I write many different stories, with quite differing themes. But in most, there is a single underlying theme. It blows gently there, like whispers of an autumn wind. It is love, silent, but there. I do not mean this to sound maudlin; love takes many forms and is not always gentle. Sometimes, love hurts or kills, or takes possession of that which it should not have. But at it’s best, it is merely present – strong and pure.
Perhaps that is why it continually sneaks – unbidden – into my writing.
Robin reached toward him, cupping his cheek in her hand. A delicate henna glove of geometric patterns had been etched into her skin. Charlie looked down and realized that her sandals were likewise only henna. She had been walking, barefoot, for miles, on a sea of glass.
“You look beautiful like that,” she said. For a moment, he thought perhaps the words had been his, but her eyes were searching his for a response. He had not spoken.
“Like what?” he asked, his words muffled. He looked down, seeing a soft cloth was covering his mouth. The cloth was rich indigo, and protected his lungs from small bits of glass and dust the wind carried. Like Robin, he was covered head-to-toe in the cloth, his robe made of loosely draped cotton. A matching cloth was wound into a turban that he wore atop the hooded indigo mask. Around his neck was a pendant, hand-carved. It was a lion, winged, hewn from black onyx. Charlie looked down, able to make out his reflection in the distorted mirror formed by the path beneath his feet.
“I look like a Tuareg,” he said, awed.
“With blue eyes,” Robin replied. “You’re beautiful.”
Charlie had never been called beautiful before, so had no ready response. Still, “You wouldn’t think so if you could see yourself,” he said. “It’s like a sunset complimenting a cactus.”
The intensity in Robin’s eyes ignited in a momentary flash, and her lips drew into a smile. “Wow, you’ve been practicing giving compliments,” she said, her eyes boring into his. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you’ve been taking lessons.”
Charlie’s protestations of sincerity were interrupted by the six-foot-three inch alabaster-skinned Gabrielle. “I see the two of you have found yourselves,” she said. The words were warm, but her face expressionless. “Welcome home, my loves.”