Kiss by the Window

Image of Edvard Munch painting 'kiss by the window' used as prompt for microfiction writing challenge
Kiss by the window by Edvard Munch, 1892

The brevity of my services to the household was sealed during the formalities of introductions, the quickening of my heartbeat directing dancing waves of warm light from every extremity to my core, leaving me tingling and within a week, receptive to his touch, warm hands on my cheeks, fingers stroking my earlobes, his breath sweeping hair from the nape of my neck before tracing hieroglyphics of unspoken promises with his tongue. He kept me suspended with his will and my acquiescence, one arm around my shoulder, tilting me back, and the other circling my waist, hand resting on the small of my back to ward off gravity as he breathed life into implausible dreams with a kiss. Clandestine kisses charged two-fold, for the slightest movement could sending me crashing down, and an untimely intrusion held the threat of broad crimson brush strokes, tainting me the scarlet woman, the other woman, the unemployed woman. My memory has imbued our last kiss by the window in the cool and calculating shades of blue of bruises I sustained with the backward fall, as the lady of the house opened and shut the door quickly, throwing the delicate balance of his hold on me.

 

Exactly 200 words for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #4. Follow the link to Jane’s site if you’d like to join in.

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24 thoughts on “Kiss by the Window

  1. My first thought on this story is: have you seen the length of that opening sentence? You cover weeks of a relationship, from first meeting to a full-blown affair in one sentence. I’d try splitting it into several sentences, picking one point only for the first sentence and make it attention-grabbing.

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      1. I realised sentence was long but struggled with editing it without losing the context in the one sentence that saved the word count. Will try again, but one thing i like about (unintended) is the very quick onset of the affair suggested in the rushed sentence. Maybe I’m scrambling for some defence here haha. Do you find you writing changes with a strict word limit in 200 or 100 word stories?

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      2. I get what you’re saying. Fitting so much into one sentence is a way of emphasizing the rapidity, but the sentence then has to be super clear. It’s difficult. When I first started writing the idea of finding 60-70k words was so daunting I left every single word in, partly because it filled up the quota, partly because I loved the turns of phrase, descriptions etc. I know now that less is often more and I write easily enough to be less bothered about cutting whole pages of text. Writing very short fiction is excellent training, and I try and write novels with the same principle in mind—if you can make it shorter, do it; if it adds nothing to the story, cut it.

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      3. Thanks Jane, I really appreciate the feedback and insights into your experience too. I’ll just have to keep practicing and learn to let go- they’re only words – they’ll come back in another story if I need them 😊

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