Some background: there are some screws in someone's ceiling. I was asked to identify them, so I came up with the names Jenny and Klaus, who were reincarnated as ceiling bolts from their former lives. I was then asked to expand on the history of Jenny and Klaus, which led to this.
The first one is Jenny. The second one is Klaus.
Klaus was once a teacher in Prague, before the fire.
We first met in a small cafe with a name that I can't remember but when spoken sounded like a duck choking on a squirrel with a bad case of acne. I remember his hands: they were soft and supple, outstanding like luxury in this ancient city so filled with dirt and grime and hard work, with perfectly manicured fingernails.
When he touched my skin, it was like an electric shock coursed through my body. I could feel a single bead of sweat dripping down between my breasts, and my heart started to beat faster and faster. "You know me," he said in a dark voice.
I followed him home that night. We made love on the balcony of his flat, listening to Mozart and smelling the decadent aromas of the city almost sleeping.
When the fire came, it took us by surprise. By the time we woke, it was too late for us to escape by the stairs, so we panicked and jumped out the window. Klaus landed on a signpost that impaled his chest; I broke both legs and my back, but was able to crawl to his side to look into his eyes and hold his beautiful hands as we died.
Jenny was a lovely maid in Hampshire. She met her end at the business end of a horse.
The time was summer, somewhere around 1868. Jenny was a handmaid for my sister whose marriage to an American Baron of some sort was imminent and as these things tend to be, exceedingly complex. I was rather enamored of Jenny the first time I saw her, long dark hair and dark eyes framed in a lovely face as fair as a fine porcealin doll. As Jenny was a serving girl, Father would never approve, so I kept my desire secret.
I had just turned sixteen, and father had brought me a horse, a handsome black Arabian with a spirited mane; I named him Corvus, after the raven. Corvus was beautiful, as were so many things that Father bought, but he had a spirit that was not easily broken. I was about to ride him when I saw Jenny looking at me shyly from the doorway, and I motioned for her to come over.
"He's so big," she said. "Can I touch him?"
"Of course," I said, and took her hand, placing it on the horse's flank. "Oh,"she said, "He's so warm!" and slowly moved her hand back and forth along Corvus's side, following the trace of his ribcage.
I loved looking at her like that, completely absorbed, her bare neck receding into a shallow V shape at the top of her breasts, slightly swelling under her bodice. It was almost hypnotic, and I slowly reached out to take her in my arms and kiss her. She was startled, and let out a small scream, jumping back from me and into the rear of the horse, who in his spirited way, kicked out in fear.
It was a chance accident that her heart was in the spot where the horse kicked, and she died almost immediately. She was still beautiful, even in death, and I held her head in my arms crying, vowing never to love another.
Then I was hit by a meteor.