Eden's memory | writing during the lockdown

Updated: Mar 29

Today's opening line was "In a dark and gloomy woodland, Eden reflects on the past."

I hope you enjoy this fantasy romance-ish!

In a dark and gloomy woodland, Eden reflects on the past. Her back is leaned against a large oak tree and her wide eyes peer into the black fog that seems to blanket all she can see. She shivers against the night and watches as the full moon rolls into view above her head. It is much too late for someone like Eden to be in the woods, pondering, but in some odd way, she feels safest at night. It is dark, but it is also the time everyone sleeps or at least resides in their homes. No one is out at this time, so it is the most perfect time to reflect. No one can disturb her.

Eden is thinking about Mathew again. Oh, how his face has never seemed to leave her mind, even years later. She remembers the night as clear as ever, and she focuses on it with a wary heart and a trembling lip.

The kingdom threw their end-of-the-year ball, and as everyone expected, Mathew accompanied Eden. She linked her arm in his as they entered the castle, which had tall, eloquently painted ceilings and gold-plated walls with over-arching light fixtures bowing down to kiss the surrounding pillars. Eden clearly remembers the ballroom smelling like fresh lavender, warm cotton, and freshly-baked cherry pies. As soon as they arrived, Mathew asked her to dance. How could she deny? The night was marvelous, Eden in a white ballgown, her pointed ears decorated in her mother’s finest jewels, and Mathew in a white tux to match Eden, his green skin-toned down against the soft material. They danced for hours until it was time for dinner and drinks. They toasted with white wine and dined on roasted eel, simmered deer tongues, steamed vegetables from the kingdom’s garden, fine, year-old cheeses made from the strongest bears the kingdom had, and freshly-plucked eyeballs from the neighboring goblins. For dessert, they did in fact eat cherry pie with a side of buttered orc fingers. My, how delicious the meal was! Eden can honestly admit that she thinks about this meal more often than she thinks about Mathew.

When Mathew began talking to Lorelai, Eden’s chest tightened. She knew they had a history, and although Mathew had never particularly mentioned her, Lorelai always seemed to sneer at Eden when they found themselves in the same place at the same time. Eden always had an off feeling about her, especially her being with or even near Matthew.

She trotted over and the two turned and welcomed Eden into the conversation. The weight hanging in Eden’s chest lifted instantly, and together they laughed and sipped on their wine and eventually Mathew took Eden out to the dancefloor again.

This is why she didn’t expect Mathew to run away with Lorelai at the end of the night.

When the ball had ended and waiters were clearing tables and sweeping the floor, Eden stood by herself in the corner, watching the happy couples and families depart and wondering where her man was. She had torn her dress on the dance floor and excused herself to the restroom, only to not end up fixing the dress and realizing that things were closing much sooner than she expected. She waited and waited and she didn’t find out what had happened until the next morning when she saw Lorelai leave his cottage.

Two years later, Lorelai and Mathew married and soon after, had twin boys. Mathew didn’t really give Eden an explanation. Not really. He simply told her he had fallen out of love with her--that Lorelai had something she didn’t. He said it in the kindest way possible, but those words never translate well.

Eden brings herself back to the dark forest around her and wipes her tears with a shaky hand. She knows she will heal. She knows she is still healing. At least, this is what everyone says.

She sits here now, her skin trembling against her bones and a strange warmth spreading about her. Somehow she smiles to herself, because the more she stares out into the darkness, the more a figure begins to appear, and the more that figure looks like her, a few years from now, healthy and happy and full of life and no longer hurting. Eden reaches for that version of herself, sitting up a little straighter against the tree.

Something in her heart, maybe it is herself, tells her to keep on moving. To keep on trying. To keep on healing.

She will find someone new.

Sometimes people just leave and start anew and that’s okay. All one can do from there is stand up, moe on, and embrace whatever comes next.

Until then, she needs rest.

She obeys and stumbles back to her cozy cottage, her white nightgown taring on branches and bushes but otherwise staying in tack, despite a few holes and rips.

Eden takes one last look at the bright moon, then heads inside and falls to sleep in her cot, like everyone else. The world, at last, is quiet, even her aching memories.

In the morning, she plans to sew her nightgown.

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