Happily never after


The day is not dawning, but is still brand new. Reluctant sunshine slips through the mist that whispers of winter. An echoes-with-the-past day.

The letter he will not read, lies on the table.

She remembers his arms, his skin warm on her face, his heart beating stolen time: once-upon-a-time; once-upon-a-time. Once. Upon. A. Time.

The hymns will have been sung, by now his widow, immaculate in mourning, accepting graveside sympathies for her loss.

She puts a match to the he-will-never-read letter. Flames consume her words. Smoke tears her eyes. The taste of the silence of happily-never-after rubs her throat raw.


19 thoughts on “Happily never after

  1. Hi Julia. I wondered why I wasn’t receiving notifications about posts and at some point I’ve obviously pressed the ‘follow’ and un-followed. Oops.
    I like this piece for it’s poignancy, but perhaps more for it’s simplicity. There is so much you can do with it if you wanted to take it further.


    • Lol! I just assumed I hadn’t seen you around because of your current work on Amsterdam Calling. Welcome back on board!
      This piece has grown shorter and shorter, initially beginning life as an idea for a novel. My trouble is too many ideas and too little time!


  2. W. K. Tucker

    Oh lord, what a heart wrenching story. So little actually told, but so much between the lines.
    Loved it…even though it made me feel like crying. 😦 🙂


    • There was so much more I began by filling in, but wanted to pare it down. I’m glad it worked, as it’s hard to know what to say and what to leave out when writing, no matter how long or short the piece. I always begin with more than is needed and then, when editing, I get ruthless! With novels, several thousand words can disappear, and that’s hard, as they’re often words I loved writing! It’s that ‘killing your darlings’ again (or killing your babies if you’re WK Tucker!). 🙂


      • W. K. Tucker

        It worked very well just as you told it. You put in enough to convey the awful grief she felt without resorting to drama.
        I know what you mean by cutting out passages one thinks is beautiful,,,it’s like cutting off a piece of ones’ self.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A sad piece. Well written. My favorite part is “the widow, immaculate in mourning.” I think that says it all.
    I am left to wonder what is in the letter. Was she going to leave him? Was it a romantic letter? A rendezvous letter? Was it angry or loving? He will never know and neither will we.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Tricia. Once we give our writing over to readers, it doesn’t really matter what was in our minds as we wrote. What matters is what it evokes in those whose imaginations bring our words to life …


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