This week I had a serious case of Full Moon Fever. Sleepless nights made for zombie days. This post was supposed to go out Wednesday which I completely zoned out in my stupor. But, better late than never.
Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt
Write a story, write a drabble, write a poem, write anything. If this inspires you drop me a link to your post in the comments, or send it to me on Twitter.
A Life of Wondering
Amelia sat alone in the parlor. With both their children gone the entire house lacked the vibrance it once had. Arnold, her husband, had insisted Rupert go off to boarding school and that they should act as if Marianne didn’t exist. But, with her youngest not their to comfort her Amelia felt as if her entire world had shattered. Marianne’s absence took over her every thought.
At night Amelia’s heart longed to hear daughter’s voice. It seemed that no matter where she went, or who she was with, Amelia couldn’t escape the constant pain in her chest. Arnold told her she was foolish; that they should forget the daughter who had disgraced them. He vowed Marianne would never be welcomed back. But, those were Arnold’s words, not hers. Every day she waited by the window hoping to see Marianne walking down the street and every night she went to bed heartbroken. No matter what each night brought each day started anew, and she could still dream, couldn’t she?
At one of her afternoon tea parties Lady Hester mentioned the famous trapeze artist Miss Stena’s arrival to town. Amelia disliked any talk of circuses for it had been the last appearance they had made as a family. She eyed her friend, who quickly changed the subject on her behalf. But, as the women returned to idle gossip Amelia couldn’t help but wonder. Was Marianne’s disappearance and the circus somehow connected? Arnold told her years ago that she was wrong, but was she?
Later that day she took a stroll through the park. A boy was gluing posters on the walls. Amelia stopped dead in her tracks. The boy in the poster looked vaguely familiar. She stepped closer. Yes, she knew the shape of that chin. The hair was shorter, but it was clearly Randall, the stable boy who disappeared the same night Marianne had. Her husband believed that Marianne and Randall had run off together to live in sin. But what if they had only run away together to join the circus? What if her daughter had just wanted to be free? She had noticed her downturned face every time marriage was brought up. Maybe that look of despair was deeper than she had thought.
Days later the circus began setting up their colorful tents. Amelia watched longingly from the parlor window. Could Marianne be one of them? Had she traded her life of privilege for a life of hardship and toil? The unanswered questions caused her stomach to knot in a thousand different ways. Determined to ease her mind she set out across the park. She walked from tent to tent, each face was just as unfamiliar as the next. That night on her way back home she agreed with her husband, she was a foolish woman. Marianne didn’t run away to join the circus, she ran off with the stable boy.
That weekend Lady Hester stopped by to invite Amelia to her private booth at the circus. Amelia didn’t want to go, but knew it would be impolite to refuse. So she pushed down her bitterness and made herself look prettier than she felt. That way no one, not even her husband, would guess the turmoil eating away at her.
Inside the arena the crowd clamored for Miss Stena. As Amelia took her seat she was thankful that Lady Hester had a spacious booth. Lady Hester fanned herself and Amelia followed suit. The evening had been cool, but inside it was suffocating. The motion of the fan kept her distracted until the Ring Master called everyone’s attention. At first he dazzled them with elephants balancing on balls and jugglers catching fire. Then the boy trapeze artists flew out from the corners. Amelia searched each face, hoping to find Randall, but they moved so quickly she could not make out their faces.
Their tricks only made the crowd more anxious for Miss Stena and soon the Ring Master relented. The lights focused high up near the center of the enclosure. Miss Stena sat perched on a large ring just waiting for her moment of glory. She twirled and twisted, curled and flipped, her movements were swirl of color and grace. Amelia flicked her fan and shook her head. Miss Stena, with her painted up face, could not be her daughter, a child with true beauty.
Lady Hester nudged her arm. “I have a surprise for you Amelia, to cheer you up.”
Lady Hester grinned from ear to ear. “You’ll see.”
Seconds later the twirling body of Miss Stena balanced before her. Rose petals cascaded around Amelia, their fragrance reminded her of better days. Dazzled by Miss Stena’s abilities she let her heart be carried away to a place she had forgotten even existed. When the trapeze artist stopped a single rose fell from her mouth onto Amelia’s lap. She took the rose in her hand and stood up to thank the one person that had made her forget her unhappiness. When she looked into her eyes and saw her daughter’s eyes gazing back, Amelia fainted.
This is part of a #FridayFlash Saga