Norwich

Fiction By Hannah W. // 12/6/2009

**A short story... hope the ending isn't too confusing. Enjoy.**

There was no moon that night. Aislin always remembered how the sky looked, for the stars still burned as bright as ever in her mind even years later, but there was always that empty space where the moon should have been.

Another thing she remembered was the way he stood there in the middle of Luna Park, still as statue, his pale yellow coat standing out against the black shapes of the trees. His feet were sunk into the snow like he had been standing there a long time, but he didn't seem to notice the cold or the snow, nothing except the sky and the nighttime. 

Aislin had taken this shortcut through the park on more than one occasion, but tonight there was something different about it. The ruins of the old wooden carousel glistened with a layer of ice, as did the tree branches all around. Even in the very little light, the glistened. They are awake, she thought. 

She wanted to call out to him, the young man standing there. But she found that she couldn't make a sound, couldn't break the silence. So she walked to him, stood there for a minute, feeling awkward, like she was interrupting.

He didn't turn to look at her, but he said, "This is a beautiful place."

"Yes," Aislin murmured in reply. Then, hesitantly: "Who are you?"

"Ah," he said, and a small smile graced his aristocratic features. His sharp nose and chin, his pale skin and thin face, all of it struck such an unusual profile. "That's quite the question, isn't it?"

Aislin said nothing. She almost regretted asking-- almost.

"Well, then... You may call me Norwich," he said.

"Norwich?" The name felt foreign in her mouth. "How strange."

"Not where I come from, Aislin," he murmured, and the smile faded.

"How do you know my name?"

"I know a lot of things."

Aislin asked again, "Who are you?"

Finally he did turn to her. His pale face seemed to glow. "Who are you?"

"I think you know already." Aislin crossed her arms. 

Norwich laughed quietly, a kind of reserved chuckle. "I thought you would say that." His face became serious. "Aislin, I could watch anyone walk home from the old church every night. There are plenty of them, are there not? But you are different."

"How?"

He raised a pale eyebrow. His hair was so blonde it looked almost white. "You think I know the answer to everything? I have questions, too, you know."

"What questions?" She uncrossed her arms and put her hands in her pockets, the thin gloves providing little protection against the cold. She could have been home by now, but she felt no rush. Time was nothing here. She could feel it.

"Why? Do you think you have the answers?" he asked teasingly. 

"Maybe I do." She met his steel-grey eyes and thought a chill ran through her. But perhaps it was only the wind.

He looked away. "You don't. Believe me, no one does."

She whispered the question again. "Who are you, Norwich?"

His expression flickered between a sullen and smiling. Somehow his eyes looked a little sadder. "I wish I knew for sure," he replied.

                                              *~*~*~*~*~*~*

The next night, there was nooon.  Aislin would always remember that, too, how it seemed strange. How she noticed that empty place as she hurried to Luna Park that night. How she waited beside the broken carousel, heart beating, pulsing warmth through her body despite the bitter cold.

"Am I late for something, Aislin?"

She turned and saw him walking toward her. He moved strangely, his long, thin arms and legs making him look like some sort of pale spider. She almost laughed at the sight of him. He noticed, and smiled. This time it was less aloof, and it seemed to glow. The faint light was almost warm.

"Why do you always say my name?" she asked.

"It's a good name," he replied simply.

"Then I will say yours, too," she said. "And yes, you are late, Norwich."

"Ah," he said. "Too bad. I hope I haven't missed too much. Listen," he cuppsed a hand to his ear, "the music."

The strangest thing was that she thought she could hear it, the kind of sprited tunes of a fair, of a place alive with lights, people, movement. Luna Park had once been a place like that, she knew. "I hear it," she said, and she did laugh now. "I hear it!"

Norwich held out a hand to her. "Will you dance, my lady?" he asked.

"Yes." She took his hand, and they did dance. They twirled through the snow and the ice, around and around the old carousel, moving in time to the faint strains of music that rang in their ears. An echo through the years, a memory of life that still drifted through the park, for those who would hear it. Norwich was in his element, gracefully leading her along, his form no longer seeming spiderlike or awkward. Instead, he was elegant.

The music finally faded, and they stopped. Norwich bowed. "I must be going now."

"Going where?" Aislin asked. She felt as though no time was passing. There were no pressing matters at hand, no appointments to keep. Just Luna Park, just the night and the snow and the cold, cold wind.

"Home," he said.

"Where is that?"

But Norwich didn't answer.

She whispered, "Who are you?"

He offered her one last smile. "You have known me for a long time, Aislin," he said. "I must go. Good night." He began to walk away, moving toward the trees on the right, heading deeper into Luna Park.

"Norwich?" Aislin called, but he didn't turn or reply. He just kept walking, hands in his pockets, head tilted toward the sky. She whispered, "I'll always remember you. I'll find you again."

                        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

One August night three years later, she took the shortcut through Luna Park. She hadn't been here since a few weeks after Norwich's departure. She had waited there every night for a few weeks, but somehow she kenw that he wasn't coming back.

But tonight.... there was something in the air tonight. As she entered the park, she thought she heard music.

"Norwich?"

And there he was. Standing still near the carousel, eyes turned to the sky. He heard her voice and turned. His smile was the same as ever, though he looked a little older. Aislin realized that she probably did, too.

"Aislin," he said. "I knew you would be here." His tone turned to light teasing. "Didn't you promise to find me again?"

"Yes," Aislin replied, and stood beside him. "Where have you been?"

"Home," he said, he looked a little sad as he added, "But I haven't been able to see you so well since I left. You don't walk through the park anymore."

Aislin had no answer to that. Instead se asked softly, "Who are you?"

Norwich bent slightly. He was a little taller now, too. "I thought you would have guessed by now," he said.

"How?" Aislin asked.

Norwich only smiled knowingly and pointed to the sky.

That was when Aislin noticed that there was no moon.

 

Comments

I like this...

Very creative, and I never would have guessed the ending!

Kyleigh | Sun, 12/06/2009

this is fab........

wonderful. I love this. the ending wasn't confusing..............and I love te name Norwich...it's sounds Polish or somthing........

Bernadette | Sun, 12/06/2009

Wow, that was brilliant! I

Wow, that was brilliant! I love it! And I like the name you gave the park. Luna Park. :)

Melissa | Sun, 12/06/2009

Creative and original and

Creative and original and wonderful. I loved it.

Anonymous | Sun, 12/06/2009

That was sweeeeeeet. :)  I

That was sweeeeeeet. :)  I love the mysteriousness of it all.

Clare Marie | Sun, 12/06/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Love. Love. Love. So

Love. Love. Love. So haunting, as so many of your brilliant masterpieces are. I wish it could have gone on for longer!!

Just one question: is Aislin pronounced Ash-leen or Aiz-lyn?

E | Sun, 12/06/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

:D

Bernadette: Glad you like the name! Norwich is actually a town in England... I chose to call him Norwich becuase of that nursery rhyme, "The man in the moon came down too soon, and asked the way to Norwich..."
Melissa: Actually, there really was a Luna Park quite near where I live... It used to be around in the early/mid 1900's, so it's been closed a long time now. But that's actually what gave me the idea. :)
Erin: I don't really know. I just liked the spelling, so I suppose it's however you feel like saying it. ;D

Thanks for the comments, all!

Hannah W. | Sun, 12/06/2009

Haha, I've done the

Haha, I've done the name-spelling-thing before. My friend's sister's name is Aisling and it's pronounced Ash-leen is why I was wondering :-)

E | Sun, 12/06/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Amazing

This is worthy of publishing.  And I don't give that kind of complement very often.  Have you submitted this anywhere else?

James | Mon, 12/07/2009

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

I read this before anyone

I read this before anyone else had commented and tried to comment, and my comments had run out!
It's so haunting!  It wasn't hard to understand at all.  I agree with James; this is incredible and you should submit it to other places.

Bridget | Wed, 12/09/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

That was awesome!!!!

This was tooooo good!!! It was sooooo cool!!!!! I just cannot believe you wrote that!!! I enjoyed it immensely!!!!

Elizabeth | Wed, 12/09/2009

************

The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine

I agree with Bridget!!!

I agree with Bridget!!!

E | Wed, 12/09/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

...

Wow

;)

Ariel | Wed, 12/09/2009

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Oh my goodness! Ditto to

Oh my goodness! Ditto to James' comment. I really, really like this story--I'll never be able to look at the Man in the Moon again without thinking of this--so creative!

And I like tying his nam in with th nursery rhyme. Well done! :0)

Heather | Wed, 12/09/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Hey

The man in the moon, came down too soon...

Tolkien wrote a poem--actually two, about the man in the moon. It was very good.

Julie | Thu, 12/10/2009

Formerly Kestrel

This was lovely. I could

This was lovely. I could picture everything in my mind. It was, oh, I can't describe it. Haunting, a bit creepy (the rotting carousel), and the end was surprising, but it fit perfectly. Great job!

Laura Elizabeth | Thu, 12/10/2009

*************************************************
The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

 This was really, really

 This was really, really good.  Wow.  VERY good.

Mary | Tue, 12/15/2009

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.