“I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees.”
No one pays me mind.
“Something was dragged beside the snowshoe tracks. I just know it’s my Sasha.”
My desperate plea ignored, I contemplated interrupting the mini dramas playing out around the table. The family didn’t speak my language, although I’d learned to understand much of theirs since they had welcomed me into their home.
Roberto tipped his wine glass back and guzzled the contents in a most ungraceful way. After the empty glass clanked on the table, I implored him to help. “Sasha is in trouble.”
He shook his head and looked beyond me. “Carlos. More wine.”
I moved on to Elias.
“Please. My love is in danger. I need your help.”
He violently cracked a pecan. The shell snapped and shot across the table. He never turned his seething glare from Lorenzo. I feared the cracking symbolized Lorenzo’s fate. Clueless, love-sick Lorenzo swooned under Isabella’s spell.
“Elias, can you find it in your heart to help?” I pleaded.
An angry swipe sent me stumbling into Isabella. With her left hand, she soothed my fears, and with her right, she took the orange offered by her love. Though I had her hand, her attention (and affection) belonged fully to Lorenzo.
I glanced at Cansado napping under Elias’ chair. He raised his head and, true to his name, lazily dropped his head on the floor as if to say, “Can’t help you, brother.”
Unable to bridge the language barrier, I decided to get some air. My feet crunched in the snow with each step; the steady rhythm offering some distraction. I heard faint cries echo in the still air. Sasha!
I pushed my legs to move as fast they could until I finally saw my Sasha bloodied and beaten. I tried to get her back to the house, but the snow drifts sapped my strength. I collapsed and my love rolled into the warmth of my body. I shivered, but remained determined to give her my last breath if it meant she would live.
Alas, it would not be. Before the sun rose, her heart stilled. I kissed her face before trudging back to the house. I paused when I saw Elias, illuminated by the first hint of morning, pounding a mound of dirt and snow with the back of a shovel. I hid behind a tree until he stalked away. My senses overwhelmed, I knew instinctively that Lorenzo’s body and spirit had separated.
I found Isabella’s bed and curled my lanky body at her feet. Soon, she would awaken and Lorenzo’s death would leave her heartbroken. I’d understand her loss. She would go to him, and I’d be a loyal companion by her side.
Our parallel fates made us kindred spirits, destined to draw comfort from one another.
This story was inspired by the Speakeasy #140 prompt which was to write a piece under 750 words (1) with the first sentence of, “I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees” and (2) with some reference to the painting, Isabella by John Everett Millais.
I found this painting quite intriguing. As I stared at it for inspiration, I found myself drawn to the dog whose head rests in Isabella’s lap. So, this story was told from his point of view.
Thanks for reading! Remember, the Speakeasy prompt is open to everyone, so if you are inspired, feel free to write and submit your own response!