The Bridge.

On that lonesome day, I rode on, for across the lake and across many miles more was my home. And there my wife and my children awaited their father, with gift-laden palms and a smile on his lips. I reckoned she must’ve cooked supper by now, on that nigh afternoon, I reckoned, how she must’ve missed me. And now straddled on my horse I rode, and wished, if only his hooves moved swiftly, like my thoughts. Yet, my faithful steed had served me well. This son of mine, his name was the pleasure of my utterance: Shine. I watched his hooves kicking dry mud, my trusted companion who knew the road well.

That morning, my host had prepared my luggage with personal attention. He was a friend before he was a client, for he cared. He packed fruits and meat and water and bread and little gifts for the little ones. And that morning he regarded me with a firm hand on my shoulder before the departure from his cottage, “The ways of the woods are strange my friend, “ he said, “Speak not a word to the damsel, who has lured many a strong men into the deep. Stare not at her fair face, I’ve heard, for it is scorned by several widows.” I remembered his words, and I rode. This stretch of land wasn’t a stranger to me, thus fear wasn’t playing on my mind, yet the day was falling and but time was a friend. So as I gazed at the colors of settling sun, I remembered her eyes and her voice…

Her face…

Her smile…

My horse neighed, and I woke up, startled, for a nap had deceived me with dreams. The bridge across the lake was approaching and I saw the last rays kissing the waters. I drew nearer to see a horse tied at the turnstile and tattered robes, supposedly of a female arranged as if kept on purpose, the rich fabric of which astonished me to a look around. A woman at a short distance washing her self in the waters, wearing thin whites, narrated the story of the incident. She must’ve fallen in the muck, I thought, she must’ve torn her robes as a result, and she’s now washing the dirt off. She turned around, her face stunned me, her voluptuous curves, her skin. An aura of young seduction enveloped me. Yet I shook the fantasies tugging at my mind, and as I jumped off my high steed, my boots tapped and made my presence clear to her.

She smiled before her voice flowed through hollow time, “Oh sir, help please. In my fear’s spite, amidst the stories of this bridge, I couldn’t help but wash myself, for this wound is adamant.” So saying she showed a rude cut, a rather long stark red mark against the whiteness of her upper thigh. “And how lucky have I found myself, see? Can you trouble yourself for a smallest bit?”

I knelt and I examined her wound, but not before I caught the innocent look of a scared yet exceedingly beautiful face of a girl not more than nineteen, her full wet lips puckered in dim pain as I bandaged the wound with my supplies, all the while feeling her smooth skin. “My name is Melinda”, so saying, she blurred my attention.

“It is getting dark. It is only appropriate that we leave this vile land.” So saying, I straddled my horse, for my fears had returned, and I cursed myself for falling for the trick. I didn’t look back at her, yet I heard the faint whisper of the hooves of her horse following me. The rising fog brought back her voice.

“Proceed if you must,” I heard the girl’s silver words behind me, “I have an eternity to wait.”

As I neared the other edge of the bridge and I saw her again, the figure in white, sitting at the joint of the bridge and gazing towards my direction. I stole a glimpse of her face, her innocent look of a scared yet exceedingly beautiful girl not more than nineteen.

Her full wet lips puckered in dim pain.

I was listening to “Face Of Melinda” before writing this piece

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