Sydney’s mind was like perfect amber. Things stayed longer in her head than even they thought possible! All Inclusions felt welcome in Sydney’s mind’. Domenica laughed at her joke as if Sydney was talking to her in the room. ‘ We declared ourselves collectors then Nora’
‘You had transcended the Originals then?’ said Nora.
‘Now Look at this ring Nora . Don’t be ungrateful. I trust you to behave graciously’.
Nora held the ring. It sat warm in her hand. Too large to be vulgar. It looked extravagant, original. A gift of affection perhaps or something else?
“It transcends mere accessory don’t it Nora?”
Nora looked closely at the ring. Doing as she was told, aware of the new tone of the collector. Something had agitated her.
‘Please look closely Nora. . I’m watching everything.’
Domenica rarely uttered the word please.
Inside the ring something dark and fragile waited for Nora’s look.An insect perhaps. Something that once, might have flown. The resin appeared to pulse. So small a pulse that maybe Nora imagined the movement. Then another pulse. Unmistakable. . A delicate breath now making tiny bubbles in the viscous liquid. Then closing up again. Not possible? Nora glanced up and Domenica blew smoke rings into the air. Her mouth brazen with red lipstick. Heartless lips.
Something inside the ring took another breath. The Amber felt so warm in Nora’s hand.
‘Nora Finn what am I going to do with you?’
Nora felt the ring shudder at Domenica’s voice and when she checked, a lonely pupil veiled by the deep brown resin, gazed back at her.
‘The ring breathes’.
‘Maybe. Maybe you are just more powerful than you realise Nora.’
The shadow deepened.
‘Am I part of your collection Domenica?’
‘Not yet. I take my time. There are many ways a collector may collect you know’.
‘I’m your biographer’.
‘You are. And that is my oldest ring. Take it. Wear it. Be kind.
Listen to what he might choose to tell you. He’s run out of words for me. One can hardly blame him’.
Dominica reached for the ring and placed it on Nora left forefinger.
Nora held it to her ear.
Maybe she imagined too much. But the ring spoke as Domenica promised.
A hoarse faraway voice. Sweet. Forlorn. Alive.
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The Woman in Black
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