Tag Archives: romance

Trifecta challenge: The Ring between her fingers

Trifextra week seventy-seven: Write a 33 word story based around these words: ring, water, stage.

Anna twirled the diamond ring between her fingers before dropping his token of lust in a glass of warm lemon water. She would marry him-but her true love waited hopelessly behind the stage.

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The Trumpets of Jericho: The second letter

Authors note: On September 1, 1939 Adolph Hitler thrust the world into World War II by advancing his armies into Poland. Two days later Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany. This is a fictional account of a woman from Kansas who was called to help the Jewish people’s residing in Poland. This is the second of many letters she wrote home. Music to Read by:”Sanvean” by Sarah Brightman

4 September 1939

My dearest Bartholomew,

    We have been heading further into Poland as the Nazis are conquering every town, city and farm. Oh, my husband! Such a terrible evil that’s come upon the world, the gunfire I spoke of can be heard in the distance. It’s coming closer and closer everyday, but we are moving faster too. Planes are bursting in midair and falling to pieces. Children are screaming, young boys are gearing up to protect their homeland! As we move further east, the Polish military is moving west towards the battlefront. They look defeated Bartholomew and frightened. The past two days have been spent traveling underneath the protection of shadows. We don’t have automobiles or horses so we must trek with haste. It is a scary time! I want to come home to Kansas, to see your bearded face, to touch Thomas and scold him about homework. I want to hear our chickens and clean our home and cook you dinner. But I know I cannot leave this war-torn land of the Poles. Not when so much is at stake. These poor, destitute people are trying desperately to keep hope within their hearts, but my beloved, it seems the enemy is gaining more ground everyday and that the Lord has abandoned us to our fate. What a foolish thing war is. What a heart wrenching, agonizing, greedy atrocity. This man Hitler will burn the world down to gain what he’s after. My ignorant mind cannot fathom what he really wants, I am not good with politics, you know all this. 

My Jewish friends are speaking less and less as the days move forward. Our group has almost twelve people, down from twenty, the ones who have abandoned us decided to move further south, away from the onslaught. My town of Poznan is probably destroyed, torched to the ground by wicked men in black uniforms and hatred in their hearts. How I miss those ancient buildings and beautiful rectories and delightful eateries!  My translator, God bless her heart, is attempting to keep me within the loop of things going on. But she has her own family to look out for. I am afraid she will leave me Bartholomew! She talks only when necessary, with war raging in the west and her homeland being gutted by Germans, there is not much to talk about.

I am such a nervous wreck, I think I have grayed more in two days than in the past fifteen years. My mind is in a constant state of bewilderment, my heart, full of dread so thick I could keel over at anytime.

But I must remain strong Bartholomew. Remember the young girl I was telling you about with the brown dress and blue handkerchief? She has yet to leave my side. She holds onto my leg for dear life. I fear for her, yet her parents seem unconcerned with her welfare. Oh, I must sound terribly brash in my estimation of their love for her! Who am I to make such an accusation? Her father, Tosiek, is one of the elders and he is arguing with the other men. His wife, Olenka (my translator), was telling me late last night that the other elders want to head to the city of Lodz for safety. But she is afraid this could be Hitler’s main objective. They want to head further east  towards Warsaw. But what do we know? An American from Kansas and a bunch of farmers?

Oh my angel Bartholomew! Please continue to pray for my group. I fear they are starting to lose all sense of the practicality I mentioned in my previous letter. Luckily, we’ve managed to stay out of main cities and in the softness of the beautiful hills and fields. Unfortunately, I feel little comfort at this fact. Last night we slept in an abandoned Church in God knows where. All I knew was shear exhausting from walking and running all day long. Our food supply should last another few days. Some of the people in our group have departed, but maybe it’s for the best. With the shortage of food and water, there will be more for us. Oh, is that terrible of me husband? Is it horribly selfish to think of myself while others are undergoing slaughter and violence on a massive scale? I wonder if those young men are dying for thirst. It breaks my hearts more and more each day if I dwell on it too long. I would bring them water if I could, I would bake them something! 

The church we slept in last night resides on a rolling hill overlooking mountains and a small lake. There was a fishing boat floating around the water all by itself. Heaven knows what happened to its captain. The nuns had planted roses and yellow tulips around the wooden base of the church. There are stained glass windows depicting scenes from the bible (what else would you expect to see in a church?). The sanctuary was very small with only five pews on each side, yet it made for comfortable sleeping quarters. The altar was carpeted and the friars podium stood unmolested, unused and collecting dust. candelabra’s were empty, a stack of hymnals and bibles were covered in cobwebs near a corner. It looked as though no one had used it for years. Such a shame Bartholomew, if the men in charge of Germany would only fall on their knees and repent, the world could be saved from what is undoubtedly to come. I feel it in my bones, this war will demolish what’s left of humanity. I walked away from the group to see if there was a kitchen of sorts. I figured if I couldn’t speak their language, I sure could cook something to ease the pain we all felt. We have five delightful, beautiful children in our midst. The little one I spoke of is sitting near as I write you this. She is such a big help to my spirits! You would adore her!

There was a small kitchen with a few spare ingredients inside old wooden cupboards. I had one of the men start a fire in the hearth. I made a pot of broth and for dessert I made small cakes. There was not enough for everyone so we had to cut them into pieces so we could all share. But, there is one old man in our group who is rather ornery and did not take lightly to having to share his cake. Olenka tried to make him understand but he did not want to hear it. He screamed and cursed at me Bartholomew. I cried in front of the men. I didn’t want to, but I was so upset that I couldn’t feed him more, but I must choose wisely the battles I come across. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried to give him my portion, but he stormed out of the church, we have not seen him since. I admit that I am glad he is gone, he gave me an odd feeling whenever he was in my presence.

How I need you now more than ever! I must end this letter, our tribe is moving out again, I don’t want to be the one to hold everyone up. Pray like you’ve never prayed before. Pray for my safety, but I ask that you pray more for our Jewish friends because they are in the most distress. Bartholomew, I hope I can pen you another letter in the coming days. But I know not what is to come of me or where we will find ourselves next. I still believe the Hand of God is on our lives and He will direct our paths. Until next time my sweet, sweet husband. Have I told you I love you recently? Well, if you are in doubt, I do. Very much so. Tell my Thomas to be a good boy and finish all his homework. To the end of the earth, my love will never end.

Love forever, Gracie

      


Of broken things.

Photography by Gabriel circa 2011

               Authors note: Hello my fellow bloggers and word-nerds, this short romantic fiction piece was something of a whim. I loved writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it. It may be the start of a new book and so please leave some feedback. This is my 50th posting on the Papparaci, thank you for reading my work and making me feel like a writer.          

He wondered about the broken things. Feeling like something shattered in her heart, he contemplated on how to fix it, and, if she wanted them repaired by the person who caused the damage in the first place.  The man realized the situation for what it was, he ‘d wished nothing but happiness for her, yet felt he had done something to cause her to back away. To slowly retreat back into obscurity, leaving questions unanswered. He hoped it wasn’t something he said in passing. He prayed it wasn’t because the emotions he left dangling on his sleeves.

Remembering how it was on the beach, with seagulls soaring and tumultuous waves crashing along the warm Long Island Sound, he thought back to those days and the ones that followed. How happy this short, caring man was in the months which followed. With every sunrise, hope arose too. With every closing of the day, peace lifted him out of the haze of solitude. Yes, it’s safe to say that in those days, he had reached a great summit and had found happiness in her company. He was reluctant to release these feelings of euphoria to any other but himself. Not that he was a selfish man, but finding comfort in someone so wonderful, so near to his own heart, well, it was a hard cross to bear.

They had spoken less and less in the coming weeks. Much to his discontent, he understood the reasons. At least he thought he did. Certain facts could not go unnoticed, how would a beaked nose, old soul compete with such a person? With nothing to offer but love and companionship, he stood gallantly with his hands in his pockets and tried not to weep.

He had done plenty of that in front of her and this caused him no small amount of shame and embarrassment. He couldn’t seem to help it though. Whenever she was in his presence, his whole body reacted in odd ways. He was normally an introverted, quiet man who said little about himself and usually found it hard to fit in with crowds. No one really knew the things this man had endured; his sensitivity was not a sign of weakness, but rather a testament to the inner strength that kept him going day by day. He wasn’t afraid to show her raw emotions. He felt the world lacked true love and to be able to show it to someone was life’s greatest gift. Besides, they were mostly happy tears, mixed and mingled with a touch of melancholy.

But it was different with her. Friendship had blossomed and seeds of something much grander were planted in his heart. Joy, peace and wholeness seemed to wash over his abandoned soul making him a king in some obscure way. He knew deep down that these feelings may not be reciprocated, but took a chance. For a time they were, there was laughter and jokes, stories and romance. They shared dinner and coffee and in some way, mended one another. He wanted to tell her these things, but was afraid she would misunderstand.

How agonizingly happy he was for her, how thankful and appreciative he was because of the kindness she had showed him. She had been his best friend for a time, but like many other good things, it couldn’t last. He wanted to express himself but didn’t know how. Thinking of the way her hair danced in the wind and the way her eyes told many stories, he put something down on paper. Maybe, just maybe, she might read it and feel comforted knowing there was somebody who thought the world of her.


Trifecta Challenge: Oasis of an eye.

Photography by Gabriel circa 2011
Weeki Wachee Springs, FL.

Trifect Week Fifty-Three: Write a 33-333 word story,poem,song etc. using the word “Hollow” as the prompt word. Authors note: Please enjoy this short story of complete fiction, feel free to leave a comment. In honor of typical fashion, my entry this week is exactly 333 words. Music to read by “Infinity” by The XX.    

His voice remained as hollow as the eyeballs in his skull. Lifeless, black globes gazed through her body and it caused Jennifer’s soul to shudder in contempt. She stood tall in front of the powerful man and remained like a lioness defending her territory or worse, her cubs. If he wasn’t a wonderful former lover, she would have slapped him and told him to go to hell. But that takes moxie. Hers had been taken when she was falsely  imprisoned because of him several weeks earlier.

“I don’t know what brought this on Benji but I told you, I left the affidavit in the bottom right drawer. By the way, don’t ever bring that up in public again. You had no right to say that, you had your chance, and you were the one who lied in court! Not me! Remember?” The young woman felt the pulsing vein creep up her neck like ivy on a wooden fence, pretty at first but in the end, chokes the beauty and leaves scars behind.

He captured the image of her oasis like pupils in his tortured mind. He felt terrible that she was infuriated with him. He noticed the way her blue eyes lost its usually warm glow when she was all hot and bothered. He didn’t want to lose face in front of her like the week before last. He remained stoic.

“Typical Benjamin. Stay silent. Just keep playing king and barking orders through your golden telephone. How’s the service up here on the fifteenth floor?” Her heart shaped face radiated a trifecta of emotions; honest aggression, embarrassment for not having something more clever to say, and more importantly, a broken heart. She would have accepted some sort of apology, but the camel’s back was broken repeatedly, and it was an old animal. Enough was enough.

His façade cracked, he leaned forward to kiss her lips and she yelped quickly before allowing him. It was the oasis in her eyes, those deep, eternal pools.


Beyond the Golden City: A romantic fantasy

               Once upon a time in a dream an angel of exquisite beauty led me up to a mountain top in the middle of a vast glistening ocean. She smelled of roses after a gentle rain and her skin was soft as the clouds guarding the entrance to heaven. Her voice reminded me of a harp echoing in the wind, her lips spoke secrets to my heart in a language I’ve never heard before, but which my soul understood at once. I took her hand and when we touched, the sky rolled back like a scroll and revealed an ancient palace.

This angel looked at me with a love I’ve never known and when she turned her head, black strands of dark hair wisped across her face, covering hazel eyes and olive skin. Her mouth turned upwards and she nodded her head towards the metropolis. I hesitated, but obeyed this angelic creature from another world, another time. I dared not look down for fear of falling into the rolling waves below.

“Where shall we go and what are we doing here?” I asked not knowing what was happening.

“We go to the High Place, beyond the Golden City. Are you ready to accept this challenge or shall I leave you? ” The beautiful creature echoed.

“You would lead me no more?”

But she spoke not. Sadness entered my soul as she pulled her hand away and began to move backwards.

“Please, please, leave me not precious one. How will I descend from this place if you go away from me?”

The wind took the dark hair away from her face, and the smile faded as she put her porcelain hands across her brow. The angel bent low and mourned with melancholy and shook until a set of wings emerged from the back of her long, flowing dress made of silk and everything immortal. One was white as snow and brilliant to my eyes, yet the other appeared to be damaged and hung tenderly by her side.

“Why are you crying sweet one? Have I made you distressed?” I asked in a loving tone as I watched the wind carry stars to and fro across the galaxy. When I turned, the apparition of a woman was sitting on a large rock with her arms across her knees.

“My home is in the city beyond, but I cannot go there. I was caught in battle many years ago and left with one good wing and am unable to fly into it, so I wander the outskirts. You cannot enter my city by foot. You must ascend upwards and have the inner strength to do so.” She cried.

I put my hands in my pockets and looked down at my feet.

“Well, what good am I to you if I cannot help you return to the place of your birth? What can I do? A mere mortal in the presence of an angel such as you, because alas, I have only one viable wing myself. How am I able to take you where you were called to be?”

I stood amid the drifting sand on that mountain top and watched her with tender compassion, wishing with all of my might to help this lost being.

“Young lady, I myself wander around the earth, I am a man unfit for this beautiful place. A man incapable of entering such a city without the company of one who’s been there, I am afraid I may be banished if I dare enter it alone. What is this city you speak of? What is beyond the City of Gold?”

She stood silently and when her hazel eyes looked into the clouds, I knew she had seen something which was lost to me. I looked upon her with silence, not knowing if I would be struck dead if I were to ask anything further. We sat in silence for a time before she spoke again. When she did so, it was prophetic.

“Beyond the sight of man there is another place, one of hope and peace, it is a great city. Greater than the one you see now. This Golden City is a mirage, set for destruction and consumed with its own lust, eaten by its own pride. Don’t be deceived by its walls of gold and gleaming towers because it is a terrible place full of horrible beings and many go into it not knowing what’s in store for them.

“But my city, the one I will take you to, is lined with trees and every imaginable creature resides there. Rubies glitter in the sunrays, sapphire and onyx and emeralds lie before your feet as you walk its streets. It is peaceful and kind and only the bravest find it. Look upon this doomed city before your eyes.”

The angel leaned forward with lightening speed and pointed north. A terrible war had come upon the Golden City.

“How did this happen? It was peaceful not five minutes ago!”

“What you have seen here today are many years in one short time. In the blink of an eye, I show you what is to become of this place. But beyond, that is where you and I will go, once I exact my revenge on the wicked creatures who robbed me of flight.”

“Again, how shall I help you?” I asked in bewilderment.

“I have watched and studied you. I know your faults and your weaknesses, yet I have seen the inner most parts of your heart and know the strength which resides in you. You have been kicked and beaten by your own doubts and have let your world get the best of you. But lo, I have seen the beauty of your wings and where you will go and how far you will fly. I can no longer fly by myself. We will help each other. Because where I am, this is where you are meant to be.”

After she spoke these words, she lifted her hand and in one quick stroke ripped the shirt off my back, revealing the nakedness of my body and the brokenness of my wings.

“Take hold of me now.” She ordered.

When she grabbed my hand in hers, electricity shot through every fiber in my being and all the hairs on my body stood. The useless wings on my back began to feel alive. Her eyes radiated a deep, unearthly green and the smile returned to her face.

“You see, in order to go where you must, you have to go through many obstacles. I fear we may not make it through the Golden City alive. But if we help each other, you may just see the High Place for yourself.”

“I am willing to go and fight for you. I will stand tall and help you return, even if my own life is lost while we travel.” I replied.

As fighting raged overhead and the cosmos vibrated in chaos, I grabbed hold of her waist and drew her closely in and looked deep into her eyes.

“You dare take hold of me?”  The angel questioned without a trace of anger.

“If I were to die before tasting your lips, I would die less than a man.”

Wherever courage originates and however someone obtains it, I found the wellspring and kissed this angel in my dream. The air crackled as her tongue met mine and life returned to her shattered wing.

After pushing me back with one finger she looked into the sky and held her breath.

“It is time.”