The Grand Tower stood tall on the shore. No one knew who had built it. There was no visible way to reach the top. It stood tall on the white sands as a monument to some long lost deity or queen. Travelers came from miles around to lay their sweet sorrows at the base of the tower. They were tired and grungy from long days of walking. Dried carnations and worn love letters littered the ground beneath the tower. Every high tide they were swept away to the depths of the ocean.
One cold and blustery morning a woman walked around and around the tower. The few pilgrims who had camped near the tower watched her with suspicion. The woman began to sing. The words were unknown to everyone who was assembled their but it tugged at their hearts regardless. She sang until the sun was overhead. She held a small bottle in her hand and let the sun’s rays imbue it with their warmth. The woman walked to the ocean side of the tower. She poured the heart oil into her hands and she wrote her beloved’s name on the wall. A loud screech echoed from the top of the tower. The woman continued to sing. She traced the name of her lover over and over again. The onlooking crowd gasped in horror as a crack traveled up the side of the tower. The woman didn’t flinch.
The golden roof of the tower fell off and landed in the sands. A lightning bolt came out of the clear blue sky and struck the tower. There was a loud heartbeat that pounded three times and then a creature launched itself from the tower. It’s wings were so large they nearly blocked out the sun. The onlookers ran for shelter as the shadow of the creature fell over them. The woman still clung to the tower, singing, and tracing her lover’s name on the cracked wall.
The creature circled three times before landing beside the woman. The woman turned and acknowledged the monster before her. “Lenora. I’ve come to free you. The monster is dead at last. Come back to me.”
The creature let out a scream that had everyone nearby covering their ears. When they looked up the creature was gone and in its place was a woman. She stood shakily. Her clothing was rags. Tears glistened on her cheeks. The two women embraced, laughing and crying. They walked up from the tower and headed off to the east. The tower cracked and crumbled with every step they took. The onlookers watched the tower become a ruin within the space of a few minutes. The two women never looked back. They walked hand in hand. The oldest woman in the crowd walked towards the tower. She surveyed the ruins and whispered an old nursery rhyme.
“The love that gave you wings will become your prison bands, until the tower falls to the sands.”
The prompts for today’s short story:
wings of love
the grand tower
Copyright 2020 Klaudia Grady