Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Stitched in Time

You know, there’s nothing like having a beautiful woman crying on your shoulder. It’s a beautiful, moving experience (unless she’s crying about something you’ve done, I suppose, but that’s never happened to me) that really can’t be beaten.

Unfortunately, it has entirely the wrong effect on me and while my heart is grieving with her and my lips are spouting platitudes (“There there,” and “It’ll be all right”) my libido is doing cartwheels and handstands. “Look at her,” it says. “She’s all soft and vulnerable. A simple kiss on her forehead will start the ball rolling and who can have her in bed before you can say ‘who left you, again?’”

At times like this I’d rather be anywhere but here. It’s the same with men, too. Just a little bit of vulnerability and I want to bend them over. It’s what being a demon is all about. I just want to kiss it better.

I left Lydia just before midnight as the tide was on the turn, orange streetlight reflecting on the oil spills. The beach was deserted by then and I wandered across the sands. It was hard to remember that this was 1955 and I had a home to go back to, more than fifty years in the future.

I wondered who Father Pete was. Did he have a parish here in Southend or was he a visiting priest from London or somesuch? The letter I had in my pocket was posted in this crowded, windswept village and that indicated that the man lived here.

I paused, admiring the drift of sewage that Poseidon had dumped at the top of the beach. In this light it was reminiscent of the Mona Lisa, her enigmatic smile made up of a swathe of discarded lipstick. Had I the right to open this letter? I’d resisted it up until now under the consideration of privacy but this was the man that had hurt Lydia, and had hurt her even more because she never received this letter.

When I left her, it was with a promise that I would see her tomorrow. From my point of view I would but from hers it would be another broken promise from a demon, because it would be over fifty years.

See, that’s where people get the wrong idea about demons. The think we break promises and twist contracts to our own advantage. It’s just that we have a completely different sense of time. What feels lift fifty years to you might be a quick kip on the sofa and out again for us, or else you might expect to live for a thousand years and we turn up to collect at lunchtime, because we’re a millennia older and it’s hardly our fault if you mucked about in GMT.

I heard a church clock strike midnight. So. This letter. I pulled it out of my pocket and traced the cursive handwriting. There was no return address on the outside but there might be one at the top of the letter. Confidentiality was less of a concern now that I knew it was a priest. At the very least I was owed a soul.

I made sure I was out of sight of Lydia’s house and slit it open with my thumbnail.

Until the morrow. X


Stephanie said...

You have a rare gift for knowing the precise moment to leave a reader suspended in the need to know what happens in the very next instant. In their time together - Jasfoup's and Lydia's - I'd nearly forgotten the letter. Now, it's all I can think of. Damn you, woman.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks Steph :)

Alas, I was damned a long time ago ;)

ChrisH said...

I've missed something not picking this up sooner, my apologies, it's very beguiling and makes me want to read on (and catch up with what's happened before).

Leatherdykeuk said...

I'm glad it piqued your interest :)