Out of the Shadows

Just like the winds stirred the sands earlier today, meeting Brady stirred my passions. These two introduced me to different aspects of myself. Brady invited exploration. Suzanne soothed my soul. The contrast captivated me.

It was one of those days. I couldn’t sit down long enough to discover the accommodations of a cushion before jumping up to watch the exhibition outside my window.

Why had Aeolus released the winds? The sand was swirling about and tunneling to the sky. Some of the tumbleweeds met their purpose as ornaments for the taller trees. There were even a few that sought shelter at the backdoor. But the best part was the inanimate insanity of sounds! Barn doors banging and clanging, rafters humming. If I didn’t know better, I’d say a party had been unleashed, and I had not been invited.

You know what? There was a party I was welcome to attend. Well, more or less. I had heard something on the radio about a Chili Fest street party going on in town. Maybe that was the cure for my restlessness, a little organized frivolity. I must admit, being off the radar is not an easy task. The security is certainly great. And we are shielded from the curious and unaware, but it’s too familiar. It made sense that a day of fun in the sun and wind promised to stir things up.

Silhouettes of butterfly bushes danced along the walls of the hallway. As I looked outside, I saw turbulence. Gosh, even the birds were conceding in order to survive the gale. Yet the shadows suggested that there’s more than one way to see anything.

Go within and transmute the unsettled energy.

I had no idea what was going on, and why I felt so rattled. It was time to let go and play. I was confident the truth would be revealed in time. Who was I kidding? I could make it happen if I wanted to.

The hall seemed longer than usual. Then again, it is a big house. Approaching Suzanne’s room, I could see that her door was slightly ajar. I called out, “Would you like to spend some time with me in town today?” No answer. I couldn’t see her going outside. Standing in the doorway, I investigated a little further. “Suzanne. Are you around?”

Her answer was a distant shout, “Yeah! I’m in the bathroom. What’s up?”

Her room was a disaster. There was more comforter on the floor than on the bed. Clothes were draped over the backs of both armchairs. Two of the paintings looked like wet noodles, barely attached to the wall and prepared to drop when the door slammed. “Um, what happened in here?” I asked hesitantly, afraid to hear the answer.

With a hurried reply, she said, “Not a lot. Just been a little lazy. What brings you to the west wing?”

Confused by her question and what felt like discomfort, I asked, “Everything ok? West wing?”

Not realizing I could see her, the chagrin on her face clocked me from the mirror. My curious mind wanted to know why she harbored a look of vexation, but I’d wait. She finally noticed me standing there. Chuckling, she reminded me, “I’ve never known you to visit this part of the house.”

“Well, please excuse the intrusion,” I grumbled. “I thought it would be fun to have a girl’s day out! Somebody mentioned something about a block party on the radio the other day. I guess it’s happening right now. Don’t you think it would be fun to see what’s there? None of us have done anything outside this house in weeks. I think that’s why I’m feeling super fidgety these days. What do you think? A couple hours of sun and dancing in the street?”

Glancing up from her pedicure, Suzanne jumped on it. “Yes! Why didn’t I think of that? I heard the same thing and thought it sounded like a good time. Give me a tic. I just need to throw on my party dress, and I’ll be ready to paartay!”

Give her a minute, she said. It was more like 45 minutes before she showed up half-dressed, searching for a missing shoe. Unnervingly excited by the idea, Suzanne inquired, “Hey! Do you think we should bring Brady along with us?”

Alarmed, I had to shake the noise and confusion from my head before I could give her an adamant retort, “No! I said, I was hoping for a girl’s day with you. Not an outing of three.”

“Ok,” she countered. “Forgive me. I heard you say that none of us has done anything outside this house for a while, so I thought, maybe. And it’s all good.”

Why Brady? Why not Brady? The truth could only be revealed one person at a time. I felt like the tumbleweed and could use a little grounding.

Gaia, parakaloume voitheia!

Mother Earth, solid one

Kissed by rain, wind and sun

Bring stable balance unto me,

As I will, so mote it be.

The rays of the sun melted away the tension. I felt every cell in my body surrender, and a smile returned to my eyes. Everyone was having fun. This felt like the perfect remedy for all the time we’d spent camped out in our living room. The beer was frosty and frothy. The ice cream competed for attention against the warm air. There was a plethora of music and dancing along with an abundance of flavorsome cuisine. It was moments like this that reminded me why I loved being in this place and around these mortals. Their celebrations offered the perfect amount of spice. Who doesn’t like a little sass in their life?

Introducing Brady and Suzanne into my world had certainly heated things up. I have never known the love of a woman. It wasn’t something I considered until her. Intimacy was the last thing on my mind. I had been too busy surviving. Then again, I must have been ready to surrender to love. Ready? That’s not an accurate description. I wasn’t willing to surrender. The pains of Calais left me empty. I tried. I shared my hopes through song and was met with experiences that mirrored the void. So, I focused on other things.

Just like the winds stirred the sands earlier today, meeting Brady stirred my passions. These two introduced me to different aspects of myself. Brady invited exploration. Suzanne soothed my soul. The contrast captivated me. Something shifted. Could there be something between them? Anything? I refused to allow that thought to linger. It was our first night together that she told me she’d never been with a man. But her room looked like it had been whipped up by the winds of passion. If not him, then who was it? I needed to know. They were invited to a healing sanctuary, not a free for all. I needed answers! Circe doesn’t share.

Nearly drowned out by the wind and guitar riffs, I heard a voice shouting from behind, “Excuse me, lady. Is this your scarf?” How odd. The suspicious glances questioning my presence felt more like a garment.

I turned around to see a young woman with a mysteriously familiar energy running towards me. The scarf she clutched fluttered in the wind, and the closer she got, I could tell it was mine. Confirming her recovery, I answered, “Yes! Yes, that is my scarf! Thank you so much! Your integrity is admirable. Losing it would have been quite upsetting. My husband made it for me before he passed away. To say it’s special is an understatement. Again, thank you. I am curious, though. Do I know you from somewhere?”

She quickly responded by saying, “That’s cool, and I’m sorry to hear your man died.”

“That’s kind of you to acknowledge. But you haven’t answered me. Do I know you?” I asked again, anxious for a clue.

I was bewildered. Either she didn’t hear my question or was deliberately ignoring it as she continued by saying, “I hope you don’t mind, but I am really digging your outfit! My name is Amber. Who are you?”

Shaking my head in disbelief over the blatant oversight, I took a moment before answering her, “Amber, it’s very nice to meet. My name is Circe.”

“Whoa!” she shouted, “You mean like the Sorceress?”

Even though her question caught me off guard, I managed to keep it together long enough to answer her with a curt, “Yes.” 

I walked away to find Suzanne. Mortals are brilliantly deceptive, but I revoked the trickery. Who was this girl? I felt as if we had had a history, or at least met at another time. Why wouldn’t she answer me? Where was Suzanne?

Out of breath, Amber continued to insist I pay attention to her. “Hey lady,” she gasped. “I just wanted to know where you found your outfit! Could you please give me a chance to catch up with you so we can talk?”

Stopping at her request, I apologized. “Please forgive me. I made it.”

Frustrated and overwhelmed with heat, she asked, “What is it with you old people?”

Old people? Feeling a bit puzzled by her perception, I inquired, “What do you really mean? What makes me old to you?”

With a heated response, she alleged, “You know what’s funny? When people like you want to know why I think the way I do.”

People like me. My entire body shuddered. Who was this person, and why was she so confrontational?

As I began to respond to her, her eyes darted away from mine as she shrieked. “Sorry, that was just freaky to look at.”

I had no idea what she was referring to, nor did I have a desire to carry on. Suzanne had disappeared. So, I did what I could to dismiss this girl as easily as possible by stating, “Amber, my apologies, but I am looking for someone at the moment and not interested in whatever it is that freaked you out. Please excuse me.”

Posed in the shadows of a boutique across the street, Suzanne beckoned my attention with her silhouette. “Hey hey, Circe! Thoughts?”

Seductive. Sultry. She could not deny it. She had never looked more enticing and certainly wasn’t shy about modeling what appeared to be a sheer romper. She had my attention, indeed! Tripping over my tongue, I finally spoke. “You look amazing! All I have to say is don’t forget to wear those heels when we’re alone later!”

Clearly rattled by my remark, Suzanne sputtered, “Huh? No. This is a surprise for Brady.”

 “Circe. Your eyes! They’re really different colors.” Amber huffed at me as she ran up from behind.

There was no denying it. She was observant. Too observant. 

Circe (Tammy Davis)
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