Originally this was published on a tumblr blog, back when I had one. I decided to close that (or stop using it at least) and work on this story for some two years now. Slowly molding it as my own creative abilities and education grow. This is by no means a final draft, expect things to change and hopefully improve before it’s finally out. Comment below or drop me an email at MeliMachiavelli@gmail.com and let me know what you think.
“ ‘Lyse your phone” Her boyfriend’s voice was hoarse and heavy with sleep. He rolled away from her and curled up on his side. Elyse’s cellphone continued to vibrate until it fell from the nightstand. She pawed for it in the darkness. Her slender fingers finding it the slip phone under vibrating violently against the wooden floor beneath the bed. The bright light of the phone was almost blinding. Elyse opened one eye and a name slid into focus. The phone continued to vibrate in her hand as she slipped out from under the sheets naked, and tip toed toward the bathroom off of the bedroom. She knelt and she fumbled for a cigarette from the spilled contents of her purse on the floor before closing the door with a whispered click of the latch.
Lighting a cigarette, Elyse took in a deep drag, exhaled and then answered the call as her phone began to ring for the third time. Her stomach dropped at the sound of his voice.
“Lyse?” Trevor’s voice was a smooth baritone.
“Hello.” She perched herself on the edge of the claw foot tub. Still in the darkness, as if the light would draw attention to her. Trevor could always inspire anxiety within her. It’d been two years since she decided to stay with Derrick despite all her feelings for Trevor. The road they had traveled while together had not been kind to them. But Elise would ever forget the sound of his voice.
“You need to come home. It’s Diana.”
Chicago. Elyse had not seen it since she left two years ago. Diana had always been trouble but when Elyse left she made sure to cut all ties with her, not wanting to be a part of her downward spiral. Besides blood relation and a few similar features, they shared very little.
“What’s wrong with her now” She replied sleepily.
“She’s sick your mom is admitting her in a few days. “
“What about my niece and nephew?” She flicked ash into the clean white tub behind her. Something wasn’t adding up in her mind. But she couldn’t put her finger on it.
“They’re going to stay with her for a few days then I guess Aaron will be taking them.” The name alone was enough to snap her out of her sleepy haze. Aaron was the assumed father of the twins and in Elyse’s eyes a complete degenerate human being.
“I’ll be on the first flight in the morning.” She hung up on the phone without a goodbye. There was still a lingering bit of rage toward Trevor, but this feeling she had were not the normal butterflies of anxiety. Elyse powered down her phone and placed it face down on the black bathmat. Barely awake, she focused on her cigarette.
Dawn quickly came, slashing streaks of purple and pink across the indigo of the twilight sky. Her cigarette burned down to the filter leaving ash on her knees and thighs. She brushed her legs clean, stood up, and dropped the butt into the toilet while rubbing her eyes. There was no rubbing away the sleep she still needed. Elyse looked herself over in the mirror. She was six feet tall with dyed jet black hair that hung just above her waist. She had almond-shaped dark brown eyes and a round nose over full lips. The light of dawn gave her tired eyes and wild hair a ghostly appearance. She examined herself before rinsing her mouth out with the mouthwash on the sink counter and then heading back to the bed she shared with her Derrick.
Climbing in next to him, Derrick rolled back over and his heavy muscular arm fell across her. She found her favorite spot on the cool bed, pulling the grey jersey cotton sheet up over them. Comforted by the smell of his cologne and how he squeezed her gently while sleeping. She ran her hand up and down his arm in love with the way their skin tones contrasted. He was a golden tan against her bronze sun-kissed skin.
Pushing the worries of what was to come once she landed in Chicago and all the arrangements that awaited her in the morning, she resigned herself to sleep and it came quickly. There was no relief within dreams for Elyse. The black waters of sleep reached up and washed over her, leaving her afloat in warm water being brought to the moonlit shores of a place that felt like home.
She sat up coughing, soaked through her clothes, a long purple dress made of several silks and cinched at her waist with a brown leather belt.
“You returned to us.” Elyse looked up to see a woman in a black robe and a similar purple silk dress standing away from at the edge of a forest thick and dark. Lights seemed to float between the trees as far as Elyse could see.
“You’ve forgotten again, but it will come back to you. We should get inside.” The woman had a patient face, lightly lined with wisdom, or age she couldn’t tell. Her hair was dark brown streaked with silver that caught the sunlight, she wore it pulled back into a long braid.
Pulling herself to up on her feet, the sand fell away like dust as she walked toward this woman who seemed to know her. She felt no fear or sadness, only comfort and love that poured from the woman’s dark hazel eyes.
“Where are we?” Elyse finally answered as the woman pulled up her hood, and handed Elyse another cloak of black wool that matched her own.
“Home.” Was all she replied with and they moved through the woods. Elyse realized she wasn’t barefoot, a pair of leather boots laced up to her knees. The woods were thick and the lights she thought were floating moved around her, voices coming from the shadows that held them. Black robes that matched her own, but their faces were shadows, their hands as dark as the night sky around them. A looming stone structure faced them down as they edged toward the clearing the massive woods.
Elyse found herself standing on a deserted Michigan avenue in front of a large old red brick building.
The trees slowly became shadows and disappeared, yet the woman was standing with her still. Elyse wore a leather jacket over her shoulders, a violet silk dress down to her black boots.
“Home, young one. I told you, home.” As if she could read Elyse’s thoughts.
“You are coming here again, yes? Coming back to this city, your city.” She looked at Elyse with those smiling hazel eyes, bright now in the city lights.
“Yes, my sister. I have to come back here. I don’t want to come back here.”
“You will soon. But first you have to wake up.” The woman’s face became Elyse’s mother’s as the sun rose quickly behind them, the bright star seemed to crack the sky open and fill it with light. Just as the sunlight hit Elyse’s eyes, and she felt the hard corners of reality slowly creep in and wash away her dream.