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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lonely Lenore - Part Three

As Lenore entered the small clock shop in the ancient building, she couldn't help wondering how Stephano could listen to those clocks ticking all day long while he worked. Tick-tock, tick-tock - all over the tiny room.  The more she was aware of them, the louder they seemed to get.  Clocks all over the stone walls - covered from floor to ceiling with tick-tocking clocks.

She looked at Stephano as he walked to the farthest wall.  He took a small clock from a shelf on the wall and handed it to Lenore.  It was the most exquisite clock she'd ever seen.  It stood just a little over a foot high and was of a Baroque design.  The gilded alabastrite cast had claw feet that held a little stand where two cherubs stood on each side of the clock's facing.  In the middle of the stand was a shield and two swords.  The cherubs stood as if they were guarding the clock.  And above them and the face of the clock were other ornate flourishes that made the clock so special.  She could tell it was very old. 

She asked Stephano the price of the clock because she had immediately fallen in love with it and wanted to take it home with her.  It would look beautiful above the fireplace in her simple apartment and would be a wonderful reminder of her trip.  Stephano told her a price and she paid him for it.  After he carefully wrapped it up for her, he said, "Excuse me, Lenore.  I have to go upstairs for just a few minutes and I'll be right back down."

As Lenore was waiting for him, a small dark haired boy came into the shop.  He smiled at Lenore and said, "Have you seen the shop owner?"

Lenore answered him, "Why, yes.  He just had to go upstairs for a few minutes.  He said he would be right back down."

The boy walked over to the stairs and took a few steps up.  He stopped and looked at her and said with a wrinkled brow, "My mother is very worried about Palmeria.  She has been so sick."

"Who is Palmeria?" Lenore asked with concern and wondering why the boy wanted the shop owner.

"She is our baby - my little sister.  My mother needs my father to come home soon."

Lenore felt a lump come up in her throat.  "And your father?" Lenore began.  "He is the shop owner?"

"Yes," the boy answered as he took two more steps up.  "My mother wants me to tell him to come home as soon as he can."  The boy continued up the stairs.

Lenore took her wrapped clock and went out the shop door.  How could he do this to her?  She felt he had led her on with all his attentions over lunch, insinuating that he was drawn to her.  Why he probably was this way with many female tourists.  She was glad she found out in time before things got any further.  At this point, it had only been a lunch and a little flirting and attention!  But, how could he do this to his wife and with a sick child at home?

Lenore walked as fast as she could back to Sophia's.  She was ready to pack and go home.  She had seen all the sites she wanted to see and had bought this beautiful clock to take back home with her.  Now, she was ready to go back home and back to work - back to her old routine.  There was solice in doing a routine - a sense of safety and peace.  As soon as she got back to Sophia's she would start to pack so that she could leave tomorrow.  It would be good to be back at home.

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