The Storyteller - parts 1-5

by Lyle Dagnen


Days when the sky was overcast and cool, she would hear the call of the ocean as she walked along the beach. The grains of sand washed from under her bare feet by the gentle waves. She felt like she should walk into the whispering surf and go wherever it would take her. Some days were dark with fog or overcast, days of dusky twilight. Depths of the night were her favorites; then the voice of the sea was strongest. The darkness spoke to her as the sea called her, whispering words only she could hear.

She sat that day and looked at the screen of her computer’s word-processing program. She just looked at it; her fingers didn't seem to be able to make any letter combinations. Her mind, usually filled with voices and conversations, was strangely silent. As the sun sputtered its last rays across the sea, she looked out her glass door; she listened to the call of the sea. She was drawn to the edge of the sea like a magnet draws metal. She stood at the edge of the universe of the water and felt the cool waves lap at her feet. She wondered, not for the first time, what or who was looking back at her from those inky depths. Why were they calling her? What did they want from her?

She felt the hot tears form behind her eyes. She felt the vast loneliness open up where her heart should be. The wind picked up her hair and blew it around like hands caressing her scalp. The voice of the sea offered peace, contentment. The loose dress she wore was so easy to discard, she would walk into the inky blackness; she would discover what it was that the sea had to tell her. She stepped into the water, her dress floating to the damp beach, a marker for where she decided to change the world where she was existing.

The sea was opening its arms to her; she felt the wetness on her legs. The wind was cool on her body, wet with splash from sea waves. She was going home to the sea. She felt two very strong arms clasp her waist and hold her out of the water, walking her back to the beach. His skin was warm against her, he held her tight, murmuring soothing sounds in her ear. When they reached the beach he picked up her dress and wrapped it around her, sitting down and holding her. She began to cry, hot, scalding tears.

“Hey.” The voice was deep and soft. “Are you OK?”

What the hell was she supposed to say? “No, I'm not OK. Will you please leave me to go live in the sea?”

Why was he holding her so close? Who was he? Why did he even give a damn about what she was doing? She had never felt arms like his holding her; he held her like he would never let her go. He held her like he really cared what she did or didn't do. He was murmuring words as he held her to his chest and rocked with her on the beach. He was allowing her to cry, she was really letting go now, he didn't try to stop her; he just allowed her to cry. Time had ceased to have meaning, how long had they been here on the edge of the sea with her crying like she couldn't stop? When she finally pulled away from his caress, that's what it was, a caress, the moon had begun its journey across the night sky. “How long have we been here?” Her voice was raspy and she sounded like she had the worst cold that had ever been caught by a human being.

“I haven't checked the time. It was important that you got it all cried out, so I've just held on to you while you cried.”

His voice was like some kind of heavy silk material. It rustled when he spoke; it resonated in her head. His large hands were gently rubbing her back, his touch calming.


“Why did you grab me out of the ocean?” she hiccuped.  She knew she was a mess.  She was always a mess when she cried.  Hell, she was a train wreck but he didn't seem to mind.  She became aware that she was clad in almost nothing, he had covered her with her dress, he had warmed her with his body.

“Because you were taking a walk in the wrong direction,” his voice was soothing like a lullaby.  He took the edge of her dress and began to dry her face, then he smoothed her hair back out of her face.  Satisfied with his handy work, he smiled, really smiled at her.

She turned her head to listen, the voice of the sea had stopped.  It no longer called her name.  “The sea was calling me,” she whispered,.  “I can't hear it any more.”  She couldn't believe there was actually a catch in her voice.  After all those tears, was she going to cry some more?

“Shh,” he pulled her back to him, “you are where you are suppose to be, right here with me.”  He was so confident that she didn't think to question the reason they were sitting here in slightly wet clothes on the wet sand, with the sea rushing up to touch them, keeping them damp and brushed with sand.

“I don't even know who you are,” she looked up at his beautiful face; she felt like she knew him.  He smiled at her.

“You do know me.  I'm your muse.  You know me, we talk every day.”  She stared at him like he was the one who might walk into the ocean, not her.    “Sometimes the fates aren't ready to cut your life thread and they do something wonderful, like set me free for a time so that I can help you.”  His hand bushed her hair from her face as the wind lifted it and played games with the strands.  “We have some time together, come with me.”  He stood, helping her find her feet so that she stood facing him. He shook the sand from her dress and dropped it over her head.   Why didn't she think this was nuts?  He was talking mythologicaly to her; she was just accepting it like she actually spoke to her muse every day.  Well, she did, but he was always in her head.  Not holding her in his arms on a night time beach.  He put out his hand to her, she took it, it felt right.   As they walked, he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her to his side so that she felt safe, protected.  By the time she was back at her house she was hungry.

“Are you hungry?” she asked as they stepped inside the open space that was the main section of her house.

“Always,” his smile was beautiful.  As she looked at his deep hazel eyes that looked brown or green depending on the light,  eyes she knew that belonged to the guy she called her muse that lived in her head.  This was magic.  She didn't know if she believed in magic but she sure believed in him.   She had written so many short stories; it was because of him that she was able to write.  He coaxed her, he sang to her, he whispered in her ear; some days it was because of him that she finished a love scene.  It was as if she were some Arabian princess telling him stories so that she could stay alive, they wove magic together.

“How long can you stay with me, like this?  When do you have to go back to my head?” he reached to caress her face with his beautiful hand.  He looked at her wishing he could tell her a lie and say he would be here forever.  He couldn't do that to her; he could only tell her the truth as he knew it.


Cosmic Kiss by Josephine Wall
“The fates never let anything go on too long. You needed me. If I had not formed, you would have ended you. You have so much more to give, so many stories yet to tell, so many things you have to be. I could not let you end.”

He covered the distance between them and pulled her to him. “You have a love affair with me in your head but you stopped talking to me.” He reached for her and he held her tightly in his arms. “I could not let you go.”  He kissed her. Just like that, he kissed her. His kiss drew her breath from her body and put it back. His hands moved over her, warm, gentle and demanding. “I will be here for a while.” His voice was soft. He wanted to tell her what her future held but that would really be breaking the rules. He thanked the gods on a regular basis that he was her muse, that he was in her head. That he had this chance to touch her and be with her was a gift.  He would treat it as such.

“What was I doing?” She leaned against him when the kiss ended. He could tell that his kiss had turned her world upside down. If he had been anything but immortal, he might have exploded into the universe.

“You were about to feed us.” He laughed at her confusion.

He might have only a few days, he would make them good days.

Part 4

“Oh yes, food.”  She turned to her kitchen area. “What about pizza?”
“I know you like it, so I must too. Pizza it is.” He walked into the kitchen, opening the freezer. “See? Pizza!”  He handed her the box, choosing to sit at the kitchen island. He could tell she was absorbing all that was happening to her. He was enjoying this. Already he wished that this could be forever rather than just a few days. He did not want to be separated from her. The fates had warned him of this. He decided not to think about the ending at this time; he would enjoy the time he had with her before he had to go back.
As they finished the meal, she looked at him with questions in her eyes. “What are we supposed to do?” she asked.
“We are supposed to write,” he smiled, “we do that very well. You haven't been talking to me, so you haven't written much. Let's write.”

Like a trance had been cast she walked to the computer, called up her word-processing program, and settled in to write. He sat beside her, whispering in her ear. The words appeared on the pages.  She had nearly finished when the sun found it's way into the sky the next morning.
“Damn!” she uttered as she wrote the final sentence. “Now all I have to do is proof the darn thing.”

She looked at him as if she could just fall into his arms. His head rested on her shoulder.  When she turned to him he was less than an inch from her lips. The kiss just happened and again the contact took them to other places. Need and desire bloomed deep inside them; it was like something consuming both of them at the same time.
“Now we go to bed.”  His voice was like distant thunder.
 “I don't feel sleepy,” she murmured.
 “I didn't say to sleep, I said to bed...”

Part 5

The air in the room disappeared; she lost the ability to speak.

“Come with me. It's time for you to feel what it's like for someone to love you beyond anything you have ever known.”

She followed him, no questions. She silently wondered if he would be the lover she had always dreamed him to be.

“I am,” he said as he pulled her after him. “Sit on the bed and wait for me,” he bent to whisper in her ear.

She watched him pull the curtains, blocking out the daylight. He moved around the room, then he came and stood before her.

“I was made for you,” he said.

He pulled her up so that he could kiss her. She fell into his arms; that is the only description she could think of as his arms moved around her, holding her close.  His tongue took her mouth in a sweeping motion, tasting her, urging her to taste him. Her mind did not even begin to think that this was too soon. The moment she had opened her eyes and looked at him on the beach, she knew that this would happen, because in a moment she loved him. She had written thousands of words about two people coming together to make love. She had described the sudden explosion of passion, the total blending of two people in something called love. All of the words seemed to be hollow somehow as they moved together to remove the few pieces of clothing that they each wore. The cover on the bed was pulled back, both of them working together. He moved onto the bed first, holding out a hand for her to join him. They were not speaking words; they were speaking with their souls.

He was watching her, paying attention to the way she smiled, the way her eyes looked, the way she breathed when he touched her. She was watching him, listening to him purr with satisfaction as she responded to his touch, his lips and his body covering hers. He needed to be inside her, she needed him to fill her. As they joined, she stopped breathing, the air moving from her lungs.

“Breathe,” he whispered. “Breathe, let yourself feel, just feel.”

As he moved she began to feel the heat of arousal, something she could swear she had never felt before, not like this. Time ceased to have meaning as the passion built between them.

“Come with me,” he ordered, and she did; falling into some deep place that only the two of them knew. “Leigh,” he called her name. “Oh, God, Leigh.” He held her and rested his head on her neck, lightly biting the skin there.
“Jason,” she whispered back to him. “Jason.” She was catching her breath, waiting for her heart to slow down.  Her hands moved over his shoulders, across his chest, and down his arms. “I never...” She didn't finish her sentence; she couldn't find the words.
“I know.” He was nuzzling her neck, her ear, kissing a path to her mouth. He shifted his weight so that he was not pressed on top of her.  “I want to stay connected to you as long as I can.” He pulled her next to him. “Sleep now.”

She fell asleep quickly, wrapped in his arms. The last thing she felt was the sheet settling over the two of them. She went to sleep with him buried deep inside her; the best feeling she had ever known.

(to be continued)