Shadows by the Fountain
I sat on the window-seat and glanced at the fountain at the end of the garden as it spurted cheerful gurgles; I thought about the day to come.
The sun had set and blue shadows glimmered on the water. The trees morphed into tall wooden figures, like giants come down from their beanstalks. Crickets and cicadas chirped in the warm summer evening, and, together with the soft bubbling fountain and the distant croak of frogs, they created a natural melody that filled the garden with harmonious sound.
I smiled and extended my hand with fingers outstretched as the fading light twinkled on my ring. The colorful display of reflected light danced before my eyes and I sighed, content.
Somewhere in the house a door closed and the sound of footsteps reverberated on the walls. I leaned my head on the window frame and gazed out. Another door closed and more footsteps pattered through the silent house. These last were heavy and a soft prickle of apprehension needled my heart. I knew these footsteps, and though I wanted to get up and follow, I remained seated at the window, my eyes fixed on the fountain.
Night fell and the soft path-lights illuminated the stone structure of two intertwined fish. The fountain was a tribute to the Pisces constellation whose billions of stars spun light years away from Earth.
I heard the clack-clack of high heels on the dark stone path, followed the thud-thud of manly footfalls. Two shadows appeared, and I watched as they reached the fountain.
In the dim light of the path a man and a woman met. They embraced and kissed, unaware of my watchful gaze.
My eyes filled with tears when the soft light shone on his face and I recognized the man who’d said he loved me and asked me to grow old with him.
I turned my face away; in the darkened room, I glimpsed the ghostly shadow of my wedding dress hanging on the perch.
The wedding day dawned and the servants and guests stirred.
A cry rang through the house.
The bride had vanished; her dress still on its perch, white and desolate in the morning light.