Raise Me Up

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.

From Emprise

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.”

4 Comments

  1. amysomday says:

    ♥·:*¨¨*:·♥
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    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  2. amysomday says:

    Reblogged this on amy somday and commented:
    Trying to hurriedly take a deeper look as I help Bill by being a beta reader. I can’t wait for him to be able to publish the third book in his trilogy. He strikes many chords in me with his art and I am thankful he trusts me to help him out.
    Bill Jones.. you are awesome Hunny!!
    Oh and thanks for one of my fave songs too!!

  3. I like it, it’s tender. What I wonder, though, is whether love stories can ever be about people who aren’t beautiful, except perhaps to each other. In fiction, such emphasis is put on the physical perfection, more or less, of the protagonists, while most of us are just, not? What do you think?

    1. I agree that most fiction places emphasis on physical beauty – too much so, in my opinion. While it is part of most people’s fantasy lives that their partner is attractive (who fantasies about being with a gorilla?), too often the attention placed on describing the partner is writing laziness. I read reviews from readers who complain about the overuse of physical descriptors, and wonder, “Why are they continuing to describe the characters?”

      I think if you’re going to achieve real romance within a realistic relationship, you have to focus more on the characters and their interactions. For instance, in this brief scene, the two characters have been best friends and constant companions for 4 years. Moreover, the actual scene takes place within a dream world. As a result, the male character is beautiful precisely because his appearance is based on how she sees him. Emotional beauty manifests itself as physical beauty.

      In other works, I’ve tried to lessen the importance of physical appearance. I don’t ignore it, as I’ve met few people who care nothing at all about looks. Still, it shouldn’t be the predominant driver in the attraction. In one book, the lead character describes what they like about their partners appearance (her “clown hair,” small breasts, and the fact that her “butt is almost too big for her body”). These are imperfections, but ones that draw them together, not apart.

      In a short story I wrote, I show a woman’s developing relationship with her husband, after a brain injury. I hope you see her bond with him develop, and feel his caring for her, through her words. However, importantly, I never describe either character. What would be cool is if people never notice.

      I think the overuse of “beauty” is attached to superficiality. True, I don’t want my leads to be physically unattractive (unless it helps the story), but neither should they be superhuman. The female lead here is the “prettiest girl in her school;” however, that is always according to her friends. Beauty is subjective; I think writers forget that, as too often they are casting the actors and actressess they think will play the lead roles in the movies.

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