[Beware the Fingers of Gods - flash story]
Lightening flashed overhead, like the finger of one god reaching out to touch the finger of another. If lightening were fingers of gods, did humans arc between them like static arcs between two human who reached towards each other without quite touching? Were gods forever separated, not quite touching, imprisoned in their starry constellations, like Lester and her?
Why could her parents not see how much they loved each other? Lester was perfect ever since they met online. Skylar was forced to sneak out of the house to meet him. She had envisioned them meeting face-to-face for the first time at sunset, her perfect in her Junior prom gown and Lester in a tuxedo like Jace wore. Kissing, him offering her flowers, and then dining in candlelight at Olson’s Steakhouse private room.
Her dream was far from reality. Wind tried to tear her winter coat from her shivering body. The booming thunder hurt the ears, while the flashing lights rendered her effectively blind against the night’s darkness. Skylar could hear the approaching rain, including popping hail. She dashed for the bus shelter at Second and Oak, where Lester had told her to meet earlier today. She had texted him on a friend’s phone at school, letting him know her parents had grounded her computer time and taken away her phone. She didn’t want to lose him and begged him to wait; her parents always changed their minds, so she didn’t expect the month-long grounding to last a week.
He responded with his own request, one chance to meet her before her parents locked her away in an ivory tower. Lester offered to climb a thorny rose lattice to ascend into the tower her parents were building, if only for a second to gaze upon the beauty he so far had only witnessed through the inadequate photos she furnished. How could a girl resist such poetry?
“Maybe I should ask Lester the question about the fingers of gods when he gets here.” Skylar mused. The bus shelter started to rattle as hail hit. The Plexiglas walls kept the wind shear down; her feet remained freezing as rain driven by wind snuck under the raised plastic. Hail bounced in through the front opening, but the driving wind came from behind so the ice pellets carried no sting.
Her hair lifted from the rear and a voice whispered, “What do you want the fingers of a god to do?”
She jumped, nearly outside the shelter. Behind her was a man she had never seen before. Gray touched his temple, his cheekbones were harshly cut, his eyebrows shaded black eyes. “Lester?” Skylar whispered. Her voice drowned in the winter thunderstorm.
“If that is what you will delight in calling me, I will accept to be called such.” The man twitched his black wool coat like a cape and made a stately bow.
Skylar shook her head in confusion. “No, no. Lester is in school like me. A freshman at the University.”
“I was such once.” The man’s voice soothed, and Skylar found herself relaxing despite her underlying fear. “Time is such an imperfect master. Does one cease to be what one was when one develops into other things, or does that original being still remain within, a part of one’s past, present and future?”
“I…I don’t know.” The man spoke like Lester wrote. In her heart-of-hearts, Skylar was assured this was her forever love. She needed to let him know she understood. The two days past her eighteenth birthday girl reached to the older man.
Clasping her hand with his own, he brought her hand up to touch his cheek like it was the most precious action in his existence. The man who agreed to be called Lester then kissed her palm with reverence. “Yes, for the soul remains as young as it feels.” Skylar’s coat sleeve slipped down, exposing her wrist to his questing lips. “And the soul shall be as old as it thinks.” A flash of lighting caught a hint of teeth before Lester bit down.
(words 675 – first published 11/27/2013; republished in new blog format on 5/8/2016)