After we were married, Spiro made me promise never to return to the Blue Alley.
“But that was our special place, our secret tryst!” I couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing it again. “No longer. We have our own home now.” He was adamant.
After the babies were born, again he made me promise. “Our children must never go near the Blue Alley. It is dangerous. Forbidden.”
We spent most of our courtship on those deep stairs, hidden from the world. I smiled as I remembered him picking me flowers from the hanging pots. In that secret, cool stairwell, he proposed marriage and I accepted. There we kissed for the first time. There we vowed to be eternally true to one another. Why is our special place now forbidden?
“Dangerous,” he repeated, watching our sons at play.
When the boys were old enough, they accompanied me to the marketplace to sell our goat cheese and olive oil. Whenever we passed the entrance grown over with bougainvillea, I held my breath. But the boys were not attracted to flowers, just to mischief. They were more interested in playing practical jokes than exploring secret doorways.
Then the goat got loose. She zigzagged the streets, with Mitri and Timon shouting after her. I tried to keep up, but wasn’t close enough to stop them when they all three disappeared into the curtain of pink bougainvillea. I thought I heard wild laughter from within the hidden staircase, but when I parted the hanging flowers, I saw only a white-washed wall. No entrance. No staircase. No Blue Alley.
I ran home, screaming for my Spiro. The house was empty. No husband, no toys, no trace of our happy household. The table, set for four when I left, was bare. I ran into the street, clutched the arm of a passing neighbor, “Where is my husband? I have lost my sons!”
She looked at me with pity and fear, and whispered to her companion. “The Senorita is starting again the fairy tales.” They avoided touching me as they continued down the street.
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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

You have the flare, the flame of a story teller. You pulled me along with this story.
I didn’t know where the story was heading. Then bang – I didn’t see the surprise ending coming. I loved it.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

Very mysterious. Still keeping me wondering ….well done

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musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Full of mystery. What was the background behind the story? So intriguing.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
2 years ago

We all have a hidden staircase somewhere in our lives – past or future – where our dreams live and die.  But which comes first, the life or the death? the past or the future? Our lives should be lived containment of the hidden staircase as our goal.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
2 years ago

This is such an interesting and engaging story. It almost has the feeling of a fable. The twist at the end was unexpected and really did leave you wondering; did it really happen or is it a little like Alice coming back out of the rabbit hole?

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

When a story is great, it continues in the reader’s mind. This story has such mystery that it’s almost guaranteed that the reader will think about it after it’s over.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

You are a great storyteller Juma. I really admire all your works. This story is so mysterious and captivating. It really stays in the mind of the reader ❤️

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

You are most welcome Juma, you deserve to be highly appreciated for a job well done. ❤

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