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Keridwen
February 26th, 2012, 04:40 AM
Something in the Way She Moves


Thereís something in the way she moves, I reflect absently as I watch the light reflect off the honey streaks in her hair. There isnít much about her that doesnít sing of summer, from her dancing eyes of brown with flecks of green, to the impossibly graceful and almost fluid way she walks.

I am lying on my front, with my chin propped up on my hands. The grass beneath me gives off a sweet, earthy scent as I go about my unabashed observation. She sits a little way away from me, her mind lost in the book she holds casually in one of her perfect hands. Her green dress wisps about her, seeming in itself to be quite alive, and I am struck anew by effect she is having on me.

As I stare at her, I can actually feel the warmth exuding from my eyes. A silly, beatific smile overtakes my usually dour mouth, and I hope that she doesnít look up from her book and think me the fool that I am.

Yes, I am a fool, and quite a literal one at that. I feel a cold, snaking tendril of unease twist its way up through my stomach and into my mind at this renewed realisation. There is a demon in my mind, a demon I invited in and have not yet had the courage to eject. He is most powerful at night, which is quite common among those of his ilk. When I lay my head down to sleep, I feel him stir. He perches on the end of my bed and smiles almost wryly at me, as if he is no beginner to the task on which he is about to embark.

I usually turn over; closing my eyes resolutely against his mocking glare, but it is to no avail. It is always fruitless, and I find myself careening towards places I should not let myself go, but find myself in nonetheless.

A rustle in the grass and I am snapped from my reverie, to meet her clear, calm eyes through what was just moments before an atmosphere most dense and choking, but is now dazzling, light and uplifting. She smiles at me, her eyes crinkling in innocent joy. My mind immediately responds, my face breaking from its terrible expression of seconds before into an indulgent smile. I breathe deeply as she turns back to her book, my head for the moment clear of the consuming black mist.

She has been with me for quite a long time now. I have had girlfriends before, do not misunderstand me, but since she has been in the picture, that demon seems to dull and dull, until he only appears when she is nowhere near. It has never challenged her. I do not think that it could.

On one memorable occasion, which has been repeated numerous times since our association, I awoke in my bed, my eyes wide and unfocused. Sweat beaded on my head and I gripped the sheet, my hand whitened with strain. It was absolutely, entirely useless. There was no hope, there was no hope at all. Nothing could help; my logical mind had fled utterly. All I knew was fear, and all I felt was an infantile longing for human contact to dispel the mares of the night.

Then, as if in answer to my prayer, I felt a cool hand on my arm, and suddenly the fog seemed to dissipate. Something was urging it away, or sucking it in. My eyes cleared and I turned, to see her sleepy eyes, narrowed in concern and something else I could not identify. Her hand did not leave mine for the rest of the night, and all the ill was siphoned away. My mind, which had just seconds before been screaming for a memory of happiness and good times, was now awash with vivid recollections of friends, conversation, and those rare moments of love that your brain can cling to in moments of madness.

It is as if in advertisement to the rest of the world; the defiance I felt when I was well was palpable. Nothing could reach me, I said, and my head tilted a little higher, and my shoulders were a little straighter.

She seems to have this power to go where no one else can find me. I donít know if it is worse when we are in company. When the demon taps at my subconscious in the daylight hours, I retreat into myself, and my eyes (I am told) take on a glazed and absent look. Giving one word answers, I usually take no notice of my surroundings until she leans in close to me, murmuring senseless words into my ears. It doesnít really matter what she says, or how she strings the concepts together, or even the context from which she pulls them. All that matters is that she is close, and using her beautiful voice to calm me down. And then I am fine.

She usually turns back to the group, her eyes slightly duller, but still smiling, still vigorous. She is an absolute wonder.

I roll over onto my back, but she is still in my peripheral vision. I wonder if my devotion to her is damaging me somehow. It doesnít seem as if my demons can be banished so easily, but the legitimacy and togetherness I feel when I am with her dispels even this misery. Something that feels so right cannot possibly be wrong.

Lost in the maze of my mind, I almost donít notice her expression straight away when she turns her big brown eyes my way again, as if to check on my state of mind. There is a small element of strain in the way she holds her mouth now, it seems, and her eyes contain something which seems oddly familiar to me. But the expression passes as she warms up her eyes and turns them back to her book.

I am momentarily disquieted. My mind casts itself back to just yesterday, when I chanced across her in a strange position in the backyard. She was crouched beneath the large gum tree, her head resting on its trunk. I could not see her face, but one of her fingers caressed a flower that grew in the shade of the great tree.

Hearing my grassy footfall, she turned her head, and was not quick enough to mask the expression that lingered on her features. It seemed to transform them from their usual, sublime arrangement to a twisted parody that served to frighten me. Seeing my concern, she gained control of herself and stood up, her eyes clearing. Wordlessly, she put her arms around me and we stood there under the tree for a while. Oddly, I felt very far from her at that moment, and something niggled at the back of my mind. Something I was missing, something I should probably know and understand.

Looking at her now, I can barely give credit to my observations of her, but I do force myself to. It was true that she had become quieter of late, perhaps more pensive. She had always been a calm person who had a quieting effect on others, but public introspection was not her way. Is there something on her mind? Is sheÖ is she perhaps fighting demons of her own?

The thought comes to me unbidden, and I immediately reject it. Despite all the odd expressions in the world, it is simply not possible.

She is looking at me again, her book forgotten next to her. My troubled eyes devour her and she smiles at me. She shuffles closer to me on the grass, and puts her arm around my shoulder. I smile back, and rest my head on her lap.

As she strokes my hair, I can see her eyes unfocussed and staring absently into nothing. I screw my eyes tightly shut and can only give myself up to the feel of her hand on my head, drawing away my cares.

All is well.

riverdog
February 29th, 2012, 05:06 PM
"And I feel fine, anytime she's around me now. She's around me now, almost all the time, and I feel fine."

-James Taylor, Something in the Way She Moves

toddm
March 1st, 2012, 04:51 AM
It must be that spring is close, I just wrote a similar piece to this - anyway, I thought this was a nice, honest and engaging piece, particularly the first 3rd or so - Honestly, I got bogged down in the middle somewhere and never quite recovered. I think it may be something about the undefined "demon" (lust?) - Here are few humbly offered suggestions for the first section:


Something in the Way She Moves

There’s something in the way she moves, (italicize internal dialogue) I reflect absently as I watch the light reflect off the honey-streaks in her hair. There isn’t much about her that doesn’t sing of summer, from her dancing brown eyes with flecks of emerald, to the impossibly (I would strike much of this, especially "impossibly" and say something like "...to the graceful enchantment of her every movement." graceful and almost fluid way she walks.

I am lying on my chest ("front" for some reason struck me as an odd expression), with my chin propped upon my hands. The grass beneath my chin exudes a sweet, earthy fragrance as I engage in my unabashed observation. She sits a little ways apart from me, her mind engrossed in the book (maybe give the title of the book here - maybe make it something ironic to this piece) she holds casually in one of her perfect (what makes it perfect? say that instead: shapely, lovely, tender, slender: paint a picture) hands. Her green (does it have to be green? you already have green specks in her eyes, and green grass - liven the picture up with some color: lavender, pale-pink etc) dress wisps about her in the light breeze, seeming in itself to be a living raiment, and I am struck anew by effect (what effect? say that: "...the enchanting (or intoxicating or overwhelming etc) effect...) she is having on me.

As I contemplate her, I am conscious of a warmth emanating from my eyes. A blissful grin overtakes my usually dour mouth, and I hope that she doesn’t look up from her book and think me the fool that I am.

Yes, I am indeed quite a fool. I feel a cold, snaking tendril of unease twist its way up through my stomach and into my mind at this renewed realisation. There is a demon in my mind, a demon I invited in and have not yet had the courage to eject. He is most powerful at night, which is quite common among those of his ilk. When I lay my head down to sleep, I feel him stir. He perches on the end of my bed and smiles almost wryly at me, as if he is no beginner at the task which he is about to undertake.

I usually turn over and close my eyes resolutely against his mocking temptation, but to no avail. It is always fruitless, and I find myself careening towards places I should not let myself go, but nonetheless find myself in.

A rustle in the grass and I am snapped from my reverie, to meet her clear, calm eyes through what was just moments before an atmosphere most dense and choking, but is now dazzling, light and uplifting. She smiles at me, her eyes sparkling in innocent joy. My mind immediately responds, my face breaking from its terrible expression of seconds before into an indulgent smile. I breathe deeply as she turns back to her book, my head for the moment clear of the consuming black mist.

She has been with me for quite a long time now. I have had girlfriends before, do not misunderstand me, but since she has been in the picture, that demon seems to grow duller, until he only appears when she is nowhere near. It has never challenged her. I do not think that it could.


Forgive my extensive edits, just a few ideas to add richness and clarity to this very nice piece - I don't have time to go through the entire piece like this, but you get the idea -

take care
---todd

Keridwen
March 1st, 2012, 01:38 PM
"And I feel fine, anytime she's around me now. She's around me now, almost all the time, and I feel fine."

-James Taylor, Something in the Way She Moves

Wonderful! I wrote this piece because I have been listening to a lot of James Taylor lately. This song tells us all about how fine HE is (obviously) but seems to completely ignore the question of whether SHE is fine. Especially the line "it doesn't matter what she says; or how she thinks; or where she's been...." I admit to setting myself a little "verse to prose" excercise.

Thanks very much for the ideas, todd. I confess I did not intend the "demon" to be lust, more a sort of consuming depression, for her to siphon out of him and experience herself.

caitiejade003
March 4th, 2012, 09:43 AM
At first I feared this story would be a bit sentimental, but I thought how his mood was transferred to her made it much more interesting. I think the "demon" does need clarification/further detail, and you could add in a hint or two about where it comes from. Maybe it sort of runs in the family by nature or nurture, or both. I also think you could choose a more interesting title -- the current one is a bit generic.