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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Flash Fiction Piece - Love Remembered

This is the piece that drove me crazy a couple of weeks back - trying to get it right - not sure if I achieved it, but at least, it's now done.



Love Remembered

They say there is a poem for every stage of love, even love lost and love remembered.  Some say words can trick, obscure, but what we had seemed real, crushing; like sharp breath somehow.
     When you think of me now, how have I been written into memory? If we passed each other on the street, or heard one another speak, touched; would what we had rekindle?  ‘Love me,’ you said, like it was something you could request, though when you did, in the small cocoon that was Paris, I said ‘yes’, both of us playing with dreams, wanting place and time to capture them.
     Looking back, I can see us walking ghostlike through the long corridors of the Louvre, your hand holding mine; I can smell the aroma of coffee from the cafe-lined streets of Montmartre, a city alive, vibrant, filled with the joy of new love.   We admired different artists you and I.  I conjured an interest in Picasso, wanting to please.  You didn’t know that about me then, my eagerness to impress.  You only ever saw what I put on show, but what I put on show, you liked a lot.  I could tell this, by how your eyes came to life over some slight remark I’d make, or occasions when I’d catch you looking, as if I’d taken you by surprise; a special gift to delight in. 
     The nights wrapped our secrets, our love-making intense, heightened, two people at their closest in the dark.  By day we became regular tourists, enjoying the sights, gothic Notre Dame with its light and shadows, the moving quiet of crowds, our walk along the Seine, the brisk wind howling as we devoured fresh bread rolls from the boulangerie.  The smells, sights and sounds of an old place new to us.  You teased, whispered in my ear; if it was up to you, we'd be still in our hotel bedroom.
     At the restaurant that last night, even our words began to fade, spoil; lose themselves as smoke disperses into air.  When I spoke, you were no longer excited by my words; I found your humour less enchanting.  There was impatience in your voice, as if reality was my fault somehow.  I was snappy too, but shifted blame for change of mood your way.  I even said something harsh about your wife, although I had no right to.  You looked back at me, angry, disapproval in your eyes, as if I’d settled into the expected form, and in your change of look, I wondered, which number I’d become?
     On our walk back to the hotel, I stopped you; held your arm, put my hands to your darkened face, felt the stubble of new growth, captured your breath.  You smiled your smile, the one that caught me unawares from the very first day. We kissed long and hard.  I took what I could from it, our final verse, sensing the end, just like day senses night.     

36 comments:

  1. Aah, sooo romantic. That last line is perfect:
    "I took what I could from it, our final verse, sensing the end, just like day senses night."

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  2. Ho hum - another notched bedpost...

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  3. Ah Jinksy - can always depend on you, to cut to the chase!

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  4. great piece socks, really vibrates with feeling

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  5. Last line is my fav as well! Perfect ending. You caught me by surprise with the wife line as well. You transported me to Paris with this one. I could smell the coffee and baguettes and cigarette smoke, and I know the well the little game of trying to please someone with your interests-it's how I first lured my now husband into my dorm room!

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  6. Gorgeous. Really captures the spirit of Paris, and the last line is a stunner.

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  7. Thanks Niamh. Hmmm Lolamouse, have you told hubby you lured him that way? And thanks ds, glad you think it captured the spirit of Paris -it is one of my favourite cities.

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  8. Good read - I love the 'small cocoon' of Paris. This was my favourite line - '...in your change of look, I wondered, which number I’d become?'

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  9. Well done Titus - you are the first person in about 12 hours that has been able to leave a comment!

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  10. For me this is a brilliant piece. Phrases such as
    "...even our words began to fade, spoil; lose themselves as smoke disperses into air." I found really telling. I'm not sure what your criteria for achievement were, but I can't imagine what it might be lacking. Congratulations, a triumph.

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  11. Thanks so much Dave - I really value your opinion, so this comment has made my day!

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  12. That is a perfect piece of writing, Louise. So much in such a small piece. The way you captured the essence of Paris, a city that ties with Rome as my favourite city. The absolutely unexpected twist of the wife towards the end, perfectly placed. And just the way you capture perfectly their feelings for each other, even as those feelings soured. Not a word wasted. As Michelle said in a previous post, I'll have a novel of that type of writing.

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  13. Ah thanks for all that derek -everyone's feedback has been really positive, which is great, as I reworked this piece so much, I was afraid I had killed it in the editing.

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  14. I think its gorgeous, the rhythm of the sentences is wonderful, it has a heart beat.(I'm a fan of your use of commas !)Love the last line, and the first of course!:)

    (Perhaps one tiny phrase could be cut with out hurting the piece? - We admired different artists you and I. Thats all.)

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  15. Hmmm Words A Day - You might have something there. By taking it out, it would change slightly the readers interpretation of their relationship, which might be for the better.

    Ah, and thanks for being a fan of my commas! Like many, I seem to spend a lot of time, putting them in, then taking them back out again!

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  16. What a lovely piece. So romantic.Wasn't expecting the wife line!

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  17. Indeed Mammy Dolitte, it just sneaked in there!

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  18. So beautiful. How scary, I felt as if I was back in Paris with an ex, especially when you wrote the line "You didn’t know that about me then, my eagerness to impress."

    That was me, back then, in Paris. Not anymore though!

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  19. Thks Michelle, and glad to hear, you've moved on with a wiser head!

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  20. Off work until Saturday and blogger is now allowing me to blog - and comment!

    I remember those wonderful days of young love, the eagerness to impress, the need to love and be loved and then wondering where the magic went as love faded.

    Then you meet 'the one' and wonder how you could have loved anyone else and the magic stays - yet you still remember your first love and second and ....

    Lovely write Louise.

    Anna :o]

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  21. Ah thanks Anna and glad blogger is now behaving!

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  22. This seems close to perfect to me!

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  23. I like the way you gently segue into the relationship going bad. Great subtle arc.
    Nicely done!

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  24. Sorry Lydia, missed your comment d other day - Thank you very much, appreciated.

    Glad u liked it Cnythia, I still have my reservations about whether there is enough of a story here. Probably one of those things that you have to revisit yourself after a break. But again really appreciate the comment.

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  25. the wife line was the clincher for me, it made the whole thing more real, less imaginary.

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  26. Ah yes nothing like the good woman to bring things down to earth riggerscam!

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  27. This reminds me of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair as a haiku. Strong setting, changing characters, conflict and a beginning a middle and an end all in just a few words. Well done.

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  28. Thanks Bill - It is one of those stories which u are never quite sure if it is totally on the mark or missing it completely. Comparsion to Graham Greene has made my evening! X

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  29. Very nice. We love good clean romance at Coffee Cup Press. Thanks for sharing. I have to agree with LolaMouse... last line is my fav too!
    Mark

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  30. Loved the story, the prose was wonderful. Unlike most people my favourite line is the one walking ghostlike, that sums up memory for me, thanks for sharing. Margaret

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  31. There are so many different emotions wrapped into that short; I'm not sure which I should respond to. So I'm going to leave it as...beautiful and sad.

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  32. Thanks Mark, Margaret & Krystal, glad you all enjoyed it!

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  33. I really enjoyed that Louise, from the opening "a poem for every stage of love" to the final words "like day senses night" The whole piece spoke to me about transformation. Both of you emerging from your "night wrapped secrets" transformed into "ordinary tourists" From beginning to end I could feel the stages, the changes, at times as if love itself was changing rather than our perception of it.
    Am I the only one who was not surprised by the wife. Another twist , another dimension to this vast at times misunderstood "emotion" we call love.
    While I was reading"Love Remembered" I kept on thinking of butterflies butterflies. And I wonder are we transformed by love or does our experience of it transform our perception of it.

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  34. Beautifully written Louise, eloquent, in fact. :)

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  35. Gosh Castletonian - I love your interpretation, and yes emotional butterflies, I guess we all change, evolve and our relationships change with us.

    Thanks irishminx- I was worrried the prose was a little too stiff, so I am really glad you enjoyed it!

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