Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Write...Edit...Publish...my story, Love Locked in Paris - with photos.

Hello everyone!

I didn't get to post last week - was so busy, but I'm sure you coped!

Pont des Arts -
No wonder the locks
caused the wire to
It's time for Write...Edit...Publish again. On the third week of each month writers post to a prompt. June, is considered the most romantic month of the year, so deciding on a prompt was a no brainer. I haven't come up with a new story this time as I've been frantically editing my manuscript.

The lock system in Paris is under threat due to the recent collapse of a section at the Pont des Arts. I thought I'd resuscitate my story Love Locked in Paris which I wrote when I returned from a 2012 trip to Paris where our hotel was in view of the love-locked bridge beside Notre Dame. Perfect position to dream up stories...especially about the lovers who leave a token of their commitment on the bridges of Paris.

I hope you enjoy my story into which I've inserted some photographs I took at the time.

Sunset over Notre Dame

Love Locked in Paris

The  most romantic day of my life is here. Can I take it all in? Notre Dame's aged bricks and soaring buttresses being kissed by sunset – the lock-filled  bridge that joins the Left Bank and Right Bank – lovers sharing wine and baguettes beside the Seine. Ooh la la!

My candy pink dress with its French Poodle embroidery flares around my knees. Pink satin 4-inch heels complement my black net stockings. I still clutch the tiny posy of white roses which my darling Mitch handed to me on the steps of the *Mairie. Their scent envelopes me as I walk arm in arm with my beautiful man feeling oh so French.

Mitch, so handsome in his black suit, kisses the white gold and diamond ring on my finger – could this day get any better?

‘Let’s do it!’ he says.

We walk to our chosen spot midway across the bridge. Mitch reaches into his pocket and flips the copper lock in his hands.

We both gaze at the token as if it were made of solid gold.

‘I had it engraved,’ he says proudly.
I wrap my arms around his waist and read the inscription – ' Capt'nFlynn, Mastarata  25-June-2010’.

Yes, this day could get better after all. 'You used our special names!'

We loop the lock over the wire and click it shut. A passing tourist snaps our photo.

‘Let’s come back every year to celebrate our wedding anniversay,’ I say.

‘I can’t think of any better way to celebrate our love.’ 

We kiss to seal the deal.

As I cross the bridge to Notre Dame I think to myself how apt it is that the skies are all smudgy, not that brilliant Parisian grey-blue of four years ago.

I hold my breath as I search through the multitude of love locks. It's a wonder the bridge doesn't collapse under this weight of metal, I think to myself.

Finally, I find it - still bright and shiny in the gloom. I pick it up and rub my fingers over our pet names.


I attach the tiny plastic envelope to the lock handle, then I sob for our fractured love.

We were meant to be together, forever. 

Darling Mitch

I could have trusted you instead of showering you with jealousy.
I could have travelled with you instead of putting my job first.
I could have forgiven you for your indiscretion instead of throwing you out without listening to you.

Your Dearest Polly

I stroll along the Seine, then order mussels in garlic cream sauce at what was our favourite restaurant in the Latin Quarter. When the attentive waiter brings the bowl of dark, half open shells with their enticing pink flesh, pours my wine and places the bread basket before me, I cannot eat or drink. I come to the realisation that it is futile to retrace steps from the past; those steps have been obliterated with time.

The 17th Century hotel is not at all romantic without Mitch. Climbing the winding stairs is just a chore. Surely they could install a lift, I think sourly. 

The fifth floor at last. The Romantic Room with the etched carvings on the ancient door. I take a deep breath and study the ancient black key which seems as long as my arm. 

The door opens before I find the slot. I step back in fright, clasping my chest and breathing in jerky breaths.

‘Mitch! What are you doing here?’

‘Same as you, I imagine.’

‘But –‘.

‘I read your letter.’

‘Then you  -‘.

'I saw our photo album.

'I needed reminding of the happiest day of my life.'

‘I’m sorry sweetheart. It wasn’t you who needed reminding  – it was me. I’ll do better. What I did was despicable, but...will you take me back? I'm so sorry. I love you...I love you...’

I entwine my arms around his neck and soak his beautiful white shirt with my tears.
Paris, the golden city.

‘I love you Mitch. I don’t want a life without you. I've missed you so...’

It feels so right to be in his arms where I belong – could this day get any better? 

Yes, it is about to.

*Mairie (Town Hall, where secular wedding ceremonies take place)


WORDS: 700

I hope you enjoyed my story and photos. If you'd like to post an entry - story, poem, photos...to the ROMANCE prompt, you have until Friday. Sign up on the linky in my sidebar or visit WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH. I'd love to have you join us!


Nilanjana Bose said...

I am so glad she found him. Loved the happy ending. Paris is so not meant for tragic ones. I particularly liked the symmetry and the repetition in the two halves, neat. And the photos are awesome!

Mark Koopmans said...

While not a current reader of romance (my teenage years were different!!) I enjoyed your story and thought her note to him was filled with ohhhhh, what happened there moments :)

Those lock bridges are amazing, aren't they! I saw one in Amsterdam last year and I was blown away by the symbolism...

Love is still alive !! :)

Unknown said...

24th June 2014
Dear Denise,
What a romantic story, with details that put us there in reality.
Paris is such an important place for culture, the arts, history, literature, you name it. It's where a lot of ideas get started. What is done in Paris is often copied in other places. The love locks on the bridge to Notre Dame have a sister in little Norrköping, my home town. There are locks hanging there, but not as many as to weigh down the grid.
Thank you for your kind words about my story.
Best wishes,

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fill out the story in between and you have the next romantic comedy hit movie. I'm serious Denise - I can see it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh, how bittersweet!

There is a key fence in Wilmington where people do something very similar.

Jemi Fraser said...

Lovely! I love 2nd chance stories :)

Denise Covey said...

There is one in Brisbane too , but very early stages yet.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Jemi.

Unknown said...

How romantic! I love how you put pictures in the story, especially the lock with the special names.
I love that they met again on the special anniversary day.

Pat Hatt said...

A second go around, few ever get it, great when it happens.

Denise Covey said...

Nice Alex. I must think about the middle !

Denise Covey said...

Glad you liked it Anna. Yes, the locks have been widely copied.

Denise Covey said...

Yes, I saw them in Amsterdam last year too, Mark.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Nila!

D.G. Hudson said...

Exciting and timely with the news about the crashing of the locks, Denise. We wondered about that weight. Too bad, but it's like the kissing of the Oscar Wilde tomb, it shows adoration by the public, but it does destroy the object it's meant to revere. A bridge in Paris is thought to be immortal, but it isn't, like many relationships.
Liked this story, and remember it from before and I like the photo additions!
Good luck with the writing.

Denise Covey said...

Yes, D.G. Apparently the powers that be would like to remove the locks but aren't game.

Stephanie Faris said...

I didn't know about the lock system. Great job! Very powerful writing. My view of Paris wasn't quite so romantic when I visited...

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Denise
Loved this one and so prophetic that she wonders if the bridge will calapse. You must have a heavy dose of romance in your bones. Hehe. I love the photos as well.

I've been thinking about you're possible visit to the US and I want to entice you to come to Colorado. I think you would love Frisco. It's a mountain village perfect for shopping just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel, a short drive to Vail and an hour or so to Denver. Skiing is offered but lots of other things too. From there you could visit many great places. It's about half way between Colorado. And I think it's romantic too.

Tara Tyler said...

i remember those locks from "Now You See Me" - such a wonderful ending!

i've been seeing many of your WEP posts! i love the monthly prompts! i will have to join once things settle down.

Raelene Purtill said...

I was there with them. Lovely atmosphere with all the details. Didn't know about the lock bridge. Where in Brisbane? What fractured their love? Perhaps a bit more tension, on will they or won't they get back together, although we know they always will.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Rae. The locks are starting to grow on the top end of the Kurilpa Bridge. Looks a little pathetic at the moment. Knowing our mean council, they'll probably cut them off before too long.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm going to work on this and have my first chick lit novelette, lol!

Denise Covey said...

Tara, we're all frantically busy, but we have to prioritize. I hope you do join us one month.

Denise Covey said...

Nancy, our next BIG trip is to Alaska, Canada then the US for the first time. It'd be great to have you to show us around. But that's only if plans to visit Cuba and the Caribbean don't interfere!

Denise Covey said...

Thank you Stephanie. No, Paris doesn't do it for everyone, but is always magical to me.

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't read romance but this was great. And I've heard of the love locks in the news too.

Sally said...

A lovely story, great setting and made better with the addition of your photos. I'm glad they have a second chance.

Lisa said...

Oh I'm SO glad they got back to each other. It always bewilders me that our society (in film TV media etc) is so quick to judge, so harsh. Infidelity happens for a multitude of reasons. We are all human and yet set a standard no human can live up to, and still be true to themselves and those they love, in my opinion. I love the forgiveness here, the acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions instead of just blaming the other person. This is a true love story!

Denise Covey said...

Ah Natalie, since you don't read romance, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for that Lisa. Your comment may help me write the middle of this story.

Denise Covey said...

Glad you liked it Sally.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Clarissa.

Denise Covey said...

I love second chance stories.

Scheherazade said...

Oh so romantic and, of course, well-written. Love the description. Now I want to know a little more about how this romance unravelled, even though you have given us a happy ending.

Denise Covey said...

You shall know Linda, when I write more...thanks.

dolorah said...

That is so sweet. As noted before, you have a heart for romance Denise. So nice to look back, and forgive.

Denise Covey said...

Aw, shucks Donna...:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise - thank goodness they both had the temerity to see 'what if...' and the humility to confront their failings and start again .. lovely story .. and the lock bridge - I hadn't twigged that ... and yes I'm sure the locks will be taken off especially after that experience ...

We had some knitted tiny hand-sized jumpers for the tour de France in a Derbyshire village - they were suspended across Victorian lamp-posts and the Council order they be taken down .. the wet tiny jumper banners might bring them down ... ?? Still they've allowed them to be strung across other buildings ..

Fun to read .. and Pariiiis .. so lovely to see .. cheers Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Will be interesting to see what the French decide. Paris would not seem quite so romantic if all the locks disappeared. Queensland is a nanny state - nothing that whiffs of danger is allowed. They'll be fencing off the river soon in case someone falls in!

Crystal Collier said...

Awesome. A redemption love story is always better than just a straight love story. *sigh*

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! First, I've been to Paris and I didn't even know about the lock stuff - will have to investigate further. Second, I thought the story ended with them snapping the lock and thought it was so sweet - but it's even more powerful with that second half. I hope they can make it work from now on!

Trisha said...

Great piece of writing, Denise - this is true love, the kind where you overcome challenges and grow stronger!

I was saddened to hear about the lock bridge collapse!

Kelly Steel said...

Such a sweet story. Loved the photos too. And what a happy ending...sigh!

Unknown said...

I think you chose a great true-life detail to base your story around. Clever you! I wonder why people do that with the locks... I guess for the same reason people carve their initials in trees, spraypaint it on walls, or tattoo their beloved's name on their bodies. Some people think it's a romantic gesture. Good story, Denise!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denise Covey said...

It's become a strong love symbol, especially in Paris.

Denise Covey said...

Yes, it's sad.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Kelly.

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