For Better or Worse

rwr-1For better or worse I kept amusing myself with Charli’s latest prompt in which she challenged us to write 99 word romance stories. First I responded with For Now, as much a response to Charli’s post and discussion of genre as a romance. I revisited that scene and rewrote it from a different point of view and with more interaction. Then I responded to Charli’s mention of lumbering in the comments, ramping up the raunch a bit, taking a cue from Kid .  And, yes I still assert that I do not care for the romance genre and do not read or write it, though the most romantic couple around must certainly be Ernest Biggs and Marge Small.  Finally, for better or worse, I present a never before seen love poem. I whittled the original down from 171 words to 99 so that the poem could fly under the Carrot Ranch flag.

Romance Redux

She looked up when the bells on the door tinkled, kept looking as he wandered Westerns. “Howdy, purty lady,” she imagined him greeting her. Ugh. Westerns were corny. Now in sci-fi, he orbited her table. “Come aboard my spaceship. I’ll take you to the moon.” She winced. She’d never cared for sci-fi.
Suddenly he was before her, asking her to sign his book. Her book. “I can’t wait to get between the covers.“ He sighed, “I could spend a long time with your short stories.” He took the book, their fingertips brushing. “I love a happy ending, don’t you?”



Bar and Chain

He was irresistible in logger boots and Carhartts. She practically swooned to see him buckle into climbing harness and spurs. He climbed and cut deftly, expertly felled the leaning yellow birches. Now he was on the ground sharpening the chain, a raspy purr coming from his attentive filing. Next he wiped his saw clean of oily sawdust. When he took the carburetor cover off she interrupted him. Mentioned that certain aspects of their marriage could run smoother too.

“I know what I’m doing with my saw,” he blushed.

“Come with me,” she commanded. “I have things to teach you.”



Fatal Attraction

My beloved is an itch

crawling under my skin

I never really trust him

I always let him in


My beloved’s a liar

lies right through my veins

flowing with false promises

blinding me to my pain


My beloved’s a liar

I suspend disbelief

do anything he tells me

for those moments of relief


I don’t believe the lies

that we share together

nor admit my sad truth—

that one day I will lie forever


Laid into my grave by family

they who’ve long since mourned;

my beloved will spread his lies to others—

read this and be warned.




13 thoughts on “For Better or Worse

  1. Ernest and Marge are a great example of a couple. The genre might not be romance, but romance knows relationships. You made a fine trio. I had to open a window as it felt warm in here, reading all that sawyer talk. Hot stuff! But your cut to the king of all liars was an apt reflection of the false love offered by heroin. It’s what robs of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Fatal Attraction | ShiftnShake

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