Faint, it came. Nothing more than a whisper. Nothing more than the barest of fomps. Opal turned toward it, allowing it to guide her through the deep inky chill. No time existed. No noise. Nothing at all.
Once more it came. Not as faint as it’d been. Fomp. A thud without echo. Not as gentle as before, stronger. Opal took a step, but stopped. For a long moment she was concerned she stepped the wrong way. Wasn’t sure whether or not she’d even heard it.
Her nose tickled with the scent of the balsam fir in front of her. She took a deep breath in, so grateful for that beautiful encouraging hand from God, from whoever, wherever. The scent eased down inside of her and filled her with a touch of warmth. Not much, but so little she appreciated it in ways there were no words to describe.
That . . . that was a scent that twitched her lips.
Fomp . . . tick.
She felt her eyes mist over. Actually felt her heart skip a beat. It was beginning. Again. There was truly no guarantee that it would happen. That he’d be there. That she’d know where to go. No guarantees were made in this place she called home. Didn’t really know how to define where she was, in truth.
Fomp . . . tock.
The intensity of the fir drifted around her. She took another slow step forward and as she did, caught site of her bare feet appearing through the veil. The white dress that forever adorned her body swept back and forth.
Fommmbbb . . . donggg.
Louder. It was getting louder. A crack of a log in the fire. She reached out and there they were. Hands. Attached to arms, attached to body. She slid her hands up her arms, feeling the stirrings of warmth in her flesh. Didn’t feel it inside, but she could feel it through the flesh on her palms. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer of gratitude for the guides. For this one more time on top of all the rest.
The grandfather clock thrummed ever louder as the long golden pendulum tick-tocked back and forth, and the old piece sounded its seventh note. Then came the scent of the fire. Ahead of her, as she slowly stepped forward, the inky gloom gave way to the barest glow.
A gentle smile touched her lips. Here and there to the right of that glow, in another corner of gloom bloomed the smallest fairies as the tiny bulbs flourished into view. Over and around and deep inside the branches the golden glow of the lights filtered through the shadows, glowing brighter and brighter with each step forward.
Ding . . . donnnnggg. . . .
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In the Library is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, stories, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2019 Kim Iverson
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