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Friday, July 1, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday 7-1-11: "Memento Mori"

(Source image: title unknown, photo by Samantha Wolov)

The candles burned low. The musk of our exertions hung heavy in the air. She lay adrift and asprawl, tangled under and over me, her head pillowed on my chest. I felt the heat, the moisture of her tears, the rhythm of her shaking shoulders as she wept.

"It isn't fair," she sobbed.

There wasn't enough air in the room, no words that would come, no answer to the unanswerable. The lump of ice in my throat was absolute. Instead, I tightened my arms around her, and she raised her head. Her lip trembled, her eyes were huge and dark, but she leaned close and our mouths met, bruised and tender, desperate and lost.

Eternity in slow sweet increments. She poised herself above me, hands on the wall, hips moving in slow ellipsis. Her breasts swayed, her hair swung forward, her breath came sharp and fast. I wanted, needed, to reach out to her, to reach for her, but it was too late for that. Instead I grabbed fistfuls of sheets, denying the ache I felt. Even as we fell together, fell upward toward completion, I ached, my heart, my straining muscles, my rigidity so sweetly enclasped. Ached, knowing it would fade. Ached, knowing there was no happily ever after, not for us. Never for us.

Your challenge for today was to use the picture above and write a flash fiction of 150-220 words. Additionally, I provided a key phrase I wanted to see used somewhere in the submission:

"...fistfuls of [[noun]]..."

Nobody's checking word counts, or for the key phrase, but you're only cheating yourself if you break the rules. Unless you're doing it to earn a spanking (in which case, see me after class).

Special Bonus Director's Commentary Track:

I really have no idea where this came from. When I first saw this picture it was so clear -- a beautiful romantic moment in time, one of those eternities where time slows to a crawl. Endless waves of pleasure, drifting along, borne on a tide of mingled emotion and lust. I've had moments like that, some even in hotel rooms like this, and I relived some of them as I looked at the picture. I smiled, remembering. My fingers tapped at the keys, measuring, discarding, and when I started, that was exactly what I intended. To relive those happy moments, to capture some of that in a reworking.

And then it went wrong, somehow. Sometimes the best of intentions mean nothing, when the story weaves itself the way it chooses. Despite what I'd wanted originally, I watched from the outside as something very different emerged. I found myself waxing lyrical, turning a lighthearted romp into something more akin to a Tennyson poem. Not that I have the heartstring-yanking capabilities of Tennyson, but his is a style worth emulating, at least.

I didn't know what had happened with these two, whether life had forced them apart or whether their relationship had disintegrated. I just knew that it was all over. The title may give you some idea of my ultimate decision. You can come up with your own reasons, if it comforts you. For my part, I'm content to leave them behind and let them hold on to the time they have left.

Please note that I am no longer collecting the participants list. If you are playing along this week, please leave your link below using the widget. It will appear in the text of the post itself, not in the comments, so everyone that's playing will be listed here. This frees me from having to chase people down to find out if they're playing or update the Friday post several times for late entries. Your cooperation is appreciated.

In any case, the participants list is below. Go check them out, and thanks to all who played along.



Check back here on Monday for the next challenge! And if you have any photos or artwork you'd like to see in a future challenge, please send them my way. 

-- PB

5 comments:

Naughty Lexi said...

Well, I'd rather if they didn't die. But it was beautiful and haunting and broken enough that if one or the other of them did, I could see it as possible.

TemptingSweets99 said...

You DO have "the capabilities of Tennyson". Another wonderful story. Thanks!

The Temptress said...

This was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I LOVED it.

France said...

Oh, but you can yank those heartstrings very well. This one spoke to me loudly! Great work.

marianne said...

I think this is my favourite of your FFF's, PB.