HumpDay Quickie #14

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , ,

Le Moulin

by Beth Deitchman

 

“I don’t remember this one,” Doris said.

Betty leaned over to see which picture Doris held. “Le Moulin,” she whispered. The blush surprised her. At least fifty years had passed, yet Betty could still feel the heat of that day.

“What was that?” Doris brayed.

“The mill,” Betty replied. “I took it that summer I spent in Rouen.”

“I never was good with languages like you,” Doris said, her voice clipped. “I never got the chance to travel.”

Betty shrugged, letting Doris have her sulk. She picked up the discarded picture—faded after all these years—and studied it. Around her the cold dining room shifted, faded; the picture fell from her hands.

She stood at the edge of that lazy river, warmed by the June sun, inhaling the scent of water and summer and something else—the rich, loamy earth near the old mill. Le moulin. Despite the day’s warmth, Betty shivered, the sensation radiating through her body. She held up a hand and gave a little cry. Her skin was smooth, taut, and clear, her fingers straight and free from pain. She touched her face, marveling at the softness, glanced down at her body, stunned by the firmness. “But how?” she whispered.

From behind her came a rich voice, familiar though she hadn’t heard it in more than fifty years. “Bonjour, mademoiselle.”

Betty closed her eyes, gave a silent prayer, and turned around. When she opened her eyes, she smiled. “Jean,” she said.

He held out his arms. “I have been waiting.”

Betty rushed into his embrace, remembering the sweetness of his arms wrapped around her, the earthiness of his smell, the heat of his body. For a perfect moment Jean held her.

“What about this one?”

“What?” Betty said, looking up at Jean. He smiled at her then kissed her forehead.

“Betty?”

A cold hand grasped her arm, and Betty’s heart fell.

“What about this one?” Doris said.

“I’m not sure,” Betty replied. The winter chill settled again into her bones though the faint scent of summer, sun, and Jean clung to her skin.

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