Mr. and Mrs. Poe

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Mr. and Mrs. Poe (369 Words)

“I think if you are rare,” said Mrs. Poe, “you must be a criminal.”

Mr. Poe was not mollified. The truth of the matter is, compliments from loved ones are too often like pennies in the hand of a beggar. We take them for granted and dismiss them as too poor for our needs. It is a selective partiality.

Mrs. Poe got up from her chair. Pale and fragile, when she sought his face she was determined and strong.

“What are you thinking?” she asked. “Sh-h. Don’t tell me. I’ll draw a picture.”

She was trying to amuse him. She stood and looked intently into his face.

His eyes were large and grey, washed for storms and fits. Hers were black and bright, shrewd as a bird’s. They met the distance he raised between them with courage and willingness. There was no ram or batter, nothing but a maid at a goblin’s castle, scaling the wall with bare hands and guesses in order to discover her fair captive inside.

The wall cracked.

Mr. Poe’s mouth trembled.

She was fixed as a statue.

The tremble turned to an unwilling smile. His eyes softened with that smile, melting, stone dissolved to liquid grief and tender defeat. He held out his arms and she went to him victorious. He breathed against her shoulder, ragged, needful.

She held him tightly.

“Do you think I am too hard?” he asked in a broken voice.

She kissed his neck.

“Yes,” she said. “No harder than any critic ever is. No more foolish than any poet ever was.” A mischievous smile crossed her young face. “Maybe more foolish because you have a better skill to express your foolishness in prose.”

He clung to her and couldn’t breathe.

“You’re hopeless,” said Mrs. Poe tenderly. “How do you get on? Darling. It’s only your passion—your feeling. Your enthusiasm is your greatest strength—your feeling can be your weakness. It isn’t always. It never is, always. I know better than anyone what wonderful things are born of your feeling. Oh—oh Eddy. Look at me.”

He pulled back as she pressed him. His lids and cheeks were flush.

“Hopeless,” she whispered, touching his wet cheek. “Aren’t you ashamed?”

***

Written in response to Daily Addiction’one word prompt. Check it out!

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