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The Lover's Enchantment

Conception Beneath the Purple Clouds

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished about a month ago 4 min read
The Lover's Enchantment
Photo by Kyle Wilson on Unsplash

Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. Known as the Lover’s Enchantment, this time brought out all romantics and hopeful mates.

It was beneath these purple clouds that Isaiah took Mary Jo on their first date. Out in the country, far from the light pollution of the city, they sat in the back of his pick-up and held hands as they watched the swirling and arching of purple upon pink high above them. It was on this date that Mary Jo stole the first of many kisses from Isaiah.

The Lover’s Enchantment inspired writers and artists the world over, many trying—and failing—to capture its beauty in many forms: painting, poetry, song, photography. Yet like catching lightning in a jar, duplication was nigh impossible.

It was beneath these purple clouds that Mary Jo gave herself completely to Isaiah—heart, soul, and body. For a moment that lasted so briefly, it would change their lives forever. And Mary Jo would be left digging dirt and grass out of unmentionables for what also seemed forever.

The Lover’s Enchantment was the basis of many religions. It caused wars and genocide, all among people worshiping the same thing—all of them the wrong way. Not one cult could please the magnificence that ruled the midnight hour, but that did not stop them from saying that another’s methods were sacrilege.

It was beneath these purple clouds that Isaiah and Mary Jo fought for the first time. On her parents’ porch they stood, their yelling enough to draw the attention of both family and neighbors. By the next Lover’s Enchantment, it was all over social media: Mary Jo was pregnant with Isaiah’s child, and her choice was to keep it. Isaiah wasn’t ready to be a father, and in his mind, he never would be.

The Lover’s Enchantment drew together feuding families and made friends of former enemies. Wars ended under the Lover’s Enchantment, and many treaties bore its name.

It was beneath these purple clouds that Isaiah came to Mary Jo, humbled and penitent, and went down on one knee. Only after many promises and apologies did Mary Jo finally agree to make Isaiah an honest man. Eighteen years old with an uncertain future ahead, they only knew that they had each other to lean on.

In the tarot, the Lover’s Enchantment meant a long life and true love everlasting. It was the most fortunate of the cards. Yet reversed, it signaled heartbreak, an early death, and love lost too soon—the greatest of misfortunes that could befall the reader.

It was beneath these purple clouds that Mary Jo sat, knees pulled to her chest, and wept. Isaiah is dead, rang through her head. Wrong place… Wrong time… She would never trust gun owners again.

She rubbed her enlarged stomach and stared up at the sky. She watched the stark purple dance aimlessly against the soft pink, her mind anywhere but on the brilliant performance above.

Tears streaming down her cheeks, Mary Jo wailed, “Why? Why?

So few people were born under the Lover’s Enchantment that it was almost never used for astrology. Its true meaning was lost to the ages. Some called it a blessing, saying the child would be gifted with unique abilities and a grand destiny. Some said it was a curse, fated to drag the child into the deepest depths of depravity and madness. Others claimed it could be both—but no one alive could prove it.

It was under these purple clouds, in the safety of a hospital, that Mary Jo gave birth. With her parents nearby, she had the support she needed, but Isaiah’s absence was strongly felt. When the nurse gave her the child, Mary Jo refused to look at first. Seeing Isaiah’s features on someone new would just be too much. But feeling the child’s skin against her own overwhelmed her, and with teary eyes, Mary Jo looked upon the child. A perfect mix of her parents, she was. Yet it wasn’t those familiar features that drew Mary Jo’s attention.

Deep within her daughter’s eyes was a storm, purple clouds dancing on a blushing iris that hypnotized anyone who dared look into them. Thus, Mary Jo named her child the only thing she could: Iris.

Short Story

About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and beta read as a freelancer for a few years with some published stories and poems of my own. You can learn more about me at

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