wearable. She spread its fullness across her bed.

The cheval mirror was turned and tipped to reveal her image head to foot. Thinner now than when she wore it last, she’d not fill out the bodice. She studied first the garment, as if she didn’t know every seam, every tuck and dart, every possibility of the pattern, then her reflected self – lesser, duller, grayer – then the mantel clock on her bureau. Half past morning already.

Her gaze traveled from the timepiece to the tramp art pedestal box beside it, her mind's eye to its contents, to her heart's sweet ever-ache. How long had it gone locked, unopened, undeserved?


A boy’s pounding feet. A baby’s chirrup of surprise.

“Slow down, Geoffrey!” Olivia’s voice.

Startled, Mary dropped the meager stack of photographs in her hand. They fluttered to the floor, their deckled white edges stark against the mauve and sage and brown of the flowered rug before her dresser. Through a molasses sea of memory, she bent to pluck them up. Such a scentless garden beneath her feet, but all she had. All she had except the lingering perfume of lilacs.

Restless in the night, unsleeping, she'd been overwhelmed, the scent in the air stronger than a single branch could possibly harbor. Her eyes open or closed, she saw the long-ago landscape of her house flowering with shrubs, alive with butterflies and bees, the blue glint of Lake Canandaigua in the dream-distance, her young, expectant self leaning over the porch railing, watching the road. The bedside candle had flamed out, and the candelabras in the hallway burned low, casting hardly enough light for shadow. Her bare feet slipped into waiting mules positioned just so, she groped for the bud vase with its one arching stem from Kanin’s larger gift to Olivia, and scuttled the corridor to the dining hall. The communal room was large, the bouquet would dissipate, someone surely would be charmed by the blooms at breakfast. She left the vase centered on the long table. Back in her chamber, back in bed, she'd covered her eyes with her arm, breathing through the mask of her cotton sleeve still infused with the laundry’s mineral salt soap and a faint flowery loss, lying awake, awake, awake.

Am I awake now? Can I bear to be?

Mary, much younger, her hair down
Without tapping the edges even, she hurried the gathered photographs to the wooden chest. The carved lid smacked shut, but the serrated borders of the snapshots protruded; the latch would not seat. She opened the box again, rough-stirred the contents down with her fingertips. Topmost ... a face fading in familiarity. Hers.

“I didn’t think you had the key for that.”

Why on God’s green earth have we not installed doors to these chambers. She made a noise in her throat, a sad, weak noise she couldn’t call back, bringing the pyramid-shaped cover up and forward, laying both hands atop it, only just stopping herself from grabbing it up, retreating to a corner, shielding it with her body. What?” Mary managed, turning to peer over her shoulder. Olivia lodged at the railing of the iron canopy defining the entry of her chamber, Althea snugged at her heart in the odd, wraparound sling Mouse had fashioned for her after studying the pages of a scavenged magazine. Mothering it had been titled. Mothering.

“The key to the box," Olivia went on. "I’ve never seen it open. I always imagined it full of jewels, pearls and diamonds, maybe.” She pointed to the dress splayed on the taupe and cream patchwork quilt. “Are you picking out jewelry for tonight?”

“Jewelry? Tonight?” Parrot. Sad, sad, colorless parrot. 

“You know. Your date. With Sebastien.”

With Richard, you mean, she wanted to say.4 The note he’d had messengered down the night before was out of its envelope and unfolded on her small dining table, clear in its intent – Seven o’clock. No top hat, no bag of tricks, Mary. Just me. The magician had not asked her for dinner; the man had. Why? Why would he ... now? Why me?  He'd lost the great love of his life, lost her tragically. She’d known Charlotte but brieflycould hardly add to Billy’s meager store of memories of his Gamma, no matter he’d asked and asked. Years ago, frozen outside Jacob’s study, she’d heard Sebas– ... Richard ... weeping the jagged, deep-racking sobs voiced only by men, sensed Jacob’s aching, silent attendance.  There were no words.

“Oh, this is precious.” Olivia cooed over the small iron lock she’d scooped from the dresser’s marble top. “Did you find it down here somewhere?”

Mary dug the fastener out of Olivia’s hand. PreciousAnd mine. Does she think I’ll just give it to her because she likes it? The miniature padlock was in the shape of an elephant, its shackle the animal’s trunk.  For you, Mommy. For your treasures.

U’a twethahs, John Robert had pronounced it. With Ella cradled in her arms, her small son leaning at her knee, she’d looked up at Andrew; they’d laughed with such reckless joy. Her treasures would not fit inside a box, no – they were large; they filled her home, her world.

What I once had. What an ill-considered admission she’d made to Jacob. And what foolishness had he offered to it? What you might have again?

As if I could forget. As if I ever would.

pyramid-shaped, chip-carved tramp art box, on a pedestal
The chest tipped back, she returned the key to a hollowed-out recess under the pedestal base. A sewing box, Leo had suggested when he presented her with one of his whittled gifts her first Christmas below. At her request that he chisel the lodging, he'd offered a narrowed eye. An awfully obvious hidey for a key, he observed. And you’re needing to lock away needles and thread why? She’d merely shrugged ... as had he, before carting the box back to his workshop to do her bidding. A day later, the tramp-art box returned to her, she’d loosed the rick-rack trim of the blue satin lining of her suitcase, retrieved her secreted memories – proof of life – locked them away. No one would come prying, she knew, her reasons hers to divulge – ever or never, her privacy, Jacob had assured her, a given. It was she who didn't want to look inside, she who wanted it difficult, who didn't deserve ... Months passed without the photographs' taking-out, then years, years until now, years until forever before she'd share them with those who became her family. Not with Jacob, not with Sarah, not with Elizabeth who would understand better than anyone, given the chance. But every morning as she left her chamber, still, even this very morning, she’d touched the lid in passing, whether in penance or recognition she'd ceased to consider, with her thumb rubbing, finally, a shiny shallow in the top-most notch.

The lock's iron shank, crabby from disuse, clicked nevertheless home.

“I’m not going,” she said, louder than was necessary. I can’t.

“But ...”

Mary pressed her lips together in answer, making a thin, white line of them, a line she could feel, a line she could see in the mirror. Do ... Not ... Cross.

Olivia tugged at the braid that draped one shoulder, the plait smooth and tight for a change. She’d brushed her hair – or someone had – well and long. She gazed down at Althea, adjusted the swaddling, cupped both hands under the sweet, rounded lump of baby. “Kanin asked me to move north,” Olivia whispered. "Just for a while. To see if we might ..."

Mary met Olivia’s slowly lifting gaze. “You’ll go, won’t you?”

“I ... I can’t.”

Mary's throat closed. Mistake, mistake, mistake, she couldn't say. Her eyes stung with salt tears and when her vision cleared, Olivia was gone.

***


Two juice glasses on the table, a skim of dried foam clinging the rims. The ale bottle dead-center still. A good thing he’d insisted Mrs. Sheedy rest her leg stretched out on the pew and let him bring a tray for the two of them. That she’d acquiesced was sign enough of her pain. In the old days, she’d have sashayed in to the kitchen, rolling up her sleeves, tsk-tsking and tidying and asking with her raised eyebrows, And just who was here?  She’d attempted an admonishment – the church office a more appropriate place for tea and biscuits – but it was too far for her to walk. A single step further on that poor, poor foot was unimaginable. And, anyway, he’d countered, who was watching save God, and God himself had created tea to be had, and had regularly, and there was nothing in scripture regulating tea-having in the nave that he recalled. And they would take their time. He’d be glad to conduct morning devotions sitting right here; anyone bothering to attend could sit close and join in or go on with themselves. She’d gasped, then giggled, fingers pressed to dry lips. Good. Laughter was a fine medicine, as was a bit of rebellion. She’d exercised too little of either of late, he’d wager. He’d patted her skirted knee and headed for the rectory, on the way to his kitchen closing the door to his private study and his bedroom. A cluttery shambles. Heavens.

He remembered nothing after shuffling to his narrow bed the night before, after falling – apparently – to a deep sleep with his black brogans still tied tight, his collar stays and belt still fastened, and all on top of the covers. Not the first time he’d pulled the quilts up at the hem and cocooned himself till the inevitable alert awakened him, the nightlight and the bathroom mirror showing him, as he passed by like clockwork at two in the morning, the gray stubble on his engraved face, reminding him of his age and decline. Though last night, he realized, he’d sacked altogether through, enjoying the sleep of ... what? Not babies. Not angels – did an angel truly slumber? Or the Tuatha? Did they, like Vincent, walk the lands of their loved ones, stand sentry, the Sword of Nuada sheathed at hip?

Toast rack, tea pot, plate with toast
The blue flame leapt up; the nestled kettle sizzled. His largest teapot warmed with hot water from the tap, he set the toaster heating, rummaged his cabinets for the brown-colored box of Barry’s strong classic tea, for an unopened jar of jam, for the loaf of bran-flecked bread, for cups neither too heavy nor too delicate for Noreen’s gnarled knuckles, for the toast rack he knew was lodged back ...up ... behind ...

He felt ... not pain, exactly, more ... a nudge to his ribs, surprising enough to nip at his breath and balance. He gripped the ledge of the sink. Cranked open the casement window. Leaned on his braced arms. A moment ... he begged Mrs. Sheedy.

The sun rose fully over the high wall and the higher-grown trees, sending into the garden between the corner parapets a slanted shaft of pure light. The white marble base where Rosie’s sculpture would soon stand glittered, so sharply reflecting he was forced to close his eyes. It’s Eimear, he rattlingly confessed. Oh, sure, and she’s been worried for Flynn. Concerned, wracked with love, so patient and generous with the man one feels small in her presence. ‘Tis not Flynn’s first dark journey, and she, being One with him, traveled the same jagged contours. Hand in hand, she was his lantern, her flame never burning out, the hidden gift – the fruit of their shared suffering – a confidence and trust that they would, no matter what befell them, endure. Now she bears something alone, Lily. She keeps something from Flynn. From me. Since ... Saturday, yes, for certain, Saturday. She doubts.

But maybe ... Maybe ‘tis the reason Catherine was here so late of a Monday night ... why Vincent was here as well. The tension left his shoulders, and he drew an unbroken breath. He might have charged off his solid sleeping to the aggregate of excesses – Saturday’s ceilidh, Sunday’s up-all-night, last evening’s nightcap with his splendid visitor. But perhaps simply knowing  – Vincent, Catherine, both nearby, ready – had allowed him to relinquish his turn-at-watch. I was tired, Lily. So very tired. I took to bed, but I left your girl in wondrous hands.

***


How different this felt, having crossed the threshold with a friend. The word had new meaning, the cloak of it warm. At once a blessing and responsibility – to give as she’d been given to. Catherine squeezed Eimear’s hand. “When do you expect Flynn?”

Eimear’s fingers threaded through hers, tightened. “I’m not sure. If he wasn’t involved in something, he’d have finished his own shift by eleven. Albie’s watchman's job – midnight to six, maybe? It’s only the second night he’s covered for him.” She glanced at the wall clock; the minute-hand advanced. “But yesterday, by now ...”

Finish his shift. Could he? Could Vincent? Truly?

They were waiting now, every second ticking by at once too slowly, too swiftly. “I should call Joe,” Catherine said. “Let him know I won’t be in.” For a moment, she held Eimear’s gaze. “I’ll have to tell him why. You and Flynn matter to him.”

“I’m glad of that.” Eimear pulled back her hands, settled them to her lap, tipped her head. “Will he go to Rochester, do you think? After Rosie?”

“If he does ... and he knows what’s happened here ...”

Eimear nodded. “Selfishly, then, I hope he does drive her home. Better she hears it from Joe, and better she has a few miles to simmer down. She’ll blow a gasket at my holding back, then kick herself for not noticing. It won’t be pretty.”

A smile broke slowly, widely across Eimear’s face. “What?” Catherine asked, unable to resist mirroring her triumphing expression.

silver pendent, ogham alphabet etching
“I was thinking ... Once Rosie knows, she’ll eat nails for me getting the first introduction. And really,” Eimear said, her soft laugh contagious, “what could be sweeter?” Her jacket draped the back of the kitchen chair. She reached inside the patch pocket, bringing out the ring with the St. Michael’s medal and the long, narrow amulet. A second fishing produced Billy’s small bronze charm. The spiral trinket guided on to the keeper, Eimear lay the grouping on the table between them, fanned the ornaments. As she had earlier that morning, Vincent looking on, she trailed a finger down one strange-engraved face, turned the curio over, repeated the touch.

“May I tell you what he said to me, Catherine? And what I said to him?”


Click HERE for Chapter 62 ...

__________________

1. Cormac McCarthy. All the Pretty Horses. Alfred A. Knopf. 1992.
2. Compánach naofa. Gaelicsacred companion. Bráithreachas síoraí. Gaelic: eternal brotherhood
3. From the traditional Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision, text attributed to Dallán Forgaill in the 6th century. Translation: Be thou my guidance in my words and actions.

For Van Morrison's wonderful version on YouTube:


4. Sebastien/Richard and Charlotte's backstory can be found in the story Badges of Grief and Patience, one of the Secret-Keepers Stories from WFOL 2012, also published on the website, Everything.

8 comments:

Krista said...

Oh, Carole. The reachings in this story--Martin's, for Lily and in a different way, for Mrs. Sheedy; Mary, in between her past and what could be her future, and Olivia, hesitating, unwilling to go north (why? I'm sure you'll tell us :))

(I've got an instrumental version of "Be Thou My Vision" which is simply lovely--would you like me to send it to you?)

Great job, again and still, Carole. :)

Anonymous said...

SIGH! Even though things aren't going so well for Kanin and Mary, (And probably Vincent), I can't wait to find out what happens next. :) I love how complex this story is. I started over from the beginning and I've discovered more little gems my second time through. There are "story seeds" all along the way. I hope it never ends!

I've said this before, but I really love Martin. He's a champion in his own right, even though I bet he would argue he wasn't.

Thank you for a wonderful chapter,
Annabella, sighing again.

Carole W said...

Thank you, Krista. I needed to bring a few characters forward, and reaching is a very good word for what I hoped to convey. And I promise to let you know why Olivia is hesitant. Soon, I hope, though the next chapter will necessarily be Vincent's and Catherine/Eimear's.

LOL, I was just adding a YouTube embed of Van Morrison's Be Thou My Vision. I'd love to hear your instrumental version, so yes, please send it along.

Thanks again for your very kind words,
C

Carole W said...

Thank you for sighing, Annabella! That's music to my ears. So encouraging!

No, things aren't going quite perfectly for a few characters. :-) We'll need to see where their lines are, how far they're willing to go, what their comfort zones encompass. More to come on all that.

Vincent has had a lot of alone-time down there face to face with his Other. I promise to go there next.

Thank you so much for reading and for leaving your always-kind comments. I'm very encouraged to know you're enjoying the story.

Carole

Brenda K said...

Carole,
Not much to say this time -- my mind is very elsewhere. My first grandbaby was born Sunday morning, and she's absolutely wonderful!

I like the way you've been writing Mary for your stories -- not nearly as insipid a character as she is made to seem in the actual episodes. She has depths here.

I sensed that Martin would be brokering the meeting between Flynn and Vincent, somehow. It looks like that's where you're taking them.

Carole W said...

Brenda!! Congratulations on the new arrival in your family. I know you're excited to have her here.

Thank you for reading and for your message. I'm sure your mind was elsewhere, so I do feel honored you stopped by.

Mary always bugged me in the episodes. I had to believe there was a reason she was so ... namby pamby. She should snap out of that!

Martin as broker ... it could be. But it might not be. :-) I promise to get there before the decade changes again.

Happy rocking and lullabys.
Carole

Anonymous said...

So sorry it's taken me so long to post. I read the chapter a while ago, then got horribly sick with a bad cold. I'm still fighting off a wheezy cough!

This is chock full of such beautiful things, but this passage I really love:

". . . Vincent, whose singularity had been so long, so stoically borne."

Such an apt rendering of Vincent's uniqueness -- singularity -- the perfect word for it!

I love the image of Martin, as Lily's tireless surrogate, at last surrendering his weary vigilance and getting some sleep, knowing that Eimear has Catherine and Vincent to turn to in her distress.

Then there's poor Mary still grieving for her past and having such difficulties accepting that there might be a future with Sebastian. And Olivia and Kanin still struggling to find their way back to each other.

Can't wait for MORE!

Regards, Lindariel

P.S. Krista and I have finished our project! She'll be sending it to you shortly. Hope you'll beta-read it for us!

Carole W said...

Hey, Lindariel. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better now, but so sorry to know you caught a late summer cold. It's over, though! Yea!!

Thank you for finding favor in this chapter of 'middles'. I know it's not much for furthering the V/C part of the story, but small moments in it will prove pertinent to upcoming chapters.

One good thing about Mary's hesitancy is we won't have to hear about her date (in this story!) - at least I don't think so. Sometimes characters surprise you … the thing's they insist on doing! LOL.

I did change the chapter's title. It didn't quite go in the direction I'd titled it for, and that title about the first small wedge of freedom is more descriptive of something coming up soon, although I've kinda burned it already. Still, this chapter deserved a more fitting title and last night, I found it while doing a poem search on an entirely different subject.

Yea, your secret project is finished! (Counting the days until WFOL 2013 - 120 to go, I think, as of today.) I need to get busy!

Thanks so much for reading and for your words of encouragement. You matter to me.

Carole