Entry for the Dark Fairy Queen Bridal Shower – The One

My lovely new friend Anna Meade is getting married! As a tribute to the bride, a group of authors have gotten together to collaborate on an eBook celebrating romance and weddings, called the Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower. I am honored to contribute this short story. 🙂

Wedding Toast:  True love never dies. It stays with us always, and it is what makes life worth living. Cherish it always! Congratulations!

Title: The One
Author: Katie Jennings
E-book: Yes

They say you know love the second it hits you. It can come from behind, sneaking up on you like a thief in the night, fully intending to turn your whole world upside down. Other times it comes at you from the front, head on, demanding your attention like some flashy dancer on a brightly lit stage. I’ve even heard of love sliding in from the side, curling up beside you like an old friend, always there and yet not always seen. But when you do see it, you wonder why you never noticed it before.

I’ve experienced all these incredible moments of love. I guess you could say I’m a lucky man. To have loved even once is one of life’s greatest gifts.

I, my friend, have loved a thousand times over.

In the twilight of my life, I can look back on it and smile. You see, it’s only in my later years that the reality of my situation truly comes to light. It takes a lot to shake off the blinders of youth and come to appreciate the importance of things like happiness, family, marriage…love. Love most of all.

Like many things in life, the young don’t appreciate love the way elders do. They toss it around, blow it off, dramatize the hell out of it, and muddy it up until it makes absolutely no sense. It takes a refined mind to truly understand the simplicity, and complexity, of love. And yes, love can be both simple and complex at the same time. It’s what makes love extraordinary.

Eventually, Death comes knocking on the door and sadly, no amount of love can stop him from claiming you for his own. But every time I experience it, I welcome Death. I welcome him because we are dear old companions. You see, Death knows me better than I know myself. He knows we will meet again, while I forget his face for a time. A memory such as that is something deeply embedded in the soul…something that only resurfaces when enough time and experience has shaped you.

When enough time and experience has defined you.

But enough about Death…he is the boring part of my story. The best part is about her.

And here you thought I’d loved a thousand women. While men may think that’s what they want, if they could know the love I have for her, they would never desire anything else. For there is nothing greater, nothing more spectacular, than finding your one, true love.

She’s been known by many names. She comes and goes, slipping in and out of my lives like silk along the smoothest skin, never permanent in one form and yet for all time it is still her. She exists as this creature of beauty, regardless of the shell she inhabits. Her beauty is within, it is eternal. It is my greatest weakness and my strength. And each time she leaves me, I ache. I ache because I know I will have to wait until I can see her again.

Until death claims me as well, and we can begin again.

I’ve married her more times than I can count. Each time more beautiful than the last, deeper and truer than ever before. You see, no matter our circumstances, I find a way to make her my bride. There were times when I was too late, and found her married to someone else. Luck favored us and paved the way regardless. Other times I didn’t find her until she was aged and broken. I still put a ring on her finger. Fate’s trickery is no match for my steadfastness.

Then there were the times when it all clicked like perfect little pieces to some magnificent puzzle. Those were arguably the best times, although I enjoy the challenges just as well. I enjoy every journey I take to find her.

It’s a journey I’m about to begin again. As I lay down this pen, my heart is full with the knowledge that a new beginning is almost here. I can feel it, just as I can feel my body dying and my soul preparing for departure. It’s something I’ve come to know well, over this eternity.

Just as I’ve come to know her. She’ll be waiting for me, out there, somewhere. I know I’ll find her again, and our love can reincarnate. Just as we do.


23 thoughts on “Entry for the Dark Fairy Queen Bridal Shower – The One

  1. How eloquent you are, that first para had me spell bound (curling up beside you like an old friend – I had an ahh moment) an exceedingly talented writer, this entry was stunning. Thoroughly enjoyed Katie – thank you!

  2. I have a story for your friend. I just wrote it for her now because she may be young and not knowing love is sometimes a faery tale and sometimes Persephone finds it in Hades and comes back. I don’t expect it to be in the eBook as her good friends have already collaborated but I will send it to you now. It’s about a Pirate Duke and a Princess who court for 39 years.


    Her eyes were black and deep like a subterranean pool, her skin olive, her nose aquiline; she said she was Irish. “The black Irish” my mother would have said, and with that came the kiss of the blarney stone, for she was double-tongued and manipulative.
    I was forward, dark too, honest and blunt. Persephone loved me for I came from a secret place in the underground, cursed by Hades.
    In 1974 she broke the hell hound’s spell when she saw me. Since then she fled, fearing the goblins and fiends unleashed as I ran wild over the heather in northern Scotland and the shamrocks in County Cork, wild to the pubs of Canada, the Druid and Kelly’s Bar, unable to imbibe because the whiskey had got the best of me by then. That scared her too, no doubt, I have no means of knowing because I didn’t see her again until 1991.
    By that time I was tamed but splashing holy water on the walls of the psychiatric hospital to still the flames that roared from Hades in every crack of the old building. It worked, too, especially when the staff murdered me with a lethal injection.
    That didn’t really kill me, of course, any more than they killed the love I had for her and she for me. I was a violent pirate and she was a faery princess who believed in violence.
    By 2012 I loved her enough to go to jail for her and say I was guilty of her own offense, her offense of lying and control and holding grudges.
    The offense was really love and hope, though, and I pleaded love and hope.
    Somewhere over the desire of the mountain to the east, rose a pink blush of moon. Not the sun yet, though that would come after the long silver night had shivered and worn its way down the horizon. A thousand suns would rise on the morning she awakened, blasting the feeble goblins in Hell to sing anthems, and Hades himself to smile at the triumph of something he could not control, the triumph of her love over mine, and my love over the weakness of my body and mind.
    She never liked the pirate or the Duke but bits of them remain to tease and torment her.
    They may explain my triumph now, in the 39th year, and the desire of the mountain is gold dust in my hand. I won’t forge a chain with it, or a ring. I’ll blow the dust onto the stamens of her orchids and ask for forgiveness and compassion, which once she offered but I did not.
    If there is a ring it speaks of hope, compassion, forgiveness, forbearance, patience, laughter, and love.
    Don’t take yourself too seriously, Duke, the faery princess will not always love you then. You’ll be a Pirate till the day you die, and the ladies love Pirates so. It’s not so easy to be a lady’s duke and love a lady who loves violence, but that, too, can change. As the dove came back to Noah and the thrush sang Aura Lee, the white bird entwined with roses came back to her and me.

      • Really? That is so gracious of you to say that, Katie. I wrote it today for your friend thinking she would not get another love story like that one. I may save it for a future novel, of a Black Duke and a violent Faery Princess who are brought together by roses and music after 40 years of wandering…

  3. I believe I will post it on my own blog, and perhaps slip it into a book of short stories or flash fiction. Thank you for the inspiration, Katie, one never knows when Dame Muse will rear her lovely and demanding head.

  4. I found myself thinking about how, if we’re really lucky, we can fall in love with the same person over and over, as we learn more and more about them. What more could you want out of a marriage? Very well done.

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