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Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.

Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.

 

Unrequited Love

365

The stark light of the mirror betrayed the price. Line etched eyes, echoing the slashes Elijah had scarred into faded grey walls. Counting days in a life outside time, insubstantial to the staccato world lying beyond the bars.

730

An existence spent subjected to threats, propositions and fears. Strengthened only by cherished memories of Krak Des Chevaliers’ twilight interior. The caress of interlaced fingers, of shared pulses racing. Walking in shadow, the pain of longing giving them courage. Seeking escape, seeking their true self. Stolen clandestine moments, lips entwined, shared breath.

That fateful morning, whispered promises of a future, a ring slid onto Elijah’s finger.

Walking outside together, apart, the police waiting in the morning light.

1095

Elijah rested his elbows on the railing of the balcony. Chavaliers lay before him basking in the afternoon light. The hotel door opened, Firas entered, older, hurting, still beautiful. Wearing those very clothes he wore three years ago.

Fingers interlacing.

Together.

1

 

John Talbot’s presentation of the Book of Shrewsbury to Queen Margaret of Anjou ca 1445 AD. Public domain, courtesy of the British Library Royal.

John Talbot’s presentation of the Book of Shrewsbury to Queen Margaret of Anjou ca 1445 AD. Public domain, courtesy of the British Library Royal.

So Flash! Friday forced me to tread that genre that, I sadly must admit dear reader, leaves me bereft of imagination, Romance. I blame the years spent watching my mother devour Mills & Boon tomes, the cover always replete with a maiden swooning over some gent of nobility or other. Anyway, as I get repeatedly assured, it’s good to push oneself creatively, so pen in hand I sat down to drawn inspiration from the photo prompt above and the theme of a wedding.

The result, well you can decide for yourself, (it got a mention by the judges so I’ll post that under!)

hope you enjoy (fingers crossed)

The Bride To Be

Luxurious fabrics and fragrant rose petals caressed Isabella’s skin. Today had been a triumph, thousands gathering to witness their union, the bells pealing across the realm, a feast of exotic wonders.

At the ceremony she had stood beside her true love, heart fluttering. She had never looked so beautiful, her dress accentuating every curve. Even the King had noticed, whispering lustful comments as they knelt in front of the Cardinal.

Isabella was prepared to surrender herself, becoming a queen through his conquest. Comforted that the goblet of wine, thrust into his hand as he ascended the stairs, was laced with something slow acting and untraceable.

He would be dead in the morning, a heart attack the doctors would declare.

The nation would mourn and Isabella would vow to honour her departed king by never taking another man again.

Thankfully her true love wasn’t.

She just knew that the reign of Isabella and Beatrix was going to be a joyous one.

 

Judges Comment

This wasn’t the only same-sex marriage entry this week, all of which were a fun surprise, but I loved the lines, “At the ceremony she had stood beside her true love, heart fluttering,” which of course we assume to mean her bridegroom. Then we get, “She had never looked so beautiful, her dress accentuating every curve,” because at first we think it’s describing Isabella, only to, at the end, learn Isabella was describing Beatrix.”

Another Friday passed, another flash fiction entered into the ever expanding community that is Flash! Friday. Sadly no podium place for my entry, though two honorable mentions are greatly appreciated.

Berlin, Rückkehr Emil Jannings aus Amerika

Emil Jannings in Berlin. Creative Commons photo Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-07770.

 

The prompt was the above photograph along with a need to incorporate the theme of ‘comeuppance’. For a while I dallied with notions of poisoned bouquets, incensed actors and irritated canines.

Then finally the man behind the lens told me about his tale.

Hope you enjoy.

 

Metteur En Scene

The camera obscures my face from hers thankfully. The last time I saw those curves was when they walked out of our fleapit apartment on 25th and Main. Bringing the curtain down on a romance forged by a casting director and his notion of “chemistry”.

Chemistry that inevitably became biology. Each night in bed we mirrored the lovers we played on stage.

Romeo and Juliet.

Till her finest performance, the “its not you its me” eulogy. Fluttering eyelashes, damp eyes, masking the truth that her ambition to be a star had outgrown us.

Bags packed she moved on, seeking that lucky break. Never getting it in a city stacked with sirens.

Still you got to admire her. Muscling to the front, hugging the guy in the uniform. Working the lens with a face no picture editor could resist.

My Juliet, rolling the dice on finding fame.

I gently pan the camera ten degrees to the left.

 

IMG_1649

The relationship that defined my college days was all deceit and denial, lust and hatred.

We ended up one summer going on holiday to Corfu, staying in one of those coastal towns denoted as existing by a dusty potholed road running through a haphazard collection of white buildings. A chaotic assortment of hotels, strip joints, bars and clubs.

The holiday rep warned us of many things, primarily avoiding drinking the local ouzo (‘it made a lad from Macclesfield go blind’) and renting scooters. Apparently the scooter’s bare exhausts had a tendency to burn skin off of sunburnt calves.

Within the hour of arriving we were plunging down that potholed avenue on a loudly blatting rental scooter. We must have been quite the sight, me holding onto her tightly with one arm, the other clutching a bright green inflatable alligator. Both of us wearing snorkel masks and tubes.

Bonnie and Clyde, I muttered in her ear as we negotiated a hair pin.

Just like B&C we had a belief that we were invulnerable, immortal, yet we were already on a downward trajectory. Commencing when we first met via a mutual adoration of class As and vodka and exacerbated by a cruise to an idyllic isle that lay across the azure sea. Somehow, on the way back, reality distorted by ouzo and sunshine I conspired to get sunstroke. As I stumbled from the yacht the world tilted, swimming around me, until I collapsed in a nearby. I awoke to find the hirsute owner applying natural yoghurt to my back, as I lay face down across a table. The love of my life nowhere to be seen.

An interesting scenario.

I made my way back to our room to discover her having a siesta. My annoyance contained by fatigue and the scent of simmering dairy products on my skin. I lay down beside her, watching the ceiling fan lazily stirring hot air. The familiar whine of a mosquito broke the oppressive silence that we were in.

‘Get rid of it’ she barked.

‘You get rid of it …’

‘No, you ….’

Resigned to having to deal with our intruder, I felt my sense of self zoom out, akin to an out-of-body-experience. I watched as my right hand reached down under the bed, retrieved a blue converse hi-top and lobbed it in a languid style at our intruder who had alighted on the glass part of the balcony door.

As the shoe tumbled en-route to its destiny, time slowed. Dirty laces twisting in the air, sunlight glinting off of metal eyelets, the converse star spinning.

Bang.

The sole of the converse hit the window with a thud, a perfect connection. As it fell to the floor the remains of my nemesis was smeared across the window caught in the diamond print left behind.

Then time sped back up.

As the shoe hit the floor, the window exploded outwards, spraying glittering shards over the balcony.

Fractured and destroyed.

The perfect metaphor for our relationship.