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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.

Saturday 11 February 2012

RFW The Long Cool Aphrodisiac

This Romantic Friday Writers Challenge theme is The Long, Cool Aphrodisiac:
Not all love potions take immediate effect. Some take a little longer to work through your system, but it's a great feeling...

Cool Awakenings by Madeleine Maddocks

The coldest weather of that winter began to set in as his wife, Marcy, packed her bags and left for her mother’s. Andrew wanted to be manly about it all, but his heart gave a little whimper as her car pulled out of the drive. He couldn’t say how long he had stood looking down the road, his eyes red with the afterimage of her brake lights. Eventually, he wandered into the kitchen, which normally greeted him with the smell of his wife’s freshly baked cakes, bread and all those bubbling pans of delicious food. Now it was quiet, clean and lifeless. He coughed as his heart squeezed with emotion.
Answering the call of nature he hurried into the downstairs washroom. The smell of lemon scented toilet gel danced brightly around the room and he another pang of love for his wife swelled. He reached for the toilet tissue, realising that his hand was flipping an empty cardboard roll instead. He fumbled in the cupboard to find a fresh roll.   Why had he never noticed all those little jobs that Marcy did without mentioning? He wandered into the living room. Their favourite programme was just about to start, but he couldn’t laugh at the comedy because his hollow heart still echoed from her departure. He missed her so much, already.
When eventually he took himself up to bed Andrew stared at the vast, empty divan. In thirty years of marriage they had never slept apart. That night was the longest and coldest he could remember, without the warmth of his wife’s body beside him. In the early days of their marriage they had made love with a passion, but these days neither seemed in the mood.
Two long weeks ensued before Marcy's mother recovered sufficiently from her fall so that Marcy was able to return home. As Marcy entered the house Andrew was there by her side with flowers and chocolates.
“I’ve got something else for you” he said, taking her hand and leading her up stairs.
He nibbled her neck at the top of the landing and slid a hand over her breast. She responded with her mouth hot and eager on his own. They fumbled with each others' clothes, pulling off jumpers and trousers with the eagerness of young lovers, as they stumbled and fell into bed. After a deliciously sweaty climax they lay in each others' arms beneath the duvet.
“Heavens!” Marcy giggled “What brought that on?”
“I guess your absence proved to be a long, cool aphrodisiac!


WELCOME to all my new followers
and HELLO to all my existing ones

 Oh wow! I am Featured Writer this week with Erin Thank you!

Featured Writer this week. Madeleine Maddocks captured us all with her perfectly-structured flash fiction. As Donna said: 'She told the whole story in one circumstance. There was character and plot growth and a romantically-satisfying ending.'


  1. Dear Madeleine,

    This is a perfect text for the challenge! Absense can also be a kind of aphrodisiac!

    Thanks so much for your kind comments on my post about Julia and Paul Child. I had trouble writing pure fiction this toime; and had nothing from my own life experience that I could use. So I borrowed from first the film Julia & Julie and then from reading Julia Child's autobiography.

    here is something comforting about reading about Julia Child's life. Her husband Paul was her most important person. To me shows that the right kind of love can move mountains!

    Best wishes,

    For the benefit of other readers:

    'To Paul and Julia' Anna's RFW challenge No.31

  2. Great story and true to life - we often do take people for granted until they're not around.

  3. Deliciously naughty - loved it! There's no doubt that absence makes the heart grow fonder :)

  4. Oh Madeleine, your muse is back with a vengeance. Loved this. Yes, you drew me right away with his sadness at her departure. You continued my interest with the poignancy of a man quite at a loss without his 'woman'. Maybe he's taken her for granted? What man doesn't during a long-standing marriage? But they certainly came together at the climax, lol! Great ending. You really put a smile on my face. So well done to the prompt.


  5. Madeleine, this is great. I love stories about married couples and this one really warmed my heart. Well written.

  6. I love this. It's probably something that many of us can empathise with - and I love that you did it from his point of view.

    And of course, the perfect ending :-)

  7. Laura, well, the title made me do it! LOL!
    Bless you all thank you. Blushing now.

  8. I liked this. I thought at first that Andrew was a little boy and for a moment thought his eyes were red from crying.

    It was a neat evocation of the loneliness one partner feels when the other goes away and the passion that can be sparked by it.

    The only jarring point for me was when he reached for toilet tissue and there was none. I was left wondering how he'd managed!! I remember a similar event in a romantic novel I read and the woman in that case pulled up her jeans and carried on . . .

  9. Ah yes Jabblog, I can see how the toilet roll scene might jar. Thanks for the chuckle.
    Oh for the limited word count! I dashed this off with minimum edits too. :O0
    BTW I wanted that red eyedness to seem like crying, too. So thanks for spotting that metaphor.

  10. I have amended (in italics) to avoid further jarring. ;O)

  11. I started reading, my heart breaking with his. It wasn't until halfway through that I realized she wasn't leaving him. If love that her absence was conspicuous to all of his mundane actions -- even using the restroom.
    It's wonderful how he was able to snap out of the routine in order to woo his wife again. His effort, her response, it read very real.

  12. Isn't it shocking what winter can do to some people? (*Sharp intake of breath, lol). Naughty and sweet, Madeleine:)

  13. You picked a good story for the challenge. I also made the mistake of momentarily thinking this was about a little boy, but you quickly corrected that impression. Perhaps orient us right from the first sentence. Also, the toilet paper took me out of the scene. Nice piece.

  14. Now that was long time romance at its best. I can totally see this couple, and the comfortable years they've spent together.

    There is a subtleness to loss, and this excerpt shows that completely. It reveals the loss of children, and loved ones, and even each other as the years pass.

    I think the real aphrodisiac here is the loss of complacency. I love that the story is from the male POV, and that he is finally admitting all that is good and taken for granted in his life.

    Well done Maddie. This is sensual, emotive, and inspirational.


  15. Scheherazade & Jabblog, I guess I thought the fact that it didn't say 'mother', but Marcy, might have been the giveaway. I've added 'his wife' in italics to avoid further confusion. I guess we don't expect men to behave like vulnerable little boys when their wives go away! ;O)

    Thanks also to Anna, Patsy, Laura Erin, Adura, Sarah, Kiru, Denise & Donna for your enthusiastic comments.

  16. Hi,


    Hee hee: just like a man ... I've got something to show you! ;)


  17. Hi Maddy. Just back for my second reading. I didn't mention the toilet scene in my comments but he was thinking how she'd taken such care of him so why didn't she have fresh toilet paper for him lol!! The rest reads like magic.

    Great work. You are so good at this flash fiction gig!


  18. Well done. I love it. Absence, as they say... We should all be so fortunate to fall in love again after years of marriage.

  19. Hello Madeleine,
    I actually found myself chuckling as I read this... reminded me way too much of myself (smile). You know what they say...absence makes the heart grow fonder...how true that is for these two.
    Very nice entry.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Love Has Seeped Into My Heart

  20. Come now Denise, Marcy is rushing off to sort out her mother, so her mind's on more than bog paper, surely? Isn't she allowed to be less than perfect at such times of stress? ;O)

    Thanks Nancy

    Andy LOL! Glad you could identify with it.

  21. Congrats Madeleine on being featured writer this week. Well deserved. Your story seemed so real.

    Lol @ Andy.

  22. About my blog background colour - I'll see what I can do. I'm getting fed up with it too:)

    Have a lovely weekend.


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