Vohne’s fingers hurt from the outdoor cold, when he entered the house. He took off his gloves, anticipating the delicious warmth of the fire burning in the grate. Locking the door behind him, he immediately noticed the smell of her cooking, coming from the kitchen…
His smile quickly turned to a worried frown. Behind the fragrance of old love songs, he caught something else, something she hadn’t used in a long while.
Cibelle, Darlin’… Is that…?
He couldn’t just say it. Walking towards the nook where she baked every night, he could see the moon rising through the bay-window as he passed the door. It was always a bit frightening when she chose to work in the dark… He much prefered her in the light, where he didn’t have to outguess her every moves.
And there she stood. Almost fantom-like, gliding left and right, her head tilted to the side as she stirred here, and stretched a hand over the large pan to add a pinch of this and that… He knew she had heard him, but she didn’t greet him back home.
Cooking memories, Sweet Heart? – he risked, but she remained silent.
The winter was taking its time getting through, and the spring was late to come, but until this night, she had managed to hold on to happy souvenirs. While he was gone, she had obviously opened every bitter recalling from her past, mixing sour heartbreaks and burning failures. He could smell a few of their more recent sweet loving memories in the weird stew, but they would never outbalance all the hurt.
It is coming, Vohne… – her voice was barely recognizable, like a soft shriek in the darkness – it is coming, there’s nothing I can do to stop it…
“Well, you could stop cooking it” he meant to tell her… She only referred to “it” as The Creature, and although he had no idea what it had been to her, he knew it was, by far her scarriest, darkest memory.
We had agreed you wouldn’t use it, Love… – Vohne whispered, now standing close to her frail silhouette, leaning over her left shoulder – you had promised not to put death in your memory cooking!
She had always refused to tell him where she had come across death, before she met him. He respected her secret garden, but to think that she had been so close to the only thing that could now separate them gave him uncontrollable shudders.
He was exhausted from his day spent in the forest, and didn’t want to fight her. But he knew if he let her go on with her dark plans, locking the doors and closing the shutters wouldn’t be enough to keep the storm out.
He chanced to wrap his arms around her waist, stopping her slight swaying back and forth. Cibelle wasn’t really ready to face The Creature, he was well aware of it. Even if he reckoned he would have to let her do it someday.
The groundhogs are out, my Dear… I found them today. Maybe we can throw this out for tonight, and give spring another chance? You can always play with your dark past next winter?
She freed herself from his embrace, looked around, and suddenly seemed to forget the painfull mix simmering on the stove.
Yes, you must be right. I don’t need to remember just yet…
And she disappeared in the living room, leaving Vohne to get rid of the terrible stench of death, putting away all her bottled memories in the closet. With a little luck, and a lot of love, he would get her to bake happy memories for him again…
And sooner than later, he’d have to find a way to seal these tempting dark thoughts away from her…
Facing The Creature was not an option.
Via today’s Daily Prompt: Creature