I think it’s important for me to write every day, or as often as time allows, and that is not something I have ever done before. So without further ado, I will begin writing here the first installment of the first short story in a series of short stories. (These are works of fiction. Therefore, any resemblances to persons living or dead are merely coincidental. Just kidding! Or am I? No, it is. Or is it? Hmmm)
Short Story Series 1 – Part 1 (SSS1-1)
Snow had not yet fallen, but it was a chilly winter afternoon just after Thanksgiving in 1972 when I first met her, the one that got away.
The ringing of my olive green phone was muted from its resting spot on the coordinated orange and green, speckled shag rug that lay just in front of the glowing fireplace. It was my neighbor, Kathleen Thompson, a slightly older lady calling to invite me over for cocktails. Her niece was in town, didn’t know anyone, so, Kathleen thought I might like to make her acquaintance. We settled on a time that evening – six o’clock. When I put the receiver down, I was a little flushed for not really being in the mood to meet a young woman. But, Kathleen was a good friend and neighbor and I was happy to oblige. I could make small talk. I’d have a martini, try to smile and pass the time cordially.
Our houses were actually quite far apart. The region of the Colorado Rockies where we lived was laid out in parcels of five, ten, even twenty acres and a visit to a neighbor was likely a walk of several minutes. But, it was always a beautiful one in any direction. Kathleen lived to the left and her roof was about 50 feet below mine. I could see it from my back deck. To the right lived Harvey Kettleman, a retired banker. The windy road we all lived on was paved, though you wouldn’t know it in the summer when the winds blew. After a tumbleweed race, it would be covered in reddish brown dirt. It actually looked kind of nice against a backdrop of blue spruce trees.
I was an architect. I say “was” because after Lydia “got away,” I quit the business and devoted myself to the fine art of painting, oil, tempura, and mischteknic. That was her name Lydia Talbot. Talbot was the married name of Kathleen’s sister.
Six o’clock nearly came and went without my notice. But, when my late grandmother’s grandfather clock chimed six times, I made haste and jumped in the shower for five minutes. I figured that as informal as this was, I could be a little late.
Kathleen’s house was a typical mountain A-frame house with four bedrooms and three and a half baths – something I notice, as an architect. I rang the doorbell expecting Kathleen to answer, but when the door opened I was just enamored by the beautiful young smiling woman who answered. I think I was in a trance. Her naturally colored lips seem to move in slow-motion, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. I heard a few angelic harmonies in the ether all around me and she was glowing. I don’t know how many seconds it took for me to snap out of it, but I felt a strong magnetic force emanate from her when I extended my hand and introduced myself.
“My name is Patrick Kendall and I live next store.”
“Yes, Patrick. I’m Lydia Talbot. We’ve been expecting you,” she unhesitatingly countered.
I was tingling all over when, rather than let go of my hand immediately, she gently pulled me inside slowly releasing her grip as she shut the door with the other hand. Then I was in the grip of her perfume, a fragrance unlike anything I’ve ever known. Only I’m sure it wasn’t perfume – it was her. At once subtle and potent. Fate was serenading my senses.
“Is that Patrick,” Kathleen shouted from the open kitchen in the center of the house?
“Indeed it is,” I replied! I needed an opportunity to break free from this debilitating enchantment. I mean, it was quite sublime but I had to maintain some decorum, keep my senses well-grounded. I did not know anything about Lydia or just why she was so absolutely alluring, but I was certain I would quickly grow addicted to her. I clearly would have my chance to know her this evening, if not ever again.
© 2018 Michael Armenia