Writers pierced the heart of this topic like knights of old on a quest, and returned with stories worthy of court. Gather round and prepare to move through each flash that promises to move you. Love never sits still or remains with only a few. Love expands the more we recognize it and share it.
This week, the following stories are based on the September 16, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a love story.
Honk’tar: A Love Story by Kate Spencer
Honk’tar flails his massive wings and thrusts himself toward the dog, hissing at it with his powerful beak wide open. The dog lunges forward and they struggle and thrash until Honk’tar hears a whimper. He’s drawn blood. The fight is over.
He waits for the dog to scamper away and then swims toward his injured mate, extending his long neck, waving it gently back and forth. She gracefully extends hers in welcome and their necks intertwine.
A gunshot ricochets among the reeds.
Honk’tar immediately begins to push his mate, urgently steering her toward the dense thickets of the marsh.
Finding Your Own Way by Roger Shipp
“I never wanted this to happen.”
“I know.” We lay, relaxed, under the old oak back of our dorm. “We both knew what could happen… each seeking separate ways for one year of service. We could have visited. We purposefully chose not to do so.”
“I still love you.”
“I love you. But Garth is where your heart is now. I see it when you talk about him. Your eyes used to glow like that when you spoke of me.”
“We promised each other.”
“We kept that promise. Let’s just rest here, collecting our memories, before we say goodbye.”
More Than All the Stars in the Sky by Norah Colvin
Child waited on the step, counting stars.
Soon the clatter of dishes ceased. Feet padded out.
Child snuggled into warm enveloping arms. The ritual began.
They picked out stars and constellations.
“And Venus,” said Child. “Tell me about the love planet!”
“Well,” began Parent. “Long ago there were two people who loved each other …”
“More than all the stars in the sky,” interjected Child.
“That they wanted a child to love too …”
“So you got me!” said Child.
“Yes.” Parent scooped up the child. “And just as there’ll always be stars …”
”We’ll always love each other!”
The Game by Larry La Forge
Ed was in heaven. The game of the year blasted on the big screen, sound system blaring. The frenzy seemed to leap through the TV into Ed’s living room. It doesn’t get any better than this, he thought.
Above the TV noise, a familiar sound was heard. The garage door movement meant Edna was returning from the grocery store loaded with the week’s supplies.
“This is going to be real interesting,” the TV announcer said, as though aware of Ed’s potential predicament.
Ed laughed, then immediately went out to unload the groceries for Edna — because that’s what you do.
faithful by Jules Paige
(haibun poem/ flash BOTS fiction)
there was no theft
nor any gentle persuasion
just the meeting and melding
of two soul mates
family traditions; then
tied the marriage knot
compromise, honor, respect
grows love every single day
How unusual is it to meet your future spouse at someone
else’s wedding? We did. Four homes, two children, two
grandchildren later… wasn’t that just yesterday?
We think so – though our silver locks say otherwise.
We celebrate everyday we are together with humor. So it
is a very nice surprise when I get flowers on our anniversary.
Because I don’t get ‘em every year.
Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning
Edwin was careful and patient, steering Dorothy clear of the debris. Broken beams and rusted nails littered the grounds. Shingles from the church house roof that had been removed, splintered boards and shims from the bullet shaped holes where stain glass windows once captured the rising sun. Yet the couple trudged on, as though headed for a Sunday sermon.
Traffic rushed past the future Rent-to-Own center, past the steeple laying in the grass. Past Edwin and Dorothy, lifelong lovers determined to renew the vows they’d made in that very same church on that very same day fifty years ago.
Years Later by Charli Mills
Sarah lost her nerve at the molasses pull. David Colbert McCanles flashed like a brook trout in his military school uniform, taller and more vibrant than any in the Greene barn. Mary Greene had nerve. She dominated dances, her laugh rich as summer honey.
That they married so soon took none by surprise. Sarah hid her love for Cobb until years later, when he’d stop by her father’s store at night. “Keeping books?” A simple question that kept her at the ledgers late, hoping he’d see her light burning.
She gained nerve when she should have told him no.
Love Grows by Irene WatersJake and I did everything together and told each other all our secrets. We knew the other as though we were one. We discussed our boyfriends and girlfriends, often going on double dates together. We solved the world’s problems and many of our own. Having similar interests it made sense to go to the theatre, opera, hikes, everything together. Above all else, we made each other laugh. Life was fun, enhanced by each other’s company. We were best friends.
Bosom buddies until he planned a trip to the Philippines to find a bride. Then I knew I loved him.
Love and Passion by Ruchira Khanna
Sarah aimed her glass at him, but instead it hit the table crashing to the floor into multiple pieces. She could see her heart in each of those broken fragments as she wept uncontrollably.
He looked from a distance but dared not come near.
Minutes ticked by, which seemed endless to both the individuals.
“Go, live your way!” she announced
“Thank you” he squealed and exited the room with a flying kiss to her.
Sarah took a deep breath and got up to clean the mess while her beau made a journey across continents to live off his passion.
Puppy Love by Geoff Le Pard
‘I hate you!’
Mary watched her daughter run indoors in tears. In an instant she was back thirty plus years to a similar argument with her mother over being dressed ‘inappropriately’.
She petted the dog who offered her two devoted brown eyes. ‘Are you the only one whose love is unconditioned?’ The dog nodded; she laughed.
‘What’s funny?’ Paul put the tea down.
‘Why are dumb animals the only ones who don’t make you work for their love?’
Paul eased himself onto the floor next to the dog and looked up at his wife. ‘Who are you calling dumb?’
The Beginning by Ann Edall-Robson
Weathered hands, brown from working outside, lay resting on her lap. She rocked slowly back and forth enjoying the sounds and the view. The voice from the creaking chair soothed her as it moved to her body rhythm. She could see everything from this spot on the wooden porch.
She remembered the beginning of their life together. A life that started during hard times and required hard work to survive. The foundation of what was now before her.
The initial introduction had been love at first sight. She had known from the beginning she belonged here. On this land.
Love by udosdottir
The box opened, a first glance and his heart beat faster. There was this delicate smell, and when he reached out to touch, he knew he was in love. His fingers ran along the delicious spine, his eyes examining the headband and tail. The skin on the front seemed to be tattooed. He never had seen anything like it before. All the details fit together so perfectly. His eyes met the vendor’s: “How much?”
The door closed behind the visitor, and he sighed a sigh of joy. He marvelled at his acquisition once more, and then started to read.
Marital Bliss by Ula Humienik
“Something’s been off with you. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like you’re slipping away. Remember how happy you were when Stephen was born?”
“I remember,” Lou smiled, “but what would really make me happy, Tom, is getting out of the house, doing what I love.”
“What’s that?” He seemed genuinely surprised, as if it hadn’t occurred to him that his wife could have other interests besides the family and their home.
Lou looked in pain, shocked by his reaction. “I want. I want more time to write.”
“Oh, that silly nonsense.” Tom seemed relieved.
Love Truly Is A Battlefield by Dave Madden
How does one define the intangible? Recently, glued to my monitor, I defined love: MMA.
MMA feeds my soul everything it needs, and I came to terms with this realization during a Titan Fighting Championships event, Titan FC 35.
Round after round, I now define love as:
Sheer excitement in the presence of another,
Great night of fights!
Even a cage can’t contain our devotion,
Distance growing the heart’s fondness,
A deep-rooted understanding of one another,
Care for what I think,
Periodically connecting with one another,
Bringing closure to matters with no judgments.
Nursing Love by Cindy Scott
“Remember when you were sick that weekend?” Sasha said at the table. “And I had to make you chicken bouillon in your microwave?” while watching tiny sparrows fight at the plastic feeder hanging on the porch.
“Well, no actually,” said Myron.
“Oh come on,” she said, “You mumbled in your sleep that night, ‘Gotta catch the viruses,’” she giggled in the early morning sunshine streaming into the kitchen.
“Oh, right. Well, I remember the time you hallucinated in your sleep,” he said.
“Okay, dreaming. You said, ‘Get the frogs after them’.”
“Okay, touché,” she said smiling at him.
Neighborly Romance by Paula Moyer
Frances met Bill in third grade. Classmates ever since. First semester of college, both were music majors. She was his assigned accompanist. He played trombone.
Bill enlisted, Asked Frances to write to him. She did. They drifted apart.
Five years after the war, Frances walked home from the bus, right past Bill’s. His mother looked out the window.
“Bill, Bill,” she called. “There’s Frances! Better go get her.”
Bill called out the door, “Need a ride?”
The ride became dinner. Two weeks later: “Will you be my girl?”
They married six months later: 55 years, three kids.
Love in 99 Words by Shane Kroetsch
I watch as she takes a seat at her usual table, her hands wrapped around a large coffee cup.
I think about my dream last night.
We sat alone on a park bench, under a sky like amethyst.
“I think I’m ready,” I said.
“I’ve told you how it will end.”
“I know. It will be worth it.”
She smiled then, gave me a lingering kiss on the cheek, and the dream faded.
I stand and walk to her table. I focus on her warm, hazel eyes.
“Hi,” I say, “My name is Brandon. Mind if I join you?”
The Smile by Sarrah J. Woods
Lisa came from a world of cigarettes and food stamps—a world where you aimed to get by, not get ahead—a world where you aimed to be sexy, not beautiful.
But then the window cleaning company she worked for hired Ricky. He was younger than her and had crooked teeth, but he treated her so sweetly and respectfully that she felt like lace. He told her about his childhood and asked about her three-year-old’s favorite movies.
When he said, “You’re beautiful,” she knew he meant it. And the smile that bloomed across her face proved his words true.
A Country Love Story by C. Jai Ferry
I held up his ice cream. The pup sniffed it before sticking out his tongue for a lick. His tail wagged. He eyed me while his tongue darted out again.
When his head started shaking, I pulled the cup away, almost expecting his teeth to be chattering. He sat, adopting his polite “I’m waiting for you” pose. He didn’t seem to mind the brain freeze.
I held the cup out again. This time, he skipped the licking, instead gulping down the soft-serve in three bites.
He licked the cup clean, then noticed my dessert. His eyes were my Kryptonite.
Flash Fiction by Anne Goodwin
You saved me a seat in the lecture hall, knowing my bus was always late. You cheered louder than anyone when I got the prize for the highest marks in our year. You persuaded the corner shop to stock gluten-free croissants, so you could serve me breakfast in bed. You held me tight when the memories overwhelmed me, despite knowing no amount of holding could undo the past. You wore top hat and tails at our wedding, though more at home in jumpers and jeans. You did it all with perfect grace. You did it gladly, unthinkingly, for me.
Delivery by Pat Cummings
An intense cramp shot through Carrie’s back. Just a little more, just one more push, and she’d be free of the burden she carried. She turned her head to see Jacob watching with concern. They had begun the loving task together, but this pain was hers to endure.
A bead of sweat trickled; damp hair clung to her brow, but she had no energy left to shake it from her eyes.
Reaching the edge of the field, Carrie dropped her rock. Across the new field of the farm they both loved, she saw Jacob’s plow turn up another stone.