Have you ever been to Paris? What would it be like to travel there with a visionary artist? What would you see, sense and feel in such an experience? Travel with Alexander Wainwright in search of his muse and The Fate of Pryde.
Alexander Wainwright has been retained by the famous philanthropist, Jonathan Pryde, to create a vision in stained glass for his residence in Vence, in the south of France. Stopping overnight in Paris first, he is on his way there now to meet him.
But who is this Clea, who seems so attracted to him? Is she yet another muse? Or is she following him for some other purpose?
Here is an extract from The Fate of Pryde, the second in The Trilogy of Remembrance. This time the question is– Can the very best and the very worst of humankind thrive in one man’s breast?
FROM THE FATE OF PRYDE [CHAPTER 13]
Alexander strode into the foyer of the Victoria Palace Hotel just off St. Germain des Pres on the Left Bank. Very satisfactory, he thought. He was delighted with the first class trip his patron had arranged. Approaching the reception desk, which was flanked by fluted Grecian columns, Alex glanced about taking in the many paintings displayed on the walls.
He squinted to see one in particular—a lithograph of Chagall’s ceiling painting for the Paris Opera House.
As always, Alex was charmed by the artist’s lyrically drifting, gliding figures suspended in air. Its circular, gold rimmed shape made Alexander think of his vision of the golden plate. There was an inner and outer circle of the painting. He feasted his eyes on the lovely reds, greens, yellows and blues. In the inner circle, a centaur played a lute and a man soared on a blue horse. In the outer circle, a tiny dozen ballerinas danced and a bird-like creature floated mystically in the air. Alexander paused to drink in the beautiful detail.
The concierge in his blue and gold uniform greeted him warmly. “Good evening, Mr. Wainwright.”
Alexander, still engrossed in the painting, murmured, “Good evening to you, sir.” Then he turned to the receptionist at the counter. He handed her his passport and credit card.
“The bill has been taken care of, Mr. Wainwright.”
Alexander nodded and when he had signed for the key, he called for the elevator.
It was much more than a room. It was a one bedroom suite. Every convenience was there. Every need had been anticipated. Alex took a hot shower in the marble and brass bathroom and changed his clothes.
He had not thought of Clea for several days, but as he put on a fresh shirt, he suddenly was overcome by a powerful sense of her presence. It was far more than just the thought of her. He could almost feel her presence right beside him. He shook his head and looked out the window overlooking the Rue des Rennees.
Below, people strolled along the sidewalks and rode bicycles on the road. Voices rose up to him and he wondered why Clea should have appeared to him in such a fashion.
When he thought of her, the first image presenting itself was the line of her shoulder, neck and breast. He sighed acknowledging that, while she stirred his desire—that was a given—she inspired something else which was deeply buried in him. Strangely, her presence demanded that he unify something. But what he did not know. Perhaps his ideas for the Pryde project were beginning to jell.
From years of experience, he knew that his muse, his light appeared to him in myriad of forms and ways. Filled with questions, he decided to take a walk on St. Germain des Pres and find something to eat. **
Outside, he had only a few blocks to walk before he reached Les Deux Magots, a café known to famous artists and writers for more than a century. In the last half hour, rain had begun. It was not more than a gentle sprinkle. The streets of St. Germain des Pres glistened and colors seemed to swirl before his eyes. Vehicle headlights bore down and in their glare, passers-by bumped one another with their umbrellas. Like a flowing river, they rushed on past shops and cafes with tables and chairs on the sidewalks.
When he reached Les Deux Magots, crowds of people were crammed in at the tables. Waving and signaling like a policeman directing traffic, the Maitre’d had tables cleared and new customers seated. After waiting only a moment, Alex was lucky and a table became available. He squeezed past tables of couples engaged in intense conversation and tables of those alone. Some avidly watched the people passing by. Others stared into space. A few, not looking up, scribbled furiously in their notebooks.
The café had been a haunt for painters, writers and philosophers over the past century. Well could Alex imagine Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir seated at the marble-top tables drinking espresso and cognac and smoking Gitanes—always the Gitanes.
But now, they were all ghosts from a long-ago past. He sat down and began to read the menu. Hungry, he decided upon steak frites and a salad. When the waiter arrived, he ordered and then asked for a carafe of the house red. His cane-seated chair was pressed against his neighbor’s. He tried to move but could not. He tucked in his From The Fate of Pryde. elbows and looked out upon the street.
He loved the urban landscape—London, Paris, Toronto or New York. But he had never tried to paint it. While the country-side was his favorite subject matter, he knew he could never live in such a setting. Such deeply buried images lived in him—somehow and somewhere—from another time.
The rain had stopped and women –in their summer skirts flaring— walked, laughed and called out to friends. Men and boys, their hands stuffed in their pockets, swaggered along beside them. He was suddenly filled with a sublime happiness with the world and everyone’s place in it. Night had fallen and the street lamps bathed the sidewalks and all the people in a warm glow. All was as it should be. From The Fate of Pryde
When his wine arrived, he took a sip. He looked up to see a familiar figure approaching. Good Lord! It’s Clea. How incredible to see her now. Having seen him first, she was coming to his table. He stood up.
“Alexander! How great to see you here!”
Alex was nearly stunned by this eventuality. Not half an hour ago, he had stood in his hotel room and felt her presence with such an unusual intensity, he almost thought she was there. And now, she was! The Fate of Pryde.
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing.
Coming soon! The fourth volume [?] of The Trilogy of Remembrance will likely be published The Wondrous Apothecary. You can read the first chapter of The Wondrous Apothecary right here http://maryemartintrilogies.com/the-wondrous-apothecary/
The novels are sold anywhere online but including below in the carousels from Amazon.[one for print and one for ebook]