Throughout history, men have been fascinated by what happens when the planes of living and nonliving touch. It's been the basis of horror, inspirational, and romanticized tellings. This work asks one question. Can love survive parting, and what happens when the lovers meet again? Enclosed are three award-winning stories by Brenna Lyons on the subject of reaching beyond the veil.
© 2003, 2006 Brenna Lyons
"Sleep well, mon petit chou," Papa whispered, closing the door to her bedroom slowly, so as not to disturb her when the lock caught.
Ines feigned sleep as she did every night. In truth, her heart pounded in such anticipation that sleep was impossible. It wouldn't take long. Jacque always came for her moments after her father left for the night, seeking his own rooms in the opposite wing.
There was nothing sinful in Jacque stealing into her room this way. The man was her husband, after all, and had been for nearly two years. She furrowed her brow. More than two years now, though how much more she could not say for certain.
"Till death do us part," she whispered.
She sighed at that. Death had parted them, yet not. It was that one fact that made Ines hide Jacque's nightly visits from her father.
She was mad--or going mad. There was no question of that. From her assignations with her dead husband to the phantom cries from the far reaches of the house, her sanity was suspect.
Then there were the memory lapses. She had no memory of the daily routine of her life, no grasp of the mundane tasks of eating, dressing or bathing, though she was rarely hungry, always dressed appropriately in one of her many gowns, and invariably clean and well-presented. She supposed the head injury she sustained might explain that, but most likely not.
Her entire existence seemed to revolve around her evening reading, the occasional discussions with Papa, and Jacque's visits to her. Or...perhaps it was the only portion of her day that held meaning for her, the only moments she wanted to remember. If so, she was even more melancholy than she thought.
The bed shifted slightly, as Jacque stretched out beside her. Ines had ceased to question how it could be so days earlier...or perhaps it was weeks or months earlier. Along with the memory lapses, her grasp of the passage of time seem strained.
At any rate, if she was going mad, what was the point in questioning her perceptions of the seeming physical presence of Jacque's body in this place? None, and so she dismissed her uncertainties.