Friday, 27 April 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - #AtoZChallenge - Flash Fiction - X Marks the spot where love began

Welcome to RomanticFridayWriters!

RFW is about short short writing or flash fiction (usually 400 words), less for poems, with some romantic element. It's not Romance of the happily ever after variety, but Romantic, where it's about the story, the issue, with some romantic relationship involved. Our stories are edgy, sometimes dark, and often don't have the HEA ending! 

It's widely agreed that most fiction (unless it's solely about animals) begins and ends with human characters: their frailties, virtues, conflicts and expectations. In our stories for the A - Z Challenge the writers attempt to more closely observe the people around us...

X Marks the spot where love began

The verandah of Grandma’s small cottage was a shady retreat from the sweltering day.  She looked out over her colourful garden and into the distance, looking further away through time and into a memory.   

“I met your Grandfather on a day like this,” she began.   She paused to mop her brow.   I passed her a long tumbler of freshly made lemon iced tea and she smiled thankfully.

Her memories came tumbling quickly, tripping over each other and not in any order.  I felt like I was viewing an impressionist painting in which the images were not clear but lively nevertheless.   

“It was a summer holiday in Egypt in the 1920’s,” she continued, refreshed, “where flushed tourists thronged in the dusty ruins of a foreign past, flashes of bright parching heat threatened to liquefy everything in their glaring path.” She sighed and her voice dropped to a whisper. I leaned close to listen.

“There was an azure sea, granting some relief with its slight breeze and…then there was…him.  He was standing casually in his flannel trousers, fanning himself with his panama hat.”  Grandma smiled at that and twisted the rings on her aging hand.   To me, her age spots disappeared and her hand was youthful and unmarked.

She raised the hand to her forehead and touched her hair.   “He had such beautiful hair, but in the heat this day his hair was sticking to his head.”    

She was quiet for some time. I knew she was in that foreign land, reliving her first meeting with Grandad. Eventually she continued her recollections:  a flashing smile which caused confusion about where the heat was coming from as the colour rose in her neck, the moistureless afternoon as she dutifully followed her parents’ archeology study group when she wanted to follow the man she’d just met.  

After the brief glimpse of a possible future, the towering structures of the past that she studied with her parents became oppressive in the intensifying heat of the day.  But evening follows day.

It was the evening that finally brought a balmy solace and an introduction to liberation when her father invited the young naval officer to their dinner table.

The sound of distant thunder brought Grandma from her remembrances.   The rain began to fall in large drops that released the smell of the lawn.  As it continued to fall in increasing sheets it drowned the sound of our voices and washed away the impressionist masterpiece taking the blistering heat, and replacing it with a refreshing, cool breeze.


Raelene Purtill is a new follower of RFW, a keen writer I met through a Creative Writing Course at the Queensland Writers Centre. Now we are in a newly-formed Vannguard Writers Group. Raelene has just begun a blog, a Little Light Reading, so visit her @ She also writes play scripts which have been used around the world.


  1. I love the reminiscence in this piece Raelene. So sensory.


  2. ''The verandah of Grandma’s small cottage was a shady retreat from the sweltering day. ''

    this sentence holds too much peace in it.

  3. Beautiful imagery, it evoked feeling of tenderness and sadness at the same time.

  4. Very nice. I enjoyed reading this one.

  5. My dear friend,
    This is filled with so much emotions that I am touched even by the sadness. Great post!!

  6. Very vivid sense of location. And such a romantic profile picture to go with the story ;-)

  7. This one speaks to all of the senses! I feel the heat of the day and the cool of the evening and I see and hear your grandmother's voice taking us to another time an place. So atmosphereic. Beautiful. Tell us more, please!

    Best wishes,
    Anna's RFW challenge 35


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