Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ruth Long Week 19: Under His Skin

Picture 1

Picture 2

Ruth Long’s Picture Choice: Two

Title: Under His Skin

Sails flapped in three quarter time and waves tapped the pier like timpani. The summer breeze waltzed through his fine linen shirt and shimmied down his back. Sea spray tickled his nose and saltwater dusted his tongue. The cape in summer was just as he had imagined.

He fished an envelope from his shirt pocket, took the pale pink letter for its worn embrace and read the crisp confident cursive.

~ ~ ~

Dear Walter,

It has been 43 years since last I saw your handwriting.

In that time, I raised a family, built a business and lived a thousand lifetimes inside the years.

My heart was Bill’s from the moment I accepted his ring, but I carried your memory with me, always.

The condolence flowers you sent last year touched me in a way nothing else could in those dark days.

I half expected you to appear on my doorstep during the long weeks that followed.

That you waited a year before contacting me...

Your letter last month was welcome as sun burning through fog on a bleak winter day.

Yes, if you are of a mind to meet, I should very much like to do so.

If you are not adverse to sailing, picnicking and gardening, I invite you to spend the Independence Day weekend sailing, picnicking and gardening with me at my summer home on the cape.

Most Affectionately,


~ ~ ~

He leaned over the letter, inhaling the scent of roses and lilies before folding it carefully and tucking it back into its envelope. He’d spent years living with the adoration of crowds, in clubs and concert halls across the world. Now, if he could gain the adoration of just one person, the woman for whom he’d written that first song, he would feel, at last, that he was finally alive.

A flash of periwinkle caught his eye and he looked up to see her stepping onto the pier, elegantly dressed, impossibly lovely, and for a moment, his heart paused, as unsure of himself as he’d been that summer night long ago, as a boy with a song in his mouth and a dream in his heart.

But her smile when she saw him burned through any doubt and he came to his feet to greet her, she whose name was the rhythm of his heart.


A reader by birth, paper-pusher by trade and novelist by design, story-telling in my passion. If you enjoyed reading today's story, please consider checking out my blog, joining my creative community or participating in the madcap twitter fun @bullishink.



  1. This is lovely. I'm a sucker for stories of second chances and old passions rekindled. Using a note or letter as part of a story-- especially a short-- can be tricky but you really pull it off well. Very nice.

  2. Second chances - isn't that what we live for? The hope that we'll get to try again? This is so filled with hope. I loved the elements of music wrapped in this as well.

  3. Ruth, this is just lovely. I love the description--it was rich but not overdone. Like the others, I'm a sucker for second chances. You packed so much into so few words.