(Proof of September 12, 2012)
[A tiny piece, written in the new style. The individual letters in the title’s two sets, sliding sequentially to the right or left, or up and down, become the first letters of each word in the story.]
“Scots Wha Hae”
Scots wha hae, who have wrestled with sleeplessness, three o’clock comes swiftly, exasperatingly, and hangs. Absent any human weight, sheet then sinking slowly, softly, some strange wind whispering his ankle, he sensed her spirit there. She that of old, the Scottish witch, wonderful hair an auburn hue and eyes aquamarine, Ann’s energy spread, sweet consolation against his ache, a haunting. “Why here, Annie?” he whispered. “Solitude seeks solitude. Spirits seeks songs” she said. “Sing, sing to our time together of old.” How her absence had hardened his heart, held him all too tightly against any happiness. A’lack a Annie ten seasons since her agonizing headaches, her weight sinking, ten seasons since the oncologists, chemotherapy, Ann’s earthly end. A church. A cemetery. “Only twenty-seven…” Haltingly, he sang their song. “Scots wha hae…who ha with Wallace stood…” She smiled. “That’s the one.” Continuing on his agonized heart surrendered, sobbing softly. “Have strength, husband. Happy Annie has seen things only celestial spirits see. Eventually, soon Cuddy, comes our time to truly soar. Till then, taste some happiness again. Toss out this old caber, sorrow.” Cuddy opened his heart, held himself against her. And harmonious words where spoken ‘tween. Then towards sunrise she took off, circled overhead teasingly. Then spiraled straight to the stars, wanting Heaven again.
[Photo: “Lochleven” by Richard Keeling.]