What if …? The choice.

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers again, hosted by Rochelle, and this week I’ve written two separate stories. Here they are. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

What if?

Life is good for them in this fiftieth year of their marriage. He rises early to stroll in the garden, and watch daylight break in the east. See him there now, gazing up towards the house.

She emerges onto the balcony, her beloved face haloed in the morning sun.

Despite their joy, he exists around a black core of fear. They are stooped, their skin loose, their hair white, but advancing age is not the cause of his unease.

His demons manifest in sleep, tormenting him with nightmares of an inky tomb, and his Juliet not waking up in time.

**********

The Choice

Hand-in-hand, two lovers stroll beneath long-limbed trees. No-one is in sight – they steal a kiss.

‘My love, it’s time. Decide.’

‘We’re so young – what if we’re making a big mistake?’

Her hesitancy strikes fear within him. What if he should lose her? ‘My darling …’ His voice quavers. ‘I’ll do anything for you. It will be as you wish.’

‘I knew you’d see it my way. Let’s book it now.’

And together, they proceed into the office of Montague and Capulet, Wedding Planners, and make the down-payment for a full Romeo and Juliet ceremony, balcony included.

*****

There you have it – variations on a theme. Here’s another variation on the same theme.

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36 thoughts on “What if …? The choice.

    • Thank you Bjorn. I do like to think about alternative outcomes. I wonder if these two characters would have enjoyed a long, happy marriage, had they survived, or if their fire would have burned out long before the 50th anniversary.

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  1. Dear Margaret,

    I wondered how long it would be before I came across a Romeo and Juliet story for this prompt. It is a balcony after all. 😉

    I enjoyed both of your unique takes on the photo. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • I thought there’d be lots of Romeo and Juliet stories, actually – a balcony, Valentine’s Day – so I’m surprised. I’m glad you enjoyed both stories; and thank you once again for your feedback, Rochelle.
      Cheers,
      Margaret

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  2. What if indeed – good to have a happy take on Romeo and Juliet and her waking up, but his fears sent a chill. Liked the taking the plunge aspect of The Choice too. Two great stories this week.

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  3. Your first is enigmatic. I wonder what those demons are all about. I like those long-limbed trees in your second. They seem to personify your young lovers, but that’s my construct. It’s enough! 🙂

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  4. Excellent, Margaret. Both stories! I have a hard enough time writing one, and here you’ve come up with two complete, well-crafted stories. In the first, it’s as if Romeo and Juliet made it, but Romeo is consumed with residual fear or mistrust of his happiness.

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    • Thanks, Amy, for such a lovely, encouraging comment. I’ve noticed that I sometimes think of one story, which I labour over, but which turns out to be a complete disaster, and then a second, better one comes quite quickly. Maybe this time I just got lucky. You’ve picked up exactly what I was aiming for in the first story, so I’m delighted with your reaction. Mistrust of happiness is exactly it. What a burden to have to bear!

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      • Sometimes I truly have only one story I can write, even though there are so many possibilities! How fortunate that you have more than one idea. I’m delighted I got the true sense of your story. Great! That just means it was written well.

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    • Congratulations on a great achievement. I’m sure Connie’s got your best interests at heart. My husband and I celebrate our 50th anniversary next February – he’s been retired for a few years now and doesn’t seem at all overworked. Maybe I need to lift my game.

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