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Echoes within Echoes
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Echoes within echoes

©Virginia Alison

Alison sighed as she tore herself away from the laptop. Taking her glasses off and rubbing her weary eyes, she realised that the story had taken her way into the night. The old wooden chair creaked as she rose to her feet and the sounds bounced around the cavernous room, in which the only other audible noise was the popping of the logs in the fireplace. Stretching her aching bones, she wrapped the blanket around her shoulders and padded into the chilly kitchen. Standing at the window as she filled the kettle and watching the snowflakes drifting on the breeze, suddenly she shivered involuntarily as someone walked over her grave, how she hated the winter.

Hunger gnawed at her stomach as she gazed in the fridge. A late breakfast had been many hours ago and although she felt that eating something would be beneficial, she really could not be bothered to cook. Grabbing the peanut butter, jelly and milk, she threw a sandwich together whilst waiting for the kettle to boil and hastened back to the living room to consume her meagre supper, huddled by the fire.

The computers bouncing screensaver glared insidiously at her, as she sipped her tea. Demanding her attention, urging her to return to the fantasy that she had built so laboriously over the past weeks, the word document lay hidden just beneath the surface of the bubbles that swirled around the screen, calling for her to continue. Really, she should go to bed, but maybe just a few more minutes would finish the chapter, which would ease her mind, and she could start refreshed in the morning.

The computer sprang into life and the document, with her half-finished sentence, stared at her. Her hands, poised on the worn keys, refused to move. Her heroine was about to be ravished by the man of her dreams but how did the girl feel? Did she feel trepidation, or fear, exhilaration or desire? It all seemed so surreal as she put herself in the young woman’s shoes or lack of shoes, as she was partially undressed anyway, and asked herself, how would I feel?

Well that was even more of a difficult question, especially after the conversation she had had this morning with David, when he had accused her of being unfaithful. Outraged and shaking, she had protested her innocence, but it took a while for him to understand what had happened and made even more arduous because the conversation took place through email chat. He had finally understood that he had wrongly accused her, but by then it was too late, and the day had gone from bad to worse. The final straw came two hours ago, when she had written about two thousand words and realised, that none of it should ever see the light of day, it really was that bad. So scrapping the lot, she went back to the beginning of the chapter and tried once again, to visualise her characters passions that had led them to this pivotal point.

The words would not come. She attempted all sorts of interesting nuances on the usual ‘lovemaking’ theme, but none of them seemed quite right. She wanted some grit in their passion, the crux of the whole story hinged on this one scene, it would make or break the tediousness of the same old, same old ‘heaving breasts, gasping, panting, rods and sheaths,’ kind of sex that littered the book.

With any sense, she should shut the lid on this and leave it for the night, her feelings were still running high from the heated discussion, but she knew sleep would not come easily so she closed her eyes and began to take a few deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Concentrating her mind on the tantric exercises David had taught her, she slowed her racing heart and the stress of the day gradually eased from her thoughts as the swirling silence took over.

There they were, her beautiful couple, alone together on a deserted beach. The sun was touching the horizon, spreading an orange glow across the gently rippling sea. The water lapped at their feet as they lay in each other’s arms, their love, obvious by the look in their eyes. No words were required, they had said it all throughout the story, the fairytale romance, the wedding, kids, affairs and divorce, there was nothing left to say that their bodies could not express. The problem was that they seemed to be unmoving, silent, still, almost dead as they lie on the sand with their eyes closed, his arms holding her tight as she nestled her head on his chest.

‘Come on now guys, time for some action!’ The thought flitted through her mind as she willed the characters to do something, anything to instil some inspiration into the storyline.

The computers bouncing screensaver glared insidiously at her, as she sipped her tea. Demanding her attention, urging her to return to the fantasy that she had built so laboriously over the past weeks, the word document lay hidden just beneath the surface of the bubbles that swirled around the screen, calling for her to continue. Really, she should go to bed, but maybe just a few more minutes would finish the chapter, which would ease her mind, and she could start refreshed in the morning.

The computer sprang into life and the document, with her half-finished sentence, stared at her. Her hands, poised on the worn keys, refused to move. Her heroine was about to be ravished by the man of her dreams but how did the girl feel? Did she feel trepidation, or fear, exhilaration or desire? It all seemed so surreal as she put herself in the young woman’s shoes or lack of shoes, as she was partially undressed anyway, and asked herself, how would I feel?

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