Iron Age Shoes Writing Prompt

If he buttered his palm with oil and slid it along the surface of the leather, it felt just like the nape of her neck in his hand. He closed his eyes and burrowed into the sensation. Making a reality reappear from weeks earlier that had since vanished into dream. Finding himself losing his perspective while dizzy in the deepness of time.

Alexandra left 6 days ago for her fathers hometown in the north. The journey through the valley and up the mountain would take at least 3 weeks; by his memory of the last time he took the journey. He prayed her speed would eclipse his preconception and have her back before the rains of the spring came.

This leather of flesh and softness would be her gift upon her return. Most slippers he cobbled together were built for strength and utility, but the rising mesh of these shoes would hold no protection in a harsh winter. Beauty lusted from the heart of these shoes. Silky golden leather would caress her instep and compliment the smooth mahogany of her supple calves. Their lightweight build would provide her utmost speed and grace. It would bring her through his door once more. Carrying open arms with a heart of equal width.

He carved forms of the approximate size of her feet. From memory. Knowing the feel of her sole in the cradle of his fingers. Taking time to polish and whitewash the wooden feet in the direction of the grain; he found some peace in trying to rebuild her. From the ground up. Only making it to the ankle, so far.

While coloring the shoes soles with a dye steeped from walnut husks, he missed the knock at his door. The second more forceful thump snapped him to attention. Dashing across the workshop in anticipation he flung the door open. Only to find him. Standing there. Concerned.

“Brother.” Andrew said, solemnly.

“Drew.” He replied.

Andrew smelled the fresh leather. Spied the dye drying beneath his brothers fingernails. Sank at the site of two wooden feet, one clad in beautiful leather. He thought after 3 days he would have given up.

“Brother. She’s gone. The mountain…It claimed her. Her father told you himself. Please.” Andrew begged.

“They’re a perfect fit.” He smiled. “They never brought her back. So. She’s still alive. She’ll return. Soon enough.”

Andrew backed out of the doorway. Closed the door behind him. And gave his brother a few more days.