Login   Sign Up 



by laurafraser 

Posted: 10 April 2005
Word Count: 1148
Summary: A short story, one for a possible collecrion. Theme the miracles that appear in the chimerical. I.e When things seem to be lost, something (sorry for the cliche!) is gained... orginally I wrote the second half seperately but then decided to link Aelia's story with the girl sitting in the cafe with the woman. I like the idea of hidden madness and that which is papable and tried to portray an aspect of that here...

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Aelia sat for an hour exactly. Throughout this hour her fingers danced across the cheap Formica table, tapping and pulsating, raising themselves to drop down again onto the surface, the pace never changing. The obese lady sitting at the table in front of the girl stared, intoxicated by the independence of these fingers as they tapped their message to the café and the world outside. It was as if the girl and the obese woman had shared the same drug and were now playing out the remainders of their Dionysiac rapture, all the while clinging on to their separateness. Their singleness. During this hour, the girl travelled to Italy on a cloud, where upon arriving she drifted down to walk the streets of Florence sipping espressos with a man called Romanza, whom she abandoned as she ran up the jutting rugs that are staggered like crude diamonds up the hill of Porto Fino to the gates of Castello Brown. Panting as she sprinted through the garden doors she gasped as she bumped into King Henry VIII laughing with Mr. Oscar Wilde about the humour of Shakespeare and the nature of farce. She danced a jig with a pig that carried violets and lavender in his pouch, and dosed on Louis XV bed squealing with delight at the mass of chocolate Buddha’s with praline inside, that were scattered like pebbles across the silk sheets. She travelled in Air Force One, sipping pink champagne out of crystal goblets, directing the captain to Bora Bora, where she stayed for a week, playing love with a tantric master who would make Cupid blush and Dionysus yell with glee. And then were days of swimming with great whites off the shores of South Africa, there were Jacuzzi’s with the Prime Ministers of Italy, France and Russia with the one from London making them Whiskey Sours and squeezing past Pavarotti and a revived Maria Callas. There were nude portraits and playing with paint moments with Pollock and Hodgkin, there were riding on the back of Polar bears and hanging with the bats in Venezuela. And as she drops from the boughs of the trees as the sun rises flooding the rolling hills of Rwanda, she leaps on a leopard, whispering in his ear to take her to the ocean. And then suddenly she is on her 1947 Indian Chief roaring down by the sea, where at the place where the salted water slips over the sand she jumps onto her naked black Andalucian Stallion, Illustrio III, gathering his manes in her hand she pints him to the horizon, and he knows. He knows his destination and his fate, to gallop over the waves, to be obliterated by an explosion whose essence is to bring awareness back to the perfect at oneness of truth.

Blinking from the salt of the sea, the girls sees the obese woman staring at her. Aelia looks at her, not confrontationally, simply looking as if asking a question or conversing in telepathy. But the obese woman cannot handle this truth, this absence of lies and the purity of the faceless façade, and so she looks away. Perhaps a blush spreads across her dimpled peachy cheeks, embarrassed, as she is, that she is hiding from something innocent. Inside she reassures herself that this girl is odd, when in fact this lie rattles noisily in her heart, loose and alien in her being. This woman is fascinated by Aelia, she doesn’t recognise this desire to go on looking at her, fascination for another human has never before been aroused in her deadened spirits. But here she is, obese and sitting in the café she’d walked past last Christmas, being fascinated by a girl whose name she did not yet know. Raising her head, the lady pretends to be looking outside the window behind the girl, wishing as she did so to soak up a molecule of the nervous energy that seemed to be spraying from the girl all over the café.

Aelia however was immune to any observations being made and continued the tapping of her hands as her left foot started to twitch, which seemed to lift the corner of her right thumb to her mouth, where it fluttered momentarily like a moth in the dark, before resting lightly in between her cracked lips, as she nibbled at her unpolished nail.

And yet there seemed to be in her a quietness the woman observed, a stillness from which she neither desired escape from, nor hoped for it. It was true, that away from this café, she conversed with others, she smiled at jokes, told her own and laughed when there was cause for it. But this quietness was only a mirage, for inside her head raged disquiet with the energy of a thousand storms and the ferocity of a Vesuvius erupting. It kept her awake at night, charged up and irritated her dreams and hung the bags from under her eyes. It took the taste from her food, the sparkle from her eyes, it bellowed for its cave, seeking to take her to its darkness, wherein she would disappear. Perhaps ‘for ever.’

But of course all this was fleeting, emotions and sensations that were arising and passing away, in a constant state of flux. She accepted this and so allowed her inner self to sink for a while, knowing there would be a surge soon that would carry her up for air. In her mind she knew the tonic to this wildness, she knew the techniques in which she could calm herself, to sit peacefully for an hour in the morning, crossed legged, palms open, resting on both knees facing the ceiling above her. But her blackness suffered from a fatigue and a desire to wade though the crevices of her mind, barking away peace and contentment, replacing them with acidic insomniac madness. When with the ones she was closest to, her family, she would allow a little of this to appear: her rash emotionalism, her tears that flowed enough to fill the Serengeti.

And all she longed for was a man. One man whom she’d told in her head countless times that she’d loved, never allowing those words escape for air, to dance across the void to his ears. His mouth. His eyes. But is not this obvious? Is it not always the case? Happiness after all is not conducive to constructiveness. Misery positively breeds it. And so in this state she worked, ideas poured from her and excitement whipped itself into a paranoiac frenzy next to her heart, slapping it with every beat. Ideas for stories, lines she could incorporate into poems, poems she could make into stories. Inspiration mangled her, ideas gripped her by her throat and offered no choice but submission to giving them life. And so she did, all the while slipping away from her own.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Al T at 08:45 on 12 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Laura, this is a really magical piece with some beautiful imagery. Your heroine seems like a figure from a Chagall painting, flying above the rooftops. I found your conclusion that her unhappiness fuels her work credible but very sad. However, if you have everything you want, then I'm sure you use your imagination less than if you're dreaming up schemes for the future.

Btw, Portofino is all one word (if you mean the town in Liguria).

Write on,


laurafraser at 11:47 on 12 April 2005  Report this post
Thank-you Adele! Wasn't quite sure about the spelling.

Thank-you for reading and your comments, much appreaciated as wasn't sure how this would be received.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .