Carillon A/N: This was written for Thanksgiving, 2012
Vincent woke in the early hours to the sound of the pipes. They were different this morning, as they always were on holiday mornings: the delicate chiming sounds Pascal somehow managed to coax from the pipes during Winterfest, the celebratory clanking announcing engagements, weddings and births, the deeper, mournful sounds of condolence when someone passed away. Today, they were a carillon of thankfulness---was it his imagination, or did he hear the undertones of “Simple Gifts” under the standard time announcement?
His attention turned to the woman at his side, still sleeping. He halfway considered leaving their bed; Catherine would awaken soon and it would be no difficulty to go to the kitchen and retrieve her coffee for her. She turned, though, and the covers slid lower over the cuve of her rounded belly. The child—their child—flipped under his hand. “Ssssh, little one,” Vincent murmured. “Leave your mother to rest.”
“Not likely,” Catherine told him quietly, opening her eyes. “She's a night owl like you.”
Vincent smiled. She—their daughter---the very thought was astonishing. “Another generation of late-night tunnel walkers, then,” he said.
The child rotated again, and again, in what seemed to him a frenetic dance of joy. “Don't encourage her,” his wife replied, though her answering smile took the sting out of the words. “What time is it?”
“Depending on your perspective, either very late or too early.” Vincent knew by his wife's snort of laughter which view she chose; Catherine was decidedly not a morning person, and as her pregnancy had advanced, had become even less so. “Shall I bring you some coffee?”
Catherine yawned. “No, not yet, love. Let's just...lay here a while, okay?”
“All right,” Vincent agreed, pulling the covers back over them both and snuggling next to her. Her head rested on his shoulder; their child turned again under his hand. “What does that feel like?”
“Like a starfish doing the Charleston,” she replied dryly. “I'm never sure which end is up but she's certainly active today.”
The chimes rang out again: William's standard messages for the kitchen volunteers, a reminder to check the bulletin board for the times of their shifts. “You didn't volunteer?” Catherine asked.
“I tried,” Vincent said. “William wouldn't hear of it. Said my place was with you.”
“That was nice of him,” she replied.
“Mmmm-hmmm.” Despite himself, he began to doze.
“Vincent,” Catherine murmured just as he was drifting into the grey edge of sleep. “I know what I'll say I'm thankful for at dinner.”
He kissed the top of her head, sensing in some unnamed fashion the heartbeat of their child. “So do I.”