The Email

Honed in solitude, and far from any track, at a time when lifeless legs kept him exiled from the throng, his mind had moved where his limbs could not, through distant concepts and  landscapes travelled by imagination. Books, he reflected,  might inform you, but they never shout or pour you drinks. His was a distilled existence  spent in  self-reflection, slightly touched with bitterness.  Alright his time had given him insights few possess but at a cost. Always the cost. And yet, because there must be an ‘as yet’ the bitterness had borne this unexpected fruit. The website where rudeness finds a sanctuary grew beyond his wildest dreams.

Now he was free of encumbrance or commitment ,sitting in a mountain top hotel in Peru; looking at amazing scenery and sipping a cocktail from a tall and slender glass. The cherry on the stick just made him smile. What to do with that? He was not outgoing. Never would be. That brief foray into vulnerability all those years ago, as a faceless crippled junior in some  office, had taught him all he needed to know about that state of mind.

The softness of her needs and innocent gentle spirit had wrenched him from his solitude and bought him to a place of desperation where only manners saved your dignity. He paused and cleared his mind of unnecessary reflection, passing his gaze across the scenery. Touched by mist and with a purple hue its timeless beauty and indifference was cleansing to the soul. This was the world he understood. The physical incarnation of his mental state. He turned to check the emails on his phone.

The words were brief and to the point.  “Save Me”, was all they said,  and signed by Laura Cunningham ( nee Patten ). A name stored in his memory.

A month later, somewhat against his better judgement, and moved more by curiosity than interest he was in the lobby of a London hotel sitting with her , still recognisable but somehow different. They shook hands and then sat down. He asked her “How have you been”. “How has your life been”.

Looking at him tanned and free now from his chair she lost the poise she struggled to retain. He seemed  kindly but detached from her marooned existence. In some ways there had been a role reversal. She moved her arms in desperation.  “Oh Bill” she said, “I’ve been so  stupid”.  Words poured out of her in an unstoppable torrent. She marvelled at his health and mobility. The eyes before her were reflective.

Guarding his composure was a requirement. Perspective was everything. Remaining detached from events was more than a way of life. For him it was a fortress: a sanctuary against the vagaries of human intercourse. This one exception. This single cry now challenged his hard-won retreat, Dawn always renews our sense of beauty, he observed, but was it echoed in her eyes. She rushed around, trying to engage his interest, now more like a wilderness, seeking her rescuer. Something in her tears caught his attention. He asked himself a question. Was a there a  life based on hope or was this just chaos in a dress ?

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Life, Relationships, Romance, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Email

  1. catterel says:

    The story moves on … thank you!


  2. leagpage says:

    I love that the end wasn’t the end.


  3. babs50nfab says:

    …”chaos in a dress?” Love that line! Keep it coming, Peter!


  4. You left me wanting more!


  5. Jane Thorne says:

    And…… well done Ducky x


  6. I ran into something similar to this storyline, actually. It didn’t turn out nearly as fantastic as this did though. Now I have the sudden urge to visit Peru.


  7. renxkyoko says:

    Wait, didn’t he win the Lotto?


  8. Ina says:

    Hi Peter, I read it with a feel of sadness, but it is beautifully written sadness 🙂


  9. Purely.. Kay says:

    I can’t wait to read more. Don’t feel like this is the end. You know how I feel about your stories my friend :).. LOVE THEM


  10. judithhb says:

    I really love this one Peter. Can’t wait to see where you take us from here.


  11. gotham girl says:

    Ready for part two! Love…”just chaos in a dress” – fabulous!


  12. Mors of this love story please! It’s a love story right?!


  13. kate4samh says:

    I see a life based on hope AND chaos in a dress. Life is chaos and hope a pretty dress. x


  14. araneus1 says:

    ‘Always the cost’.
    ‘Chaos in a dress’.


  15. Oh you must keep this one going Peter. Its just wonderful, and “chaos in a dress” – well, I just wish I had written that 🙂


  16. Oh please keep this one going Peter!

    And “chaos in a dress” – well I just wish I had written that! 🙂


  17. Sorry for the double reply, I am such an attention seeker!! Lol Not really 🙂 I thought my first one hadn’t posted because the phone rang while I was posting it and I dropped my IPad! 🙂


  18. I am hooked on this and like the other commenters would like to read more. I particularly liked the point about the role reversal in their relationship and as for the question he asks himself at the end, I loved your words!


  19. nelle says:

    Chaos in a dress sounds like me. 😉


  20. I’m wondering, Peter, where do you find your inspiration for these vignettes? Maybe that’s asking too much. They are all so different, yet so deeply moving. And each has a “killer” line or two. As others have mentioned, “chaos in a dress” is priceless. You captured a whole novel in 4 words!


  21. Caroline says:

    I can only echo those who have already commented.




  22. This is very powerful, and some of the lines are amazing. I, too, was especially stunned by the “chaos in a dress.” Well done.


  23. elmethra says:

    oooooooh “chaos in a dress” is throwing my mind all over the place like the thrashing of rooftops in a tornado!


  24. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    “human intercourse” – I liked that. Great phrases here, Peter. Enjoying your writing these days 🙂 & agree about ‘chaos in a dress’ – great stuff!


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