For 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.
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.”
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.