Reunited by Susan Baxter

Leonora awoke with a start, her thin, wasted body trembling, her long, grey curls damp with sweat.

She had dreamed of him again, but this time was different. He had summoned her as he had promised he would.

She felt no fear just a tingling excitement. It was still pitch black in the bedroom as she rose slowly and painfully from her bed and opened the thick dark curtains. The cottage was located in front of a small, wooded area. Dawn was breaking, the light masked by an autumnal mist hovering over the trees.

‘You have come for me at last and I am ready,’ she whispered. She slowly dressed herself in the navy dress which he had loved because it showed off her blue eyes. Carefully she applied face powder and red lipstick. She then sprayed on eau de cologne. She had not dressed up much since he had gone.  Lifting a torch out from the drawer in the vestibule she opened the large wooden front door and stepped gingerly out on to the path where she shone the light.  There was not a sound, not even from an early bird and the mist was becoming thicker the further she walked. The torch was no longer effective and as she switched it off, she could feel an invisible force pulling her forward.

Eventually the path came to an abrupt end leading to a clearing carpeted with a layer of sodden leaves, the colours being transformed in the strange morning light.

Leonora could feel his presence. She had been waiting for this moment for so long. There would be no more pain, no more loneliness. She whispered his name, nothing. She peered through the gloom and made her way unsteadily towards the large oak tree where they had first met.

Finally, he reached out to her. He was waiting and she was ready. She could smell the tobacco from his breath and as he put his large arms around her tiny frame, she felt special and loved again. Tears of happiness and contentment filled her eyes as he gently enveloped her body into his.

As they lay down in each other’s arms by the tree, an ethereal glow descended over them and she

drifted peacefully into his world.

A gentle breeze stirred the leaves which covered her frail body.                                                                                   

Leonora was home at last.

By Susan Baxter

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