Thought I'd share a story I wrote a while back for a "Writer's Prompt Contest." The story had to begin, "He looked up and she was gone," and be 550 words. Enjoy!
He looked up and she was gone.
He looked up and she was gone. Even though their relationship had been amazingly brief, her sudden departure saddened him. From the very moment he met her under the giant mimosa tree he knew she was special. She had a unique kind of magnificence that could hold any admirer's attention, man or woman. He remembered her sitting there so poised, so angelic. From the first glace she had held him captive with her dainty, yet commanding beauty.
It wasn't like him to be so overwhelmed by a chance meeting, most of the time it took effort for him to become interested on the level she had stirred. She was different. She was the epitome of natures own splendor. And grace. She held a speechless trance over him. In her presence he could scarcely afford even an instant to look away. He knew God had made her special, no one need tell him that. It was the power of her fragile beauty that engulfed him and made him her prisoner, if only for too brief a time. He shook his head and closed his eyes remembering, as best he could, every detail of their time together under the spreading bows of the ancient mimosa.
Her dark eyes had seemed so inquisitive, they held him transfixed. While their encounter had been fleeting, her ability to hold him prisoner with her quiet stare was overwhelming. He focused a lonely gaze where she had last sat. If he tried hard enough he could imagine her there, still. He touched the grass where she had rested in the one sun spot made possible by a break in the massive mimosa's canopy. She loved the sun. She'd never told him that, but he knew. She was different in the sun. She glistened.
Certain things about life had always been hard for him to understand. He wrung his hands, then pounded the ground beside him, frustrated at the sense of loss. He felt a tinge of bitterness force its way inside him as he questioned the fairness of allowing such a tender, yet short-lived encounter to happen. He had known of course when he discovered her, their relationship would not long endure. They came from different worlds. Worlds that could intertwine, interact, but never truly embrace each other.
Why was that? He felt the urge to yell at the sky and demand an answer, but he fought it. Silly, stupid question. He cussed himself. He knew the answer. It wasn't that complicated, even if it was unfair. She had her world, he had his. And each must abide by the rigid rules set in place by powers more powerful and unwavering than anything a mere man could understand. Still he wondered about the callousness of it.
Lying back onto the grass he allowed his eyes to weave a path through the soft leaves of the mimosa and stared at the blue sky. He reasoned perhaps it wasn't so callous, that rule. Of course they would need to each live the life so destined for them, she and he, by some omniscient power that had chartered their separate paths through life. But he thanked that power for allowing him to have known her for even the briefest of time. He knew he would be forever enriched by that meeting. He reached for his diary and recorded the day's date, time and location of this once in a lifetime find. The rarest of rare almost impossible finds, a butterfly so splendid he thanked God out loud for sharing this beauty. He stifled a question though, why had he made so few?
PS- Please if you leave a comment, no spoilers ... THANKS!