I climbed the narrow winding wooden staircase into the cupola of my blog, gripping the graying white painted walls as I went. In the small box of a place at the top I walked over to one of the rows of windows lining each side. A cobweb from a yellowing gauze curtain stuck on my forearm. I pulled a tissue from my pocket and brushed it away with other webs lacing the corners of the sill. A tiny black spider suddenly homeless scampered across the sill, over a little ramp, like a mini motorcycle jump, where the paint had chipped, and down into a seam in the faded white beadboard wall. I cracked open a window. The curtain lifted on the breeze like a bird of prey from its nest. The sweet smell of meadow grass wafted to my senses, and from somewhere in the coming night a faint music played.
I stood and looked out. In the almost twilight, I surveyed the vast realm of my experiences, and thought of the path I would pursue now.
The refracted light of the setting sun colored the sky orange and before it, across the tall-grass meadow, I saw the mist rising off the broad stream. Down near the stream a bed of irises grew wild – pale purple, deep purple with white centers – they were the most striking –, pink, white, yellow, many colors. Nearby, a lone man with long, dark, reedy hair sat on the bank playing his flute.
Contemplating near and far, my gaze trailed off to the far side of the stream into the distant woods, and as the light faded I began to dream, to drift on a reverie. And then out of nowhere it winged to nest in my senses, music I had never heard: with purity and grace it came – an aria – Chi il bel sogno di Doretta, the beautiful dream of Doretta, Puccini: La Rondine (The Swallow). The aria lifted me into a spiritual space, the heart of where I stay for now.
Just there in the half-light, I felt a draft. I smelled nutmeg. Something brushed against me. I shivered.
“Ah, the music of the night,” a subtle, deep, monotone spoke. A low talker. The Phantom of My Blog. He stood beside me. He laid a deep purple iris on the sill. He smelled of nutmeg. He always smelled of nutmeg. “You shiver. Maybe you need a sweater.”
To be continued …
This is beautiful, I loved the description. And I’m very intrigued by the Phantom! I really like the concept of a phantom of the blog, a fun and modern twist.
The Phantom comes and goes here at my blog, Celine. During the A-Zs, he will be here through Q (M-Q). We all have phantoms of our blogs, don’t we. Currently my Phantom is masterminding a trip to the Palais Garnier to visit The Phantom of the Opera, now that the weather is warmer over there in Paris and it won’t be so dank down on that lake where the Opera Phantom lives….
Thanks for coming by.
Hi Samantha – I’d love to have your knowledge of music and be able to write to it .. this is lovely and then the bringing in of the sweet exotic elixir of nutmeg .. and the Phantom by your side .. love the descriptive ideas. I love nature and nutmeg .. cheers and thanks so much for visiting via Susan .. Hilary
Thank you for visiting, Hilary. Music is my first love. Sometimes I think I write and write to music just so I’ll have an excuse to listen to the music without appearing lazy. 🙂
I love nature, too, and I love to cook. So, here with the Phantom, it all comes together nicely.
How beautiful your words flow from the “page” to my mind and soul. Such a beautiful, spiritual text. I know the delicious scent of nutmeg and love it. This is one of the most lovely of all the writings I’ve read from you. Thank you for my trip to a completely new location. So serene. Hello Moriarty.
“A completely new location” — thank you, Marsha. It is that.
Thank you for your great compliment on my writing.
Moriarty says hello back and is so glad to have met you.
Wonderfully descriptive narrative . . . and the Phantom. 🙂
Thank you, Tyrean, for your wonderful compliment and for coming by to visit me again on the A-Zs.
The Phantom’s getting a big head with his newfound popularity. 🙂 He doesn’t dust, but maybe now he won’t want to sweep up after the party.
Samantha, this excerpt is beautiful. You also are very gifted in writing descriptions that draw people into what you’re reading. I could phantom beside me, looking at me as I read, and I heard the music, only I heard Bocelli singing Canto della terra.
Are you considering writing a book about you and your phantom? I believe that would be a very interesting book.
By the way, I love the smell of nutmeg. It is also one of my favourites seasonings.
Patricia, this story was inspired by our friend T.J. Banks who, like me, writes to music and suggested I listen to Coyote Oldman’s album “Floating on Evening”; by Philip Glass, his Symphony No. 7, “A Toltec Symphony”: 3. “The Blue Deer”, and “Passage”; and by Charmayne McGee, author, “So Sings the Blue Deer”; http://mythagora.com/ for the story of the Goddess Iris; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and, of course, Gaston Leroux for his “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra.” And, oh, Puccini; how could any woman forget Giacomo Puccini?
I listened to the Coyote Oldman and “The Blue Deer” music while writing this piece. I noted that and the credits for my inspiration on my original version of this story “LXXIV: The Blue Deer” here on my blog. When my mp3 player plug-in was on my sidebar and working, you could listen to “The Blue Deer” as soundtrack while reading the post.
Now I shall look for “Canto della terra” in my Classical Archives online membership. Thanks. They have an extensive classical music selection that you can listen to online or buy and download, and you can make your own playlists — $7.99/mo.
I love your suggestion of publishing a “The Phantom of My Blog” book. Moriarty’s head has gotten quite large with his new popularity. I think it’s a great idea, and thank you for inspiring me. T.J. suggested it, too. I do have a draft of it in my Kindle.
Nutmeg is the first scent that came to mind when I wondered how to describe what Moriarty’s scent was. So, I thought, why not? I like it, too, have it in my coffee every morning with cinnamon and half & half.
Thank you, as always, Patricia, for your kind compliments and inspiration.
You are so deliciously descriptive. I do enjoy your posts. Thank you.
Thank you, Gwynn. Now, you and R are making me hungry. 🙂
My dear Samantha,
Thank you for the delicious descriptive prose. The nutmeg tickled my nose.
Your comment tickles me, R. Thank you! 🙂
(Moriarty flat-out sneezed.)