The Delicate Hours


Eleanor heard the footsteps. Instinctively she clutched at the collar of her robe, pulling the already constricting, conservative cut of the cloth even tighter around her. But as she listened to the footsteps, growing ever closer in the blackness outside her door, she relaxed her grip.

She could tell that the steps coming up the path were tentative over the craters and outcroppings; almost shy and submissive in their gait and footfall.  The person coming her way was more of a lost soul than any kind of threat.

And besides the villagers knew better than to send an undesirable her way.

Eleanor moved through the light and shadows of the sitting room; candlelight and familiarity guiding her through a well appointed  house and to the thick oaken door. She reached out slowly and, with hand shaking ever so slightly, slid the latch on the peep hole.

She smiled a tight smile as she laid eyes on her visitor.

Young but not too young. Very much a May to her very late December. His sensitive eyes, shoulder length hair and a ragged waistcoat over a animal hide tunic made him as an intellectual in Eleanor's mind.  A former teacher, perhaps an author? There were not many of those around anymore. He looked like he was lost and in need of a pause in his journey.





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