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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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

#WEPff challenge...#Valentine'sDay...A Letter. My #flashfiction

Hello there!

Time for the WEP Valentine's Day blogfest. I have written a flash fiction in letter form to suit the theme. I hope you enjoy it.


"To my darling Valentine...

“There is no end to things of the heart.”

I’ve believed this ever since the words passed your lips when we declared our undying love at twenty years of age. I took those words, rolled them around my head until they became reality. Not being of a romantic bent, nevertheless I tried to understand, to make sense of those words. My conclusion was that if you took someone or something – a person, a place, a dream - into your heart, brought it inside those red velvet folds, it would reside there forever. A strength. A comfort. Forever. Something to rely on in this capricious world. And it did work that way. No matter what happened, love was there.

Sacred.
Untouchable.
Unbreakable.

Those secret folds protected it. Always. Every time my heart beat, it reminded me of the precious secrets it kept.

Today I am approaching fifty years of age. I still try to believe there is no end to things of the heart. When I woke this morning, my beating heart comforted me for a time, recalling how I took you into my heart those many years ago in complete trust. You are still somewhere hidden in those red velvet folds along with those I have added over the years - people I have loved, people I have hurt, people I have helped. When I take time to examine my heart, they are alive in me, as familiar as my beating heart.

But you were always the best of my secrets.

As the sun rises over the far horizon, I hear the beat.

Seconds.
Minutes.
Hours.

Time means nothing when you are alone in a *humpy in Australia's Simpson Desert, surrounded by stunted trees, wild animals and rocky outcrops. There is water here. Old **Jacky Jacky could find it in a heartbeat, but what's the point? My water is long gone and I'm not someone who is going to drink the blood of animals to survive. Why bother? I comfort myself that I will not be found in this godforsaken place.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. Here's a Polaroid I took when I arrived and was still in control of my senses. This is my view each morning. Not godforsaken like me when I think about it. Quite beautiful, really, even when seen through a haze.


You, my love, will never know that my heart ceased to beat on Valentine's Day 2016. I can hardly place my letter in a bottle and cast it upon the waves. See, a sense of humour to the last. My parched lips crack as I smile. No, my letter will be hidden in the secret folds of the desert sands.

Be still my beating heart. I always loved those words. I resist the urge to smile. I can taste the blood from the last attempt. 

What will become of the secrets hidden in my red velvet folds? Will they die with me? Or will they fly away, released from the prison I have guarded these many years?

You lied to me that golden day when our love was young and forever and ethereal. You said, “My darling Byron. There is no end to things of the heart.”

Pfft! I will prove you wrong.

There is an end to things of the heart.

The red velvet folds cannot hold duplicity. Cannot cover love that is no more. Cannot beat when its life-force has shrivelled and died."

***

I hide the picture under a rock. Maybe someone will find it and wonder.

I lay down my imaginary pen and prepare.

Goodbye, my precious Valentine.


humpy or gunyah is a small, temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines, with a standing tree usually used as the main support. 
** Jacky Jacky was a paternalistic name given to helpful Aboriginal people in the old days.

WORD COUNT: 600
FCA

  • Thank you for coming by! I appreciate your taking the time.
  • Please click on more Valentine's Day entries with a DL (Direct Link) next to the name in my sidebar or go to WEP.





36 comments:

  1. Hi Denise - that's wonderful .. first I thought it was you - then I realised the twist was coming .. but a linger thirsting twist - so sad ... yet perhaps in another time .. the bottle will be found - searchings will spy into the past - who knows what will be found in the red velvet folds ...

    That was great - lovely story .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. You never know how people will take something like this. I'm glad you liked it and said so. Who knows the secrets in the folds of the sands?

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  2. The folds of the heart, like sand dunes hide more than they reveal.
    Poignant and beautiful.
    Thank you.

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  3. This was, wow, are there even words to describe it? I can't find them, but I swear this is the best thing I've read in a long, long time! AMAZING!

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    1. Geez, you know how to make a girl's day Yolanda! It is one of those pieces that wrote themselves. I treated it gently as I penned it. Thank you!

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  4. That was intense and poetic. I loved the ending. While reading everything after the desert picture, I got chills. No lie.

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    1. I'm glad it had a chilling effect Chrys.

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  5. Lovely, Denise, and bittersweet! To die with love on the lips says the life was not lived in vain. Sorry I couldn't participate in WEP this time. Life's duties usurped my time.

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    1. Thanks DG. I'm so sorry you couldn't make it this time. I hope things settle on the home front.

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  6. Hi Denise
    Truly poetic. Sad, sweet and a memory of life's tragic loss. Well written. You could make an entire novel out of this.

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    1. I am thinking of expanding it into a long short story at least Nancy.

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  7. Beautiful and poignant, lyrical and yet very real, rather hard to label, as all thumping good stories are! Love and loss are always inseparably twined, your flash reminded me of a Hemingway quote - all love stories end in separation.

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    1. Ooh, to read a Hemingway quote in the comments...thanks Nila! So true. Loss makes a more gripping story I think.

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  8. I loved the gradual shift in tone, from romantic and wistful to melancholic and bitter.

    Fantastic story!

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    1. Thanks Arpan. Emotions running riot. That's me!

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  9. It's a sad story. Disillusioned because what was is no more; disillusioned because words given in a promise became idle words unfulfilled as time moved on. Your story makes me think of the first love that will end or change sometime in the future.

    Shalom,
    Pat

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    1. Lovely summation Pat. I'm glad to see my comment up at your blog. Disturbing the way they disappear.

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  10. Oh, such a sad and moving story. Love your imagery!

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  11. First the sweet, then the sour and finally the sadness, tinged with hope that someday, someone will find the picture and wonder.
    Lovely writing, the scenes easily pictured in the mind.

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    1. I'm glad you could imagine it River.

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  12. Man. Totally unique for the hop. I love it!

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  13. A rhythmic beautiful heartwarming FF, Denise. I am so proud to know you. You are the ultimate writer that I want to be like. You and Yolanda. This wonderful story should be expanded into a novel or at least a novella, my friend. Tweeting. I'll send you my DL in a bit.

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    1. Now that's high praise Robyn. Can't wait to see your DL.

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  14. Whoa. Nice. Surprising. I'm hooked.

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  15. I loved the lyrical imagery, "red velvet folds", rich with the final musings of a dying heart.

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  16. Very powerful writing. There is so much to be taken from this, young love, unrequited love or love that is discarded as time goes on but never forgotten. Great writing that you can expand,as you say, which I will look forward to reading.

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    1. Thank you Sally. I really think I will work on expanding this story.

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  17. Wow, this is amazing! Powerful and well-crafted!

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  18. That was fascinating and well done! I enjoyed reading it, and the heart analogies. Great imagery. :)

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  19. Sad that this person seems to have given up in the end, never got over that first love and betrayal. The images are good and the description of the Australian desert. Too bad one of the aboriginals can't come by and save her?

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  20. So full of passion and drama, love, despair and anger. Your story is full of poetry and the sense of futility of a lover who takes a tragic decision. Well written, it made a great read.

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  21. I like how the main character says at the beginning that they're not very romantic and yet... they were never able to get over that first love and wandered into the desert to die. That's tragic romantic at it's finest. Great job!

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  22. Well, that caught me up inside itself like a tornado funnel cloud. Beautifully expressed, Denise. I'm late in coming around, but since these posts are still waiting out here, I'm taking time to read and enjoy some of the talented people who entered this WEP!

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