Sapphire, She Remained

Sapphire, She Remained

Londinium’s streets filled with merchants of every description. Some purveyors of fine silks set up stalls in such and such an alley, others of fresh produce in this and that, the retailers of jewels and gold closer to the constabulary’s arterial junction. It, or rather, she, sat somewhere in between.

Less an organ grinder’s monkey, yet not quite a ventriloquist’s dummy, she rested, coiled legs draped over the side of a wooden cart. Her creator, or owner, or whatever he was poled people to guess her name at a sovereign a head. He promised great riches to the soul who guessed correctly, though I ventured no one ever did.

Entranced, I squeezed through the gathered crowd to gaze upon her. She was stunning, beautiful, yet made. Plaited horsehair adorned her head, bonnetless, which stood against convention, but right on her. A face of chalked perfection rested on a frame of awkward, angular imperfection. However, it was not her body I looked upon but her eyes. She had eyes that dreamt of oceans, a blue so deep as to pave a way to the stars. They stared out across her audience impassive; they searched for me. I was hers and she was mine, and though it was an affront to God, I did not care.

“Hey, that’s a sovereign’s worth of a gawking you’ve given. You gonna guess her name or not?”

I paid the man his money and walked away.

“Oy! Aren’t you gonna guess then?”

“Sapphire,” I replied.

“Wrong!” he expounded.

Maybe to you I thought, but Sapphire she remained.

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