Warm water flowed at the behest of gravity, absolving body and soul alike in the silent vestibule of reprieve. Question not my son your good fortune, his dad would say, but fall on bended knee and give thanks, for that which is given by the hand of grace can be taken just as quickly by the foot of hubris. She had taken the news just as he had imagined and he had wondered upon the day angels conspired to touch the heart of one such as his beloved Caitlin.

Prepare yourself, she had said, for a night filled with the love of many moons distilled into mere hours. I love you dearly my captain, and if you don’t know the depth and breadth of my well, I intend to remove all doubt before Rubion and Triste turn the melanic sky blue as watered milk. With a crystal reflected wink and a firm blessing to his hide, she had sent him to clean up while she prepared their sanctuary of repose.

As he stood under the cascading shower, his feet firmly planted on the imported nankeen tile, rising steam cleansed each pore with a diligence to match the occasion. One night, he reflected, to stock the granary of his mind for the long voyage ahead. Lose yourself in the moment; swim with the current for the shore of tomorrow’s siren call will steal your appointment with life given half a chance.

Caitlin lit the last of a hundred candles moving quickly to place the cardinal flowers of passion beside the purpure ones of fidelity. She had picked them from her garden in the morning to grace dinner, but as a sailor sets sail on a changing wind, such had events shifted their tack. Each flower released a slightly different aroma, which symbiotically trumped the finest handmade oils. Memory, her mother had taught, is strongest in the regions of smell—a lesson not forgotten and more invaluable than she had ever imagined at the time. She knew her competition and she would fight memory with memory in the mind of her peripatetic husband.

Slipping on her silk crimson kimono with luteous trim, Caitlin’s trembling hands slowly and gently fastened the sash as lovers fasten bows for the purpose of release; she smiled reflecting the same fate awaited the fresh linens so carefully tucked only hours before. Her hair was naturally primrose, which she highlighted with essence of goldenrod giving forth a metallic sheen that looked charged with sparkle in the soft light of distant stars. Red eye shadow stood in marked contrast on her pristine porcelain white skin, framing sapphire blue eyes as lush meadows bow at the feet of mountain lakes fed from the sacrifice of spring snows.

John emerged into the orchestrated symphony of light and aroma with eyes only for the maestro standing center stage. They say souls know not neither time nor distance in the weaving of two into one and in this instance, neither the hounds of hell nor the angels of heaven could have pierced the space between his eyes and hers. The room seemed to expand and contract with the sighs of its keep as a mother might with the happiness of an only child. John would say many years later there was only one date ever left blank in his journal, for the unfolding of events in those hours of union rose to a level beyond the language of men and into the realm of kindred spirits given entry to the playground of angels.

Categories: Story, John Discovery, Caitlin