Life Without Life

Chapter 3:

That evening, Emily-Elizabeth cannot sleep. All she keeps thinking about is her past. She gets up from her disturbing slumber and walks outside into the tranquil night air. It is so peaceful at night, she sighs to herself as she wanders on the dirt road. The air smells of winter and she knows that the townspeople will be disguising as performers to visit the Lord for the annual Christmas celebration.

Ah, the Lord. The Baron's son. She can no longer endure the misery of the time she had seen him last. That was unfortunately the final time she ever tasted his lips. A horse approaching the road awakens her from her mind's mirage.

"It cannot be Emily-Elizabeth, can it?! It cannot be you!" the young man says as he dismounts his horse.

"You know my name, kind sir. Everyone here knows my name, but there be only one who knows my heart. I have left him as well as my heart behind me."

"Emily-Elizabeth, it is you! Only you would be able to look upon the face that you see and obliterate it," he says as he advances toward a light glistening from the fire in the house.

"Matthew!! It cannot possibly be you!! I thought you would have been married by now! What are you doing here in the middle of the night?"

"I was out for a ride and did not expect to meet up with you." Before Emily-Elizabeth can protest, Matthew leans over to touch her lips with his own. It brings back every memory of the first time they had kissed, beneath the willow tree in the orchards of the castle. Just as the first kiss, this one made her feel as if she was surrendering her mind and soul into an illusion in which delicate flowers opened their velvet petals to her every touch. She gently pushes him away.

"What was that for?!" she asks, astounded but what has just occurred.

"It is but a token of my endless love," he says with a broad smile on his sympathetic face. She cannot see his entire face or any intricate details, but his soft, brown hair fell ever so lightly in front of his eyes. He moves his head slightly to remove his hair from his eyes. Emily-Elizabeth leans over and moves his hair away with her fingertips.

He pulls away abruptly and mounts his horse. Telling her he must go, he kisses her forehead and rides off into the moonlight. As Emily-Elizabeth wanders back into the house, she pinches herself just to make sure that what has just happened is not all a hallucination. She goes over to the bed and draws the blanket over Kathleen and Thomas, and finally curls up beside her brother John on the floor by the fire.


continue to chapter 4