• martianshore

Spellbound


This text was written based on the suggestion of the word Spellbound!


The rain played a melodic song on the roofs. The sun was still able to shine through the clouds making the small village sparkle. It had those cute houses that were so well taken care of and colorful, that they looked like dollhouses. The village seemed to be the perfect idyllic scenario, but soon enough you would hear a honk of a grumpy old lady impatient with the sheep crossing the street, or the townsfolk walking around in their black puffer coats looking down because despite the sun shining it was not warm. The only people looking excited to be there were the tourists with big smiles and bigger cameras. The only thing that never failed to bring all the people from the village together was to make fun of and complain about the tourists.

Townsfolk were not necessarily all grumpy and unhappy, they liked to live there, most of them were born and raised there and never left. Therefore the village is everything most of them have known, it’s their normal, and they couldn’t understand the hype. Adam was one of the few younger people in the village, and as such he was in limbo. He was too young to remember the town without tourists, so when the subject came up he had no choice but to smile and wave, and just go with the flow of jokes and complaining. But he felt too old to leave, his family had deep roots there and he felt like the village was his only true home. Honestly, Adam liked the tourists because although he loved his hometown very much he knew everyone already, and he loved meeting new people. He couldn’t imagine living in a place with no new people around except for babies. At the same time, he would probably hate to live in a place where everything is constantly changing, so tourists were the perfect compromise, new people for him to meet, but the familiarity of the town and its permanent residents remained.

Of course, Adam never said all that out loud, sometimes he wouldn’t even allow himself to start thinking that, but it was true. So if you ever have a chance to visit the village, go to the library, look for Adam and he will tell you about the best spots to take pictures, where to get the best food and the best drink in town. Most people suspected Adam had a soft spot for the visitors and in the end, even if they made fun of him for it they knew it was good for business.

On this rainy, but sunny day, Adam was, as always, sitting at his desk at the entrance of the library smiling and welcoming the tourists when he saw a glimpse of yellow. He looked around and found out the yellow came from an umbrella and under it, a woman with an also yellow rain jacket. But it wasn’t just a regular yellow rainjacket. It looked old, vintage, it was fitted on the waist and there were red buttons on the wrists and the front. The first thought that crossed his mind was: the woman matched the village perfectly. She looked like one of the dolls that lived in these perfectly taken care of dollhouses.

The woman looked a bit lost, every few steps she looked around, and then to a piece of paper. She didn’t carry a camera, which was odd. Adam followed her with his eyes as if spellbound, she tried to stop Gina from the supermarket, which was a bad choice. Gina was not too keen on helping the tourists, but she pointed at the library. At the same time, another tourist called Adam’s attention. It was an old man that was asking if the library had a rare edition of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Adam answered politely, that they had it, and it was on the back. After helping the man, he turned his head to the window to see if the woman was still around, but she was gone. Then he heard a soft voice:

-Excuse me.

He turned, and there she was. Yellow rain jacket, the umbrella was closed by her side. She had short curly hair with some hairpins holding it on both sides. It was a color between brown and red. She had light brown skin and deep brown eyes. Adam was completely in shock by how pretty she was. And completely taken aback to see her in front of him.

-Hello? - She said again, smiling. She found it funny to see his wide eyes. It was not the first time she saw that expression, but she was also starting to get worried that she wouldn’t be able to find her place.

-Sorry, yes, what can I do for you? - Adam said, breaking the spell.

- I am looking for this address. Could you help me find it? - She handed him the paper she had been looking at.

-Of course- said, Adam. He looked down, and he was surprised. The address was of a house. Not a square, or a store. It was a house that have been locked up for a long time. It had been recently renovated as part of the town’s commitment to keeping everything in order. The house was not close to the city center, so Adam had an idea. He wanted to know more about her.

-The house is a bit far, if you wait five minutes I will finish my shift and I can accompany you there!- He said.

The woman’s face lightens up.

-That would be great! I have been walking around all day. I could take a five minutes break. And finally, someone who knows where this is at.

-I am sorry that you had trouble with the people around town, sometimes they can be grumpy. - Adam said while cleaning his desk.

-Oh what’s your name? Mine is Camile.

-I am Adam. They shook hands and locked eyes once more. Camile realized he had very pretty green eyes. Adam realized he wanted to keep holding her hand. But the moment didn’t last much longer. Adam put on his coat, grabbed his backpack and they left the library together.

While they walked Adam would point out the places and tell stories about the town. He met some friends including Gina and Robert from the pub. They smiled mischievously to Adam when they passed by and Adam knew he would be the talk of the town again. But then he looked at Camile and thought it was worth it. Adam found out that Camile was witty, and would always guide the conversation so it would end in laughter. It was very easy to talk to her. Camile found out that Adam was very intelligent, and he would have a thought about any subject she would throw at him. Adam told Camile about how the town had some reserver over the tourists, but admitted for the first time to someone, that he liked the tourists.

-Well I hope you like new residents too. - Camile said after his confession. Adam was a bit confused and his face showed it. - I will be moving to this house in a few days. Camile explained.

They were finally arriving at the address. Adam was still recovering from the last phrase. His heart skipped a beat thinking that she was not going to leave after just one or two days exploring the city. He was happy she wasn’t a tourist after all. But he worried about how the people from the town would react.

-Well we don’t have many of those… - He said, almost as a warning. - But I am sure we will have time to like you… I know I already do. He said that last part really fast. In equal parts hoping she wouldn’t hear and hoping she would correspond.

- Thank you. - Camile said, smiling and blushing a little.- I know I already love this place. And the people are not too bad either…

An awkward wave crossed the space between them. But in the next second Camile said something light and funny. And all the tension went away. Adam made that pose and face that said “well I will be going, I guess” but Camile invited him in.

-Have you ever been to this house before?

-No, I have only passed in front of it. It’s been closed for a long time.

-Oh I see. Good thing I bought it then. It’s sad to see houses without people living in it. Giving it life.

-That is true. When are you bringing your things?

-Tomorrow. The transportation company should arrive at the same time as me, but it had some delays.

- Oh I see. So where are you staying?

-At the hotel. But I was so curious to finally see it in person. I had only seen pictures.

-That makes sense. If I may ask, what made you consider buying a house here?

-It was not very planned. Things happened… - Camile smiled sadly- An I neded to move, so I searched for the most beautiful places to live. This town came up in the search… I fell in love with it immediately. I found this house for sale and I bought it.

-Just like that?

-Yes… just like that.

Adam was now even more intrigued. They kept talking while wandering through the house, then talked some more until the sunset, and the night fell and the faint lights from the town were turned on. At some point, Adam volunteered to go to the store and buy some wine, and while he was gone Camile prepared a picnic on the least dusty spot of the living room floor. They shared a bottle of wine and the most interesting conversations both of them had had in a long time. They fell asleep when the sun was already waking up again.

They woke up with the transportation company ringing in the doorbell. They laughed at how weird the situation was, but at how natural it felt. Adam ended up helping them unload the truck, and afterward, they finally had to say goodbye. Camile needed to go to the hotel, take the rest of her things, Adam still had to work. And so they did.

Adam went back to the library, and in the middle of the day, he caught a glimpse of yellow. Of an umbrella. And he smiled like the first time. But now he knew that Camille was under it. And this scene repeated over days, years, and decades. Adam in the library, seeing a touch of yellow on the town, and Camille under the umbrella changing only what he knew about her. At first, she was a stranger, then a person he liked, then his girlfriend, his wife, the mother of his children (sometimes some of the children were under the umbrella too), and so on.


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