#FiveSentenceFiction: Flames

“Would he lie to me?”

Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) - La haine (1908)The insidious thought crossed her mind, lingered, before she recalled “he” had been gone for several months, in fact five months, and she was now free.

It might have been a great passion, the kind of encounter that leaves one bruised, ecstatic, changed, all at once, but she was glad now that it was over.

Still: was he lying, cheating, pretending?

Did it matter, as now her mind turned to this unquestionable fact: “he” was now but one of the old flames?

Image: Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) – La haine (1908)

A character’s right to reply #amwriting

I quote verbatim from a letter received from Julian (RIP).

Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, Man in Pursuit of DeathNo, my once dear Honoré, you did not have to do it, and I don’t believe a word from you about “being sorry”. The truth, from my perspective anyway, is that you satisfied your petty jealousy, your ambition to have my beautiful wife – and, probably, others as well – play a role she would vehemently refuse in real life, and by that gratuitous murder of me, get rid of your most loyal and reliable friend. As you can see, I still have the strength to reply to your insolent article! You have no honour, Honoré, success and money have rotten your once noble spirit: you are merely after commercial success based on cheap lust.

Your stealing my Facebook page should have been a clear warning, to all of us, that you were leaving the realm of honesty and humanity, for the sake of satisfying your basest desires. Your readers will judge. I consider the lowest insult the way you have since used my wife’s friendship with an old childhood friend, to insinuate damn lies about a sexual relationship that never was. Sarah is far above such behaviour: she’s as faithful as a wife ever was, and will continue to support her husband against your assaults on history and truth. Your own miserable domestic failures cannot be an excuse for those lies.

The same applies to your treatment of my dear friend Melissa. She is, always was, an angel. I confided to you my childhood memories, and you turned them into a pathetic story of revenge and, again, cheap erotica! Shame on you. My Melissa had never anything to do with any plot, with spies, and that girl of dubious reputation you described as “Melissa of Köpenick”. The latter is, I admit, a bit of a flirt I indulged with, during my recovery in Berlin. Not only you got the facts wrong, but you invented on top of all some more pathetic  stories of your own.

But, would you say, you are a writer, and this is fiction… To hell it is not. You are playing with people’s lives, destroying their reputation, killing them without appeal. Despiccable! You wrote: “you became cumbersome, obstructive, calamitous.” This is in fact a good description of your own behaviour as an author, disrespectful to your characters, lacking any care for their feelings.

Sarah was not best pleased to hear that nonsense about me trafficking arms. I had much to explain. She’s now extremely angry with you, for good reasons. We are now talking about some form of action, as we, your characters, can use to express our profound disgust, and our refusal to cooperate. You have been warned.

Julian

Image: Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, Man in Pursuit of Death

#FiveSentenceFiction: Waves

DSC_0020Tirelessly, we walk along the shore, the light reflected from the trees, as if attracted to your beauty, the sea breeze caressing your hair: a summer poem.

Deep in the cove lie the lazy rocks, and, perhaps some deeper secrets, even a sea monster and her mermaid lover?

We laugh: waves lick the sand, wooing the careless couple, telling again the tale of her, whose face launched a thousand ships…

Are you Helen, the peerless beauty whose fate was to have Troy destroyed?

Or are you the mermaid, for ever courted by the many tentacles?

I had to do it, but I am sorry (sort of) #amwriting

Samurai by Baron Raimund von Stillfried, 1875I am sorry, but really, I had to do it. I know, you’re unlikely to pardon me soon. For a writer to kill one of his most cherished characters, is, well, close to a crime, even if not uncommon. Think of Conan Doyle, having poor Sherlock fall off the cliff, for example.

We lived together a long time, more than five years, I think: and of course, longer than this, if one recalls the antecedents, the sketches, the short flash fiction, and some early tries. I highjacked your Facebook page, for the sake of literature, you understand, but still, it was not a friendly move! Then I lusted after your wife, I admit, even considered something worse, but dropped the idea in favour of turning her into a seductive, beautiful lesbian – and such an attractive one at that, that none of my female characters could resist her charm. So, you had reasons to be a little annoyed at me, even before the final outrage.

What made me do it? I think the reasons are deep in the psyche of this apprentice writer. First, I grew a little tired of all the attention you were getting, even when your actions did not warranty it. A kind of mellow jealousy perhaps, as from a father, getting agitated at the number of gorgeous girls his son keeps bringing home? We will not delve in this analogy. Second, to be honest with you, I needed a change: you were centrepiece for far too long. Every attempt at diversity, in the literary sense, was thwarted by your resistance, your obstinacy at being in the centre of everything. Egotism, that is what it was: you became cumbersome, obstructive, calamitous.

There is a third reason, one which relates more to the writer than the character. I wanted to do something different, and in order to succeed, I needed a blank sheet, a new face, in one word, a different life to play with. So, I apologise for a harsh decision. Who knows, I may have to come back to you, sometime. I am already aware of a plot, by some of your female partners, to make you indispensable, again. Perish the thought.

Image: Samurai by Baron Raimund von Stillfried, 1875 (source: Wikipedia)

#DailyPrompt: Of Glass & Paper

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

Marie-Sophie Wilson By Peter GravelleThe lens lies on the desk, reflecting the evening light. Since this is the longest day of the year, I have plenty of time still to think of the significance of names: of glass – the lens on this camera, the crystal goblet on the table – and of paper – the paper my pen is scratching, the ultimate battle ground of a writer…

Photography is writing, a play on light and words!

Image: Marie-Sophie Wilson By Peter Gravelle

#VisDare 101: Balance

BalanceShe’s a workaholic, always on the move, alert, unstoppable. To meet her is an experience, her smile contagious, and this feeling of a hard mind behind her long eyelashes. She travels, she comes to you, she’s punctual, the tools of her trade in her long bag, full of marvellous attires. One guesses her luggage contains more…

A committed professional she is, of the sort that cares only for business, really, while all the time making the customer feel he – mainly “he” – is important, and it works. For it is impossible not to like her, even admire her, her energy, her skills, at what amounts to seduction, of a very temporary type.

Here, there, everywhere, how does she maintain the balance, keep healthy, even glowing? She’s a sexy woman of character, her strength well hidden behind irresistible charm. Men are forgotten as quickly as won: she’s a model, much travelled, and fully booked.