Thursday, March 24, 2016

Flash Fiction?

A Romance en Francais

They sat in the back of the cab and swore undying love between passionate kisses. He wanted to speak French, “the language of love,” so he murmured “Je t’aime.” She responded “Je t’aime aussi,” with an accent right out of Southern Appalachia. They were wild about each other.

He played piano and was an accompanist for the ballet company on campus. They met when he was on a break one Saturday and she happened to be walking past the studio. She thought he was cute, even though he was a freshman and she was a sophomore. He had curly black hair, dark eyes that sparkled behind his glasses, and a killer smile.

He thought she was adorable, petite but with a womanly figure, dreamy brown eyes, and light brown hair. She was a voice major but had studied ballet for years. She wasn’t eligible to be in the dance program at the school but took class occasionally at a studio in the city. They talked about ballet, and the school, and how much they loved music.

They started meeting in the cafeteria for lunch and talked endlessly about everything, delighting each other with their witty repartee. He invited her to dinner and they walked to a small nearby restaurant. They went to student recitals together and held hands. Breakfast and dinner together became part of their day.

They went to a symphony concert and he put his arm around her and pressed his lips against her cheek, against her hair. She gripped his arm. It was in the cab on the way back to the campus that they fell into each other’s arms and pledged their love in French. “Je t’amerai toujours,” he said, and she echoed “Toujours.” She only knew a few words of French, but she guessed that he had just told her he would love her forever.
 Soon they decided not to keep meeting for breakfast; their schedules were very different. Then they decided meeting for dinner every day wasn’t working out; they had rehearsals on different evenings. They went to the movies and sat in the back row and made out, but with waning passion. They continued to meet for lunch for a while, but every other day. Then twice a week. Then she said she thought they probably should take a break.

He called her. They had long phone conversations, trying to rekindle the flame. The conversations generally deteriorated into sarcastic sniping at each other. The phone calls dwindled. They really didn’t have anything to say to each other; even the sarcasm wasn’t worth the effort. The conversations were just annoying.

They didn’t really break up. They just stopped.

Maybe French had been a bad idea.

**********

Anyone who has read any of my novels knows I tend to "write long." I like words. I am a fan of Charles Dickens, who wrote long. Lately I've been challenging myself to learn to put together a story ... not a fragment of a story ... but a complete story using fewer words. 

I'm not sure if this qualifies as flash fiction but I would think it might according to some definitions I've read. This is under five hundred words. I'd appreciate comments!