Illusions & Reality
“Oh, I don’t ‘spect so. I think they lost the bow long time ago, and I believe she said strings
all broke. Neck’s surely warped. No, I don’t ‘spect so.”
Shannon nodded. “That’s too bad. I would have liked to have listened. My grandparents said
that’s how they met, dancing to that fiddle music.”
“Married a good long time then, eh?”
Shannon smiled. “They were married fifty years, until he died of a heart attack. She passed
soon after. I think she just missed him.”
“Who were your grandparents, if you don’t mind m’ asking?”
“John and Laurie Abbott. They met right here, while he was still in the Merchant Marines.
He got stranded here for a bit and found this place. Came in to get warm and wait for his ship.
That’s how he met Gramma.”
“Oh? Sounds romantic.”
“It was. He came back two months later, just like he promised, and they were never
separated again. Only death did that.”
The agent smiled. “And death brung ‘em back close again, eh?”
“It surely did.” Shannon wiped a single tear away. “Well, thank you, I’ve seen enough. I
don’t think I want to buy this place. It needs too much work. But thanks anyway.”
“Well, I do have some other places, if you’re interested.”
Shannon followed the woman, getting to the doorway to the outside when something
stopped her. She was never quite sure, but it felt like a gentle kiss across the back of her neck,
where her Grampa always used to tickle her. She froze in her steps.
It came soft and gentle, flowing like a warm current on a winter’s day. A plaintive melody
played in her ear, almost too quietly. She turned around, half expecting to see the dancers on the
floor, whirling in gaily colored dresses and blue suits. Then, the tune picked up; she could really
hear it now. It was a ghostly melody, one that she knew very well.
St. Anne’s Reel . . . that’s the song, St. Anne’s Reel . . . .
“You mumbled something.”
She turned her focus back to the room, but it was silent again.
“I said, you know, maybe I might take this place after all. I like a fixer upper just fine.”
~ ~ ~ ~
A Kiss on the Hand
Inspired by, and dedicated to, the Lady Fylbrigge, who’s just as twisted and warped as I
Josh took out the polishing cloth and went to it.