I have been working tirelessly on The Fallen Silk, trying to write every day regardless of my feelings of inadequacy and my atychiphobia; some days I write hundreds of words, other days I can barely force out a sentence or two.

I have been wrestling with my thoughts recently, with the things that are sure to come at some point in the near future. I am struggling with pain and a deep sense of loss–within the darkness, scattered points of light shine through and those glimpses of joy and smiles and laughter bring me a sense of calm. It is these feelings, all of the darkness broken by light here and there, that inspire this tale of grief and acceptance and understanding.

photo: nick west

My darling daughter, I know you will solve every puzzle you are faced with, and that there is no obstacle too large for you to overcome.

She opened her eyes to the soft white and pink and yellow light of morning. She couldn’t remember closing the window, but when she glanced to either side of the bed, she noticed that neither window was open. It was warm and bright in the bedroom, nothing like it had been only hours before. Nimbus had found her way onto the bed and had curled up under the comforter against Effie’s side. She ran her hand over the kitten’s fur and along her jawline, cooing to the feline to wake her.

Her mother’s words of encouragement echoed in her thoughts as she moved out from under the blanket and pulled her robe around her body. Nimbus stretched against the sheets but did not move from her place in the sea of white and mauve. With a final smile back at her companion, Effie left the bedroom for the kitchen.

The morning light had seeped through the lace curtains and cast filigree shadows on the floor and her feet as she padded over the warm wood to the stove. The coals had almost completely died out as she slept, which she assumed was the reason it had been so cold (seeing as a window had not been open), so Effie loaded another log and few pieces of paper and twigs into the belly of the metal stove and lit the paper with a match. The fire took, roared to life, and began to fill the room with a gentle warmth. She filled her kettle and set it on the burner, then set about preparing a plate of biscuits and fresh fruits from the harvest.

It was a peaceful and quiet morning, and for the first time since her mother’s death, Effie felt a joy that radiated through her ribs and up to her face, and she watched the woods from her kitchen window with a smile.


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