Monday, May 5, 2014
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 104
At first it sounded, to Lennie, like the echo of water dripping into a deep, cold well. Not the sound itself, but, just the echo--and even then, only the faintest repetition of it, the very end of the vibration.
The sound repeated, slightly magnified. It tickled Lennie's ears. If she had ears...
She wasn't sure if she had ears--wherever she was, whatever she had become. Nonetheless, it tickled. Of that she was sure. The sensation wasn't annoying--not like the buzz of an insect in one's ear during an otherwise pleasant picnic. No, it was comforting, like feeling the whiskers of a beloved dog snuffling for you to awaken in the morning.
Still, Lennie was hesitant to trust it. Whatever the sound was, it was likely more of her mother's trickery.
Lennie could not be sure how long she'd been there--wherever it was--in that static grayness, that limbo which stripped her from her body, from her life. All she knew was that the only other...other...
No. She wasn't a person.
The only other thing in that strange, misty inertia was her mother, the Duchess. So, Lennie concluded, if another sound could be heard, it had to have been made by that specter of Pauline, by that glowing, hissing mask that had taunted her so.
Yet, there it was again--that sound. That time, it was louder and clearer, and Lennie could tell that it was a voice, or, at least the vibrations of a voice.
"Mmmmm..." It hummed.
"What's out there?" Lennie responded. As she did, she became aware that, she was becoming more like the image of her mother--a rigid face of plaster from which the words bounced.
"Mmmmm..." The sound repeated.
"Who are you?" Lennie shouted through unmoving lips.
"Identify yourself." Lennie demanded.
"Gamilla?" Lennie cried out. "Gamilla? Could it be you?"
"Miss Lennie!" Gamilla's voice was clear this time.
Lennie wished she could move so that she could look around. "Where are you?"
Before Gamilla could answer, Lennie began to see her friend's outline form in radiant silver, like a light pencil sketch illuminated by the sun. The lines of Gamilla's face became crisper--her high cheekbones, wide eyes, gentle brow, full lips and small chin appeared as if being traced by an unseen hand.
"Can it be you?" Lennie called out.
"It is I, Miss." Gamilla replied.
"How? How did you find me? Where I am?" Lennie cried.
"You're on the other side, Miss. I come to bring ya back."
"Can you?" Lennie asked.
"I can." Gamilla answered, her features becoming even sharper. "Think, Miss Lennie...think of the color red."
"Imagine a red ribbon. Think of it comin' straight outta your eyes. Can ya picture it?"
"Yes!" Lennie replied.
"Now..." Gamilla smiled. "From me, I am sendin' a blue ribbon. Can ya see it?"
Lennie thought and concentrated. "I...I think. Yes. Yes, I can!"
"The red ribbon and blue ribbon will tie in a knot between us...it will make a purple ribbon to link us together."
"Yes, yes, I can picture it." Lennie cried out with relief.
"Behind me," Gamilla continued, "you will see a square of light. I'm gonna pull ya to it."
"There it is!" Lennie answered as she saw what appeared to be almost a sunlit window open behind Gamilla.
"Can ya feel the ribbon pullin' ya toward me?" Gamilla asked.
"The light is growing brighter, I can feel that I'm...I'm moving."
Then, as quickly as it started, the feeling of movement stopped.
The window of light blinked shut, like an eye into which a speck of dust has blown.
"What's happening?" Lennie asked. "Where did it go? Gamilla?"
"I'm here, Miss." Gamilla replied calmly. "You can still see me."
"Oh...I can." Lennie answered. "What's happened?"
"The chain," Gamilla replied honestly, 'has been broken."
Did you miss Chapters 1-103 of A Recipe for Punch? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 105.