Stone Heart

Stone Heart

© Jennifer K. Marsh 2015

I feel your gentle touch as your hand caresses my cheek, and through your skin seeps only the deepest affection. I see your eyes of sparkling hazel, so glistening with kindness and consideration, and your smile is so warm, yet so roguish. What adventure do you have planned, my sweetheart? Whatever it is, I will follow you.

Prising my eyes open, I see no one. I see only the trees lining the river and its flow shimmering in the the dull sunlight. The water rushes by, but focusing on its movement and its trickling sound only makes my heart pitifully whine. It’s not the same here without you.

He bends down and picks up a flat pebble from the bank. Turning sideways on to the river, he draws back his arm before skimming the pebble across the water. I watch the pebble, amazed, as it bounces from us numerous times, farther and farther away, until finally it plops down beneath the surface. 

“How did you do that?” I ask in wonder.

“I dunno,” he says with a shrug. “Just do it.”

“I want to try.”

He bursts into a grin. “Pick a flat stone.”

I inspect the bank and find a reasonably flat pebble. Attempting to mirror his previous actions, I stand sideways on to the river and throw to skim the top of the water.

PLOP!

My pebble miserably sinks.

He laughs, relishing from my visible disappointment. “Try again,” he says, picking another stone for me. He places it in my hand, but, instead of letting go, he keeps hold of my hand and positions himself behind me, moving me for himself. “You’ve got to throw it at an angle, and flick your wrist. Ready?”

I nod, though even with his physical guidance I do not feel overly hopeful.

He pulls my hand back and attempts to manoeuvre it correctly as I release the pebble.  

PLOP!

“Wow,” he says, sounding genuinely impressed at my inadequacy. “You’re terrible.”

I playfully push him away. “Oh, shut up!”

Laughing further, he seizes his arms around me and rest his head on my shoulder, nuzzling his nose into my neck. And he does not let go.

Bringing my hands up to hold onto his arms, we stay in this position and watch the river afore us. We could stay this way forever.

I gaze at the river, my expression as empty as my insides feel. I pick up a pebble settled beside me, analysing it for a time; its mottled brown stone taunts me alongside all its awkward angles and rough exterior. I cannot help but wonder if this resembles my heart. I forcefully toss the pebble down to the water, watching as its splash creates ripples as it hollowly plops, sinking, down. Gone.

Like you.

Like my heart.


I know, I know. I’ve actually posted something. *falls off chair in shock* It has been a while, hasn’t it? I apologise about that. I don’t even have much of an excuse, either. Or any excuse, as the case may be. I just needed to be away, I think. Alas, I have had a lot going on in my stupid head – emotional rubbish that ruins everything. I lost my muse for blogging. I think it is still lost, to be honest, but I forced myself to write something. This piece was inspired by a dream I had last night. Inspired by life, would be more accurate, however.

But, although I lost my blogging muse, I am pleased to say that my muse for the Ilimoskus story – which had been absent for the entirety of 2015 – has finally returned with brutal force. And it is glorious. Oh, the endless joy! I cannot tell you. The progress I have made on Book 2 over the last couple of weeks has been greater than the entire year up to that point. I am encouraged and hopeful. With Grace, I will finish the first draft by the end of the year – so long as I keep this pace and enthusiasm up. How I missed this love for my story.

In fact, so potent is this love again, and so involved I am in the Ilimoskus world, that I find myself accidentally pronouncing English words wrong. This has happened before. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry in such instances. You see, for those of you who are unaware, the Ilimoskus have their own language, and I occasionally mispronounce English words as the Ilimoskus would pronounce them. Tragic, I know. Deary me.

For example, only yesterday I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I read this one tweet. I can’t remember it exactly, but I remember saying this word in my head and going, ‘Huh? What? DAR-ing? What’s DAR-ing?’

Daring. Daring, people. It was ‘daring’.

I don’t exactly help myself though, since sometimes, when reading a book, I stop and say the words as the Ilimoskus would, were they reading it as if in their language. *sigh* Why oh why do I do that? This, for instance:

‘Upon hearing this, she lifted her head and stood tall, splaying out her beautifully dramatic wings.’ – English sentence, from my WIP.

“oo-pon ee-ah-ring THiss, shee LIFF-ed err hee-add and stood tahl, sply-ing oot err bee-or-tiff-oo-lee drah-mah-tiss wingz.” – Ilimoskus pronunciation.

Practise – that’s it. Dedication to my fantasy world. I’m not mad or anything… *shifty eyes*

Alas, such sacrifices we fantasy writers must make: forsaking sanity in the name of fantastical progress and development! Woopwoop.

*

Anyway. I’ll try to post more regularly, though don’t hold your breath. I have a book to write, after all 😉

Take care, my friends.

Blessings to you.

May your heart ever be light and bright.

Down By the River

A little while ago, I wrote a post called Research. It was as though I inspired myself with that post, as a few days afterwards I felt a compelling urge to leave my home and trace the footsteps of my past. I walked down by the river of my childhood, walking a path I had taken so many times before; yet, although I know it better than anything, I could not tell you the last time I went there. It seems so long ago…

I used to walk down by the river with my father every single Sunday, and we used to take the dog. It is now I think of a moment in chapter 11 of Times of Old: the character Elizabeth is spending her time doing something with her father – something they always used to do in the past…

‘It made her wonder why, and how, they stopped doing it.’

Indeed I wonder why my father and I stopped walking for a moment, but then I remember, and I feel my soul sigh poignantly. Our dog was old, and sadly he passed away. And, not long after that, my parents separated. My father and I no longer had the chance to have our weekly walks. And so that phase of my life washed away, and I watched the time we spent together drift slowly from me.

When I went for my walk down by the river the other day, I took my current dog. Besides that, I was alone. But as I walked by the river, gazing at the nature which seemed so unchanged, yet strangely new, the water whispered to me.

***

Down by the river that whispers memories to me, with every sound a sigh for days long gone by. 

The past beckons me down the passage of trees, and I can hear our footsteps echo through the leaves.

Take me to the river and tell me of the times

when we would stand together and hear the river chime.

The cold water sighs but eases the heartache of the hollowness created when a memory awakes.

I hear the water whisper, saying, “It’s okay,

for no amount of time can take the love you shared away.”

There is a bridge that represents my heart, bridging the gap which keeps two halves apart.

And, though it hurts, I know it will never be the end,

for I can always wonder on: what waits around the river-bend?

And though our time will soon be done in this place we know,

wherever my dear memories lie is where I’ll call home.

With a smile I’ll recall all the time we spent there,

down by the river with our little Polar Bear

Down by the river that whispers memories to me, with every sound a sigh for days long gone by. But I will always smile as I say goodbye to the bygone times of home where the river chimes.

alanjenny&polarromanrdsummer