Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STIR (11/12/15)
TITLE: A Sonnet in the Night
By Francie Snell
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Moments later the window swung open, and a huge mass of disheveled hair appeared. "Who is it that comes at night and throws rocks at my window?" Lilyanna groggily demanded.
Catching his breath, he replied, "It is I, Ridley."
"Yes, Ridley. I sing in the market place. Surely you know of me."
"Yes, I have heard you. But why are you here at this hour?"
"Then you have relished in the splendor of my gift?"
"Splendor? What gift?
"Well, some say my voice has potential. Uh…What do you think?"
"Your voice?" She rubbed her eyes. "Well, splendor is not the word I'd use, but one might say you have…hmmm…potential. But why do you ask this now?"
"Aaah, because your gracious approval spurs me on to carry out my vital mission for this night."
"My mission to sing you a sonnet, a rapturous melody that speaks the truth of my heart. My dear Lilyanna, you move my soul and spirit in such grand and mysterious ways as I have never experienced. Like a rushing river, you have cut a new course through my very being, and I will never be the same."
She sputtered with surprise. "These words which you speak glorify me in such manner that is beyond me, yet I hardly know you."
"Yes, but I feel I know you, and have so much more to say. Yet mere words without notes will not suffice. I must sing you a song."
"You mean now?"
"No PLEASE, not now. It is the day's end and my parents are retired for the night. If you cast your voice in these quiet hours you may awaken them, and perhaps others living along the way. Certainly, a time during the day would be better."
"I don't care who hears my song for you in these late hours. Would not a tune of sincere love from my lips that pierces the still night be better on delicate ears than jealous gossip of strangers by day?"
"But there is no need to express your admiration for me any further at this time, for you have already made your appreciation quite clear."
"But I must, for that is what I do. I must sing the passions of my heart, or surely I shall burst."
With that, Ridley sucked in a full chest of air and then lifted his voice in a peculiar note. "Lilyanna, Lilyanna, Lilyaaaaannaaa," he sang with a wavering crescendo.
Lilyanna gasped in disbelief as a chorus of howling dogs throughout the neighborhood chimed in. She flailed her arms with panic. "Shoosh. Be quiet!"
Ridley stopped singing, and then remarked with calm cavalier, "You see my love, even the lowly hounds refuse to ignore my passion for you as they bay their sentiments of empathy."
He began singing again, with a growing number of howls and barks joining in.
A man's voice bellowed from a nearby window. "What is that racket? I dare say, I will gladly land the point of my sharp arrow in the source of such senseless screeching if it does not STOP."
"SEE?" Lilyanna cried, "Now you're waking the entire lane."
Ridley mused over her dazzling beauty as moonbeams danced on her tousled golden hair. "Romance is streaming through my veins," he proudly proclaimed, "I want the whole world to know my desire for you Lilyanna, for it cannot be contained."
From a dark window across the street, the meek voice of an elderly woman politely suggested, "You could try writing a letter. You know…a love letter. That would be romantic I think. At least it would be quieter."
"Yes," Lilyanna hissed, narrowing her eyes at Ridley. "Listen to the wise woman and stop this non-sense. Go away tonight and I will see you tomorrow in the square. You can sing to me then," she said with a huff, and then slammed the window shut.
Ridley sighed deeply as he watched the curtains being drawn. Slowly he turned and trudged down the street, pondering the next day in the square.
And in that moment of the night, everything was quiet.
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