"Are you really sure that a floor cannot also be a ceiling?" M.C. Escher
and then the photo:
|photo by Keith Misner courtesy Unsplash|
I love wood floors of all varieties. Each plank has a character all its own, perhaps a memory of the tree from which it is hewed. So that's the aspect of the challenge that I've decided to focus on this week.
Now, I want to return to characters I introduced here, although I will need to warn you there is a giant chunk missing from last time we saw them. Patience is still on the path to get her sister back, but this scene comes after her time with the Natives from the last scene. Jeb Grayson is preparing for a showdown against the Lassiers.
If you're new to the story line, and you would like to start at the beginning, follow the Label: Patience.
I offer the following in response: A Fading Luxury
Patience sucked a breath of private pleasure as her feet, unhindered by house-shoes, connected with the wooden floor. She couldn’t remember when last she walked barefoot across planks polished to a shine. Her trials took her all over the wild and uncivilized territories to rescue her sister, and Boston, once a part of her very blood, seemed a distant memory.
A wooden floor, creaking beneath her weight, was pure luxury. She appreciated it even more than she did her cavalry hosts stationed at Fort Atherton.
A light rap sounded at the door, followed by Jeb’s graveled voice. “Boston, you awake, girl?”
Patience reached for her dressing gown and opened the door just enough to converse through. “Mr. Grayson, you’re early. I am not yet presentable.”
He averted his eyes and removed the hat she had come to believe was permanently affixed to his head. Jeb appeared nervous, anxious, coaxing concern from the pit of her heart. “Well, there’s no easy way to say this and I’ve never been one to dance about a subject. I came to tell you goodbye.”
His words stung. She tasted bile in her throat and pulled the door inward. “Goodbye? I don’t understand. Where are you going?”
He ran his fingers around the brim of his hat. “Look, I promised to help you git yer sister back, but where we’ve gotta go next…where I gotta go and what I gotta do…a lady like yerself shouldn’t be any part of.”
His tone was so earnest. Panic seized her soul. “Don’t be absurd, Mr. Grayson. I’m coming with you.”
“Now the captain said yer welcome to stay here, or there’s a stage arrivin’ tomorrow that could take you home.”
“No, I can’t go. Not without Charity.”
Her protests ignored, Jeb continued. “Now if I succeed, Miss Charity and I will be back before long.”
“If you succeed. If?” Patience flung the door wide on its hinges and gripped her dressing gown tightly about her shoulders. “What do you mean if?”
“Whatjya think I meant?” he barked, fire flashing in his eyes. He took a breath and his tone softened. “Look Boston, I told you a hunnard times the Lassiers ain’t for messin' with. I kick that hornet nest and there’s a very real chance that the devil’ll be there to collect what I owe him.”
“I can help—“
“I don’t doubt that. I’ve seen you shoot. But we’ll be outnumbered thirty to one and there’s no use in gitting us both shot full of holes, or worse.” He finally met her gaze. “They take you, like they took yer sister? No. This is where we part ways. You stay safe, Boston.”
Jeb turned, leaving her alone at the doorway. “How could I ever be safe without you?” Patience whispered as he retreated, his silhouette dark against the rising sun. She held her breath until he cast a long look back from the fort gates. In one fearful beat, her porcelain heart shattered.
Some of the WoE crowd mentioned during the assessment that they aren't always sure when it's okay to leave criticism. I'll try to remember to be a better citizen and put a note at the end of my responses to the prompt, but if I don't, comments and constructive critiques are ALWAYS welcome here. Okay? Okay. so, let me have it. Give me what you've got. I can take it.