This is a love story: a very short (and possibly unfinished) work of fiction

Author’s Note: This is not a new piece. I wrote it a few years ago, and while I’m still not totally happy with it, for some reason, I like it very much. So, occasionally, I get it out, reread it a few times, make a few edits, and stare at it, all the while wishing I had an idea for making it longer. This time, I thought I would share it with you. As always, comments are welcome

This is a love story. There is a girl. There is a boy. It is traditional.
I should warn you though, you have already been lied to.

She is twenty-one and she is beautiful. This is necessary.
Eighteen is no good, it’s too young, twenty-five is a bit too old.
She could be twenty-three, and things would probably end the same,
but even then, she would be less than perfectly prepared for what will happen to her.

She is unnoticed.
I said that she is beautiful, and that is true. She is fairy tale beautiful.
She is pale and thin with soft dark eyes,
and her black hair falls in what a poet could not fail to call “raven tresses”.
How could she be so beautiful and go unnoticed, you ask? A good question.
Ask the city. Ask the world. Ask yourself.
There are girls more beautiful than she in your own town.

Her apartment is tiny. Her walls are white and bare.
She lives alone – no pets, no friends. She calls her mother once a week and leaves a message on her answering machine. Her father is dead.
She has not cried since she was ten.

She has one pleasure in her life. She reads. Classics mainly, but contemporary works as well. She goes to the library every day at lunch, and most days after work.
She sits in an empty alcove and reads until closing time. She goes home. She falls asleep with a book on her chest.

Her story begins here, written in flaming letters and spoken with a tongue of fire.

What happens next. Where goes the tale?
Ask the city. Ask the world. Ask yourself.
There are girls more beautiful than she in your own town.

2 thoughts on “This is a love story: a very short (and possibly unfinished) work of fiction”

  1. I think I’ve read this before and really liked it. I still like it. The only line that doesn’t quite ring true for me is “Her story begins here, written in flaming letters and spoken with a tongue of fire.” The fiery letters seem slightly over the top. Other then that, great stuff. You capture truths about beauty, personality, love, courage – all in under a page. Disconsolate singles should definitely read this one. 🙂

  2. I think I’ve read this before and really liked it. I still like it. The only line that doesn’t quite ring true for me is “Her story begins here, written in flaming letters and spoken with a tongue of fire.” The fiery letters seem slightly over the top. Other then that, great stuff. You capture truths about beauty, personality, love, courage – all in under a page. Disconsolate singles should definitely read this one. 🙂

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