The war has been over for five years, but still she watches for him. She can see him as he was–in threadbare clothes like everyone–but somehow elegant. As her cigarette burns untouched, along with the food on her plate, she thinks about their last meeting and his promise to meet her at the safehouse.
She sat inside it for hours, as the day darkened to dusk, then thinking she heard a sound—she remembers it so well–walking outside to find there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles. And then the soldiers came. Had Pierre betrayed her? Is he living a life with another name now? How many names has he had?
She has survived, but she’s only half alive. She sits at the table in the dreary café till closing. Then goes home alone.
This is for dVerse, where I’m hosting Prosery today, using
“there is nothing behind the wall
except a space where the wind whistles”
from “Drawings By Children” by Lisel Mueller
I thought I’d go back to the spies—a different couple, I think–and Hopper.
I like your spy series. There is always a sense of dread, and a feeling that we’re caught in a trap that keeps on repeating.
Thank you so much! That’s such a lovely compliment!
Yes, it definitely repeats.
It’s a great theme and each time you treat it slightly differently.
Thank you. It’s a bit of theme and variations, I suppose. 😀
Aren’t most stories?
This was exactly the image that I considered for my story when I ended up with Munch instead of Hopper. Love the spy theme, and I hope that they find each other later, it seems like this is not quite the end yet
Thank you very much.
I think the Munch worked very well for yours. Yes, I think there is more to this story.
This is fantabulous, Merril. I was right there with her. I so hope he has not betrayed her and it is a question of time before she gets real answers, if not him in body (though I honestly don’t want that choice either!)
Thank you so much. I love how deeply invested you are in this story. 💙
What can I say? The story teller must be doing something right. 🧡
I have to believe they were both in the French Resistance, and will find each other again and live happily ever after! Well penned.
Thank you very much, Beverly!
I take the existential interpretation; she has to get over him and get on with her life before she withers on the vine.
Haha! OK. Hopefully, she’ll move on.
I love your spy stories Merril!
Thank you so much, Linda!
More please. Perfect visual. Unspoken Complexity level perfect. Great work.
Wow–thank you very much!
An intriguing dynamic here. This story captivates me. With love and betrayal, it’s a messy line, you can only put so much trust into a person. Then, there’s that wicked self-doubt. I felt all of what she was going through here–the waiting, the ambiguity, the anticipation.
Great work. 🙂
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I think you’re so right–the love and betrayal, the self-doubt. And if they both were spies, then there’s a whole other level of trust and illusion.
An amazing visual to go along with the intrigue. Seems there is more than meets the eye.
Thank you very much!
This is deeply sad, and intriguing. What is it they were up to? Great write Merril! I too love Hopper, as .I know you do.
Thank you so much, Rob. I’m pleased this made you think about them.
Love this enticing tale as the theme of spies continues, Merril! 💝 I resonate with the questions swimming around in her head especially; “Is he living a life with another name now? How many names has he had?” It’s complicated when one loves and hates the same person. 🙂
Thank you so much, Sanaa! Yes, you are so right!
Imagining a man she continues to wait for five years after the war. Powerful storytelling.
Thank you very much. I think this was a place where they used to meet, and so it holds memories for her–and she needs some sort of resolution.
Good luck to her on that.
That is a good story and I hope for a happy ending or at least a contented one.
Thank you very much. I hope she finds out something, too.
Sounds like this could develop into a movie script!
Thank you, Dwight! 😀
What a sad tale! And you lead us into it so fluidly with the interior monologue for the pathos.
Thank you so much! I imagine there were true tales like this.
In there lies a magnificent mystery. Hope he reappears at some point in another chapter.
Thanks for dropping by to read mine
Thank you very much. I hope she finds out something. 😀
Hopper is so rewarding – the figure’s bleakness echoed in this marvellous gem of a story – full of open ends unfinished and aching for resolution (I’ll have to look for the others in this series).
Thank you very much for your kind words, Peter.
Melancholy mixed with yearning and dread. I too think this is not the ending. (K)
Thank you very much, Kerfe.
hauntingly sad Merril, that people can and do betray each other in such a manner!
Thank you very much, Kate! It is sad.
I love Hopper’s paintings, and you’ve imagined the story behind this one so well! Just sums up all the sadness in that woman’s face. I hope she gets her life back one day.
Thank you so much, Ingrid. I do, too.
Your words go perfect with the painting. I would love to read more but it is a good flash piece for one’s imagination to finish. I like this line, “She has survived, but she’s only half alive.” Poignant!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words.
I’m an Edward Hopper fan; that picture is among my favourites, and it complements your prose so well, Merril. I love the description of Pierre ’in threadbare clothes like everyone–but somehow elegant’, and the wistful, almost heart-breaking, thought of her waiting until the ‘day darkened to dusk’ – the alliteration makes it sound even drearier and dangerous.
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment, Kim!
Nicely done, Merril. You’ve certainly left me wanting to know more.
Thank you very much, Jill!
The “old” expression that came to my mind as I read this was “She’s been had…” Your flash may be threadbare (to make it short and, well, flash) but your words are elegant!
Thank you, Pam! 😀
Bereaved and left with questions – so much more than a spy story
Thank you so much, Derrick.
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What a great response to the prompt! And of course, Hopper . . .
Thank you so much, Liz!
You’re welcome, Merril!
I read Dale’s, as well.
So many minds, so many interpretations!
Thank you very much! It’s always fun to see so many different ideas from a prompt.