ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Friday, 20 May 2011

Romantic Friday Writers Second Challenge - LOST. My story, Lost in France.


Lost in France


Have you heard from Jake, Anna?’

The wine glass tipped from her nerveless fingers. The violent splash of colour seeped like blood onto the pristine linen cloth.

Absently, she dipped her finger into the spilled liquid and brought it shaking to her lips. She tasted its sweetness, sharp on her tongue.

‘Anna. What is it? You’re as white as a ghost.’

She looked across the table at Jason. Her cheeks grew warm as if the wine had set a fire inside her.

‘Anna?’

She stumbled to her feet, knocking her chair over in her haste to escape.

‘Anna!’

Safely in her room, she turned the lock. She stumbled to her bed, wrapping herself in the quilt. Too numb to cry, she huddled in a ball, drowning in humiliation and misery. She imagined the turn the conversation had taken the minute she'd left the room. She’d heard it all before.

‘A nervy piece.’

‘Perilously unsocial.’

‘Can’t handle her wine.’

‘Wouldn’t you think she’d accept he wasn't coming back by now?’

‘He’s lost to her.’

‘She says she’ll wait forever, foolish girl.’

‘Never marry a soldier I always say.’

‘It’s a long time to be missing in action. Maybe he’s found a mademoiselle in one of those little French villages. Maybe he just decided not to return. Grass is greener and all that...’

She crammed her hands over her ears to stop the voices. She lay motionless, watching the moonbeams on the water. Remembering the feel of Jake in her arms, their bodies entwined in sheets, kissed by starlight. Oh, Jake, why did you have to go?

She reached for her Bible and opened it to the page where she’d hidden it. The letter was crisp and strange in her hands. She knew she’d have to tell them, but not yet. Let them wait. She reached for the picture of Jake she kept by her bed. She touched her lips to his then lay it down gently. She picked up the letter again and began to read...

Dear Mrs Adaire



I regret to inform you…

She began to sob, harsh racking sounds.


Jason stood outside the door, listening.

‘Ah, my girl, he’s not coming back, is he?’ he whispered.

‘Go away Jason,’ she cried.

‘I can wait you know. I’ve waited a long time already. I’m a patient man.’



I hope you enjoyed my story. There are more like it. Click on the Romantic Friday Writers badge to read more. Or click on one of the pretty faces in the sidebar ('cept they're not all showing up!) Or go to #romanticfridaywriters on twitter to find stories.

Image: discountpostersale.com



37 comments:

  1. Denise, this was fabulous! Great job! You so captured the anguish, the feeling of being lost in waiting. I remember hearing stories growing up, about the waiting during the Wars.

    I've got my piece ready for tomorrow (gonna keep in step with Yvette), tags, too. Hub's coming in from a business trip tonite...got the wine ready...hey, I knew you were joking about the drinking...have been round lots of Aussies...great fun with emphasis on the FUN.

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  2. Oh! So lovely, so sad, so sweet. The poor thing. I do hope she finds it in her heart to turn to Jason after a while.

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  3. I felt so bad for both her and Jason. I could tell his heart is breaking for her and over her. Great excerpt. its still early evening on the 19th here so my post will go up much later, but I had a fun time reading this!

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  4. This was fantastic, Denise! I loved the imagery with the wine and the 'blood-stained" tablecloth.

    VERY IMPRESSIVE!

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  5. Very evocative, bringing back sad memories of lost friends in past wars. Great job. Hey, what's with the red X by my name in the line-up? Roland

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  6. So very sad and touching. I feel for both of them - this is lovely.

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  7. I did a memory thing too; but not like this. I loved the emotion; and the voices. Very descriptive without overwhelming the story.

    ........dhole

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  8. This is so romantic, mostly because we see her inner thoughts. The romantic tension is in the memory instead of an outward display of affection.

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  9. I really like the turn it takes at the end. Jason is one of the gooduns! Good for Anna (when she recovers of course). You paint good word pictures, as always.

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  10. So beautifully written. I also like the 'Perilously unsocial' line.

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  11. Hi,

    Oh very nice! Great imagery wine and blood.

    With Jake apparently gone and Jason waiting in the wings, and moi left pondering whether the latter be bounder or thoroughly decent chap? Methinks him an opportunist cad! ;)

    best
    F

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  12. Well done Denise. You sucked me in and didn't let me know until the very end. My imagination was all over the words.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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  13. Wonderful! Come share your favorite blogs! http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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  14. Denise, that was beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye.

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  15. New reader/follower (and perhaps future participant in Romantic Friday) here. Nothing much to say, except I loved this. Kudos.

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  16. This is an excellent story, Denise. You got so much back story in in such a short space. You're good! You're especially good with "surprise" endings. This one worked for me. Jason's a patient man.

    I think you've got the beginning of something much longer, and intriguing. Who is Jason? Why is he patient? What is their past? How did they meet? What about the husband who just died?

    And according to one of the "characters," she said she'll wait forever, "foolish girl." When and why did she say she'd wait forever?

    I really want to know more!

    p.s. And I now must get off blogger for a while and get you some information, like a blurb and an excerpt from my memoir. I'll try to get this before the day's over (the day here in the U.S., my day, nor yours! LOL).

    Ann :)

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  17. This is beautiful. Brought a tear to my eye and goosebumps to my arms.
    Lx

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  18. Both of them waiting...I do hope that they get together.(This comment box looks all wrong on my screen, hope it's working.) A great flash, an entire story on one page. I love your use of the war as a backdrop.

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  19. I loved all the angst. Great job, Denise.

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  20. Thank you all you wonderful people. I'm glad you loved my story and there's a mountain of backstory here of course, as well as a future story. That's what's so great about flash fiction. Gives you something you can build on.

    I'll be round to visit you all.

    Denise<3

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  21. Hi Denise,

    Such a sweet, sad story. I want to see it's ending!

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  22. WoW! I'm intrigued. There's a lot of emotion & suspense in this piece. I feel bad for Anna. Hope Jason won't have to wait forever.

    I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog & for the nice comment.

    Here's my poetic piece for "lost":

    http://mypoetcharm.blogspot.com/2011/01/incomplete-without-you.html

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  23. Poor, poor Anna. I'm worried that in her grief she'll be pestered and put upon by Jason.

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  24. Hello there all. I'm appreciating your comments. Several have said they can see more to this story. Maybe I'll have to ponder this.

    Denise<3

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  25. I guess he's really not coming back :(... unless it's a romantic zombie story - then she'll have Jake again :)

    Great writing - really tight.

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  26. I really enjoyed your piece.
    The torment of grief was very well drawn.
    Interesting possibilities, I like that it doesn't really lock the story into any particular direction.

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  27. Ooh, the opening chapter of a romance novel! love it.

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  28. You're all so sweet. I must get cracking on this romance novel now I've got the first 400 words!!

    Denise<3

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  29. Hi,

    You've been tagged: again! Different tag!

    best
    F

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  30. Beautifully written and with such emotion. Poor Anna. You need to extend this!

    Ellie Garratt

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  31. You have such a nice talent for writing romance. It's always enjoyable!

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  32. Wow, Denise. That's fantastic - so much emotion.

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  33. Wish I had the knack for writing romance you have - I'll keep trying though!

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