The problem with Seonid, Callum thought, was that she attracted trouble like iron to a lodestone.
This particular trouble leaned in close to Seonid, whispered something that made her laugh. Callum seethed in his corner. He was not jealous. The idea would not have occurred to him. It was not the fact of the flirtation that bothered him, but the object of it. Seonid had managed to invite the attentions of the one man whom she ought to have avoided.
Willem was a large man. Not soft, though: he was tall and hard, his voice silk on steel, his eyes metal-grey. No wonder, really, that Seonid drew him in. She was impossibly difficult for any man to resist, Callum knew, and Willem was not known for his restraint in these matters. But this man, this charming, handsome suitor, had quite probably killed another man whom Callum had loved like a brother.
Callum leaned further back into the shadows as Willem’s gaze traveled the room, resting briefly on each face before returning to the girl. It would not do to be seen. Other people, men and women, drifted around them, insubstantial as phantoms. The world centered around Seonid.
No, not a lodestone. The realization broke over him with sudden clarity. That would imply some measure of control on her part. Once, when Callum was a boy, he watched a storm roll in from the sea. It roared up the dunes and over the marshy grasslands, swallowing the tiny hamlet where he lived. Broken trees and other detritus battered against the walls of his house as he cowered with his sister under the bed. It sounded like the world ending.
Seonid was the eye of that storm. Trouble swirled around her, the debris of her past colliding with the bits and pieces of her current circumstances. It was only a matter of time before something came crashing down on her.
Callum tried not to think about what that meant. He watched, finger to the wind.
This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt.
You should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:1 : the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally2 : public unrest or disturbance <there’s trouble brewing downtown>
4 thoughts on “Lodestone”
Love that last line, and his realization that she’s not so much in the instrument but the force of nature.
Another example of your excellent descriptive writing. I love getting more and more of this story. The characters are great. Thanks again for linking up.
i loved the metaphors you used, especially the one of the hurricane, and your descriptive wording, simply marvelous!
Great images in those last two paragraphs — especially the last phrase, “finger to the wind.” Well done.