"Notes of Her" is one of the April Writing Challenge entries that was chosen to be a featured story.
She was settled in the middle of the clearing, the pages of a notebook tumbling into her lap and a pen delicately balanced between her intricate, ink-stained fingers. Her eyes lifted to the tops of the trees in mid-thought, their azure dreaminess glinting in the sun that splintered through emerald leaves.
For a few fleeting seconds she stayed like this; tilting her head, sinking her shoulders; the epitome of thoughtfulness. Until, seized by some idea, inkling, or inspiration, her fingers clasped around the pen, tracing its tip along the pages of the notebook, words spreading ebony across dense parchment. A smile itched along her lips, as if she couldn’t quite contain the pleasure she had gleaned from her small but seemingly significant success.
Some small distance away, a rush of grass hissed through the tranquil of the clearing, and the unwelcome burst of a disgruntled walker could be heard from the surrounding fields, shouting for his dog, dissecting the silence. She turned around quickly, startled by the voice that had roused her from her focus.
With a breath, she collected the air she had expelled in her fright.
And she returned to her work.
That was the last of the many times I saw her there that summer.
I’d frequently stall my evening walk, unnoticed from some trees behind, watching as she scribbled away in that little notebook; and I would wonder what it was that she wished to pour so purposefully onto paper, and out of her undoubtedly pretty mind.
With the fading of each summer day, my curiosity grew; I’d lie sleeplessly in the heat of nighttime imagining her, creating the parts of her that I didn’t know; her voice, her handwriting, her laughter. Even just the mystery of her name was enough to keep me questioning.
Until that day, when I wasn’t quite so careful.
The sweet scent of perfume among the earthy air of that final evening told me I had come too close, and the earlier disruption from the fields had awoken her caution. All it took was the crack of a fallen branch beneath my feet, and the secrecy, the serenity, was over.
She looked around, searching for the source of the sound; all too soon, her eyes, blue and piercing, locked onto mine.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Her voice wasn’t how I’d imagined it at all.