He woke with a start.
Winds were howling in Theo’s ears like they never howled before; taking him from some wine-colored dream--one that’s pulled faster and faster away from him, receding in the dark as he reluctantly waded into wakefulness.
Before his eyes opened, he heard the shack. Little creaks from the wicker and the timber, and the ceaseless flapping of the windows against the battering winds. Shivering from the cold, he rose and went immediately to the nearest window, taking hold of the wooden handle to shut it close. He took a quick glance at the moon’s direction to see that it had taken cover behind the train of passing clouds. Below him, the land lay under a blanket of darkness, lulled to sleep by this unnatural wailing that seem to come from some unfathomable depth. He gave each handle a hard tug, and pulled the latches in place, as he locked the windows one by one, from the inside. Despite this, the wailing winds persisted with their dirge, and Theo, now completely awake, have no choice but to listen.
It’s like being in a cavern; with voices rising and falling like waves, bouncing off each other’s lament, as they follow an unseen conductor bent on orchestrating a grand performance. It didn’t help that the cold have already settled in his bone marrow, and no amount of blanket can help keep him warm. A moment later he heard another layer to these tangled “voices”—the sound of rain; gentle at first, then slowly gaining momentum with every drop, and later on, pouring like truckloads of gravel onto the tin roof above his head. Theo sat on his bed, suddenly realizing he’s in the front row seat to a rousing performance of loneliness and despair.
Light the gas lamp, Theo.
No, its better this way.
Afraid to see your loneliness?
Theo didn’t answer. You’ll get tired of it, eventually.
He lied down, feeling the soft brush of the pillow against his cheeks, and turned to face left. He always liked facing left, especially when Clem has already followed him to bed. Clem would always lie from behind him to give him a hug, placing his right arm across, snuggling him until they both fell asleep. He now reached across, feeling for those arms, waiting for Clem’s soft, warm breathing to start caressing his nape. For the longest time, Theo lay awake.
Only the tears and the endless rain came that night, merciless with their lashings; and the sea below their shack roiled and coiled to the sound of Theo’s silent whimpers, grumbling with the wind.
<to be continued>
image source - http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/