The next day, Lucy had eaten nothing but honey and apples, chewing each crunchy, juicy, crisp and sweet bite into a tired, gruelish paste before swallowing it down a chalked throat. Despite her efforts, the tinge of tartness at the back of her mind remained.
When her husband came home, she didn't want to trouble him with her silly preoccupations...(see part three).
As long as I'm making an effort to write more fiction, I thought I'd do some cataloguing of the creative process as well.
With that in mind, having reread the first part of the story, here's how I see it playing out. It will be interesting to see if the events transpire as I've imagined them, or if the characters themselves will shift the story.
For those betting:
In this story, we see the systematic, minute, and unintended emotional abuse of a marriage and a wife's loneliness compensating with an overactive imagination.
When the pair had married, she'd been bright and colorful and layered as a sunrise. However, she'd made a point of showing certain qualities more to her husband, as society and the magazines advised. He, being the 'straight-and-narrow' type, had taken her showings as her word. He thought she was rather one-dimensional and he loved her that way (as the magazines told him to, too). As their marriage goes on, she cuts back more and more on her divertive outlets, trying to streamline her 'clean and simple' approach to life. Her husband becomes more and more involved with work and spends less time with her.
Time passes. The couple tries to conceive and fails. In her grief, she imagines he blames her; of course, they don't discuss it. When she seeks outside activities, her husband is confused, asking why she needs to get involved with all sorts of complications. "Why muddle a clear sky with a lot of nonsense? All you're bound to get is rain."
That night she begins to dream of great thunderclouds building in her dream-skies. She dreams of them more often than not as the nights go by. She continues to sleep poorly and fuss during the nights, while during the day she seeks distractions from her past. In her search, she rediscovers people she no longer can visit, instruments she gave away and the empty corners where she once stored them, and clothes and mementos she lost track of, until she remembers the one memento she saved, hidden on a dusty shelf in the closet: her photo album.
Flipping through the pages, she sees those things and people and hobbies and postures she has since given up. She sees herself smiling in a photo and a light behind her eyes that she hasn't noticed in years. That night she tries to show her husband the photo album, but he doesn't have time, he has work to do. Just before bed, she brings a single photo to him -- the one with the light behind her eyes. She asks if he remembers it, and he does. He tells her that particular day was so odd. She'd been acting wholly unlike herself, and it had started to rub him a bit raw. But when he booped her nose later and said he hoped she wouldn't always be this rambunctious, she'd smiled up at him, saying nothing. After that came the wedding, and she'd focused in and calmed down, so all was well, her husband tells her. He asks, Why is she bringing this up now? He kisses her head, turns away, and quickly falls asleep.
That night, again she dreams of the thunderclouds, silently rumbling and threatening. This time, however, they at last begin to rain. Erupting, they release not water droplets, but blots of colors that splash over the landscape, painting everything and making the shelterless landscape vivid, even under the shadow of the clouds. The mass above thins as the rain lets up, leaving gaps through which the sun shines. Those bits of earth that have been dyed by the rain gleam and glow, and seem to offer a little heat, warmth radiating up. She raises herself straight, looks out over the landscape, and begins to walk across the plain.
END PART ONE