Mystery Woman

I will always wonder who this woman was and for whom she waited. Did they ever arrive? And what became of this lonesome, brooding soul? “Please tell me your story,” I would ask, “for your face still haunts me so?”

If anyone knows the answers to my questions, kindly shoot me an email. Thank you.

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Excerpt from Something of This Time to Keep, Chapter 105:

January 1, 1985 — After forty years the face still haunts me so: a lone young woman captured in profile, save the turn of her head toward the camera. She sits on a suitcase at the curb of a bombed-out street; only the cathedral’s twin spires rise unscathed above the rubble and ruin that is Cologne. She wears a coat and knit cap. A backpack of rolled bedding hangs behind. Smaller carry bags lay beside her, while a white-haired dog keeps watch close by her feet. The face still haunts me so, for it remains her only voice. “Go ahead,” she seems to say. “Photograph me if you must. But oh, how I’d rather direct you to push that camera up your ass. Yet I am vanquished, alone, and powerless—reduced to a homeless spoil of war. And though I will not betray a pinch of fear to your lens, I am more than a little scared. Who wouldn’t be?”
A novelist and private person, Clayton lives off the grid on the Pacific Coast.

© All Rights Reserved by Clayton Van Hook

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