Tears that Shatter Glass

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


Cry forgotten from the haunting void, infinity hides secrets ~*

Submitted: February 17, 2018

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Submitted: February 17, 2018

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I’m going to die out here.  I’m going to die alone.  I am marooned in space, yet not by accident, by choice.  You probably don’t believe that, yet, I’ll tell you my story which will convince you that I really did consciously choose to live out my time aboard this spinning capsule and face death in the icy depths of deep dark cold lonely space.

It all began nearly thirteen years ago when I met a beautiful woman at a wilderness camp.  Actually, she wasn’t a woman, she was a woman in a girl’s body.  She was fourteen, I was forty.  Her eyes were as watery gray and sad as mine.  The first time we looked at each other, we both knew.  We knew in that instantaneous moment when our haunted eyes first reflected our secret hurt that we were each others chosen - we were each others one and only.  We were soul mates.  It was love at first sight.

We talked to each other for the whole two weeks that we were at the north woods wilderness camp.  Her family didn’t seem to notice how much time she and I spent together.  My family didn’t seem to notice how much time she and I spent together.

Yes, we talked, this fourteen-year-old girl and I.  We were together from the moment we woke each morning until the moment the campfire at the center of the wilderness retreat began to die down.  We were always the last to turn in, staying together as late as we could, as long as we could.  We talked, and spent every possible moment together, even taking walks alone in the shady forest that surrounds the rustic wilderness lodge.  What else could we do?

It wasn’t the age disparity that placed an impenetrable barrier between us, it was the fact that she was a minor under the age of sixteen and I was by decades a legal adult.  Tears choked our parting farewell at the end of our mutual family vacations.  That was an emotionally crushing separation from the most satisfying and meaningful two weeks of my life, and I know she feels the same, even to this very day.

We were, needless to say, heartbroken when we were forced by the cruel hand of mocking fate to part ways.

We exchanged phone numbers and addresses.  We stayed in touch with each other for the next four years.  We had secretly planned a rendezvous to see each other again on her eighteenth birthday.  What could anyone say or do then to prevent she and I from being happily together, wrapped in each others loving arms forever?

There may not have been anything a human could do to hold us apart, yet there was something the indifference of destiny could do.  I don’t hate fate.  I don’t despise destiny.  At first I did, yet now, I understand what they were doing.  It was all part of a grand design - a much bigger picture.  She’s out here among the stars waiting for me with open eager arms of endless passionate love.  

The day immediately preceding her eighteenth birthday, I got the call.  I had my overnight bag packed and with my boarding pass, I was excitedly hurrying out the door of my gated community townhouse when my phone rang.  Something chilled my heart when I heard the voice of the only other person besides the two of us who knew what we were covertly planning.  It was the girl’s next-door neighbor and best friend since elementary school.  When I heard her voice, her trembling uncertain voice, I knew something had gone dreadfully wrong.  I felt my heart sink in my chest even before she spoke those tragic words that caused the blood to drain from my lips.

There had been a gruesome accident.  A new large plate glass window was being installed at my girl’s parent’s house.  It was for an upstairs window.  My darling girlfriend whom I first met and knew eternal bliss with at the far away wilderness camp had been bringing in her birthday cake from the back of the SUV.  She was on the threshold of being a fully grown woman - a legal adult.

The boom-crane operator didn’t notice that one of the riggers had gotten his glove caught between the edge of one of the straps that secured the huge rectangular sheet of glass to the mechanical hoist.  The glove compromised the structural integrity of the strap causing it to slip free.  A six by thirteen sheet of 3/8 inch thick plate glass weighs over three hundred pounds.

My young girlfriend’s petite anatomy was no match for such an immense weight crashing down from a second story height.  What the shattering glass did to her young tender flesh is so unspeakable that I shall not even attempt to describe the gory bloody mutilating horror.

She believed that there was a perfect world in orbit around Proxima Centauri Alpha, a star like our own sun which is only four and a half light years distant.

That’s why I volunteered for this mission.  It is a one way trip.  I knew that when I signed my name on the dotted line.  I knew the finality of what I was committing to.  I was consciously aware that when the colossal Atlas V rocket launched, there was no turning back.  

So sad was my departure to my few friends that they couldn’t even say goodbye.  It is pitiful to see the hopelessness of loss in the empty expression of a friend.  They, in their honorable decency, weep for me, yet most of the rest of the world is hailing me as a hero for all humankind, because the data being collected from this beeping flashing interstellar coffin I’m trapped in shall serve to advance the progress of Earth’s space exploration program.

When they locked me inside the capsule, I knew it was the last time I’d ever breathe natural air again.  Fortunately, I’m not claustrophobic, and there is enough nitrogen in this airlock to prevent the hazard of a single stray spark blowing me to bits of charred space dust, yet time drags mercilessly slow.

When I passed Neptune and entered a trajectory for the Oort Cloud, I started seeing her face.  A vision of serenity, she is my guardian angel.  My sad lonely girlfriend from the wilderness camp awaits me in the frozen wastes of deep space.  It is the ultimate wilderness out here.  Out here we can be together and not even fate or destiny can come between us.  Honestly, though, I don’t hate fate and I don’t despise destiny.  It’s for the best, really, I know it is.  

The signal started coming in clearly about thirteen hours ago.  The velocity I’m traveling is a staggering figure.  I’m sailing so fast into the unexplored depths of the abyss that I can actually perceive the signal coming in cleaner as I get farther away from Earth.

I’m traveling back in time.  The farther I get away from the solar system, the farther back in time I go.  I can see my wilderness camp girlfriend smiling at me.  She’s reaching out to me.  I’m almost forty again and she’s a budding woman of fourteen.

The gateway is opening.  I see her watery gray eyes, so sad, so lonely.  The glowing green mist of the Oort Cloud is confusing, but I know I see my wilderness girlfriend reaching out for me.  I’m in my smock.  The aroma of the barnyard is barely detectable, yet I know I can faintly smell it.  I hear the bells tinkling around their necks.  I feel their soft warm wool.  She is sitting for me as I take up my pear palette.  The oils are thick and vibrant.  Her voice, so musical, like a haunting chorus of medieval fairies as she beckons me to her in the wilderness of the infinite vacuum of shadowy space.

She’s calling to me.  She says my strokes are reminiscent of Albrecht Dürer.  The mystique of the Gothic past becomes the present, infusing the silence of my speeding death chamber with the creative passion of mysterious times and places.

The baroque music softly floats in the atmosphere surrounding my lonely spirit.

The portrait painter, the invention, the honest one, the lonely one who is the son of a peasant, yet in spite of his lowly birth, is endowed with exceptional aptitude for rendering stunning masterpieces of visual art.

Into the plot, a fair maiden who befriends the impoverished artist.  She is the daughter of a prosperous coppersmith and lute maker.  The pretty damsel frequently visits the painter in his workshop which is located in a sheep barn on the outskirts of the village.

The lovely maiden is of the wealthy merchant class and very much aware that her association with the poor artist is frowned upon by the customs of the era, yet she maintains her friendship with the artist in spite her father’s admonitions and irregardless of cold looks from disapproving neighbors.

Next, the vision of a spectacular scintillating gem, a precious stone which is embedded in the clear bluish ice of a mountain glacier that slowly flows between two volcanically active peaks.  This enigmatic jewel is coveted by all the villagers and is a favorite legend told to travelers passing through the region.

No one has ever attempted to extract the coveted jewel from the glacier because of the lethal risk involved in venturing out upon the perilous shifting ice between two smoldering volcanoes that could erupt at any moment spewing murderous hot lava into the atmosphere resulting in a violent storm of fire raining death from the sky.

The attention shown him by the daughter of the coppersmith emotionally allures the artist causing him to fall in love with the beautiful young maiden.  He tells her that he wishes to ask her father for her hand in marriage.  She giggles in delight at the idea, yet assures the artist that her father would never approve of his only daughter being wed into poverty.

The maiden playfully suggests that if the artist could extract the prized jewel from the dangerous glacier, then he would become instantly wealthy which would make it entirely possible for the adoring pair to realize their dream of getting married to each other and living happily ever after.

The fair maiden skipped all the way home, where, much to her surprise, her father was, in jovial celebration, entertaining as his guest the son of the village butcher to whom he had arranged a marriage for his daughter.  In a heated outburst of disgust, the chagrined maiden flatly refuses to marry the butcher’s son, then storms out of her father’s house to return to the sheep barn artist studio of the poor portrait painter.

When she arrives, the artist is nowhere to be seen.  Inquiring of a shepherd where the painter might be, the maiden discovers to her horror that he has set out for the deadly glacier to attempt to extract the precious stone from the dangerous ice.

“The silly fool!” she shouts, running up the winding stony path that leads to the feared glacier.  The maiden had never conceived that the poor portrait painter would think her playful allusion serious.  Surely he was aware of the frightful dangers of attempting to climb the glacier in quest of the priceless jewel!

Approaching the massive river of ice and rock grinding through the gorge between the cloud-cloaked peaks, the maiden sees, to her utter disbelief, that the painter is indeed climbing upon the slick treacherous shifting glacier in pursuit of the illustrious prize of fortune. At that very moment, one of the volcanic peaks begins to smoke heavily.  The sun is blotted out by dark clouds of soot and ash.  There’s an Earth-shaking thunderous rumble. Avalanches of snow come barreling with unstoppable deadly fury down the steep mountain slopes.  The maiden’s beloved artist is alone on the hazardous glacier while the volcano begins to erupt.

The emotionally heartrending masterpieces of romantic craving scripted by Gothic novelist Sean Terrence Best are entirely at your fingertips via Books-A-Million, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble, and many other booksellers ~*


© Copyright 2019 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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