Dust motes float in the soft morning air, sunlight just beginning to trickle through the window erasing the shadows that paint the room. His eyes widen as it finally touches his legs, his chest rising and falling slowly, as he absently traces the ornate cap to the cane, fingernail finding each recess.
Once this cane meant continued freedom, now it's strength only accentuated his weakness. As if abruptly waking from the stillness, he grasps the cane, sending it spinning across the room, its clatter drowned by the candy dish exploding against the hard wood floor, the canes arc having knocked it from the coffee table.
She was a thief, the kind his mother had always warned him of, stealing the air from his lungs when she walked into the room. Her dress whispered as she flowed through the door, the glide of a meandering stream with the force of a tsunami. Skin like alabaster, just the hint of rose upon her cheeks. He had never felt so small in the presence of another, or so blessed.
Arm draped through his, they strolled through the large double door entrance way to the ballroom, where the spotlight found her instntly. Men adored her, women envied her, yet her eyes were only for him. This was their fairy tale, she his princess, as they drew circles around the dance floor, until even the stars came to marvel at them.
Eventually, even thieves find their betters, age slipped the window, purloining small things at first, then greedily plundering her mind. Those last days were hard on him, often finding this same chair, staining its cushions with his prayers and tears. Five years ago, she asked for one last dance, and while grace had given way, they swayed by the side of her bed, until her stamina was spent. That very night, she found her peace, and he lost his. Except in those moments when he remembered their dance.
Hearing the crash, heart stammering with fear, Susan's feet can not move fast enough. Shards of glass glitter in the sun, casting rainbows into her eyes. The old cane gently rolls back and forth and her father still sits in his favorite chair, smiling, chest no longer rising. Tears burn trails down her cheeks and she imagines he is dancing, once more with his princess.
This is a Magpie Tale.