The excerpt below is a fictional account and any resemblance to real events is purely coincidental.
Jeanie Smith, is a writer and has published quite a few short stories and won accolades for her work. She was announced as “The author of modern souls” and was complimented for her intricate and refine artwork- her words. Her works were famous among various age groups. She was adored by peers, family, friends and aspiring young artists. But, Jeanie always found herself alone. Her loneliness was the motivator for her stories. Her words were an escape and she tried to find herself in the array of words lost in the endless abyss of imagination and fantasies.
She wrote one such story hoping to find love. But till the end of her time that story was never to be found, never published. It lay among a pile of pages, lost, torn and forgotten. Even on her death bed, she lay there, muttering only one name under her low, shallow breath- “Mark..” – till life took her last breath from her. This is the story of Jeanie’s love and how she wore words as a comfort for the entirety of her life.
Mark Craner stood in the rain, soaking wet and the collar of his jacket high up along his neck. It was a rainy day in London and no surprise to a local. But having been born and brought up in sunny California and living most of his adult life in the Bay Area Mark wasn’t fond of the rain. He walked briskly across the streets towards the towering structures of Canary Wharf, making his way through the crowd of lost individuals in their own hurry to reach their work place in time. Mark was a Senior Resource Manager at a Consultancy firm and very good at his job. He had been offered a job in the London office of his Company because of his unique management and human relations skills. He was an important man.
Mark took up the offer of working in London because there was nothing left for him back home. He’d lost his wife to an accident and he had no family other than an estranged half sister in the deserts of Afghanistan serving her time in the U.S. Military. There were many common factors between him and his sister, Cassie. But they’d never actually bonded with each other and he didn’t think of her as family. He had issues. He also felt he was damaged, to some extent. He was man enough to realize his short comings and he was no coward. He saw a therapist for a few months before his move to London. He failed to understand the help that he was getting and he saw no reason to continue with those sessions. There lies a business card in his wallet of a therapist in London who his friend from back home recommended. The card lay untouched and unused and Mark felt no need to make use of it.
Mark had a perfect mind, a strong ambition and clear understanding of his purpose in the grand scheme of things. He made his way through the lobby to the elevators, relieving himself of the pressure of the coat against his chest. He straightened his suit and shrugged off some of the wetness on his arms. He reached his level, got off the elevator and made way to his office. He passed his secretary who reminded him of his appointments of the day and entered his office which looked grim against the huge glass panels that captured the dark, gray canvas of the weather. He hung his coat on the stand and sat in his chair. Mark was an important man and he knew he had a job to do. But he knew when things were about to change and with the illusion of last night he wasn’t sure how drastic the change was going to be. He carefully rested his back on the chair and closed his eyes and slid away from reality, going back in time and remembering what had happened.
He lay on his bed looking up at the ceiling and trying to drift off. It was nearly midnight and he had to wake up on time for his work schedule. He gradually closed his eyes and waited for the wave of primal need for rest to wash him away in his dreams.
“Mark” He heard a soft whisper. And ignored any rational thought of how real that voice was. His eyes were tightly closed and he waited to fall further in his dreams.
“Mark. I know you are there.” He sat up bolt upright. Capturing all of his senses back and on full alert looking for the intruder.
“Mark. Are you alright?” It was a beautiful, feminine voice. A very soft, calming and non-hostile. He looked around to find the source of that voice. When he couldn’t find it he pulled off his sheets and stepped off his bed.
Very softly, cautiously he responded “Who are you?”
He was very alert. In his confusion and the rush of adrenaline he knocked over a lamp and suddenly the voice grew louder.
“Watch out! You will hurt yourself.” The voice, the woman, could see him yet there was an echo in her voice. As if it were spoken across a long distance and there was no immediate threat.
“Who are you?” Mark responded fiercely. His voice louder now and hands curled up in fists.
“It’s me, Mark. Jeanie. I’m the writer who created you.”
Follow-up excerpts soon to be posted.