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Lesbian Urban Fantasy Sad

Life is a fickle thing. Always evolving, growing, fading, dying.

Time is unchanging, always moving forward, never looking back; it has no mercy on those who take it for granted.

Lula Sallow knew that better than anyone else alive or dead. At a glance, she was a strange young woman, 26 years of age, with salt and pepper hair and dull gray eyes.

‘Genetic disease,’ she would say when questioned. She was asked so much she began to believe her lie as well. 

Some days she would see herself in other women, with their long ginger hair, or bright hazel eyes.

Some days, she would look in the mirror and only recognize the person she had become.

Lula didn’t know which was worse. 

Some days, she knew, were the worst, however. The days where everywhere she looked; she saw glimpses of the past, in people, and places; painful memories followed her everywhere.

Eventually, she would find her way back there, the cabin. Drawn to it like a moth to a flame, going towards what would be only pain, yet still continuing on.

It had been long since she had been back here, but not long enough.

Lula’s hand shook as she took the old key, inserted it into the padlock, and turned.

*Click*

The old cabin door creaked open, its path marked in the dust on the floor. Dust wafted in Lula’s face; she only wiped it away.

The inside of the cabin was the definition of anachronistic. Antiques atop modern cabinets, lamps and candlesticks side by side, a wood-fueled stove, and an electric refrigerator. The only thing they all had in common was that most were covered with sheets 

It was impossible for the average person to tell how old the place was, or what items within were originals if any. Lula remembered each item she brought into the cabin, and which were there when she first opened up that door.

Some things she would never forget, no matter how hard she tried. 

Lula dropped her duffle bag containing everything she currently owned, and dropped it on the floor, waving away the dust cloud that followed suit. She walked over to each window, threw back the faded curtains, unlatched each lock, and swung them open. 

Methodically, she removed each and every sheet from the furniture, as well as every blanket and rug; then took them outside and shook them free of dirt and grime. Grabbing for a broom and mop she began to clean the floors. 

She scrubbed, and scrubbed, ignoring the pain in her arms as the hours went by. Even as she ached, she would not stop until she was done. 

-

It would be only three hours before she finished cleaning the cabin from top to bottom, a seemingly remarkable achievement if not for the fact that the grime which covered the old cabin was only surface level. Underneath the sheets and layers of dust, everything was rather untouched by time, each object only looking as old as the day it was brought into the cabin.

There was only one object still covered up, perfectly untouched behind a sheet hanging on the wall. One in which Lula was quite content to ignore. Behind it, an ornate hand mirror, rusted and uncared for.

And there it would remain, for the rest of her stay in the cabin, never once looked at, used, or cared for. Never again.

Some days, of course, she would be tempted; to rip the sheet off and look into the mirror. Some days she yearned to gaze into what was not her reflection, but of a time long since passed; the very beginning. 

Some days, she wanted to take that glass and break it into a thousand pieces, to break it the same way it broke her. To get rid of the constant reminder of the life she lived, and who she lived it with, with her.

In the end, it always circled back to her. To the cabin. Try as she might, Lula never could let go, not of her. Not of the cabin. Not of the mirror. While not in body, it followed her in spirit wherever she ventured. No matter the distance, no matter how much time had passed, the one thing that always would plague her mind would be that impossible mirror, inside that godforsaken cabin, filled with the ghosts of happier times. 

Lula could dust and sweep and mop all she wanted, but she would never be able to wipe her conscious clear of those she left behind. 

At this point, she did the only thing she could do. She sat down, in the no longer dusty cabin, surrounded by once-loved objects, and a dimly lit fire, and began to write.

My Dearest, Hatsu

You’ve left me alone once again, in the cabin, our home. I shan't ask you when you will return, for I know that to be never. That horrid little thing deep inside, burning eternally; diming yet never doused. They call her Hope, a beautiful name for one so painful. She keeps me waiting, forcing me to bide my time, for all of this time, for the ever smallest chance I may see you once again. 

I loath her with the same heart I love you, I suppose there is no one without the other. Love and hate. What is the sun without the moon, a day without night, life without death, me without you? 

I am but one-half without you. A whole nonetheless, but no longer am I a part of something greater than myself without you. Is this how I am doomed to spend my time on this mortal plane, imbalanced, without my only love, my life, my Hatsu.  

Oh to be with you once more, there is nothing I would not do. No line I would not cross, just to be in your warm embrace again. To hear your soft voice upon my ear, to feel your gentle hands hold me and take away all of life’s turmoils without strain. 

How I yearn to hold you, to see your eyes, and joyful smile. I would rejoice to the heavens for the rest of my time, to hear you laugh once more. 

Do you remember, my dear, the times we spent together? The days and nights we reveled in our pure love, lost in the daze of bliss since we joined as one in holy matrimony, in spirit, and in soul. The fortnight before that enchanting day, I remember looking into your eyes, as you told me that nothing more in the world would matter to you so long as we had each other. I remember you giving me that gift, so beautifully handcrafted, strong yet fragile. You gave me a mirror, but all I could see in it was you. All I see in it, is you.

My dear, you and I are one in body no longer, yet still, I am with you in spirit every day since I lost you. I would forsake everything in this treacherous world, to grant your wish, to allow you to live in that life of bliss we once had, even at my own expense. 

 I would live a thousand of these lives, again and again, just to spend those years with you once again. We only had a short twelve years together, growing up, only four in marriage as it were, but I would take the hardship of the years afterward and a thousand more to get that chance once again, even for just once. 

Fate, my cruel mistress so it seems, prevents it from being so. Alas, nothing else for one to do except continue on, just as I have done for all of these years, months, weeks, days, and minutes. 

Sleep well my love, and may you know not of the pain and heartache that I fear I shall face forevermore. 

~ With utmost love, 

Yours affectionately and till the end of time,

 Lula

She wrote slowly, carefully choosing each word and turn of phrase with the utmost care. Her emotions welled through Lula as she wrote, yet with much practice, she continued with them bottled up inside. Despite her efforts, however, she was unable to stop the single tear from dropping onto the paper, pooling the ink on her signature.  

Lula took a moment to compose herself, before sealing and then ripping the paper in twain, before throwing one-half of it into the fire. She watched as it burned, curling up onto itself, until it was nothing more than ashes. 

Clutching the other half of the letter, she took out a wooden box and placed it inside. Beneath it, were dozens of similarly torn letters filling up the space. She tentatively touched the collection of letters with a shaking hand, before pulling away and sealing the box once again. 

Lula then would turn in for the night, yet not in the bedroom she had spent so long tending to. Instead, she laid down on the sofa in the main room, and closed her eyes, prepared for a night of restless sleep. 

Yet, as if a gift from up above, a restless sleep would not be what met the lady Lula Sallow that night.

That night, she found herself in a lush meadow bordered by flowering trees, and the beginnings of sunset illuminated the sky. A soft breeze blew by, as Lula took a deep breath of the cool evening air, soaking in the first pleasant dream she had had in a very long time. 

Her dreams, were more often than not, fitful. Full of regrets from the past, people she left behind, and situations she would rather forget. This time however, much like her waking moments, she was alone. 

And in this grove, for the first time, she perhaps did not mind her loneliness, as it did not sting like before. Lula felt comfortable, here in this meadow, and for some reason, she would dare say she felt at peace. 

“Oh, my dear, Lula, time has not been kind to you”

Lula’s eyes shot open desperately looking around for the source of that voice. So soft, so full of love, and so familiar she felt her heart twist and break once again. Tears welled in her eyes, as she finally spotted the speaker.

A young woman with flowing black hair, covered in flowers, stood not five feet from Lula. She was wearing a beautifully embroidered Long Feng Gua, and held an ornate hand mirror in her hands. 

Lula watched, eyes welling up with tears, as her bride Hatsu, looking just as she did on the day they were wed, made her way towards her.

Lula shakily walked towards her, faltering in her steps, eyes wide and unbelieving. “Mi Amor, Hatsu,” She gasped, voice breaking at her lover’s name.

Hatsu closed the distance between the two, and encased her in a warm hug; as soon as they touched, Lula grabbed onto her for dear life, burying her head into her shoulder, sobbing. 

Hatsu grabbed onto her back in kind, fingers running through her hair, kissing the side of her head “It’s alright my love, I’m here, please don’t cry, I’m here” 

“Hey, hey, look at me my dear,” Hatsu leaned back out of the embrace, before immediately holding onto Lula’s face, touching their foreheads together

“I’m coming home soon, my love” Her smile was radiant, and Lula so desperately wanted to believe that this was real.

Lula’s tears kept falling, as she tried to drink in the sight of her living, breathing, wife in front of her, even if only in a dream.

Like reading her mind, as she often seemed to do, Hatsu spoke once again, shaking her head. “It’s real my love, it's real”

Lula couldn’t bring herself to speak, to break the illusion, this one good dream of what she had been missing most of all. 

“You don’t believe me, oh my love,” 

The two women finally broke out of the embrace, as Hatsu reached for a flower in her hair.

“I know nothing I say can prove this to you, but perhaps this might,” She said as she put the white flower into Lula’s hands, and gently closed her hands around it. 

“This is not an ordinary world as you well know my dear. I may have passed on to another realm, but I can feel that I shall soon return.”

Lula finally regained her voice, as she spoke the words she knew in her heart to be true, no matter how much she hated them, “It’s impossible”

“Are you not living proof of the impossible,” She sadly laughed and gestured to Lula’s salt and pepper hair “From the moment we met to the last night we had, you had such vibrant ginger hair, such glimmering hazel eyes. My dear, time has taken such a toll on you, more so than any mortal, that it has leeched the color from you”

Lula only shook her head

“You can deny it no longer, Lula, you are the very impossible you aim to deny.” 

“I’m not”

“Then how are you the way that you are”

“I-I don't know, perhaps I’m growing ill, or insane, since you passed, or that- it wasn’t that long ago, really I don’t-”

“Lula, I passed over one hundred and seventy-three years ago, and you have not aged a day”

Silence overwhelmed the meadow, as the reality of poor Lula’s life has finally begun to set in. It was true, for Lady Hatsu Sallow had passed in the cold winter of January, 1846, leaving behind her widow, Lady Lula Sallow.

A piece of Lula died with her beloved wife, that piece perhaps, was her mortality itself. While Hatsu breathed her last breath, Lula continued to live.

Over five years would pass before Lula would realise that she appeared the same as she did on that tragic day. 

Twenty years later, Lula disappeared from the world, now knowing that deep inside, she was no longer like the people around her. The once Lady Lula Sallow left no loved ones behind that day, after all, her wife had already passed.

Throughout the years, Lula would try to process what was happening to her, as slowly, a delusion began to cloud her mind. Part of her knew what was occurring, what had already happened, but another part of her was much more content to try and forget, to ignore the horrors she lived in. 

And so she did. For those so long one-hundred and seventy-three years, Lula lived partially in a delusion, and partially in the days where she would remember the painful truth. 

“Lula, when you wake, I promise you, you will understand. I am going to come back, it is fate,” Hatsu spoke again, before kissing Lula softly on the lips, as her entire world faded away into darkness once more. 

-

Lula awoke to the sound of the forest, and soft morning light filtering in through the windows she had yet to close. She felt the tears on her face, and just sat there, trying to remember the dream she had, for as long as she possibly could. 

Once the light got harsher, Lula finally opened her eyes to the waking world once again, as her senses returned to her. 

She felt the sofa beneath her, the blanket on top of her, and the warmth of her hands clasped together. Lula just layed there, for a moment or two, and then began to sit up, before gasping loudly.

Fluttering out of her, now opened, hands, slowly drifting onto her lap, was a pristine white flower, stem slightly curved. 

Lula just stared at the flower in shock, before getting up abruptly. Without thinking, she rushed through the cabin, to a small hallway, then into a bedroom, only touched by the cleaning she had done the night before.

And it was there where she found it. Hanging proudly on a mount on the wall, not a sheet in sight.

An ornate hand mirror, polished and shined, looking as new as the day it was made. 

Lula allowed all of her emotions to finally break free, as she dropped to her knees, openly weeping, clutching that beautiful white flower. Weeping, for once not of sadness, or loss, but of joy.

And then, the, perhaps not so young, Lula Sallow, heard the front door rattle, and then,

*Click*

The door opened once more.

January 20, 2023 06:37

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