Era of a Feeling

Sasaki Twilight Atmosphere

Shafts of sunlight cut through the dark green leaves. The trees were silhouetted against the setting sun. Red light rolled over the hills; the château was painted burgundy in the dying rays. High above, the shade of the sky faded to periwinkle and the moon rested in the growing cold.

Alli stood on the grounds, in a wool sweater, trainers and jeans. Nealy was walking toward her, dressed for riding – in a long-sleeved, loose white shirt and tall black boots. She stopped several paces away, by the old white swing.

I can barely remember you anymore, Alli thought.

The disc of the sun was lost beyond the poplars. The shadows on the mansion stretched backward, further away in time. Forgotten vines of ivy had creeped down the façade.

Nealy did not move and regarded Alli with a steady gaze. Alli felt herself pulled farther back in time. Every penumbra joined the darkness of the night and evening fell.


The Supernumerary


Ran sat in the well. The sky was white. The pods of newly unfurled leaves floated down, the donations of the beginning of spring. She stared up at the yellow-green waif-like plants, and then looked at the well wall in front of her, an impenetrable gray surface, down there in the gloom. In Maine, on Kaan’s property, she closed her eyes, soul moving around the darkened barrier, to a room beyond, a dim room, with red carpeting, in a château, in the south of France.

The room was ornate, set in a Baroque style. There was a grandfather clock, giving off a muffled clicking, over-wrought side tables and a resplendent golden davenport, made in Italy in the 1600s. A glass decanter of port sat on the heavy walnut desk of the study. The room opened out into a balcony. Translucent, white chiffon curtains floated upward, in the breeze of the late summer afternoon. Nealy stood just inside the doorway, with a glass of wine, in a beige three-piece suit and a red ascot, heavy golden rings on each hand.

Nealy turned as Ran slunk out of the shadows in the room, still wearing the jeans and cashmere sweater she had been wearing at the bottom of the well. The wind rustled some papers on the desk, held down only by a fountain pen.

“This needs to end,” Ran growled, “She is my girlfriend now, not yours.”

“How do you know that she ever stopped being my girlfriend?” Nealy asked. Beyond the balcony, the full, broad leaves of summer danced in the gentle gusts.

“She broke up with you years ago. We may look alike, but you’re on the other side of the world. I am the one she has now!” Ran said.

Nealy looked down, studying the glass of port, “No, you are the double, the clone. I am the true girlfriend.”

“Why, you -!” Ran choked out, and rushed forward, not knowing what she would do. But Nealy looked up, with a frozen glare. Ran felt herself transfixed, riveted with terror, under the unrelenting gaze. The pages got loose, from under the pen, and whipped around the room.

She woke up, eyes roving the ceiling, raking the room for any signs of the château, the chandelier, the bronze candlesticks.

Ran found herself back in her bedroom, in New York, Alli asleep, and unaware, reclining beside her.


Second image courtesy of Kristina Stipetic


Mendelssohn – The Hebrides, overture in B minor for orchestra (‘Fingal’s Cave’), Op. 26