(This is an original piece written for IndiesUnlimited.com‘s Weekly Flash Fiction Contest. The prompt was Bluebird.)
Alouette chose a blue wedding dress despite her mother nudging more traditional options. Traditional meant white. But Alouette was vivacious, contrasting her mother like her attire did the snow on the day of the December wedding.
In vibrant blue, she ascended the aisle of the Catholic church, glowing, and never more beautiful. Milo anticipated, bright-faced and proud, posture fixed with wisdom and a smile decorated with wit. “Freedom ever calls the free,” he smirked as she perched upon the alter. Alouette returned the smile she had preserved only for him.
Together, they aged like wine in the fields of Northern Michigan. Each loved the other more profoundly with age though affection turned subtle and assumed. Every morning, she poached eggs, clanging in the kitchen as he nursed black coffee in the company of a novel at the back window.
They bore and married off seven children who together offered twenty-three grands of whom gifted fourteen greats. All fifty-one gathered when Alouette passed from pancreatic cancer at 78. Cherished stories were laid mournfully on her grave before all fifty-one departed.
Milo stood by the window, sipping water. The silence in the kitchen ached as a novel lay neglected beside him. Dismal eyes awoke as a bluebird ascended a pine, and pale lips clenched for its company. “Freedom ever calls the free,” Milo whispered on the glass. He turned to the kitchen and poured his water into a deep set frying pan on the stove, having rekindled a forgotten peace in lasting memory.