fiction

“sing me home” part one

something created ages ago:

She was a late-night chambermaid, in one of those run-down hotels that still clung to their faded grandeur in the midst of peeling paint, faded velvet, and the smell of old food.  Subject to the occasionally unwanted advance from a worse-for-the-bourbon guest, but never from where she most wanted.  There was the same air of former glory to her features as that of the hotel, though she was far too young for the sort of faded beauty that clung to her ever-shrinking curves.

The town should have been a small town, for the gossip and busybodies that inhabited it, but it was large enough, and held enough history, for the constant stream of visitors looking to catch a glimpse of glory, and those looking to hold it in their hands for a moment.  The Montgomery had been a hotel for neither in its better days, but those had been long gone before Genevieve came to work, looking to survive long enough to catch just the amount of success that would allow her to return home to triumph instead of disdain.

There had been a man, a boy really, who moved to little Genevieve’s town when she had just grown into the promising beauty she had displayed as a young child.  It was the most common of stories, Genevieve’s.  Hazel eyes that flashed with anger and love intermittently, a girl who sang in the church choir, not for particularly love for Jesus, but for the love of fellow voices joining together in song.  She was no great star in that little town with no name remembered now, but had close enough friends, an interested boy or two, and not enough desire for something more to be malcontent.

Perhaps the beginning of this part of her story would be more interesting, if only there were some great love or tragic scene involving this boy and a shotgun wedding, perhaps unrequited love.  Alas, there was not.  They found in each other a nurturing spirit and enough desire for something more to become, the both of them, malcontent with their little town and its little people, who generally were quite happy with the lives they had chosen to lead.

There were doctors and lawyers and even the odd writer, who could have made more money and led lives with their mental contemporaries in big cities, moving to that corridor to the northeast that seemed to lure those from Middle America in droves, but they knew they were happier along the Gulf Coast, with its barely slower way of life, and simpler times.  Instead, they made a home there, dumping sand out of their shoes from time to time, and popping champagne on New Years’ Eve.  Many left, but more stayed.

Genevieve belonged to neither the most successful families, nor their less fortunate kin, but was still raised to be a calm and capable wife, good at raising children but fully willing and able to work for the family’s sustenance.  So, when it came time for her seminal moment there was a reasoned explanation of growth and opportunity in moving, and a fellow who promised to work with her, and look after her, so long as she did him.  Parents were reassured, and children left with smiles and hopes and tears, setting off on a great adventure to, not one of the far-away cities with bad reputations, but one of the more sinister sister cities a few hours away, with family and friends and destroyed hopes waiting for them.

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