My Name Whispered

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mystical short story on life and love

Submitted: September 27, 2013

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Submitted: September 27, 2013

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9/7/11

  She was sitting outside the Salvation army with a bottle of Jack in her lap singing hymns.
This is my neighborhood..could it be anymore ironic?
She looked up and caught my eye. Usually, I would just smile at those kind of people and look away, but not this time. She called out to me. I always tell my children, "Just nod politely and keep walking." But I didn't, I couldn't. Something about her was very captivating. She was dressed like a biker or a modern day Gypsy. She could have been ten or twenty years older than me, but I was not sure. Something about her seemed timeless to me.She asked me my name and I told her my middle name, that's what I usually do. She laughed at me and smiled like she knew I was not being completely honest. And she said, "Do you have time for a short story?" Before I could reply with an excuse she said, "Once I had a name too but I lost it." Something in her voice or the way she expressed this made me laugh and she started to sing. I could not understand the language she sang in.. but something about it was familiar, ancient and free. The sound of it reminded me of nature in the spring...rushing, tumbling, awakening the soul. It made me feel like dancing.  She got up, and in what seemed like two quick strides, covered the twenty feet of ground between the side walk and the Salvation Army's front door and took my hand, doing a little jig around me. And she began to sing,

"Once I was like you." "I had a life, a love, a name."

"But my life was hard, my love was cruel and my name meant nothing to anyone, not even me."

"I gave it up one summer night when I felt like a queen"...

"for a dream, my child, for a dream"...

" for a god of the night, for a song at dawn"...

"for a changeling who played me like a song"...

"there was no promises of a life, love or name"...

"but I took it child, I took it all the same"...

" and I pay now for my moment in life of bliss"...

"and it brought me to this, child"...

"it brought me to this"...

She stopped singing and looked at me long and hard. She was not looking through me like most drunks do. She looked into me and it felt like a bolt of lightning. She said, "You are a beautiful person." I told myself, "What else would a drunk woman say!" She pulled me close to her and I expected to be assaulted by the smells of Jack and sweat... Instead, I smelled the musky scent of woods, wild flowers, fresh air on her skin and mint on her breath. I could not move as she embraced me. Something about her life, her presence, was all enveloping like her scent. I wanted to stay there with her forever but something else in me wanted to run and never look back. "You and your love", she whispered, "your true love, will always have a name..And that name will always be loved and never forgotten." "Life is cruel, don't let it crush your hope." "Let your love be your signature, your mark...a scar, even, that says, you have overcome." "Your love is worth more than money, friendship or power." "But love's face?" "Do not expect to see it fully turned to you on this earth and you will be satisfied with your life, your love and yourself." My heart was pounding so loudly by then it was ringing in my ears. I felt sweaty and cold at the same time. The cold burned up my spine and my head started reeling. I closed my eyes and felt myself falling back. When I opened them I saw, blue sky.. so very blue, like there had never been, and never would be, another cloud in it.

I was laying on the grass in front of the Salvation Army. There were a group of bikers standing over me, looking down with concerned faces and asking me if I was OK. There was an empty bottle of Jack on the ground about ten feet from my head. I closed my eyes and thought, "this is my neighbor hood, you can't get anymore ironic." As the men helped me up off the ground I was assaulted by the scents of alcohol, coffee, sweat and bad breathe. I told them I was ,"just fine." I just wanted to get away from them. I felt so stupid and embarrassed. As I stood up and brushed myself off they backed away. I heard a crow cawing loudly and we all tuned our heads. The bird was right in the tree next to us. It was white.. A large white crow. I thought I was seeing things, but they all began to talk at the same time. "What is that?" "Is that a crow?" "It can't be!" "Never seen anything like it!" I knew it was a crow, "The White Crow". And I heard the her' voice once more, whispering to me, as I closed my eyes. " Once I had a name." I asked them if they had seen the woman I was talking to earlier, before I passed out. They all looked at me strangely and one of them said, " There was no one but you here miss." And somehow I was not surprised.


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