Flash fiction 500 – First Love

First Love

Mary started painting again when she retired to a small village on the coast. She joined a local art group who met in an old chapel. She never saw herself as talented, despite three years at Art College in her youth, but she enjoyed the way the brush moved on the paper, leaving a trail of colour in its wake. Her husband had died the year before and she was now free to express herself in ways that would have previously been viewed as frivolous.

They never had children. In latter years Marcus thought more of his garden than her, treating the lawn with studied care, cherishing his chrysanthemums with the same tenderness of touch she had once enjoyed.

“That’s very good Mary?”

The voice of the instructor made her start. Mary hadn’t been thinking about what she was painting, but on the paper in front of her was the face of a young man, one she recognised even though the nose was a peculiar shade of blue.

“It looks like Peter.”

Mary didn’t know who Peter was. The face before her had been stored in her memory for fifty years. It was David, a boy she had dated and fallen in love with when she was sixteen years old. He moved away with his parents when his father was offered a promotion. For a few months they had exchanged letters, but the interval between each communication grew longer. He never replied to her last letter in which she had enclosed a pressed flower, a silly gesture.

Curiosity drew others to her painting. Mary wanted to cover it with her hands, but let them rest on the table.

“It does look like Peter,” said a woman she thought was called Anne. “You must have met him?”

“It’s just a face,” Mary said.

All agreed that it was an astonishing likeness and someone said that she must show it to David.

“David?” She repeated. Her throat contracted.

“He owns the Three Ducks, Peter is his son. He works there at weekends. You must have seen him.”

Mary hadn’t been in the village inn. She had no objection to alcohol and enjoyed a glass of wine, but Marcus had not been one for socialising.

“Oh I couldn’t show it to him. I don’t even know him.”

“Join me,” Anne said, I often pop in after class.

Mary wasn’t sure, but accepted the invitation.

She wondered where David’s life had taken him. Would they even have stayed together had he not moved away?

“But don’t mention Peter’s mother, she left when he was ten.”

“I wasn’t going to interrogate him.”

When they entered the Three Ducks, the barman had his back to them. Grey hair suggested it wasn’t Peter. He turned and indeed it wasn’t the boy she had drawn, but the man he had become. Behind his shoulder, propped on a shelf, was a small frame holding a dried flower. Many years had passed, but it had somehow retained its colour.

Adoption

Image of children's drawing of children

She holds a distant memory
of when a heartbeat matched her own.
A summer secret locked inside,
a child barely known.

A small, now faded picture holds,
a truth in grey and white.
A daughter held for one short day,
one silent tear-torn night.

To give a life, to hold a life
to bear but never see,
the future that the world might hold,
for the child she set free.

Two lives diverged, two stories cleft,
one lost one led away.
But the incense of a child’s warm hair,
still holds her to that day.

You left

teddy bear left alone

You left cold sheets one side of our bed
A book laying open, partly read
Silences, where once we talked
Grass now growing, where once we walked

You left a picture of when life was bright
The shape of your body when I held you tight
Your touch, your laughter, your every way
The colour you cast on the greyest day

You left rooms that echo of the life we knew
Nights much darker when I think of you
Words you whispered in our bed
And tears on the pillow beneath my head

You left

No point

depressing snow landscape

There is no point in travelling,
when you’ve no place to be.
No sense in searching,
when your heart cannot see.
And no doors will unlock,
when you don’t have a key.

There is no point in sowing,
where love cannot grow.
No questions worth asking,
of a life you can’t know.
And no reason for staying
when your heart says go.

There is no point in searching,
with dulled tired eyes.
No use in listening,
when you only hear lies
And no sense in living,
because everything dies.

Far Away

book cover showing woman looking out to sea

This is an imagined book cover, created with a royalty free image. The main typeface is Sams Handwriting.

Contact me if this image would be suitable for your novel (title and author changed of course) and if you’d like to use this design. Costs vary depending on whether it’s an ebook or paperback but around £80 ($100) is a good guide.

Short of an idea for your novel? Browse these imagined book covers and strap lines for ideas.

The original photo file came from pexels.com and a quick image search on Google shows that it has been used widely. I brightened the colours and increased the contrast, but you might prefer the original look.

original file for the cover, softer colour

Leaving Alice

paperback cover girl

There are thousands of royalty free photographs and illustrations available online. This is an imagined book cover, created from one of more of those images.

Contact me if this image and typographic style would be suitable for your novel and if you’d like me to design an ebook or full paperback cover based on this concept. Costs vary depending on whether it’s a ebook or full paperback covers but around £80 ($100) is a good guide.

Short of an idea for your novel – browse these imagined book covers for ideas.

The one that I love

two penguins on a beach

You are the guardian ghost in my dreams
You hear the sound of my unvoiced screams
You are the pair to my single glove
You are the one that I love

Your loss is the fear that keeps me awake
Your absence the cold when I swim in a lake
You are the songbird to my one note dove
You are the one that I love

You are the right whenever I’m wrong
You are the words to my unsung song
You are the one that I always think of
When my life turn to words of love

When you are no longer the breath in my ear
When you are no longer the first voice I hear
If I find again I’m that lost single glove
You will still be the one that I love