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Friday, 5 August 2011

Romantic Voices

THEME: Voices for Romantic Friday Writers:
Flash Fiction 400 words max. Who might be talking?
Who might be eavesdropping?
Or could it be a case of ethereal voices?
Whatever, have fun with Voices!


Here's my entry:


Dissenting Voices ~ Divine Forgiveness by Madeleine Maddocks

Alice’s smile beamed across her face as Michael smoothed an affectionate hand over her knee.
“Keep your hands on the steering wheel” she teased, as they drove along the winding Cornish roads to their holiday destination in St.Ives. She admired his dark brown hair flecked with silver and her heart swelled with love for him making her squeeze his knee lasciviously in return.

“Stop it wench!” he laughed.

The smell of new car wafted into her nose and seemed to add an air of glamour and excitement to everything. Nothing could dampen her ardour; spoil the mood. She longed to be alone with him in their ensuite room. This was their first weekend away since their inaugural date, nine months ago and Alice knew it was going to be the most romantic weekend in her entire life. She sighed blissfully, imagining those barefoot walks hand in hand on the beach; shared moments in the art galleries; savouring coffee and ice cream in the cafés.  Her life before Michael had been devoid of flowers- chocolates-romance. Now at thirty she felt like a love sick teenager.

“We’d best introduce ourselves and then I’ll bring in the bags” Michael suggested, as he nosed the car into the parking space, tugged on the handbrake and cut the ignition.

That was what she loved about him that he was so organised, so particular. An older woman with grey hair answered the door, her gaze scrutinizing the couple. A censorious expression was carved into the lines on her face and reflected in the level gaze of her grey-blue eyes.

 

“Hello, Mrs. Johnson” Michael said. “We’ve booked a room for three nights. I’m Mr. Hanscombe and this is my err…

A cold chill gripped Alice’s heart. It was true they weren’t married, she wasn’t even his fiancée, but she was his girlfriend, yet Michael always seemed to recoil from using such a teenage label.  
            “This is my err” he stumbled again. His expression frantic, groping like a drowning man searching for a lifeline.  

Alice’s face set in a steely grimace. She took Mrs. Johnson’s hand and with a determined smile fixed between her ears she said “I’m Alice, pleased to meet you.”

As the woman led the way to their room, Alice tried to quiet the dissenting voice inside her head that whittled: ‘To err is human, to err twice is downright mortifying!’    (396 words) MPA

28 comments:

  1. Brilliant Madeleine! It's taking a lot to make me smile just now but this certainly did it :-)
    Excellent job.
    Thanks!

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  2. Normally I would say "get rid of all that "cliched romance."

    But after the first sentence, the cliche served its purpose. Finding perfection is suspect, and waiting for that "other shoe" to drop happeed in this excerpt.

    So I like the idea that she was drawn in (and so the reader was too) by the illusion of perfection. Even a cynic like me can understand. That deeply embedded "voice of reason" that is the argument between head and heart. How to resist the temptation of perfection when it manifests before you.

    Yeah, I like this voice of reason, and the prospect that she'll ignore it all for the slim chance of love.

    Well done.

    .......dhole

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  3. Oh dear!!! I did not expect that ending at all!! Oh dear!! LOL! Poor Alice!!

    Wonderful story - very bitter-sweet! Take care
    x

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  4. I love a good romance. This was lovely. I can sense their anticipation. The leg squeezing was cool. :) I have to agree witht he guy though, girlfriend is a kiddie word. He could just tell people she's his significate other, or be bold say they're lovers.

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  5. Oh Karla, Bless you! I'm sorry to hear you are in the doldrums glad I cheered you up a little. Big Hugs.

    Donna, LOL! Yes love is blind and forgiveness divine.

    Old Kitty, I was hoping that the ending would be an unexpected twist!

    Laila, Many thanks. Glad you enjoyed my excerpt :O)

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  6. I like the little details :)

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  7. Awesome...loved the ending, Madeleine. You got down all the details right :)

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  8. Run, Alice, run! (Sorry, perfectionistic personalities generally go from bad to worse.) I really liked this, though I would change "We'd best introduce ourselves" to "We'd best check in" or something along those lines. If he is talking in advance about doing introductions, it doesn't work for me that he would then stumble over them, though I loved that bit, and how it cast a chill over her.

    Also: "Alice’s face set in a steely grimace." doesn't work - this is how an observer would see Alice, not how she would see herself; you've got this whole scene from her POV. I think you could just cut that altogether and have "Alice took Mrs. Johnson's hand..." without losing any impact.

    Minor things - all in all, it intrigues and I want to read more!

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  9. Nice! It has such a peaceful, gentle way to it, I feel like I'm on vacation myself! I like Alice taking control of the situation at the end.

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  10. Loved this, Madeline.
    Got totally taken aback by the twist at the end, but it worked.

    Nicely done!

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  11. So bittersweet. Such an unexpected ending. Great job, Roland

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  12. When the heroine was happy I was happy with her - I was smiling right through even to the end with the very perfect last few words! Laugh-out-loud piece!

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  13. If I were Alice, I would have to dump him. If he has trouble introducing her as his err...nobody, then he isn't worthy of her.
    A good read, thank you.

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  14. GREAT ending! He might have been so 'organized' but not organized enough to work out how to introduce her!

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  15. I didn't see that coming!

    I'm too old to be somebody's girlfriend but I'm too good to be their err :)

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  16. Hi,

    OMG, a naughty weekend away, and he fluffs his lines? Pity she hadn't upped and said, "I'm his lover!" just to teach him a lesson. ;)

    Tickled me pink. Nice job.

    best
    F

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  17. Kelley and Rachna, thank you :O)

    Beverley, This guy is presented as having a formal, mature manner about him, but he begins to feel the B&B lady's censure, which makes him feel guilty about his 'naughty' weekend with this younger woman who isn't his wife/fiancee, which makes him stumble over introductions. Does that make sense?

    Also, since the opening line reads: 'Alice’s smile beamed across her face...' this is surely the same voice as 'Alice’s face set in a steely grimace...' ?

    Ruth, Andy, Roland. So glad you liked my twist at the end.

    Bless you Babyrocka. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Daydreamertoo. Ooh dear maybe she'll allow him a second chance, after all to err is human, to forgive divine LOL!

    Sarah, LOL! So true.

    Paula, Francine, Bless you, Thanks :O)

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  18. Dear Madeleine,
    I really like your text, but I agree with the advice that Donna and Beverly have given you.
    Alice seems capable of taking charge, in a nice way.
    I'm not so sure about her boy friend.

    Best wishes,
    Anna
    Anna's Romantic Friday No 13 - 'Voices'

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  19. :-) Clever use of "err". I like a sly wit.

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  20. He sure inserted a big foot in his mouth! I liked how you crafted Alice as a strong character. She wished for that romantic ideal, but didn't miss a beat when slapped in the face with reality.

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  21. Go Alice! I don't like the take that she might be settling for just anyone. He sounds dishy and was wrong-footed when it was time for the intros. I can get this. Now we're left intrigued. What is Alice going to do about it?

    The best thing about this excerpt is the way you've painted a picture of perfection (whoops, alliteration!) then messed it up at the end, clever, sly girl!

    Denise

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  22. Ha ha.... Amazing Madeleine... You kept me guessing till the very end... The last line of the story places a cherry on the cake... Amen to that thought :)

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  23. I couldn't help smiling at the end there. This is really good. It makes me want to know what happened when they got to the room. Is he going to get an ear-bashing? lol

    Well written.

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  24. Oh, definitely mortifying! I like how sweet and smooth everything was to begin with, only to lead to him being a schmuck.

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  25. Get rid of him, Alice! Quick!

    Great piece of writing!

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  26. Thanks everyone, so glad you enjoyed my piece. :O)

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