Come join the romantic fun :
Denise Covey and Francine Howarth challenge us to write a romantic post of 400 words on whatever occurs to us when we think LOST.
My entry is a 381 word excerpt from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. Samuel McCord is sitting in the shadows of his Katrina-ruined jazz club. His arch-enemy is coming for the last battle between them -- a battle McCord has no chance of winning.
Samuel is unafraid. He died 7 years earlier when his beloved wife left him :
As I sat in the shadows, I listened to the music coming from the speakers on the ceiling. It was a recording of Meilori playing my favorite piano sonata, Quasi Una Fantasia. Most knew it as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
Meilori's lovely playing both hurt and helped. The Moonlight Sonata was never more haunting than when she played it. Beethoven had dedicated the sonata to his seventeen year old pupil, Countess Giulietta Guiccciardi. He loved her. He lost her. Not a new story.
I stared into the dark of my night club, Meilori's. It was all I had left of my wife. She had left me. But not before she slapped my face. Meilori had slapped me. Me. I had taken her love for granted and paid a terrible price. That had been seven years ago to the day.
In the dark quiet that shivered like a dying breath, I almost saw her. Meilori Shinseen. I thought about her. She was one of those haunted-eyed women you attached your own hidden fears and silent sorrows to. And her face.
Lord, her face. Aside from being beautiful, which it was ... so much so that the whole world seemed to center around it when I looked at her. But there was more. Besides being hauntingly beautiful, it was a good face. And I'd not seen many beautiful faces that were.
There were whispers in her jade eyes of tragedy and of pain, but no self-pity. Instead her past seemed to have given birth to a wry understanding, laced with echoes of bitter humor.
There were disturbing depths of sadness in her eyes. Depths which whispered of age more ancient than the Aztecs, more haunted than even my past. They both called and warned at the same time.
I had lost myself in their green depths where the monsters swam, the monsters which drive us or haunt us or both. We had both done terrible things in our past, but in each other's arms we found some small measure of peace.
I shivered at the memory of that day seven years ago.
I had lived a life of fire, had died a death of ice. But it was only until I met Meilori that I realized before her I had not lived at all.