Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Unexpected Reunion


Please visit Jane's blog, 'Polaroids', for the story of her history with Henry.

Jane: -walks through the main hall of the castle, pausing in the entrance way to peek out at the waiting tour; exhaling before continuing on to the private gardens-

Jane: -slips through the iron gate to the garden and takes my usual seat on the edge of the water fountain; my back to the castle-

Jenny: *Waves* Hi I am sooo excited! Heidi said I could go on a tour today in Volterra!

Ameel: *smiles at Jenny* I here for a tour also!

Jenny: Hi Ameel! *looks at Heidi as she approaches* I am REALLY stoked for this!

Henry: *looks around, overwhelmed with emotion as I recognize the familiar furnishings of the castle from so long ago*

Ameel: *turns to Heidi* Hello beautiful lady

Jane: -sighs quietly, beginning to count the cobblestones on the path as the tourist's voices sound from inside the castle; unable to imagine how long of a day this will be-

Jenny: *Follows Heidi through the castle doors*

Ameel: Thank you alisha. You have fun too, yes? Good. *smiles and follows with Jenny on the tour*

Henry: *trails behind the group, looking around for an older version of the face of the young angel in my memories*

Jenny: *Giggles to Henry and Ameel* This place looks amazing! *follows behind Heidi through the narrow corridors*

Ameel: *looks round, listening to the tour lady* It is verrry nice. Very nice yes.

Henry: *eyebrows raise slightly and I inhale sharply, whispering to the two nearest in the tour group* I was here once when I was a young boy... it is like the castle hasn't changed since I left. It is all so familiar.

Ameel: Ah ha ha, yes? You here before?

Jenny: *Looks to Henry* It is a rather old castle... maybe your eyes are playing tricks on you?

Henry: *shakes head* No, it looks exactly as I remember it. I may be an old man, but my mind is just as sharp as ever.

Jenny: Are you sure? *Quiets down as Heidi shoots us a look*

Ameel: *frowns slightly* Very strange.

Jane: -loses count after 1349 pebbles and huffs, dropping my hands to my lap as I listen to the voices within the castle-

Henry: Yes, quite sure. *points* That painting there? Exactly the same spot. This rug? The same.

Jenny: *Looks at the rug and stops walking* Exactly the same?

Ameel: *looks where Henry points* When you here last my friend?

Henry: *taps chin* I was here when I was 6 or 7... 1947 I believe. Yes, 1947.

Henry: *follows Jenny's eyes* Yes, exactly the same.

Jenny: *raises an eyebrow* That's a long time.

Ameel: *nods* Long time ago. Very odd.

Henry: Are you implying that I am too old to remember something like that?

Heidi: *eyes bright, smiles pleasently at the group leading them through the corridors towards the study, listening to the conversations of each individual as I lead them*

Henry: Even the tour guide looks the same. *points to the statuesque tour guide*

Jenny: Oh no no! Not at all... *hurries quickly after Heidi*

Ameel: *laughs and places a hand on Henry's shoulder* No my friend. Just very odd, that is all.

Henry: *makes a grumbling sound in my chest* Well, that is better. Because I know I remember it. It is odd though...

Heidi: *tilting my head with a slight bounce in my step, speaks in a calming tone* Please everyone, stay together and I need you to quiet down so others can enjoy the tour

Jenny: *Nods at Heidi, and quiets down with an apologetic look*

Ameel: Of course pretty lady. *grins, following her*

Henry: *exchanges looks with Jenny and Ameel, winking and putting a finger on my lips*

Jane: -turns my head only slightly, listening to my sisters voice ring through the corridors as the tour nears this side of the castle-

Henry: *mutters under my breath* She even sounds the same... like an angel's voice...

Ameel: Ladies are very beautiful here. This one rather pale though. Not like Italian.

Jenny: Shhh Henry *Giggles quietly*

Heidi: *smiles with a pleased nod, hands flowing out to gesture toward the corridor leading everyone down past the entrance to our private garden* Right this way and you can see all of the exceptional masterpiece paintings of the castle

Ameel: *turns my head, nodding in appreciation*

Jenny: *Casts a glance to the garden and carries on with Heidi to the see the paintings*

Henry: *trails along with the group, stumbling slightly as I realize we are at the same garden from so long ago where I met the girl that changed my life* Hmm... I wonder... *curiousity overtakes me and I quietly slip away from the group*

Jane: -flicks my fingers at a few stray pebbles that lie on the edge of the fountain, my head kept down as I listen to the tour pass by-

Ameel: *whispers to Jenny as we walk away through the corridor* I wonder if we can buy the wine here.

Jenny: *Giggles* I hope so!

Henry: *looks up at the fountain, seeing the back of a young girl's head, brow furrowed at the deja vu of the scene*

Heidi: *points at each painting as I begin to explain the history and the artist all* As you can see we have many and we take much pride in our collection. As they have been here for many generations

Jenny: *Admires each painting*They are just amazing!

Jane: -inhales just as a breeze passes, my head lifting as I turn; seeing an elderly man standing only ten feet away- Sir. -stands, speaking politely- This is a private garden. I must ask you to leave.

Felix: *walks past the gallery, closing the door as Heidi tells the tour about each piece of artwork*

Felix: *walks down the hallway towards the garden, remembering of something I needed to speak with Jane about*

Henry: *gasps loudly at the face of the girl at the fountain* No... this cannot be... *quickly reaches for my wallet and pulls out the photograph of the girl from so long ago with a shaky hand, eyes wide with fright* It... can't... she can't be the same?

Henry: *fumbles and drops photograph*

Jane: -eyes the old man in confusion, watching the photograph he pulled from his wallet flutter to the ground; stepping forward to pick it up for him with a small smile before seeing that the girl in the photograph is me, my eyes locked on the picture-

Jane: -opens my mouth to speak, my forehead creased as I shake my head; unable to think of the proper words- Where. Where did you get this? -cranes my neck back to look at the old man, short memories flashing before me-

Henry: I... I... I... *feels face go ashen as I spin and sprint towards the garden door*

Jane: -watches the man begin to run away, dropping my mouth open further before beginning to storm after him; knowing an old man is easily outrun-

Felix: *turns the corner into the garden and body slams into a human , quickly grabbing him by the front of his shirt before he hits the ground* Where are you going *frowns looking at the old man*

Henry: *legs churn in midair as I struggle to keep running away from the impossible scene behind me before I realize the enormity of the man holding me and dangle limply in his grasp* I... I... *I trail off weakly*

Felix: *looks to Jane* Does this belong to you? *smiles crookedly*

Jane: -steps to Felix's side, glancing at the photograph once more before looking up at the old man; taking notice that his feet are not on the ground- I believe we have met before. -holds the picture up for Felix to see-

Henry: *cringes away from the girl before me* What ARE you??

Felix: *looks from Jane to the photograph and sets the old man down, straightening his tie for him* Shall I leave you to your 'guest' then? *weakly smiles*

Jane: -looks to Felix with disapproval, having no straight answer for the old man- That will not be necessary, Felix.

Henry: *looks quickly from the giant to the young girl, sidling closer to the man rather than the impossibly young woman*

Felix: *raises an eyebrow glancing down at the old gentleman* Shall I return him to the tour then?

Jane: -looks from Felix to Henry, shaking my head slowly- No. Thank you Felix. I will handle him.

Henry: *looks at the girl with an awed expression* B..b...but

Jane: -looks to the old man, slipping the photograph into the pocket of my cloak- Shall we then? -slowly raises my hand, placing it on the small of his back to get him moving-

Felix: *nods towards Jane* I will take my leave for now. I need to speak with you at your leisure *closes my eyes, tips my head and leaves the garden*

Henry: *stiffens with a jolt at the memory of the young girl leading me back to the tour group so many years ago, but decides to let her lead me* Okay, miss.

Jane: -slowly leads the man back towards my chambers, glancing down both ends of corridor before slipping inside; allowing him entry before closing the door behind him and moving to take a seat-

Henry: *stands awkwardly near the door, ready to run again if I need to* Excuse me, Miss, but could you please explain what is going on?

Jane: -looks to him, giving a weak smile- Please, take a seat. I would hate for you to stand... and I do not bite. -smiles a bit wider, leaning back into my seat-

Henry: *perches on an empty seat* How can you be the same girl as in my photograph? Surely you must be her granddaughter, great granddaughter?

Jane: -shakes my head slowly, allowing him to believe what he will- No, Henry. I am the same girl. Though, I am... special.

Henry: *sinks back into the chair, staring into space* Special... *taps chin thoughtfully* Your name is Jane, correct?

Jane: -nods- Yes, it is.

Henry: Jane... *voice shakes a bit* Throughout all of these years, whenever I face a rough spot, or come across an obstacle... *pauses* I take out this old photograph of you and at once uplifted in spirit, confident again. Your face seems to, to guard me...

Henry: *blinks rapidly* That's it! You are some kind of guardian angel! *snaps fingers*

Jane: -tilts my head slightly, having not expected that outcome as I simply nod along-

Henry: *smiles triumphantly* A beautiful guardian angels, living among the mortals. That would explain why you have not aged in all this time! *smile warms* Thank you dear, for helping me all of these years

Jane: -basks in his appreciation for a long moment before leaning into the arm of the chair I sit in- May I ask, Henry... what is it that brings you here? Most choose not to return.

Henry: *looks suprised* Well, I suppose I have always been headed back here. I have always felt like there was an invisible string tugging at my heart, keeping part of me captive. I have been working to earn the money to make the trip once again.

Henry: At the end of my life, it seemed somehow appropriate... *trails off self-conciously*

Jane: The end of your life, Henry? -raises my eyebrows in interest; slightly flattered that this man had spent his lifetime and all of his earnings on this simple trip to see me once more-

Henry: *looks down* Yes, the end of my life. It seems as though I am lost once again, stumbling across an uncrossable obstacle. My angel, I am suffering from a disease, one from which I will never recover. The pain is unbearable at times.

Henry: *looks up thoughtfully before throwing myself prone on the floor before Jane* Guardian angel, please, please... can you grant me one last favor?

Jane: -frowns deeply, nodding in understanding before widening my eyes at the sight before me, slightly startled that Henry would simply throw himself towards me- I suppose I could try.

Henry: *gulps before looking up* Please.... can you grant me a quick, peaceful death? *words begin to tumble out of my mouth* I assure you, I have no family that would miss me, no obgligations back home, my will is in order, the neighbor's son waters my garden.

Jane: -exhales slowly, knowing I must meet with Master Aro before making such a decision on my own; unsure of what to say to this man- I apologize, Henry. But I cannot give you an answer immediately.

Henry: *eyes pleading, nodding* I understand, Angel. I imagine there must be someone... *pauses with a weak smile*... Ah, higher up in the chain of the command whom you must speak with first. But please, please, put in a good word for me? Explain to Him?

Jane: -nods once- Of course, Henry. I will speak with Him and have a decision made no sooner than this time tomorrow. Please, return to the castle at sunset. I will have your answer.

Henry: *grasps Jane's hands in my own, wincing at the coldness of her skin* Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jane: -smiles childishly, standing and helping Henry to his feet- I shall see you soon, Henry. It is a promise.

Henry: *stifles a groan at the pain in my joints* Thank you, I will see you tomorrow *continues to thank Jane as I step into the hallway*

Jane: -smiles as he leaves, soon losing all expression as he goes out of sight; thinking how absolutely absurd this all is-

Felix: *nods as the old man passes me, continuing on my way towards Jane's chambers*

Henry: *scurries past the hulking man and out of the castle*
*Copyright Cullens Online June 22, 2010*

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