44 comments

Submitted on 09/14/2020

Categories: Drama Romance Lesbian

It was the end of the Brown Package season when the women with the wind on their tongues arrived at the house in the mountains. They grasped hands in an eternity sort of way, like past disagreements dissolving into lemons on ice. Their songs were of fairies with broken wings and white lace. 

The mailman, being jealous and lonely, lingered every afternoon by their peachy mailbox. His scent wafted through the house, overpowering even the burning sage. 

The woman with eyes that are the moon’s craters, Elinor, peeked through the curtains every so often. She was suspicious of villages on the edges of cliffs, but nevertheless her breathing quickened whenever she saw the bluebirds. 

Tucked away in the back of her mind, she knew bluebirds weren’t actually blue. It was an illusion, like most other things in their world. The way their feathers were arranged when the light bounced off them created the color blue. 

Charlotte, the woman with a frown for a mouth carved into her face, forbade Elinor alongside all her dusty scrolls to leave the cottage. Elinor’s ears were stuck in her feet that day, so her wife’s rules were buried beside her worries under where the lilies used to be. 

But it was then, sitting on a small patch of dead grass, allowing doves as pale as funerals to perch on her pointer finger, she realized how different the mountains were from the sea. Elinor didn’t know which she preferred most, as she had only been at the mountains for under a day. 

Charlotte returned from the village shops earlier than she had planned. Grunting and slamming the car door shut, she stomped down the path. Her hands were strained from carrying bags and her hair was frizzy and untamed. 

Elinor jumped to her feet, and the doves scattered. Her limbs, strong and delicate as butterflies, carried her back into the cottage and onto a recliner chair. Picking up a book of mountain histories, she heard the urgent whispers of the moths. 

Charlotte strode through the doorway, pausing when she saw Elinor curled up with the book. What the wife didn’t say was that she noticed her rosy cheeks and distant smile. At the time, she thought nothing of it. Perhaps she had opened a window. 

Elinor greeted her by knitting her fingers into Charlotte’s as if they were to create a big quilt of false love and silk robes. She kissed her, barely a sweep over the lips. 

“Tea?” Charlotte inquired. 

She nodded while gazing out the closed window. An echo of bells ran through the house. 

Charlotte frowned while Elinor panicked, “I’ll get it.” 

A smile that was weaved with shriveled leaves and antique lamps appeared on Charlotte before she disappeared into the kitchen. Elinor rushed over to the door, which was vibrating with the last ring of the doorbell. She opened it with caution and thick secrets. 

There was a man on the other side. He was plump and dwarf-like with gray wrinkles stretching across his face. A bag was slung across his blue uniformed chest. His posture spoke of tattered dreams and deformed willow trees. 

Elinor glanced nervously behind her. “Charlotte is back already. Go and never come here again.” 

The man grabbed her hands, the same hands that had just been intertwined with Charlotte’s. “But—” 

“No buts,” Elinor warned harshly, although her heart was filled with lilac laughter. “Give us the letters, and go.” 

He sighed, picking at something stuck in his teeth. He gave a half-hearted smile before removing the flap of his bag, taking papers out, and shoving them into her hand and continuing back up the path. 

Elinor stood there for a moment, clutching the envelopes with her fist. Cracks were already starting to form in them from the pressure. The warm breeze rippled through her clothes, and birds chirped faraway like ticking clocks. It reminded her that time was running out. 

When she glided back inside, Charlotte sat her down on fluffy cushions littered with roses. She set a cup of tea in front of her. Elinor dropped the letters on the table. 

“So who was at the door?” Charlotte asked, uninterested. She picked up a letter and examined the handwriting. 

Elinor gulped tea, “The mailman.” It wasn’t a lie. 

Charlotte nodded absentmindedly, tearing open a letter. Elinor yawned and complained she was weary from the plane flight the day before. She excused herself to the bedroom. Charlotte didn’t even hear, because she was already lost in sifting through their little mail. 

. . . 

The next day was a lively green and full of keyless locks. It wasn’t the type of day that Elinor liked to disobey her wife’s orders, but sometimes Charlotte was too overprotective. 

Elinor watched her trudge down the path and towards the cottage. Charlotte looked better today, with her hair tied in a tight knot and a thin smile on her face. Elinor knew her wife despised the mountains, but at least she wasn’t saying it aloud. Her expression murmured of holes in pockets and family heirlooms. Charlotte muttered that she couldn’t find the ingredients she needed at the shop.  

As she disappeared through the doorway, Elinor heard the violet flowers dance amongst the weeds. She knew everyone had a siren song, and this was hers. Standing on the front steps, she gripped the doorknob. Shaking from pure concentration, she stepped back into the house and shut the door firmly. She wouldn’t be going outside today.

Knocking the books off the shelves, one by one, she finally found the one she was searching for. Charlotte came in, slightly confused, with piping hot tea and left her for the office. 

The old book that was falling apart in her soft fingers smelled of rusted nails and slurred words. She flipped through it, being careful not to tug at the pages. There were few pictures in the book, and they were of princesses with golden hair and handsome princes. 

Elinor thought of her and Charlotte. It was a happy ever after, just in a slightly different sort of way. She seemed to shrug and a short-lived smile twisted onto her lips. Books with many chapters is what she usually read, but every once in a while she’d settle down with a picture book. This book was very close to what she needed. 

Jerking out of her daydreaming, that familiar dong bounced against the walls. Why was he here now? Didn’t he see that Charlotte was home? Elinor heard her wife rise from her chair in the office. 

“Don’t worry, Lottie. I’ll get it,” Elinor called, rushing over to the door. She swung it open a crack, so a sliver of light entered the cottage. Stepping outside under the yellow bubbling sky, she scoffed at the man, and led him into the garden. 

He offered a sly grin. “Sorry I’m late. Is Char—” He still looked like he was going to crumble into pieces at any moment. Although today he reminded her of picnics on the water and itchy mosquito bites. 

“Charlotte’s here,” she confirmed. “You have to go.” 

“Don’t interrupt me,” he commanded through grit teeth. 

Elinor made her jaw very visible. “Don’t tell me what to do. Do you have our mail?” 

“I . . .” he trailed off and stared at something behind Elinor. 

She whirled around, just to be face-to-face with Charlotte. Her wife’s face was expressionless, but it smelled of cherries and midnight walks. 

“Is something going on here?” 

Elinor’s lips parted to speak, but nothing came out. 

“Do you two know each other?” 

Charlotte’s clear voice rang throughout the garden. The daisies tittered nervously, reaching out to tickle Elinor’s ankles. She wanted to laugh aloud just once in her life, but the frozen silver clouds told her this wasn’t the time. 

Finally, the man spoke. “I should go.” 

“No,” Elinor demanded, taking a fistful of the man’s plaid shirt. 

Charlotte pressed her lips together. “So who is he?” She nudged her chin towards the man. 

Elinor blinked a few times to clear the sparkling water from her eyes. She let go of the man’s shirt and slid her hand into his. Charlotte eyed their hands with years of scratched ceramic vases and broken globes that no longer portrayed the world. Elinor then set her hand on her wife’s, and they were puzzle pieces, clicking into place. 

“Charlotte, I’d like you to meet George. He’s the mailman . . . and my father.” 

Both of their eyes crinkled at the edges, like secrets on paper being burnt to a crisp and forgotten. 

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44 comments

18:55 Sep 14, 2020

Congratulations! This is my favorite story, I can say that for sure. You've become so good at descriptions that I'm so jealous. You've written a tale that's both sad and happy and everything. Take the descriptions for example. They were sad but contained words that made it hard for me to stop myself. The descriptions were a bit too much so that sometimes it made it hard for me to focus on the story. But I'll tell you this: I was reading poetry and the very best at that. I didn't care about anything else as I read. All I thought about was h...

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Scout Tahoe
19:09 Sep 14, 2020

Thank you, Abigail. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading it—like REALLY glad. It means a lot to hear that my stories are worthy of being shortlisted. I’m honored to have a friend like you on Reedsy.

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Genevieve Taylor
15:57 Sep 14, 2020

Scout. Scout. SCOUT THIS IS INCREDIBLE! Your writing in this is *chef's kiss* amazing. I love your way with words, and the flourish on your figurative language. Your descriptions are fantastic and soooo vivid. Also so glad you're writing about a wlw couple. The line "It was a happy ever after, just in a slightly different sort of way." absolutely warmed my heart. Thank you for writing this fantastic story!! Stay safe and keep writing! xoxo -Vieve

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Scout Tahoe
15:59 Sep 14, 2020

Thanks so much for your comment, Vieve! It made me beam despite the long day ahead of me. I’m hoping you’ll come out with a new story soon— I can’t wait! :)

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Zilla Babbitt
00:14 Sep 22, 2020

Oh, how beautiful. Your descriptions are a delight to read. I know you might have consequences if I state your age here, but I can't believe the greatness expressed here. "With eyes that are moon craters" oh! "Lively green and full of keyless locks" gasp! Two things. First, if I were you I wouldn't ever state their names. I'd stick with the ethereal descriptions as their names. Second, I think it'd be more impactful if they were actually sisters. Like if the frown woman for example didn't know her father by sight, and the moon crater woma...

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Scout Tahoe
01:03 Sep 22, 2020

Thank you so much! It means so much to me to get advice from someone who's just finished the first draft of their novella. Congrats by the way ;) A lot of people have told me that the descriptions are too much at times. Do you agree? I just don't know what to do about them next time. Thanks again!

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Zilla Babbitt
01:41 Sep 22, 2020

You're welcome! And thank you :) I disagree, I think they're good. There was one place in the very beginning where there were too many adjectives per sentence; that can get clunky. Other than that they were great.

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Scout Tahoe
01:43 Sep 22, 2020

Thank you!

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Aqsa Malik
17:05 Sep 21, 2020

Hey there :D I was looking through your profile, and usually I read people's latest submissions, but the title of this one did just the job and caught my eye. It's such a nice title, and I love how you incoporating it into the story straight away. Some of the lines in this are absolutely mind blowing, especially when you start off with sentences like 'women with the wind on their tongues..." So poetic and beautiful. I also like when people add facts that they know into their stories, like you did with the bluebird thing. I found it ...

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Scout Tahoe
17:08 Sep 21, 2020

Thank you so much! Of course, many people have told me the descriptions/poetic-ness of it was too much at times, which is why I’m trying to work on it in my upcoming stories. Thank you, again.

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:11 Sep 16, 2020

heyo, scout! Man, you just keep getting better and better. I love this! You're doing poetic, lyrical stuff and it's blowing us out of the water but we're SO PROUD! Your thirteen stories combined would be such a good collection because one, you can see how your writing has improved over time and with feedback and two, your narratives connect so well. Something I have trouble with is keeping my own voice in my writing so they're all over the place, but you've got it down. Awesome work, tell your dog hi for me! :D

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Scout Tahoe
03:20 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you! I really take feedback seriously. Yes, my first two stories are going to be labeled under "needs improvement" for sure. :) My dog is waving her paw at you in return. Thanks again.

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Genevieve Taylor
23:51 Sep 20, 2020

Hi Kaique! I've seen you reviewing other people's stories, and I was wondering if you would check out one of mine. It would be great to have someone who's currently in school for language read something I've written. Looking at all of the thorough reviews you've left, I would love to see what you think of my style. If you don't have time or you don't want to, that's fine. No pressure or anything. Thanks! :)

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Faith Hunter
15:02 Sep 20, 2020

Great story Scout! I didn't know that a bluebirds feathers are not actually blue. -Faith

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Scout Tahoe
15:09 Sep 20, 2020

Thank you so much, Faith! It isn't a well known fact. :)

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Julie Ward
19:19 Sep 19, 2020

Oh Scout, this story. Just beautiful. I read it twice just to drink in all of your descriptions. You transported me. I visited this little cottage in the woods. Very, very well done.

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Scout Tahoe
19:20 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much, Julie!

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Leilani Lane
02:17 Sep 19, 2020

From the first sentence, you have a way of describing things beautifully. That is incredibly helpful when it comes to visualizing and connecting with the story! Wonderful work. :) I'm really looking forward to reading more of your stories!

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Scout Tahoe
02:27 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much, Leilani. Love your name by the way. I'm going to submit a new story soon for sure! Also I'm looking forward to reading your new stories too. They're awesome :)

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Leilani Lane
02:29 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much! That's means a lot. :) Cheers to new stories!!

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Scout Tahoe
02:29 Sep 19, 2020

Definitely! Commented on your new one too.

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Leilani Lane
02:29 Sep 19, 2020

Also, I've got to ask--what's your golden retriever's name? :)

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Scout Tahoe
02:31 Sep 19, 2020

Oh, haha. It's Scout. Pretty lazy and uninspiring pen name, am I right? ;)

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Leilani Lane
02:35 Sep 19, 2020

That's amazing haha. I think all authors should have pen names after their pets :D

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Scout Tahoe
02:38 Sep 19, 2020

It's funny, someone actually thought I was a dog. (Currently a human being, by the way.)

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Elizabeth Inkim
00:56 Sep 20, 2020

The twist at the end is everything! I liked how you contrasted the personalities of the couple; particularly how they played off of each other. Also, how do you come up with your titles? I sometimes think naming the story is harder than writing it; how do you do it?

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Scout Tahoe
01:46 Sep 20, 2020

Thank you! I ask people how they come up with their titles because I think I’m particularly bad at coming up with them myself. It means a lot to hear that I’m doing a good job. I just take a phrase I have in my story and just use that or twist it. I’m still trying to come up with interesting non-obvious titles. Thanks again. :)

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Dalyane Deblois
20:30 Sep 18, 2020

Wonderful writing and great story! I did not expect the mailman to be the father! The words and expressions are beautiful, and the reader can clearly feel the emotions of the story, loved it!

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Scout Tahoe
20:38 Sep 18, 2020

Thanks so much, Dalyane. Would you like me to check out a recent story of yours as well?

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Dalyane Deblois
20:46 Sep 18, 2020

Pleasure, and I would love to if you wish!:)

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Joy Read
23:56 Sep 16, 2020

Shocking plot twist :O I thought the man was going to cause trouble to the lovely couple, but the turns out it´s the father, but why was Elinor hiding him? This definitely needs a part two, please? I admire how flawless your writing can be, the way you use descriptive language it´s amazing. You are a great writer. Keep writing!

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Scout Tahoe
01:41 Sep 17, 2020

Wow, thank you. I’m truly flattered. I’ll think about a part 2.

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Mustang Patty
09:48 Sep 16, 2020

Hi, Scout, Wow - this was wonderful. You've mastered the use of metaphors and similes, as well as giving us great prose. Thank you for sharing this great story I also wanted to thank you for reading so many of my stories. If you would be interested, I'm currently taking short stories from new writers for publication in an Anthology - due to come out in late November. Check out my website, www.mustangpatty1029.com for details. ~MP~

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Scout Tahoe
12:53 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I’m interested so I’ll check out your website. ;)

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Mustang Patty
17:41 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you!!

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Mia S
00:04 Sep 16, 2020

This is amazing!!! I loved how poetic-sounding the prose was and how while you used the prompt, you didn't let it restrain the story. It was a little metaphor-heavy at times, but the rest of the time, it was beautiful. Great job. Keep writing awesome stories like this!

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Scout Tahoe
01:00 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you for the advice. I'll be careful next time with my metaphors. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

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Batool Hussain
05:34 Sep 15, 2020

Hey Scout. I decided to stop by to drop some feedback. I've got to say I'm envious: envious of how good you write and how better you're becoming day by day (envious in a good way, please). This is so, so good. Just like Abigail, I thought so too that the mailman was some lover but the twist at the end was so unexpected yet so perfect. You know your way with words, you certainly do. And oh, I envy all your descriptions too. Much love, toolliee

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Scout Tahoe
14:08 Sep 15, 2020

Thanks, Toolie. Even though you might disagree, your writing is getting better every story too. And even if I’m not commenting, I’m certainly reading them. :)

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Batool Hussain
14:34 Sep 15, 2020

Aww thanks

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Scout Tahoe
14:34 Sep 15, 2020

Of course.

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Omani Saleem
07:58 Oct 01, 2020

Loved your story. As everyone is mentioning the descriptions are awesome. The title made me smile though, cause I just wrote a story titled orange and spice😂, purely by coincidence.

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Scout Tahoe
13:18 Oct 01, 2020

Haha, that’s funny. Great minds think alike! Thanks for stopping by.

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