Tender Unhatred

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CHAPTER 1: THE WATERY HEAVENS

It was flat and undisturbed. The surface shimmered reflectively with a translucence that gave way to the light blue ceramic below. All was pale, pure and pristine. All was clean.

In the distance, the soft trill of a flute and the nimble plucking of a harp could be heard playing soft and serene Celtic melodies.

And then they fell, one by one; stars of wax with five pointed rays. They scintillated with glitter as they bobbed upon the surface. Ripples spread from their symmetry, passing to the edge until calmness was retained once again.

Then came the fire that a star is not complete without. Even a fallen star. It touched every star, one by one by one by one, grabbing onto the life thread that burned at their cores. All four were lit. It was a slender, gentle smoke that smelled of maple.

Yet the surface remained undisturbed, through all this, as the stars began to burn. However, ripples were to come again

As if a child above was opening a pouch of marbles, glossy opalescent balls fell from above. Circles of chaos spread forth as the pearly planets fell in. They sought an orbit, a sun, amongst the stars that bobbed upon the rippling surface upon which they floated. It was all too quick to catch their enticing scents.

Then came the hands of God, or so it seemed, dipping in one piece of stemware after another, after another, after another... until each had taken a star from what lay below.

And yet, there were six glasses. The two that remained sat beside a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Okanagan Valley. They remained there, for now was not the time.

The glasses containing the floating star candles were each placed at a corner of the bath. And not long thereafter, the glasses would begin to sweat with the burden of the warm bath water.

And that was around when the light faded from overhead, as of a sky being swarmed with dark clouds by a quick wind. And a rumble, not unlike thunder, filled the vicinity, without even a flash of warning light.

It rumbled less through the air than it did through the water, where it sent forth jets of air that stirred the lake within the bath. And every disintegrating bath bead upon the bottom was sent tumbling about as the water churned, giving forth to foaming bubbles of a myriad fragrance. Clouds bubbled over the watery sky. Empyreal twilight was occluded.

The golden stars watched with hushed flickering. Their glasses trembled nervously amongst the potpourri.

The tannic wine stood still in awe, the woman on the label pursing her dark lips, awaiting a kind and gentle uncorking and decanting.

And the man, he left the room.

Fingers adjusted a dial upon the stereo. And thus, the harp and flute played louder, then, to be heard still gracefully above the tumultuous jacuzzi.

The End

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