Thursday, August 11, 2011

And in the moonlight your hands were cold.

{Though both can stand alone, I thought I'd mention that this story is a sequel to a piece I wrote a while ago called "this is our house". When I first started writing this story, I didn't realize it was a sequel-of-sorts. But eventually I became aware of the fact that I was writing from the perspective of the same narrator, even though the two pieces of writing have two very different feels and little in common. Funnily enough, I wrote this story around its first sentence [and title]. The sentence was a random phrase I picked for the name of a playlist and I liked it so much that, after ruminating for quite a while, birthed a story from it.}

And in the moonlight your hands were cold.
Nothing felt so fragile and so strong as the bond of our hands.
I saw a familiar crowd of fears and dreams reflected in your dark, dark eyes. I couldn’t stop staring into these windows and looking at your midnight-coloured soul.
Your hold on my hands spoke of life, yet I look over your shoulder and know you’ve had ghosts too.
Still, I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want you. I want your cold hands to hold mine for... how long? Forever. That sounds about right.

The tower of silence stacked above our heads was toppled by footsteps walking down the stony path.
(hearts quickening, cheeks warming, sudden inches between us)

Now I make my way back to the house which continues to stand in hunched, withered obstinacy.
Ducking through the hallways where the ghosts meet, I find my thoughts have stayed with you though I’ve walked away.
I open the door to the library where the silt of wraith-words lingers on every surface. I whisper to the books, soothing them as I run my fingers lightly over their spines; searching, searching.
I locate the book I seek and smile: tonight it is not merely a book, it is a message. A message for you, a reply to your question.

There is a murmuring near the fireplace. I don’t even look over. Tis the ghosts. They have not lessened since your arrival but I forget about them more frequently.
I found a lonely, little ghost wandering in my room last week; it had a familiar face. What could I do but offer my bed? We shared our sleep that night. A phantom makes a quiet bedfellow at least.
I never minded their presence, like dusty cobwebs haunting the corner of every room. But now, you have sparked a flame in me, a desire to no longer sit holding the tattered quilt of what once was in my lap.

With timid footsteps and a yearning heart, I leave the book outside your door. I kiss its dilapidated, burgundy cover once, twice. Soft and staccato like eyelashes fluttering. (Even I am not quite sure why I did this. Sometimes doing silly, pointless things feels necessary.)

Later, I lie on my bed, wide awake and listen to the nocturnal medley of my family...
A cough.
A sleepy snort.
The creaking of a rocking chair.

At last, your tread on the stairs! Your feet walking the floor above me, your footsteps pattering up my spine.

Then, the quiet midnight void.

My eyes won’t close. They want to stare into the dark and think of cold hands and warm, dark eyes that promise “Life can breathe anew.”

I worry that you didn’t find my message. Or perhaps you didn’t understand the response the book was conveying. I chew over these sticky doubts for a while, wishing I could spit them out.

But! I hear quiet movement from upstairs, steps that come nearer.


A family member?

A ghost?

There’s a knock on my door. My heartbeat pounds at a speed it’s never reached before. I leap from my bed and open the door to reveal your tall, reassuring form. You almost look surprised for a moment, then you smile. I smile back; there is no need to speak.

I grab my suitcase which lies near the door and step out into the hall. Your cold hand joins my warm one and together we walk; down the hall, past the ghosts. Down the stairs, past the dull eyes of family portraits. We walk out of the house, I softly stomp my feet on the threshold to shake the house’s bony grip off my ankles.

I don’t even look back.


  1. You are such a beautiful writer, I always feel like I am watching your story in a movie. A bit haunting this one, definitely romantic, and so gorgeous.

  2. I found myself imagining the girl in the story wearing your face.

    This is haunting and beautiful. I almost lost myself in there.

  3. Shopgirl: Thank you so much! That makes me so happy that I can evoke such a strong picture. <3

    haze: Awww, I love that. And it makes sense since I do often seem to put so much of myself into my characters.

    Thank you, love. <3

  4. I loved this. So beautiful and haunting. Even though it was short (compared to.. say a novel) I became absorbed in it. Also I loved the way she answered him with a book, such a clever idea.

  5. This is purely magical dearest, absolutely stunning! Your talk of ghosts and leaving toxic holds behind could not have come at a more perfect time. Thank you for your weavings <3

    xx and hugs


  6. Jessica Alena: Thank you so much, dearheart. I am extremely, inexpressily pleased that you liked it so. :)

    Jhordyn Ashley: Oh, no - thank you. I appreciate all the beautiful, encouraging words you leave for me infinitely. <3

  7. if i ever moved to wherever it is you live, i'm sure we'd be real great friends :) i fall in love with your beautiful writing more and more each time! think about it, tea, analogue photos and lovely literature courtesy of you! sounds amazing to me :)

  8. Oh, Samantha! You so make me wish I didn't live halfway across the world from you. I would love that, I bet we would be great friends. And don't forget - I could drool over your gorgeous photographs! Thank you for your sweet comment. That sounds so perfect... :)

  9. "And in the moonlight your hands were cold."

    You really caught me with the first sentence. I knew it was going to be beautiful.

  10. Thank you! You are very kind. :)

  11. For some reason every time I sit down to read your story, some interruption happens. :( :( I will be back to read it though. I'm determined.

  12. No worries, Jade! Take your time. :) Life's interruptions do have a habit of wanting to continually take center stage!

  13. Ooooooh, this is so romantic and whimsical :D At least, that's how I saw it. I love the ending, haha. Your descriptions are so spot-on. And I love the ghosts. I like the sleeping partner ghost and how normal it is for them to be hanging around.

    "I locate the book I seek and smile: tonight it is not merely a book, it is a message. A message for you, a reply to your question."

    Probably my most favorite part :)

  14. It all just seems so real.
    Wonderful, Melee. Really. xxx

  15. I'm glad I came back to read this...and was able to do so uninterrupted. Your writing draws me in. I was really intrigued by the ghosts in the story and the ending was perfect! You are an amazing writer. :) :)

  16. (Hi Melee. I am currently replying to your email, expect it soon!)
    This is a very atmospheric story, very "nighttime" and quiet if you can understand what I mean. It's lovely. You're so talented :)

  17. CloudyKim: Well, I'd say that's what I was going for, so... great! :)
    Thanks so much for the fantabulous and encouraging comment. :)

    Jade: Oh, thank you! I'm glad you were finally able to read it in peace. You are so sweet. <3

    Minna: Thank you so much, dearest. I am so happy to hear from you. <3

    Jenica: Oooh, yay! I am anticipating it. =D
    Yes, I do know just what you mean. :) Oh, thank you from the very... tips of my toes! <3

  18. I have read this post over so many times, each time trying to find some meaningful words to express the sigh of my soul at your words. Yet I can't even express the difficulty eloquently.
    Instead, let me just tell you that you are beautiful, that your words are laced with silver, so perfectly woven they break my heart whilst sewing it together.

  19. Oh, Heather - your wonderful comment has left me speechless! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't know what else to say. I can only try to thank you enough times (and I don't think I can!) Thank you so much. <3


Silhouettes of a secret. A story told over a cuppa. Or perhaps just sitting on that stone bench, basking in the moonlight... and not saying anything at all.

("I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks." -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)