The Bell Tower

Image of Set Stories Free - 2018
Image of Short Story
Darkness filled the town, cold and soft. It slipped its fleecy layers around the corners, down chimneys and over the beds of the sleeping citizens. The only light present streamed from the moon’s beaming eye. It landed haphazardly on the buildings, scattered and patchy. From across Tresluz Square, a young man caught a slice of the limelight moon in his eye, one which reflected from the open lock of the bell tower door. The magic of the silky darkness drew him out of his window and across the empty square. Following the tiled path, he reached the door. The lock had not been forced, but instead carefully picked with a small hatpin which now lay to the side of the entrance. Cautiously, he entered and slipped up the wooden hewn steps, his bare feet unconscious of splinters. At the top, he found not a burglar, but a girl. She sat on a rough stool, intended for the bell ringer, and stared out at the Square. He walked up next to her, but she didn’t flinch, her eyes still concentrated on the emptiness below.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Waiting” she replied.
Stifling a “why?” he sat down next to her. She clearly had no interest in answering his questions . Instead he waited with her, waiting until his hands froze, until his head slipped down onto the ledge, until he fell into dreams less strange than the one he was living.

His father found them, in the morning. Never a word was said to him about it, but the way everyone looked at him the young man knew he had been wrong to sit with her all night. She herself disappeared and he went on through the monotonous days alone. The darkness would come every night and he never stopped waiting. The man would watch the square out of his bedroom window, looking for something he knew she hadn’t found, and he doubted would ever come for him.

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