The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 50

He was crazy. He should have gone inside with John. But he saw her. She was still there, up ahead. She hadn’t moved, didn’t seem to be unbalanced by the wind. She was looking out, clear against the horizon. He had to help her.

She had avoided his questions. She had smiled sadly sometimes, and looked into his eyes sometimes, but often she had just looked out and away. Something in her eyes—like a glimmer of beauty, of pain, of familiarity—made him need to know her secrets. Her grief was drowning her, and someday she might be lost completely.

He spoke to the tiny wrinkled blind woman who tended the cemetery. Apparently they had lived off on their own, at the edge of the town. There were rumours, though the elder denied there being any truth to them.

“They say she came from the lake. That she sailed in on her own dingy, or walked even, some say, in the middle of a storm. That she came to shore and married her husband. That he shouldn’t have tried to marry her, because she’s not from the land, but that’s just jealousy talking.”

“Does anyone know where she’s from?”

“No. Across the lake, maybe? She keeps to herself so the townsfolk gossip, but they’re just malicious rumours, names. She’s a kind woman, a sad woman.”

“What names and rumours?”