The Palladian Bridge

She stood in silence, gazing out over the frozen lake.  Her satin gown rippled as the wind shifted around her fragile frame.  Her crystal encrusted slippers, once the envy of so many, were covered in mud. Her hair, so prettily dressed for the ball, blew about her face, the ribbons hanging in tatters.

Why didn’t he come?  The note had been clear, declaring his love, begging for a few moments alone with her.  So where was he?

Hearing a voice she half turned, but it wasn’t Giles.  She turned her face back to the lake, no-one should see her tears.  Confused, she listened to the voice behind her.  The words seemed odd.  Turning now she realised that the entire group of people standing on the bridge, her bridge, seemed odd.  Their clothes were like nothing she had seen before and their hair, worn so short, even the women.  She spoke, ordering them to leave her father’s property, but her voice was weak, her words taken by the wind.

They were listening to one man and she fought to concentrate, to listen too.  He was close but she could only make out scraps of what he said … ‘eldest daughter … lover … meeting place … father caught him … duel … so sad … ‘ and she remembered why Giles hadn’t come, would never come, he was dead.

“So she killed herself, jumped off this very bridge and drowned.  They say her final scream was heard all the way up at the house and her father came out in time to see her crossing the cascades from this lake to the other.  They never found a body.  They say she walks. Walks in her white satin ball gown, waiting for Giles.  Never seen her myself.”

She jumped.  Jumped as she did every day.  Jumped into the icy water.  Crying out in her despair.  Crying out as she crossed the cascades and sank into the cold, cold waters of the deep, dark lake.

Standing with the group, listening to the guide, I thought I heard a splash.  Even though the sun shone warmly across the lake, I felt a  shiver run down my spine.

 

I had not written a piece of fiction for about 3 months – a different daily prompt gave me the idea – but now – I feel successful 🙂

 

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