Tag Archive | Hope

Under the Cherry Trees

Artist Preston Blair; pinterest.com

Romantic 4-line flash fiction:

Fresh air teemed with inexorable life as a cool mountain spring wind tossled Celosia’s honey blonde hair.

As the cherry blossoms dotted the landscape pink against an azure afternoon sky, my shoes crunched gravel as I meandered beside her along the path with my fingers interlaced with hers.

“This is it,” I said, drawing her to myself, wrapping my arm around her shoulders, my lips a hair’s breath from hers.

“Don’t let me go,” Celosia pleaded breathlessly, a tiny tear trickling down her cheek, as our lips met and warmth flooded my soul, my heart aching for her to stay.

Author’s note: I’ll be heading to Japan this weekend in search of cherry blossom trees. Perhaps there is a romance story lingering there beneath the cherry trees, waiting for just the right moment when an author may happen by and capture a slice of romantic magic.

The Story Within a Story

Artist Kai Carpenter; pinterest.com

Romantic Dialogue Flash Fiction:

“But he sought better days,” I recited to Cassia from the romance novel, “his life a long road of wistful adventures on the open sea, all of which having taken a toll on his health and his mental well-being. But her. She was the light through it all, the guiding star that pointed the way in his wayward heart.”

Cassia moaned contentedly, cuddling closer with her long, soft brunette hair splashed over my broad chest. “We all need someone like that for us, don’t you think?”

“I think I could relate,” I said, turning to Cassia and kissing her softly on her cheek before turning back to the book. We were so close that our cheeks lightly grazed one another. “But it doesn’t end there. She runs away. But he never gives up on her. It would be years of him sailing the seven seas to catch up with her.”

“Does he… eventually?” she asked, rolling over onto my chest, her breath warm on my lips.

I put the book aside, gazed into her tender eyes, and stroked her satin hair. “Cassia, you don’t want me spoil the whole story for you, do you?”

“I’m curious,” she replied. “Spoil away.”

My two forefingers drew her chin up to mine and I kissed her long and delicately on her silken lips. Finally I said, “Maybe it’s like our story. With you, my love, I’ll never spoil the ending. Instead, I want us to discover it on our own. Both of us together. It’s more exciting that way. Are you with me?”

Cassia softened her eyes and lay back, pulling my neck gently to lie on top of her. “Lead on, sailor.”

What to Do in a Thunderstorm

Artist Raphael Desoto; pinterest.com

Romantic Short Story:

It was my first date with the woman of my dreams, Tansy Kaeller from Vienna. She had feathered blonde hair like lemon sugar and a radiant smile that made her eyes squint and sparkle. When her mouth turned up in a grin, she revealed a slight yet devastatingly cute overbite. Devastating to me because I was the one who fell head over heals in love with her. From her sweet Austrian accent and dainty voice to her soft creamy skin, I loved everything little thing about her. In short, she took my breath away.

On my private multi-acre ranch that evening, we meandered down a dirt path that wound through rose bushes with a view of the stars above as bright as lanterns. The crickets serenaded our walk, but otherwise, it was pretty quiet except for the sound of our voices.

Tansy was drop-dead gorgeous that night, wearing a pink dress that clung to every curve with a generous dip in the front to reveal plenty of cleavage. She was clinging to my arm and her hair smelled like shampoo from perhaps a shower she’d taken before coming out tonight. I could feel her soft breasts pressing against my side, igniting my insides. With Tansy, I felt on top of the world and above all else, I had to tell her that tonight.

I couldn’t wait. I stopped and turned to her and she to me. Her face glowed in the moonlight and I noticed her full lips were wet. Had she steathily licked them while turning to me, or were they always so naturally glistening? I didn’t care, but I knew they were calling out to my lips like a magnet.

We had been talking about stupid things to kill time while we were meandering down the prim rose path – topics like the weather, the ranch, her English learning, the horses I’d ridden that morning, and so on. It was time to get serious. “Tansy,” I began breathlessly, “I have to kiss you.”

Her eyes squinted as she smiled. “Then why don’t you?” she asked, pronouncing the w in ‘why’ like a ‘v.’

I didn’t need a second invitation, moving in and pressing my lips to her wanting velvet mouth, one hand around her back, the other gently holding the nape of her neck. When our tongues met, she moaned and pressed her tongue harder inside my mouth with passionate fervor. We kissed long and wet, indulging deep desires that were bubbling up like a furnace.

But when I lifted my head from our kiss, just to see that beautiful face again, I noticed that her cheeks were no longer glowing in the moonlight. I looked up to the sky and immediately had a sense of what was coming. You get this intuitive sense on a ranch that just before it rains, there is a kind of fresh smell in the air and leaves on the trees turn over one way or another.

Then a rumbling in the distance. Thunder.

“We’d better head for shelter,” I suggested. “If we don’t hurry, that storm’s going to overtake us.” She nodded and we both hurried back down the path from which we’d come. But then some raindrops tip-tapped over us and then some more.

We began to run.

“Are we too late?” she asked, beginning to panic, and wobbling beside me in her high heels, picking up the pace.

The downpour was enough answer for her, coming down in drips at first, then a steady stream, then a heavy shower. Then the crack of thunder. She shrieked and held her arm over her head as a basic survival instinct to shelter herself from the rain. It wasn’t working. Within seconds, both of us were soaked through the clothes and running down the path that was quickly turning to mud.

I led her to the closest shelter there was on my property: a barn. It may not have been a five-star dream hotel, but it had a roof and dry shelter inside, priceless when you’re stuck out in a thunderstorm.

A flash of lightning and another whip crack of thunder chased us in through the massive double doors that I quickly shut behind us when we got inside. We were panting and laughing at ourselves that our clothes were fully soaked and we’d just barely managed to escape the storm.

Inside the empty barn that normally housed the bushels of wheat during harvest time, it was pitch black, so I found her hand easily in the dark and led her to a narrow staircase with creeky wooden steps in the corner. The stairs led to a loft with a low wooden-beamed ceiling structure, so we had to at least kneel down when we got up there.

Tansy lied on her back, catching her breath. Even in the shadows, I could see her breasts rising and falling with every breath she took. Her head was turned to me and was silently appraising my shadow, too.

“It’s the perfect shelter,” she said in her sweet singsong accent. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I could feel her smiling.

Outside the thunder was still crashing and rain was pelting the roof not far above us. When lightning flashed, I caught a glimpse of Tansy on the floor of the loft and my heart melted. I had never seen her like this. She was more adorable than I’d ever imagined. All wet and uninhibited and free.

I reached around for what I’d come up to the loft for and found it, the kerosene lamp. I found the matches in the little box underneath the lamp and lit it up.

Suddenly the whole loft flooded with light, which wasn’t really all that bright but coming from pitch darkness, anything dim seems like the sun.

Finally I sighed heavily with relief that we were finally safely out of the storm, and I sagged down to my back next to her, staring up at the wooden beams, feeling her warmth next to mine as our arms touched and our fingers interlaced.

Tansy turned over and lay on my stomach, her sparkling eyes staring into mine. “Can I tell you a secret?” she whispered as the rain poured down outside.

“I love secrets,” I said, gazing back into her eyes.

“All I wanted tonight,” she said, her breath on mine, “was just the chance to get close to you. Just like this. And now because of the storm, I get my wish.”

I was beaming. It got me thinking that maybe we forget that even though the storm crashes in ferocity, it’s who you’re with in the storm that really matters. I was grateful to be with Tansy. Our lives would never be the same again after that because we’d spent one beautiful night together, not only in the shelter of a barn, but under the shelter of each other, in the midst of the storm.

Wrapping my arms around her, I kissed Tansy again, drawing her close, fulfilling the wish she had made, and the one that I hadn’t even had the courage to wish for myself, believing in vain that it would never come true.

The Kiss That Melts All Restraint

Artist Marco Ortolan; pinterest.com

Four-line Flash Fiction:

After a long, steamy shower that had washed all her cares away, Lucerne patted her bare feet across the cool tiled kitchen floor heading to the bedroom.

A warm cotton patterned blanket, the only thing she could find in his bathroom closet besides towels, wrapped around her slim shoulders over her naked body.

“I can’t thank you enough for your kindness to me,” she said to him, her eyes sparkling in his dimly lit kitchen, her heart bursting with longing for him, “for letting me stay overnight.”

Finally all barriers, all restraint, between them had melted away as he glided right up to her, scooping her into his arms, kissing her with fervent passion, the touch of their lips finding its prurience in their voltaic dance of ecstasy.

Didn’t You Hear the Sound of Love?

Artist Pruett Carter; picssr.com

Romantic Flash Fiction:

Senna closed her eyes and grinned, playing along.

“Listen,” Dalton said. “Now don’t peak. Just… listen. What do you hear?”

As her bare feet rested gently in the cool water that flowed over her ankles, Senna listened intently to the babbling brook. The water dribbled over rocks and tumbled down tiny falls as the current moved with soft intensity and gentle impulsiveness. High in the trees of the forest around them, birds sang their sweet melodies that Senna probably wouldn’t have heard over the rushing water of the brook if she hadn’t closed her eyes. She felt the cool breeze dance through the forest and brush against her cheeks as she breathed in the fresh air.

“I’m listening,” Senna said, opening her eyes after several minutes of quiet meditation over her surroundings. “The forest is truly alive, isn’t it?”

Dalton reached out to hold her hand and scooted along the rocks to sit next to her. Senna could feel his warmth nestle up against her, and her heart swirled with delight.

“Long winters fray, etching away,” he whispered close to her ear. “The forest dreams, its sound a charm that rings through every stream.”

“Mm,” Senna moaned, her cheek resting on his. “Your words touch me like nothing else can. Or was that a quote?”

“I just made that up. For you.” His lips kissed her gently on the closest cheek, making her whole body tingle.

Senna giggled, leaning into it, not wanting it to stop. Ever.

“Didn’t you hear it, Senna?” he asked her. “When you closed your eyes.”

“I heard a forest that inhales and exhales through a babbling brook and a soft breeze,” she replied, matching his mood for poetic diction.

“That,” he explained, “is the sound of love. Every time the water rolls over rocks, the brook continues on, the bird chirps its song, you hear three words from the bottom of my heart – I love you. And I do, you know.”

She turned to face him, her smile glowing in the sunlight that broke through the trees from high above. “Do you really?” she teased with a lift of her eyebrow, snuggling closer, her lips inching towards his.

“That’s why I brought you here today,” he said. “To let you hear it for yourself, not only from me, but from the thousand witnesses of nature all around us. To give you this gift.”

Their lips brushed lightly before Senna melted into his kiss as he cupped her hands in his. It was a kiss that for just a brief moment pillaged all the vitality out of the forest, and if it could be harnessed, it would black out a city and light up her whole world in that one touch of his lips.

When their mouths separated, he grinned at her with sparkling green eyes. “Now open your hand,” he said with a mischievous, mysterious grin.

She felt nothing there, and she almost thought he was joking. Until she opened her hand. When she did, she caught her breath. She looked back at him in disbelief. He was still grinning as if he had planned it all along.

Senna suddenly closed her hand, clutching it so tightly that she imagined that if she didn’t, it might disappear as magically as it had appeared. She felt the diamond against the palm of her hand and shut her eyes tightly, now unable to control the tears that trickled down her cheeks.

“The other message of the brook,” he said. “Marry him, Senna, it said.” Choking up with emotion himself, he fought to get the words out. “Marry me, Senna.”

When she opened her eyes, they were glassy pools gazing into the eyes of the man who would father her children and give hope to her life in old age.

But then, just for a second, doubt suddenly crept in like a poisonous asp on the slippery rock. “But what about…?” she heard herself saying.

He shook his head. “I don’t care about that. I’ve never cared about that. I only care about you.”

She sniffled, fighting back her emotions. “I love you,” she said, mouthing the words, no sound coming out, but nearby a babbling brook echoing her heart.

Spring is Among Us

Artist Bruce Emmett; pinterest.com

Romantic 4-Line Flash Fiction:

As a month of showers brought forth glistening pansies and tulips, so their love, which had found its way through a season of heartache, finally blossomed with every flower in the field that stretched for miles.

Spring was here and had made its home among them.

With the sun enfolding her with warmth, Laleh reclined in his embrace, his breath lightly fanning her wanting lips.

“This is the season, Laleh,” he whispered close, “when all things change, when despair succumbs to our destiny, and when our love forges a new path to the promise of a brighter day.”

What True Love Really Means

Artist Morgan Kane; pinterest.com

Romantic short story:

Daylight splashed like an invisible steam bath across the desert forest as they hiked out of the clearing, the final stretch to the road on the other side, or so they hoped. Desert quail chirped on a nearby tree and somewhere overhead the squawk of a hawk echoed around the valley that was cordoned off by a sharply rising rocky mountain ridge to the north. The dry heat of the day was enough to melt wax to a puddle in zero-to-sixty.

Having already trudged through the endless valley for well over an hour, they were both exhausted and irritable. Dirk glanced up at the cloudless blue sky and spied two hawks circling overhead. “They’ve been following us for at least half an hour,” he grumbled. “We stay out here any longer, we’ll probably be their next meal.”

Cicely had other things on her mind – dreams of love and romance and being whisked away to a tropical island and made love to for hours on a sandy beach. It came from the paperback she’d been reading in the car on their long drive. She leaned on the dry branches of a nearby tree, basking in the shade for just a while longer. It felt good to rest her feet. Their car had broken down on the side of a long stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere several miles back. Reluctantly, she had followed Dirk into the desert to search for another route to the other side where there was a rest stop and they could find help. But their ten-minute hike to the so-called other side was turning into a nightmare – ever longer, ever hotter.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Dirk barked at her. Her boyfriend going on three years always barked at her. It wasn’t just today, or yesterday in the car, or last week before they left. It was always. “There’ll be time to rest when we get to the rest stop. That’s why they call it that. Now, I told you to get moving. I meant it.”

“Can’t I just dream here a little while longer?” asked Cicely in a high singsong voice, her mind starting feel the effects of the heat. She wondered how long she’d be able to go on.

Dirk snickered sarcastically. “Oh, sure, dream on, Cicely. You’re always so good at that. Stuck in your own little dream world. Why don’t you ever think of anything practical? Like surviving in desert heat? Now, let’s go or I’m gonna leave your ass here.” There were other words he used. Jarring words. Words that cut her down and made her feel very small.

He always spoke to her that way. At first, she didn’t mind so much. At least he stayed with her. Thrown in and out of foster homes since the age of fourteen, Cicely was used to harsh talk and angry, hurtful words from men. Some men hit her. That’s usually when she would leave, and keep running. But with Dirk, at least he never hit her. It was just what he said to her that always got under her skin. She never thought of herself as all that bad. But when you hear it so many times, you’re tempted to believe it.

But today was the last straw. Deep down, she knew there was a better life than verbal abuse. In fact, she had never even realized that’s what it was. Until today. Until right now.

Cicely spun around and faced him, burning fire in her tear-stained eyes. “Go, Dirk! Just… go! Leave me here!”

Dirk was taken aback by her full-frontal counter-attack, speechless at her fearless bravura that she had never shown until now. When he regained his composure, that angry vein pulsed in his neck. “Why, you little…”

“What are you gonna do, Dirk?” she snapped, standing up to him, walking directly at him, her shoulders back, her head held high. Now she had him backing up. “We’re in the middle of nowhere. The desert heat could kill us before we reach whatever ghost of a destination you have in mind. Why… don’t… you just… leave?” she seethed. “Now!” She heard her voice echo across the valley.

Her heart was racing a mile a minute. She had touched a nerve and she knew it. He was staring at her with swirling emotions, hardboiled anger mixed with confusion. Finally he seemed to have made a decision, calming down and stepping away. “Fine,” he said, turning his back on her. Then as he walked away, he spoke over his shoulder. “You always come running back to me, anyway. If you ever make it out of this hell-hole, you’ll be back!”

“Don’t count on it,” she shot back.

When he was gone, she turned and scampered in the opposite direction, back to the street where they had come from. But after a half an hour of desert heat, she was starting to feel queasy. Using all of the inner resolve she had, she pushed on. She had to make it. Someone would have to drive past – eventually. After an hour, or however long it took, doubt and uncertainty began to pound her mind with Dirk’s voice. She kept hearing him in her mind berating her, tearing her down, telling her she was worthless. It was getting harder and harder to walk. Finally, she stumbled and fell to the desert sand.

But just as she was about to lose consciousness, she heard a sound in the distance. Of course, she couldn’t be sure if it was real or imagined, but it grew clearer and clearer as it approached. The sound of a vehicle. A motor! She glanced up through squinted eyes and thought she saw a dune buggy riding in her direction. Someone was coming for her! And then she passed out, knowing nothing after that.

Little did Cicely know in that moment that the man on that dune buggy would find her, take her to shelter, stay with her for days to help her recover, and in the process, fall in love with her. He would speak kindly to her, words she had never heard in her whole life. That she was worth more than priceless jewelry, that she had a future beyond her ragged past, that she was special. More than special to him. He would love her and find a home for them both where love was the ruling factor. And she would become a radiant bride, finally coming home, finally knowing what true love really meant.