This week’s Tipsy Lit Prompted challenge piece is about big risks. Enjoy, and remember – feedback always appreciated here at manuscripts & marginalia!
Note: Word count squeaks in at 499, right under the 500-word max.
He’d been following me for a week. I thought he was new to the neighborhood. He never paid any attention to me, so I felt like the interloper. That should’ve been a clue; men always look at me. At first it’s a glance, then a sweet, studious stare. They say I remind them of their mother. Damnedest thing.
He never batted an eyelash in my direction. Vanity should be my shield, but I set it aside.
My stomach flips; we’re going over a hill, I think. Images of torture porn and abandoned warehouses fill my head. I didn’t want to cry, but terror takes over and tears dampen my blindfold. I will the car to stop, and then it does.
He opens the trunk and the air is cool and fresh.
“Not the way to make an impression,” he says. Nimble fingers untie the blindfold.
The canopy overhead filters sunbeams into lacy patterns of light. Mossy tree stumps and boulders form a perfect circle.
In its center is a woman.
“Thank you, Moshe,” she says. Her skin is darker than mine, but not as smooth. She looks older in the eyes, even though she must be close to my age.
“I am sorry he scared you,” the woman says. “I did not think you would come on your own, if you knew why I summoned you.”
She sits on a boulder and gestures to the stump beside her. I walk forward and sit on it awkwardly, tucking my knees under my chin. I cannot find my voice. Perhaps it has been taken from me.
“Moshe has been my familiar for a long time,” the woman continues, “but it is good to have you here again.”
My mouth feels heavy, but it manages to form the word.
“Poor Eve,” she strokes my cheek.
“My name is Av – ” I can’t finish saying my name; it tastes sour.
“You’ve forgotten,” the woman looks away. “Do you remember me?”
A name surfaces and when I speak, the wind carries it away: Lilith.
“They took it from all of us,” she says. “They stole our power first. Made us wives when we were goddesses. We didn’t know subservience, and it never took.”
Lilith’s dark eyes are angry and fierce when she looks at me.
“They lured us. Set us up to fail. And when we did, they left us without memories. Without knowledge. It took many lifetimes for me to find myself again. Even more to find you.”
“Eve,” I say.
“There are more.” She gestures to the circle and I feel a pang of sorrow.
“Eat this,” Lilith breaks a pomegranate open with her hands. Seeds burst and the juice ruins down her skin, dark and beautiful.
“Remember,” Lilith begs, “and we can fix it. Restart salvation.”
Images flash in my mind.
Hiding from Him, dried juice staining our lips and hands.
I fish out the seeds, ripe and tart. Knowledge returns, and I bid adieu to Avalon.