She sat braiding her hair. In the morning light the strands shone rusty brown. The young woman’s agile fingers weaved in and around each other, but her mind was elsewhere. She remembered gathering chestnuts last fall, and the man who had offered to buy her basket.
“But, my lord! This is gold.”
“I am no one’s lord,” said the man. “And the real gold is what you carry.”
When you see a window like this, you want one of several things. If you’re particularly dreaming, you want a fairy or a ghost. A fairy or a ghost should definitely be looking in just such a window, with the medieval ironwork and the glazed glass. If you are a high school student unfortunate enough to be force-fed Shakespeare, perhaps you think unwillingly of Romeo and Juliette—because there is a rose or two and roses and lovers go together, don’t they, like laundry and detergent or coffee and cream.
But if you are me and your picture is larger than a few inches wide, you’d see that the wall the vine clings to is rude and shabby. You’d see the bicycle leaning in the weeds and the patchy lawn. And you’d see that the man trimming the dead leaves is dressed in jeans and a worn-out comfortable shirt, a slim and relaxed-looking man with none of the flare or knock-out beauty of a photograph.
For today’s Daily Prompt, “Winsome,” I wanted to write something with a man who might be called winsome and a young woman who is definitely not. Wallie was bored with it. Wallie is not a winsome imp.
‘Are you given to imagination?’
‘Why, yes.’ I puff my chest out with pride.
Eddy snorts. ‘Indeed. I suppose you regard yourself as quite the romantic.’
This is too fine an opportunity, and I cannot resist batting my lashes with all the excess of perfect femininity. I know I am being absurd, but there is something in the batting of eyes that has always worked with men, and it has become a habit with me. ‘Oh, yes, if you like.’
We wait upon the next New Year
But we are far from new, my dear;
There is reflection in your gaze
That lingers on the dimming days
Likewise a line that thins your cheek
And marks the weary way of weeks—
The minutes making months and whiles,
The seasons changing changeless miles;
Familiar hand gone somewhat thin
The stubble roughness on your chin—
No resolution you would make
Except for one—and for your sake—
For today’s writing prompt, “Almost,” I thought I would offer up something from a work-in-progress. It’s a romance–the woman is nouveau riche and the man, while his family name is respected, is broke as a pauper. The woman has a dark secret–she is dying of cancer–and she knows the man, Ethan Dyle, is only trying to marry her for her money. But Patricia Anders has her own secret habit of disguising herself as “Susan Louise,” pretending she is someone else to escape the worries and realities of her life. Through various misadventure, Patricia Anders (“Susan Louise”) and Ethan Dyle fall in love. Of course Ethan Dyle has no idea Susan Louise is only a disguise.
This is the scene of his proposal.
He didn’t know how he had the courage. It was a prompting outside of himself. There in the bitter cold with his hat on her head and the stark winter sun shining fierce, he lowered himself on his knees. The earth felt harder than he expected, like stone. It made him weaker, that unexpected discomfort. The too-bright sky made him squint if he raised his head.