Her nerve endings burned with the need to be two places at once as she both found it impossible to look away and desperately wanted to run screaming for help…

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The afternoon was as comfortable and easy as her favorite song on repeat.  Yet again Nora sat on her favorite bench watching the last hour or so of the day slip away.  She loved to sit here more than anywhere else in the park because it meant she would have to walk by the rose garden twice, because it rested beneath the shade of an ancient oak tree, and because it was the only bench at a look out point, meaning she could pretty much watch anything happen anywhere in the park.  Nora took a deep breath and just sorta…soaked it all in rolling the tension out of her shoulders as she scanned the horizon.  A soft breeze wafted up from the roses tangling her honey colored hair across her face, momentarily blinding Nora.  As she shifted to keep the wind at her back something caught her attention. There was a man standing at the crest of the hill which lay due west from the park, making it the best setting for watching the sun set.  Nora could remember many evenings where she had watched the cosmic battles between the blue day sky and the waring orange and purple night sky from this vantage point, but somehow this felt different.

This man was not looking west at the gorgeous painted sky he was looking east, toward Nora. Even at such a great distance she would have bet good money that it wasn’t the tree which had caught his attention. With the sun behind him it was impossible to see the direction of his gaze, but the crawling sensation on her skin left little doubt, in Nora’s mind, that she was his focus. Immediately an internal struggle erupted within her; should she wave, walk away, or ignore the man completely. Her uncertainty froze Nora in place so completely that she nearly choked on her breath, which she seemed unable to either pull in or release. Leaning forward she scrutinized the silhouette wondering; what the man might want, why he wanted her attention, what was he doing?

The last thought sent alarms ringing through Nora’s already befuddled mind, what was he doing? The man had broken his pose, his hands searching for something, but his head never moved an inch. There was an uncomfortable feeling to the expectant silence, as if Nora had, somehow, agreed to participate in this inexplicable event but still he refused to look away, lest she break her unspoken word and bolt. So she watched, mesmerized by his need for her to watch, which was a tangible thing filling the distance between the two strangers. There was no way for her to have seen any emotion on his shadow of a face, but Nora knew when he had found what he was looking for.

There was no telltale sign or signal, no perceivable nod or motion of any kind. In a distortion of time and space it became as if the man was close enough to reach out and touch. Still shrouded by the fiery orb of the setting sun he was distinctionless, but she could feel his pain and sadness, his person nameless, but she felt a kinship as she rose to meet his need, alone in this moment Nora would be there for him. Her perspective shifted back to normal just as his arm jerked suddenly bent in an upturned angle. She watched helpless as he fell to his knees. Her left hand shot to her mouth stifling a scream the other reached for him across the acrers. Her nerve endings burned with the need to be two places at once as she both found it impossible to look away and desperately wanted to run screaming for help.

His eyes never left her’s.

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Please let me know what you thought of this short story. I wanted it to be brief, but I need to know if it made sense 🙂 I am contemplating continuing the story so please please please comment. Feedback, even negative, is helpful. Thank you in advance for stopping by.

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