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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Haunting Romance Friday

ROMANTIC FRIDAY WRITERS  Based on the given theme snippets from novels, ongoing WIPs, a piece of bespoke flash-fiction or poetry for critiquing can be posted.
Max word count is 400.

Bewitching Hour by Madeleine Maddocks

“Jack darling, I love you” Rosie’s voice whispered, penetrating his dreamscape. He lay in that half-light between sleep and wakefulness, with his eyes still closed and his consciousness sluggish and blurred, while the clock in the hall began to chime the hour.
OneHis lean body sensed the presence of his darling lover nestled beside him, her beautiful blue eyes drinking him in with welcome familiarity.  TwoHe smiled, as her lips brushed his mouth, while wisps of her blonde hair feathered his cheek. He would hold onto this moment forever. Three. Reluctant to break the spell, Jack’s eyes remained closed, as a relaxed happiness flowed through him like a thermal current of love.  Four.  Her lips nibbled his earlobe and he let out a long, contented moan.  FiveHer kisses travelled down his neck and across the line of his clavicle, resting over his shoulder.  Six. His languid smile spoke of his own love and desire for his beloved wife. Seven. A soothing balm of affection and love gushed over him. All the best moments of his life merged together. Eightglow of pure joy enveloped him. Nine. Her natural, sweet scent made him sigh with pleasure. Ten. Her warm, delicate breath pooled over his flesh where her kisses paused; exquisitely tantalising. Eleven. Sizzling arousal flushed over his body. Her magnetic pull on his body and soul made him move in closer, reaching out to her, eager to stroke her curves. Twelve. In the cosy comfort of their marital bed, his sensibilities sang. His heart brimmed with love and desire for the woman to whom he'd been married for two years.  All was well with the world... 
 “Goodbye Jack” the lingering voice of his late wife spoke again as the clock struck thirteen.

He shivered as the room became steeped in a frigid coolness. Lost and alone Jack felt his beloved wife fade into no more than a bewitching memory, as his eyes sprang wide open. He let out a gasp, followed by a choking sob, Memories of that awful accident that had cut her life so short, flooded his mind.  How he longed to return to sleep, to that blissful place of love and happiness, where escape from reality was possible, to return again to where those hauntingly evocative memories of his darling Rosie seemed most poignant.  (390 words)

Writing in this genre places the primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
LOL!  I'm not sure about my ending based on this spooky theme!

Our Featured Writer for the Haunting theme must go this week to Madeleine for her Bewitching Hour. Who wasn't shaken to the core by Madeleine's carefully-crafted tale of Jack and Rosie? As Francine said in comments - 'stunning, simply stunning...' It was a heart-breaker, yet oozing with romance. Congratulations Madeleine. There is a special badge this week to display on your blog. I loved the image for Haunting so much I didn't want to say goodbye.


  1. Hi,

    Stunning, simply stunning in the sensual romance of it all!

    The use of the clock ticking the hour, and thirteenth strike was pure genius. I take my hat off to this, Madeleine. Great writing. ;)


  2. Great story with a spooky ending :)...

  3. Oh how sad and romantic. You totally broke my heart...there's nothing like love that precedes you in death. You write one heck of a romance. :)

  4. Hi Madeleine. I've read a fair bit of your work in the blogosphere, but this is the very best of you! I see you've been looking into what flash fiction really is.

    Your story hooked me from the first line. The numbers were the strongest hook, keeping me on tenterhooks throughout. I'd never have guessed the ending, and that's true flash fiction - I need to return to the beginning and re-read at this stage.

    Such a tenderly haunting love story.

    And BTW your cat didnt have to be cared afterall.

    Again, thank you for sharing such a beautiful story for the theme.


  5. Awwww Madeleine! I'm rubbish at critiquing but I do know I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It was romantic and sad and a really nice read, thank you! Take care

  6. I was hooked into the scene, and I definitely felt the romance, sad as it may be. Well done.

  7. I enjoyed the Bewitching Hour, Madeleine. It had me gripped and absolutely hooked.

  8. Oh so tragic. I loved how you had your character counting the seconds of his love. Well written as always.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  9. Oh yes, that’s so powerful – you just don’t expect the tragic twist at the end. Lovely descriptions of the wife giving the man loving attention.

  10. Yes, the voice, pacing, plot . . all of it was engaging right from the start. Excellent use of the clock to build emotional and sensual intensity. I'm totally in love with this excerpt.


  11. Hello Madeleine.
    What a sensually visual & sad piece of flash. The chiming of the clock added the suspense. I give a big YES to all your critique pointers.

    Love this!

    This Unknown Spirit

  12. It is cleverly done, a tragic love before it ends at death. The clock adds to the slow state of the end to great effect. Excellent verse!


  13. The clock is used creatively to great effect in many ways. Well done, Madeleine.

  14. What a sad ending.

    I loved the ticking clock as a counterpoint to the description. Very clever.

  15. Dear Madeleine,
    Thank you for taking the time (and changing to Google Chrome) to read my blog post.

    I have looked forward to reading your post and you have not disappointed me. I just love this text. So sad. so beautifully written.

    I agree with everything good that has already been said by commenters before me. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! It's perfect. I have so much to learn about flash fiction from this.

    The idea of using a dream for our wishful thinking is something that can happen in real life.

    Many years ago I was racked in pain with muscle ache and had trouble moving about normally. But during one night I dreamed that I was a circus trapese artist and could fly through the air with great ease and never made a miss.

    When I awoke, I was still in pain and had trouble moving. There was no change from the day before. But it was wonderful to be away from these problem while I was asleep.

    Later, I went through physical therapy and it helped me. I don't have this kind of pain anymore.

    Your text made me think of this experience. But I feel for your hero all the same.

    I will be back in December when RFW resumes. I hope to read more of your texts then. Please take care.

    Kind regards,
    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 25 - 'Haunting'

  16. Sad ending to a beautiful piece of work. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I love the dream taking him back to his life with Rosie. That is a natural part of life. Excellent writing.

  17. What a sad ending . . . but the writing is great. I really like the way the numbers set the pace of the story, keeping the tension until the final chime.

  18. I wasn't expecting that ending at all. How sad!

  19. Back for my third reading Madeleine! This is as Francine said, simply stunning.


  20. Aww, I want to give Jack a hug. Poor guy!

  21. Awh thank you sooo much everyone and to Denise and Francine for your passionate support of this piece. :O)

  22. haunting indeed.
    Happy Halloween to you.

    hope all is well.

    welcome joining our poetry picnic this week, link in by Thursday.

    Thanks for your support in the previous time, we valued your contribution and looking forward to seeing you soon.


  23. I love the way you used the clock chimes for each moment and then it hits thirteen. Sensual and eerie!

  24. Congratulations on being featured writer this week, Madeleine. Well deserved, certainly. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was mesmerised by your eerie yet romantic and sensual story. I love your haunting badge too!

  25. Hi Madeleine,

    A well-deserved award! See my comment at RFW! ;)


  26. Hello.
    Just stopping by to congratulate you on a well-deserved award!

    You're an awesome asset & inspiration for us all at RFW!


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