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

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Friday, 5 October 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 46 - Birthday Madness. 'Satin Sheets to Cry On.'


It's RomanticFridayWriter's time! This challenge is to write 400 words of prose or poetry to the prompt, Birthday Madness. All my attempts were rubbish, so in desperation I've reworked a much earlier story so it fits the theme somewhat. I hope you enjoy my story based on the delightfully dreamy Country and Western song, 'Satin Sheets', sung by Jeanne Pruett and others.


'Satin sheets to lie on
Satin pillows to cry on
Still I’m not happy can’t you see?'

‘Angelique! Stop with that maudlin rubbish!’

‘What’s wrong with country music, Antoine?’

‘It shows your roots.’

‘That’s mean.’

‘Enough of your teary eyes and dreamy looks. It’s party time.’

‘I’m not going!’

‘It’s my birthday. I brought you something to wear.’

‘Again?’

‘We can’t have anyone outshining you my dear, especially Lady Rushmore.’

‘And I care?’

‘It’s time you did. It’s what keeps you in trinkets.’

‘I don’t care for those things.’

‘But you do. You’re the perfect model for the fine things in life, Glamourpuss.’

‘Is that why you married me?’

‘And to save you from that cowboy you still pine for. Ha! He could never afford to shower you with expensive gifts. You’d still be wearing torn jeans.’

‘I remember you walking into that bar and heading straight for me. You couldn’t keep your hands off my torn jeans.’

‘And Randolph didn’t like it, did he? But he was too busy wailing all that country music to all those women falling at his feet. You stood out from the crowd.’

‘So did you in your business suit and sawdust on your fancy shoes.’

Antoine reached into the pocket of his tux and drew out an exquisite box scrolled in gold script - Cartier.

“For you.’

‘But it’s your birthday. This makes my present look pathetic.’

The box sprung open to reveal a necklace of sparkling diamonds.  She looked at her husband and was stunned to see the adoration in his eyes. Does he actually love me? Why can’t he convey his love without expensive gifts?

‘Don’t cry darling girl.’

‘Why? I’ll offend Lady Rushmore?’

He kissed her, lifted her blonde curls and gently hung the diamonds around her neck.

‘No, my love, you’ll terrify me that you’re going to leave me for that guitar-strumming poseur. The only gift I crave is your promise to stay with me forever.’

‘Lead me to your Cadillac, darling. I’m not going anywhere.’

‘I know how that song ends.’

‘How?’

‘You want me to set you free.’
  
‘Walk away from all this?’ She swished her red satin gown, shrugged into her white fur stole, then clattered across the room in her black stilettos. ‘Why would I want to be set free? To starve with Randolph?’

But Antoine heard the catch in her voice.

She was leaving him…though he’d given her everything that money could buy.

©DeniseCovey2012

WORD COUNT: 409
FCA


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22 comments:

  1. Another fantastic flash, Denise!! I love it!!

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  2. Hi Denise
    That just proves, you can't buy love. Well written. Gifts hide his insecurities and songs expose her heart. Loved it!
    Nancy

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  3. I once heard some well-known rockers at a party state that modern country stars were failed rockers. I think he was on to something.

    Sorry, I don't write poetry etc.

    Cheers!

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  4. Great short! I liked how you showed her mixed feelings, as well as her final resolve, in so few words. Well done!

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  5. I'm a sucker for country music, Patsy Cline is one of my favorites.
    Loved this story, seduced by money, but money is never enough, and sometimes love isn't either. The quandary.

    Happy Birthday!

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  6. Love can never be hidden, bought or snuffed out by all that glitters. Liked the mixed emotions here, both said and left hanging in the air.

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  7. Hi Denise
    I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday in my earlier comment. I'm serving virtual champagne on my blog for the two of you.
    Nancy

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  8. How sad for the two of them...

    Love and lack of love can be so painful. It this case it's a lose/lose situation. He knows and she knows .... like I said... sad.

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  9. I love the irony at the end. How sad for both of them indeed. I hope her choice makes her happy. Love the balance of the light handling and the irony, Denise. 'Also like how the dialogue creates suspense at the beginning as well as let us into the characters.

    I do feel though that this lovely flash would benefit from some description/prose in between the dialogue at the beginning. It's kind of tricky, the challenges we face. We have to prioritise because of the 400 word limit, I guess.

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  10. I forgot to add, Happy Birthday Denise. Hope you have a great day.

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  11. I love country music and this is great as it's country themed. I hope it works out for them in the end.

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  12. Oh, how sad. It's strange but true how people who love each other can be so bad at expressing it in a way both understand and want.

    Jai

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  13. Hello Denise and wish you a happy birthday...the real thing can't be bought and can't be faked...so sad for both of them. Liked the story for both what is expressed and what is not. Interesting undercurrents...where will they end up?

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  14. Good for her! I'd rather wear jeans any day :)

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  15. Well done, Denise. You have captured their relationship and I can picture it all.

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  16. Serously good piece of writing, Denise! Loved it!

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  17. Sounds like a painful break for both of them--though probably a good one in the long run! Great writing.

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  18. Dear Denise,
    This was indeed a sad story; but it is still a romantic story about love relationships, even malfunctioning ones.
    Love cannot be bought. Your story is almost a parable on that theme.

    Thank you for your kind words about my post. Made my day. I do try to keep up with RFW even though I don't really have time to do this.

    I'm glad I could post one more 'Jenny-story' and get it to work. Glad there is reader-interest for it too. Who knows? Maybe I can write a novel about Jenny?

    Thank you for creating RFW!
    Happy Birthday!
    (By the way, my paternal grandmother's birthday was October 9th, the same as Roland's.)

    Best wishes & hugs,
    Anna
    For the benefit of other readers:
    RFW No. 46 - 'Birthday Madness'

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  19. Interesting dialogue. You did well to keep the voice, although I was glad to see some narrative. I liked that he gave her a gift on his birthday, and the hope that it would keep her with him. This guy needs to reorganize his romantic priorities :)

    .......dhole

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  20. Many happy returns, Denise..! Have a blast this year.

    I loved the story from the start. What I liked is you kept it non preachy yet said so much :D

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  21. That was a fun story, Denise, even if the ending is a bit sad. I like the way the dialogue showed most of what was happening.

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