Isaac Meets Rebecca

Here is another passage from the novel in progress.  Ed.

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Isaac Martin and Karl Von Hausen had underestimated the time it would take them to ascend and then come down the high peak behind the castle and they were still in the pine woods after nightfall and did not make it down into the broad, snow-covered meadows of the curtilage until the moon was at its full and the whole valley and the castle itself glowed with a soft radiance.  They were tired from the climb, but they were young and they relished the exertion and adventure of the day.   Every window in the castle was lit and there were fires burning in raised grates all around the castle’s pond and several young people skating there.  In the distance it seemed to Martin that the skaters were moving in slow motion.  One girl wore a bright red cloak and she soared alone across the moonlit ice like joy itself, as if she had just been released from some ancient confinement.  At the far side of the pond as she turned in her glide she extended her arms before her as if in supplication or as if to receive the glory of the stars above her.  Martin watched her as he waded through the knee-deep snow with his rope looped over his shoulder and his pickaxe in his hand.  Martin and Karl nodded to each other and set their course toward the frozen pond.

He stood by one of the fire grates and with a nod of his head accepted a steaming cup of chocolate from a servant girl there who poured from a tall, silver pot.  He waited for what seemed like a long time until the girl in the red cloak skated to the dock.  Karl had walked on and engaged several of the others there in conversation but when the girl stepped off of the ice he came to her and spoke to her and the two of them walked – she holding Karl’s hand and balancing on the blades of her skates – to the fire grate where Martin was standing.

“Isaac, this is my sister, Rebecca.”

And he knew then by the glow of her face and by the faint smile she allowed herself and by the sway of her back and the curve of her neck and by the way she held her opened hands that there was no one else in the world but her and never would be.


copyright 2018

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