The Carriage Driver³ - Louise
The nurse rolled Louise to the garden window, where she liked to spend an hour in the morning as the sun cascaded through the roses. The facility was quiet at this time of day. At age 97 the world is a quiet place.
Louise’s hand trembled as she lifted it to adjust her eyeglasses. She leaned forward ever so slightly. The sun brought the roses to life. She could see dew drops glistening on yellow petals, and those of shimmering pink and blood red. She could hear the water escaping a leaky, moss covered garden spigot tapping out a rhythm. She sensed the swirl of rose perfume around here. The ambrosia of rose wine touched her lips, and she saw the three angels.
The Angels were enjoying the garden, but as Louise’s eyes restfully closed, they entered the room where she sat. When Louise opened her eyes, she stood free from care.
“Come,” the angel with long straight brunette hair called. She wrapped Louise in a fully pleated skirt that would open wider than a saucer when spun. The second angel lifted one of Louise’s arms and slipped it into a white silk blouse that flowed sensually over her form. Once situated, she buttoned the delicate pearl buttons.
Louise sat down in a chair near her dressing table. The smallest of the three angels began doing her hair as the four chatted. In a very short time, Louise was pampered and polished. As nonchalantly as possible she bent her knees and her elbows and felt no pain. She exercised her eyes, inspecting the grace and form of the angels in her mists. She examined her fingernails and leaned toward the mirror for a close look at her full, luxurious hair. She looked at her painted toenails and paused.
Louise stood up in her bare feet and looked around. She bent to one knee and peeked under the bed. The three angels smiled at each other. The shortest of the three angels had her hands behind her back, holding a shoe box. They watched as Louise looked in the closet and in opened bottom drawers in her search.
Finally, the angel with long brunette hair guided Louise to the bed and had her sit down. The smallest angel came over and handed her the shoe box marked Brown Shoe Company. Louise took the top off, and a little squeal escaped her freshly painted lips.
She lifted an emerald green t-strap, opened toed pair of dancing shoes fit for a ballroom. She bent her leg and slipped on the shoe that was in her hand. An angel took the other shoe and placed in on Louise and buckled them. Of course, they were a perfect fit. They were just as fine a pair of shoes worn by any Cinderella. Feeling jubilant she stood and swirled, showing her long sleek legs.
Griffin was in no hurry. He tended to Nuelle, getting her groomed and polished. The carriage was impeccable, and the leather shined. Griffin even dug out the silver studded reins. He put on his best coat and newest hat.
Back at the home, Louise was ready. Escorted by her three angels, she stopped at the garden window. There was a gentle smile on the face of the women in the chair by the window. Her hands were folded peacefully in her lap, and there seemed to be a bit of mischief in her look.
The four turned towards the door and walked through. At the curb, Griffin waited by the steps of the carriage. Nuelle stood tall as royalty approached. When they arrived, Griffin held out his hand, and Louise took it and stepped inside followed by her angels.
The four girls got cozy, hip to hip, across the seat. “Comfortable?” Griffin asked.
All the angels smiled.
Griffin checked his book. “It says here, that you loved to dance and that your prayers have been to spend some time again in a great dance hall.”
The girls giggled with delight at the smile that produced.
“Will my prayers be answered?” Louise seemed to know the answer. She always knew.
“We are on our way now. Each of us is here to see that your prayers are met and the transition is free from worry.”
Griffin took his seat and gave Nuelle her rein. Nuelle knew the way, so there was little for Griffin to do while they traveled the universe; through a galaxy of glittering stars the carriage glided providing an unparalleled panoramic view. Before they were half way there, Louise could hear inviting music making her foot tap against the carpeted carriage floor.
They arrived at the building with marble pillars and geometric tile patterns decorating the outer walls. There were young men and woman by the fountains sipping on the nectar of the gods. From the doorway on this side of the building music escaped into the warm night air.
Griffin climbed down and extended his hand to Louise. She climbed down. She was followed by the three angels. Griffin reached into his pocket and produced an apple. He cut it into four pieces and shared two with Nuelle and ate the other two.
“Come on,” the tiny angel called after Griffin.
“I’ll get Nuelle taken care of then I’ll meet you inside.”
The four disappeared into the great hall.
Louise’s eyes swelled as she heard the music of Glen Miller coming from another room off to her right. To her left, Tommy Dorsey and his band were playing to a crowded dance floor. A poster that lets people know that Artie Shaw would perform at eleven hung on the wall near the concession.
A man dressed in slacks and white shirt approached. His shoes were broken in but polished, his tie broad and colorful, his hands clean and warm, his smile inviting and bright. He put his hand out and led Louise to the dance floor.
In a blink, the music reached inside her and twirled her. Her heart beat with the joy of youth and her legs had the strength of a Viking. Her partner twisted her this way and that. She felt like part of the composition of the music as lightening moved her feet.
The music stopped, and all took a deep breath. Her partner thanked her and moved off, the crowd moved away from the dance floor in different directions. Some left for another hall; some went and picked up a cup of refreshment.
Louise looked around. She saw the three angels that escorted her, gathered around the Carriage Driver. They were having a cup of punch. Two girls and a guy standing near her said hello and welcomed her. “We watched you dance, you were great.”
A voice behind her said, “I hear you like to dance?”
She turned and looked at the tall, handsome man. “I waited so long.” She ran her fingers through his long wavy brown hair. She gazed into the shimmering pools of his eyes. She felt the lean, strong muscles in his arms.
Someone was talking in the background. It was Count Basie. He and his band began to play. The young man led Louise to the dance floor. He twirled her around and around. Her shirt lifted high exposing her young, lean, limber legs. And the band played on.
Griffin enjoyed the company of angels in the great concert hall at the end of the universe, content in the fact that he had chosen his true vocation in his hereafter.
In the Mood, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Count Basie - The Atomic Mr. Basie - 1957 (FULL ALBUM)
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