Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Minute Fiction - Shifting

Welcome to Monday Minute Fiction. Join me every Monday for a bit of quick fiction. Then check out the bottom of my post for other authors doing Monday Minute Fiction too!

Shifting

(this work belongs to Brynn Paulin and cannot be duplicated without permission)


A slight breeze tousled my hair as I swayed forward an back in the swing, idly dragging my Keds in the sand. The sun had gone down and the park was now illuminated by only the moon. I knew I should go home. Being out here alone at night wasn’t particularly safe, but going home seemed less safe at the moment.

A squeak heralded someone sitting in the swing beside mine. My fingers tightened on the chains attached to my seat as I prepared to stand and walk away.

“You come here often?” he asked before I could move.

“Occasionally,” I answered. My tension drained a bit and I started to swing once more. I glanced over at my companion. “How did you find me?”

“I called your mother. She’s told me you come here when you’re upset.”

“Did you tell her why I’m upset?”

He sighed. “Of course not. It’s not something I tell just anyone.”

“How about your wife? Don’t you think I should have known before we married? I mean, what the hell? You come home and tell me ‘oh gee, I might be shifting into a jaguar tonight’ and then you do! What the hell, Jayson? What the hell! Don’t you think maybe I should have been told I was marrying a shifter? That it’s knowledge you should have given me before we started trying for a baby?”

“Yeah,” he said quietly.

“Then why?”

“I was scared you’d run. I didn’t want to lose you.”

I was silent for a few moments, digesting his raw emotion and bald explanation. I looked up at the sliver of silver moon. “So living a charade was so much better? For two years?”

The last time his cycle had come to the point where he’d be forced to shift, he’d been conveniently “out of town”.

“Of course not. I wanted to tell you every day.” He took my hand and I let him hold it while I thought.

“I don’t know, Jayson.” It was as if everything I thought I knew had been blown apart. Releasing his hand, I got off the swing and paced to the merry-go-round. I sensed Jayson on my heels. I lay in the middle of the metal surface, holding onto two of the metal bars as the stars and moon slowly spun above me. Jayson gave the merry-go-round a gentle spin then kept it going so the disk moved faster and faster. The world careened dizzily around me, but I knew I was safe. Jayson wouldn’t let anything happen to me.

That was the core of it, wasn’t it? The simplicity. Jayson loved me and would do anything for me—even lie though it wasn’t in his usual nature. In the past he’d always been painfully truthful. Perhaps that was why this revelation hurt so deeply. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand why.

The metal under me shuddered as Jayson got the disk going as fast as he wanted and he leapt aboard. He took a few unsteady steps toward me then knelt, straddling my hips. Bending forward, he kissed me as we spun. My hand buried in his hair, and on a soft moan, I met him. Our lips caressed until the world stopped spinning, then Jayson started it all again. Eventually, he moved us so one of his legs was close enough to hang off the edge and keep us moving in the circle. He lay on his back with me cuddled close to his side as we stared at the stars.

I had a lot to deal with, but right now, in the whole scheme of things, I guessed it didn’t matter. Hadn’t I said: I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you with all your faults and your strengths. I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

I had chosen him, and he was still the person with whom I found the most comfort. So he turned into a jaguar… I shivered. Okay, that still freaked me out. It didn’t change the man I’d loved since I’d met him three years ago. His soul was still the same.

“Don’t ever lie to me,” I whispered. The wind swept away the sound but Jayson still heard.

“I promise I won’t. And I promise you’re safe with me.”

I nodded, remembering earlier. “I’m sorry I screamed when you changed… And that I almost ran you over with the car when I was running away.”

“You wish you’d actually hit me?” he teased.

“Jayson,” I chided him.

He kissed me softly, ramping up the peace welling inside me. I had a lot of adjustment to make, but this would be okay.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return next week. Leave me a comment!!! Also participating in Monday Minute Fiction:

Ashley Ladd and her story, Forever.

Check it out!!!!

If you're an author who'd like to participate in Monday Minute Fiction, please contact me and I'll hook you up for next week and on.

4 comments:

Bronwyn Green said...

I love this, Brynn! It's a fantastic comfort piece - I can definitely see rereadig this. :)

Ashley Ladd said...

Awesome. I love how they kiss when the merry go round is spinning. I also sympathize with her that he should've told her. I know someone in real life that hid something important from his wife and waited a long time to tell her - not good. (not my hubby) but they're working it out, too.

marthawarner said...

Wow. This is a great piece! Awesome, job. Can't wait for next week... :)

Kris Norris said...

Nice piece Brynn. I loved it.

hugs,