Richard Lutman

The Archer

The Setting: Deserted gardens stretch to a jagged white horizon broken by leafless trees. Stark marble statues ring the plaza where a fountain once gushed. The statue above is an archer, bow drawn protecting a woman with flowing hair.

-Was he really protecting her? she says.

-He will die because of his love, he says.

-Do you think They will come?

-It is getting late.

-I like sitting here. It is a favorite place, she says.

-Today we can tell Them we walked through the solitary halls to the carved door.

-There was the sound of music, she says.

-The halls were dark and cool, he says.

-Pictures of mermaids with tangled golden hair lined the hall.

-Pictures of angels, he says.

-I paused, perhaps hearing music, she says.

-I paused, perhaps hearing the sighs of love, he says.

-Do you know the time?

-It is seven o’clock, he says.

-They will not come now.

-I walked the solitary halls to the garden, he says.

-I walked the solitary halls to the great room full of candles, she says.

-Once I loved you.

-Which way must I go? she says.

-Once I loved you.

-There were many things to see, she says.

-Once I…

-I walked the solitary hall into the dark, she says.

-I walked the solitary hall into the light, he says.

-What costume shall I wear for Them?

-Silver and gold, he says.

-A blackened shroud.

-I will find you, he says.

-I will hide behind the door.

-I walked the solitary halls seeking the light, he says.

-I walked the solitary halls seeking.

-There is nothing left, he says.

-I want to hold you before They come, she says.

-Your arms are cold, he says.

-I am not ready.

-The pink snow of cherry blossoms on your naked breasts, he says.

-The black dust of chimneys on your naked shoulders.

-Once I loved you, he says.

-There is still time.

-I walked the long halls. Perhaps there was music, he says.

-I walked the long halls. Perhaps there was love, she says.

-You will die like that archer because you are a fool.

-God is the archer, she says.

-I hope he is a good shot.

-Who will care, she says.

Deserted gardens stretch to a jagged white horizon broken by leafless trees. Stark marble statues ring the plaza where a fountain once gushed. The statue above is an archer, bow drawn protecting a woman with flowing hair.

 

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Richard Lutman has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. He has taught composition and literature courses at Rhode Island Community College, Fairfield University, The Learning Connection in Providence, Rhode Island, and short story classes as part of Coastal Carolina University’s Lifelong Learning program. He was a 2008 Pushcart nominee in fiction and the recipient of national awards for his nonfiction, short stories and screenplays. His first novel is due out in 2016.

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