Iron Behind the Velvet ~ Chapter 65

~ Beyond Any Seeable Proof, or Hearable Hum 1



The poems were still terrifyingly beautiful, yet instead of fury and betrayal, he felt compassion for the poet, and kinship – the same man who could assure him all his dragons were but princesses knew the futile pacing of the panther within his cage, the sleek animal who’d so forgotten his wildness, he no longer mourned the loss;2 the same man who knew the sound a single bow could make, drawing out from two strings one voice,3 could understand, could so perfectly distill how it felt to push through solid rock, to see no way through and no space, to find myself where everything is close to my face, and everything close to my face is stone.4  He smoothed the creased page once more, seeing not the hopelessness of that night, but what seemed now a shining memorial to it – nothing fearsome or shameful, but sacred. It would find a home in the open, among the shrine of mementos in his and Catherine’s chamber, perhaps weighted by the orange paint pot, or the shard of broken headlamp he’d saved.5

I’ve never regretted what I am until now. Though not soon enough, he would be with Catherine again, in her arms, in her gentle presence, and what had seemed a burdened secret he was willing, even eager, to disclose. She would understand what he’d truly meant, would help him work through the self-reproach, the weakness he’d not dared admit to her. See his assertion not as a lie, but as a frightened, helpless thing that needed love, a misery and unease that was even then working a certain miracle inside him.6 Look away, he’d too often asked her, wishing he might himself. She never had.

He folded the poems back on themselves, nesting the old creases to the habitual small, hard package. Enough ... He breathed out – how differently the word affected him now. There was more, more to remember – but what happened in the dark of that night, after he left the bridge ... belonged to her.



Noah stepped over the threshold into the laundry. He hadn’t sensed his arrival, or Stuart’s, who, Vincent saw, flicked the electric lights in the workroom on, off, on again, frowning at the result.

“Vincent! You’re still here - good. We can map out a strategy to fix this water-trap mess on the way over.”  Noah grinned and hunkered down beside him, pointed at what he held in his hand. “You got something needs sending down?”

“Not this time,” he replied, sitting back on his heels. He tucked the square into the breast pocket of his cloak.  Like a seed, he imagined, like a nut, dormant, requiring a light he could not have supplied on his own, the light that was, would ever be, Catherine. Gone to ground one thing, a fragment, a shard, in her influence, transformed to another, made whole.

Mine was a different life before Catherine. I’m changed.

Then accept the change, Father had advised. Its intent to step him safely away from love rather than toward it, nevertheless, the counsel was canny and wise.

Yet truly, completely, he had not. But he would. He could. I ... am ... ready.

Beside him, Noah gazed into the billows. The pure water eddied and frothed; the mica-speckled basin glittered. “The last time I, umm, lost something here, Liz was carrying the twins. Big... oh, man, and she was ...” Noah whistled and raised his brows – a rather fearful look, Vincent discerned. “We were clearing out a niche for the nursery, going through storage,” Noah continued. “I found a bunch of, uh, love poems I’d written once. Stuffed ‘em in my boot, flushed ‘em before Liz caught on.”

Behind the surprise, a niggle of doubt slithered in. His hand rose to his cloak pocket, his fingertips lodging on the stashed memory. “You wrote poetry?”

“Don’t look so shocked. I’ll have you know it didn’t even rhyme.”



“And you flushed them because ...”



“Because I wrote them to and about Minna. You remember Minna?”



“Oh.” A helper's daughter. The circumstances were entirely different. “I most certainly do,” he said, “remember Minna.”


Noah clapped him on the shoulder, pushed to a stand, offered him a strong hand up. “I know that cooler’s got your name on it, but I could smell cake halfway down the tunnel. You’re gonna share, right? I won’t have to wrestle you for it, will I?”

“I’d win.” The words formed without forethought, slipped brashly out, brandishing themselves like boys with cardboard swords - banter with no edge.

“There’re two of us.” Stuart leaned in at the doorway, though he had to step back to allow them through. “You know, you used to let us beat you every now and then.”

He’d never fooled them, not entirely; the rules of their game unspoken. Rules he alone had contrived and imposed, he realized. In holding back, he’d underestimated them, others. Even Catherine. Even himself. A sudden deep-seated awareness bloomed, a new definition – modest separated itself from false.

Vincent pried off the cooler’s tight-fitting lid. “We were boys,”

“Hey,” Noah protested. “I resemble that remark!”

He chuckled and studied the contents of the food chest. “There are sandwiches here. And cookies.” He passed over two wrapped wedges. “But, cake first. Always.”


“Aren’t you having any?” Stuart asked around a mouthful.

Noah laughed and broke off a hunk of the rich pastry. Oven-softened butterscotch chips drooped golden-toasty-brown from the nut-studded crumb. “Meaning, can I have yours? You gotta watch him, Vincent. He’s eating for two, more than Wren is.”

Stuart growled ...

And Vincent grinned. “I promised Liz I’d change the burned-out bulbs.” His cloak shed and pitched to the ledge behind him, he stepped up on the bench, then to the table. So solid. After all these years, it didn’t shift under his weight or rock leg to leg. “You’ve not heard any updated reports? I’m assuming there’s no emergency, that no one was hurt when the flap gate gave way.”

“That’s my take. Liz wouldn’t have bothered packing us food, otherwise. She’d have rushed us there.” Noah passed a new bulb up and received the ruined one, managing to juggle his breakfast and assistance. “I hope nothing important washed downstream. Or sunk. We only own the one hydraulic crimping tool, and that team had it.”

One by one, Vincent replaced the bulbs. Stuart engaged the switch, and the room blazed with warm light. Old-fashioned as they were, the glass tubes were unfrosted; the exposed filaments looped and twisted and hummed. He recalled his last summer visit – not for the first time – and their lucky discovery, a storeroom stacked with abandoned electrical supplies, items considered obsolete in the world above, but to those below, a treasure trove of fittings and tubes and insulators, wire and sockets and plugs. Nearly fifty cases of odd-shaped bulbs, he remembered counting, and Stuart’s mother’s joyful whoop when they told her. The crate Noah emptied now was likely one they’d found. He wondered how many were left, if any, and where the next supply would come from.

Stuart rummaged the clothing bins that lined one wall – pulling a flannel shirt from one, a thermal tee from another, giving both an assessing sniff. “We’re gonna get wet,” he postulated, once he looked over his shoulder to find himself watched. “Too far to backtrack home for extras. We could just borrow a few things. It’s handy. Nobody’ll care.”

Vincent knew that to be true, though little would likely fit him. His own change of clothes was far away, back at camp. He would make do. But Noah crossed the room to a bin marked Recycle, dug through its contents. “It took us a while to clear it out,” he told them, “but when we moved into Mom and Dad’s old chambers, we found some stuff of Zayde Lev’s in one of the wardrobes. We washed it, figured to pass it on.” Noah grunted and reached deeper, too-small flannels and ribbed sweaters piling higher on the ledge. “He was a big guy.”

“The strongest man I’ve ever known.”

“Yeah, he was something,” Stuart agreed. “Remember that weight set he scrounged up for us? The routines he put us through?”


To the gym. Lev would stand in the doorway, command them from their bunk beds, his thumb anchored over his shoulder. In truth, Vincent would have bounded from sleep and rushed to the training chamber without brushing his teeth or washing his face, without sitting down to tea and toast as Noah’s mother insisted, like civilized people, not vilde chaya,7 even though her easy phrasing made him one of the family, so wondrously normal.  But like Noah, like Stuart, he’d grumbled sleepily and dallied under his covers, if only to play along, to give Lev the opportunity to grouse and nag, to bemoan the soft youth of today. Luftmensch, he muttered and rolled his eyes.8 Oy-yoy-yoy. Oh vez mear, he’d beseech the ceiling.9 But as they scuffed past him toward their morning ablutions, Lev would smile and lay a hand on each boy’s shoulder – almost an accounting. You, you, you ... Boychik, he’d murmur with his quiet, coveted affection.

“You were so scrawny,” Noah was saying, “and right off the bat, you could out-bench press us and not even breathe hard.”


They’d all been scrawny, Stuart and Noah in the normal way of boys, rangy and knobby, unquenchingly hungry. At night, they complained of muscle aches, in their thighs and calves, behind their knees, but he ... he felt a keen vibration, almost a hum, so internally emphatic he was sure his bunkmates could hear. Once, on the sidelines while his friends took their turns on the makeshift apparatuses, while he sat with Lev drinking a cup of warmed water, Lev – without looking at him – thumped his own chest, once. “So ...” he’d begun and paused as he often did, his head cocked to the side, the answer he wanted necessarily traveling an uncommon distance.

Vincent heard the deeper question. “I feel ...” Surreptitiously – he hoped – he checked his friends’ exertions, their husky, grunted counts. Halfway through the drill.  “... as if I’m ... coming into tune. I hear ... a pitch, resonating ...  somewhere.”

“And you need to get closer to it?”



“I want to, but ...” He’d clutched the blue-enameled cup, unable to look away from his hands, familiar and yet, suddenly ... not. Lev’s iron-muscled arm draped around his shoulders, pulled him close. There was no molding in the embrace, no reminding, instead a silent haven.


“I’ll never forget your grandfather, Noah. I loved him.”

“You were one of his favorites. The mezuzah you carved for him’s still on his chamber’s doorframe. Our doorframe now,” Noah said, bent to the container.

“Is it? It was not very well executed. I should make you another.”

Naah. Zayde Lev liked it just fine, and so do we.” Noah dragged up a dark blue wool shirt, a cream colored henley. “These oughta do. They might hang on you, even.”

Vincent stowed the shirts in the pack Stuart opened, atop the old, red-handled wrenches etched with a prior owner’s initials, and the welder’s gauge and the folding pipe fitter’s square Dominic – and Catherine – had provided, then the jeans Noah unearthed, the cuffs and knees patched once with brown duck, frayed and worn-through a second time, but the hammer loop and the utility pockets securely sewn with waxed, black leather thread, one showing the faded imprint of the wooden folding measure Lev had favored.

After him, Stuart stuffed in his collection of garments and fastened the straps. “Those cookies I can fit in the outer pocket,” he said, “but we’re gonna have to eat the sandwiches on the way.” His hand inched toward the remaining waxed-paper-wrapped wedge. “And this ...”

“Is mine.” Vincent savored a lusty bite of the confection, the butterscotch chips melting on his tongue. The extracts of vanilla and almond were perfumes, calling forth an image of Noah’s mother setting before him a massive cut of tender cake, miraculously produced from a clanky, cast-iron, coal-fired range. Flushed from baking, her cheek warm and pressed to his crown, Eat up, honey, she’d murmured. The scent, the touch, the concern ...

He’d been happy here, something he’d imagined after Devin’s leaving he’d never be again. Something he’d not allowed himself to admit at the time or fully enjoy. Sending him off, Father was ambivalent, at his return, a strange fermentation of grudging and gladness, interest and editorial. His loyalties confounding, a measure of guilt had clouded his contentment, turned him from it.  The admission was more than acknowledgement. He’d been responsible for some of his own aloneness, had chosen it.



Noah was first through the man-way, Stuart behind him. Vincent emerged last into a corridor he'd not traveled this tour of duty. Below the city’s storm sewers, a level beneath the old Croton aqueduct, two turns of the corridor away from the canal, they heard the hollow slap of agitated waves. The three exchanged frowning glances. He’d voiced his doubts the diverter mechanism could handle the pressure of the spring rains, the natural, seasonal volume of the underground stream that began as Tibbetts Brook and ended as the Harlem River, but the pitch and resonance of the rushing water signaled more than that. He'd not considered the runnel's escape from its banks. Sunk to a crouch, he swept the tunnel floor with an open hand, raked up a pyramid of gravel, let the pebbles and dust sift through his fingers. Limestone, chips of marble and gneiss, not the floury silt deposited by a surge. A good sign, they all agreed, but fallen solemn and considering, they quickened their pace.

Proposed to replace the long-used iron foot bridge across a wide, rocky gully ahead, a sunken bridge always but only just – normally – underwater,  the water trap was meant to deter further encroachment through a northerly entrance enticing enough to the curious, possibly findable by the searching, but deemed too necessary to close.  The bridge would be removed, and with it the tease – a crossing to where? The flap gate must be camouflaged, and safely, reliably, manipulated by a tunnel dweller seeking passage out or in. A failure might sweep someone off their feet and into the dashing current ...


Or strand them in mid-cross, on an island cobbled of round, smooth stones tumbled south from the mother stream, to await the decision of the flood – to rise, to recede.

“Vincent,” Mouse called, leaping up, waving unnecessarily from the mound of rocks in the middle of the spillway. Miriam huddled beside him on the ground, her arms wrapped around her knees. Both were bedraggled; both shivered. How, no, why were they so marooned? Later, quietly, firmly, he would lecture them both. “Stupid flap gate,” Mouse stuttered. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”


The plans they’d devised on their trek necessarily set aside, Vincent, Stuart, and Noah conferred with the congregated crew members. Perhaps... further up. A channeling? A siphoning? Or a reevaluation, a reworking ... even resignation, even abandonment.

Mouse shouted through cupped hands. “Rescue first, fix later.”

Kanin’s absence was bemoaned, a forager sent up top for fatwood, a runner dispatched for Cullen.  “Jamie, too,” Vincent suggested.

He bundled the three layers he wore into his over-shirt, stuffed the package and his vest and cloak between two runs of iron pipe, wedged his boots in after, then both pair of ragg socks. He was rarely cold he’d assured Catherine, but wading in, the water waist-deep and white-capping, he gasped, drawing in his belly, nearly losing the coil of rope on his shoulder and his pants. In unmixed company, he’d have shed them too. The stream bed was slippery, the rocks beneath his feet unsettled. He planted one bare foot, shifted his weight, planted the other, his eyes on his landing point, on Mouse, on Miriam, not on the green-brown murk roiling past. Toss in a stick, he’d been taught. See how rapidly the current carries it away. Can you walk as fast? If not ...

But he’d had no testing stick. And no choice. He played out the rope. Once across, nothing to tie it to, he would brace his end of the line, while first Miriam and then Mouse navigated to safety.


A burst of tinder, the flicker of a low flame ... A crew member had built a small fire. Noah had waded out knee-deep in the water to receive a trembling Miriam. Once on dry ground, he chafed her hands, blew on her fingers. Having unpacked the extra clothes they’d amassed, Stuart draped a sweater around her shoulders, tying the arms like a muffler at her neck, then brushed back her hair and tugged on a knitted cap. His arm about her waist, he guided her toward the warmth.

Noah turned with the go-ahead sign. His jaw clenched, Mouse stepped up to the taut rope, grasped it. His knuckles paled. Over his shoulder, he cast a beseeching look. Wish me across. It would be a slow crossing, once it began.

“The crimping tool?” Vincent asked in diversion.

Mouse shifted his gaze ... behind him but roof-ward, to the mesh of pipes and girders, ductwork and channel iron, conduit, wire, and rebar that masked it. “Up there.”

Vincent searched the metal clutter, spied the bright yellow handles cross-ways atop a run of horizontal ladder. He sighed. “Long story?”

“No, short one,” Mouse answered, drawing a deep and contradictory breath.



“Later.” The water was rising. He really was cold. By now, Catherine was safely above. She was, he knew, calm – if not tranquil, hopeful. Surely she sat, with coffee, with a friend, in the cozy kitchen he’d traversed. In a shaft of sunlight, he envisioned, the window open to birdsong, to the scent of spring flowers.  He would cling to that image, let it warm him. He turned his hip, leaned hard into the loop of rope. “Go, Mouse! Now!



_______________


“I would know, Catherine. I ... would ... know.”

Every day, Eimear parted from Flynn with a kiss that might prove their last. Sirens were a sustained note of the city’s voice, the flashing police car ubiquitous, dismissible unless ... yours ... had been sent to intervene. To rescue. To protect. How did she bear the uncertainty, the weighted odds?

The same way I do.

Without understanding their bond, Vincent trusted, accepted its fact. If that connection was different for her, less ...  audible, the sureness of it, the sureness of Vincent – made the distance, the hours between touch and sight, bearable. If he were taken from her, if their tapestry were unraveled ... of their spiraled flames, should one be snuffed out ...

She, too, would know.

Eimear was pale. The hand she’d raised in acknowledgement of Mrs. Sheedy stilled the tinkling charms in a tense grip. She’d taken a breath and now held it, as if to suspend the hour, and every atom of her will showed in her expression, in her straightened shoulders, her tipped-up chin. The earth would move, time would march, life would go on only as she allowed, and in the cosmic order she deemed. Catherine reached out for her, grasped her arm, joined force in that determination. The world would not conspire to bring them together if it were impossible.  They would have time. With Eimear and Flynn.


Together, they faced the curb and the blue cruiser pulling close with its dark windows and purring motor. The passenger door opened, the driver’s door a jagged moment later. Two uniformed men stepped out, neither Flynn. Catherine recognized the officers, Castillo and Kneath, from the baseball game she’d chaperoned.  David, she pulled from her stunned memory, Sean. Flynn’s mates, Eimear had said, introducing them around. That day, they’d grinned and laughed, easy with the children from Eimear’s school. Now they set their caps, touched the brims. Someone made a noise, a quick, garbled noise – Martin – who turned to Eimear with such love in his eyes, such encouragement. Such faith.

Wait, Catherine admonished herself. Think. If the worst had happened ...

Joe’s tone had been concerned but not careful. He couldn’t have expected her to answer the phone. I ran into Greg Hughs. He told me what went down last night. Joe would never be that casual had Flynn been–

She wouldn’t say the word.

Spring rustled the new shade of the tree-lined street. A sweet scent filled the air; the sky was blue and fair. She dug her fingers into the steeled muscles of Eimear’s arm, and Eimear turned to look at her, turned from the precipice. There would be no rendezvous with death today.10 There would not.

A second cruiser rounded the corner, easing in behind the first, into the empty space marked No Parking Here to Corner. Before it rolled to a full stop, before the driver could set the brake, the back door flew open.

“Flynn,” Eimear whispered. “Mo mhíle grá. Buíochas le Dia.”11


_______________


As if he’d run headlong into a stone wall, the cold slammed him, threw him down, stole his breath. It wasn’t pain he felt, neither physical nor heart-bound. Not fear. Not even surprise. No time. No time.

And then ... denial. No, more than that – refusal.

Later he would swear to her the world’s spin stalled, that the harmonics of the spheres clashed and twanged, but soon enough, arranged themselves to a resonant chord.

And he would swear that in a moment everything began again – the slack was taken up from the rope he clung to; there was a steady, determined pull up from darkness. He broke the water’s surface to a shout of faith and thanksgiving, and drew a new breath as if it were his first.


Click HERE for Chapter 66

________________

1. Mary Oliver. Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith.
2. Rainer Maria Rilke. The Panther.
3. Ibid. Love Song.
4. Ibid. Pushing Through.
5. I Carry Your Heart. Chapter 14. See Me.
6. Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters To A Young Poet. Letter #8.
7. Vilde Chaya. Yiddish. Translation: literally 'wild animals' - a term for unruly children.
8. Luftmensch. Yiddish. Translation: literally 'air person' - someone with their head in the clouds, impractical dreamer with no business or good sense.
9. Oh vez mear. Yiddish. Translation: 'woe is me'.
10. Alan Seeger. I Have a Rendezvous with Death.
11. Gaelic: Mo Mhile gra´. Buíochas le Dia. My thousand loves. Thank God.



16 comments:

Mamacrow said...

Dear Carole,

In seven paragraphs (and a little change) you made me love Lev. That in itself was worth the rewrite.

You are truly the queen of secondary characters. It is my turn to put my head on the desk and roll it around, astounded at your talent :)

There is something else I want you to know. You have given Vincent something that I believe no one else ever has, you have given him understanding from others, empathy. It may not come all from one person, but from Lev the understanding of strength, from Mr. Chan the need for calm. He can share humor and yayas with Stuart and Noah, mirth and longing with Martin. And of course Catherine to understand and share a life. It is such a gift to have friends and so few men truly have them. You have given those to Vincent, and will give him more with Eimear and Flynn. How wonderful.

Every chapter you show your love for these characters, and your precious creativity. I anxiously, but begrudgingly await more. In the meantime, you set the bar very high. Thank you...

Karen :)

Krista said...

Oh, Carole .

I read this last night and again this morning (post-coffee, so I might have some hope of eloquence when commenting :)) I love your character studies. Love them. Reading Mamacrow's comment, I can only echo it. I rejoiced in Lev's understanding, in Stuart and Noah's banter, in the new ease Vincent has found with himself and the world around him. It's a miracle of the most quiet, blessed kind.

And Flynn...you had me some worried for him. I'm glad to know it is not, at least, as bad as I'd feared.

Great job, again and still.

-Krista :)

Anonymous said...

Carole, Carole. You're back! I clapped my hands when I saw the notice and scared Breaux. He's still hiding in the other room. I have such a strange reaction when I finish each chapter. I want more, immediately, and at the same time, hold my hands over my eyes, afraid to read The End.

I love how you integrate poetry into all your chapters, but this particularly stands out: There would be no rendezvous with death. Wow!

That very last scene has me wondering. I think there might be more to it than meets the eye. I guess it is Vincent talking, but could it be Mouse? Or maybe even Flynn? What happened????? :)

Your impatient friend,
A'bella

Carole W said...

Oh, thank you, Karen, for liking Lev. I imagine old Father Seamus, the wizened, slight man, and strong-man Lev sitting together in the ambulatory, having a nip, much as Vincent and Martin do, talking about all things. That you will accept them, as not just secondary characters but newcomers ... I am wildly grateful.

I do love these folks. I've missed them these last couple of months! It wasn't just the red-headed women grumping and rattling around outside my door. :-)

And oh, again - thank you for understanding how precious the gift of friendship is to Vincent. I think he's always known it, of course, but he might be having a bit of an epiphany. (More to come about that.)

You are very kind to me. Your encouragement keeps me going forward, makes me try harder to do it right. I'm just amazed to have you in my life.

As soon as possible, more will appear. I'm pretty anxious myself for that first Vincent/Flynn conversation.

Carole

Carole W said...

Krista, thank you for your support and encouragement. I'm touched and inspired to keep working. You make a difference.

Oh, gosh, I really couldn't imagine losing Flynn at this point. Not to say the sailing's fixing to be all that smooth, but Dum spiro spero. While Flynn breathes, he hopes (kinda, sorta).

And thank you for accepting these new characters so willingly. You know I was told once not to do this, that fans won't read a story with newcomers in it, but I plowed on. It's good to know it wasn't a huge mistake. (Of course, you didn't heed that advice either!)

Thank you for reading and for your truly kind words,
C

Carole

Carole W said...

A'Bella! It's good to see you too.

LOL, I wonder if there'll ever be an End. I keep moving my finish line back, scary to say. I'm grateful you're willing to let me do that.

Oh! That last scene ... I really can't answer you without giving away a significant part of the coming chapters. I'd hoped to instill a little wonderment there, so I'm glad it worked. All I can say now is ... more later! :-D

I forgot - is Breaux the kitty or the dog?

Thanks for liking the poetry snippets. Thanks for reading. And for letting me know, which is just so encouraging.

Carole

Brenda K said...

Carole,

It's good to have you back. Even with the new material for WFOL, I miss your new chapters here.

You must have spent some time with at least one Jewish family whose grandparents came over from the Old Country. I hear echoes of my old Bubbe, my grandparents, my old Uncle Duvid and Aunt Ida, in your dialogue for Noah's family. There is such authenticity in it -- I can almost hear Noah's mother murmuring "Ess, ess mine kindeleh," as she puts cake down for her boys, and kisses the tops of their heads. I feel the warmth again, though all are long gone, and my Yiddish is rusty from long retirement.

The canon backstories do not give Vincent any exposure to a full nuclear family in his growing years -- no mother, no grandparents. Of necessity, most who joined the Tunnels would not be likely to be full, stable families in those early years -- those would arise in the second generation of Tunnel-dwellers, as they built their community. Yet it makes sense that Vincent had some time with a family like Noah's, during some of the more difficult periods of his youth -- some influence more stabilizing than just Father, with his stern rules. Otherwise, what kept him from becoming wild and rebellious in his turn, as Devin did? Not even the so-much-more-closeness of a single parent/single child would keep that rebellion away -- indeed, it tends to exacerbate it.

I feel that there's a whole, separate backstory in that one comment about Minna.....

And the profundity of the post-Catherine change in Vincent, the paradigm shift in his self-concept and his world view, emerges whole and visible in your story. Not just the newness of a blooming romance (like Catherine with Elliott), but an alteration in the laws of the universe as massive as discovering time-travel, abrogating gravity -- or truly exercising the magic of the Beauty's love to transform the Beast into an un-enchanted Prince.

Anonymous said...

Carole, I must echo the praises you have already received above! Finally, such a lovely word portrait of the much hinted-at Lev! I like him very much. You are so good with languages and dialects, first Gaelic, now Yiddish. It give such wonderful flavor and richness to your story.

VERY anxious for more!

Regards, Lindariel

Carole W said...

Brenda, your message made such a difference in my day. Thank you for what you said - there's nothing sweeter than hearing the characters' voices rang true. It's all I dream about and strive for - making this seem real. That you recognize the mannerisms and intonations and found them familiar makes me so incredibly happy!

I'm printing your comment out for days when I feel like nothing I do feels right, for days when I wonder if I've not just wandered around and around, without purpose. Really, Brenda, you dispelled a bunch of clouds with your kindness. I will do my best to measure up to your assessment and try to never, ever let you down.

And yes, indeed. Minna. There's a story there!

C

Carole W said...

Hey, Lindariel! I'm glad the Gaelic and Yiddish ring true enough. You're so complimentary and so encouraging. Thank you.

I'm glad, too, that you saw and enjoyed Lev. I imagine he and old Father Seamus had quite lively evenings. I like Vincent having those memories. Maybe he'll get an opportunity to talk to Seamus one day.

You're always so kind to me, always generous with your support. I'm grateful to you and lucky to know you.

C

NYC Utopia said...

I haven't been checking my RSS feeds as regularly as I used to -- but you know it is not a bad sign! -- and I only found this new chapter last night.
One thousand loves... for this story, indeed. And "the heart that fed".

RomanticOne said...

I'm even further behind than NYC Utopia but wanted to let you know I'm still here, still enjoying the ride. Somebody will have to drag me off when it ends. :)

Carole W said...

Hugs to you, Claire. :-) And thank you.

Carole W said...

R-1, I am SO glad to hear from you. I'd grown concerned.

Thank you for reading, always. :-)

(I don't think you have to worry about being dragged any distance. Looks like I'll never finish, doesn't it.)

Big hug,
Carole

RedNightBird said...

Thank-you for this....I can only echo all the previous comments.
Rusty

Carole W said...

Thank you, Rusty! For reading and for being so kind.

I'm about to post the next chapter. If there are no glitches, it'll be up soon.

Carole