Write…Edit…Publish post on the third Wednesday of every second month and the challenges are open to all. To join in, you submit your name to the list, write an entry for the prompt (1000 words or less) and edit it. Then on the date given, you publish it to your blog, stating your feedback preferences. You can also read and leave comments on the other entries and share the challenge far and wide on social media. Find out more here.
I’ve had a long break from WEP as I lost my writing mojo last year. But I’m very glad to finally be back.
About my Entry
I don’t usually write romance so at first, the prompt intimidated me a little. As usual, I headed to Wikipedia to do some research on the artwork, hoping that would inspire me.
I learned quite a lot about the life of the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt and his life companion Emilie Flöge, who may have modelled for him when he was painting “The Kiss”. When he died in 1918, his last words were “Emilie must come.” That got me thinking about death and the afterlife, a topic which I find myself irresistibly drawn to, for better or worse.
I also read a little about the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, which may have inspired the painting. It’s dark but beautiful. From there, my mind wandered to other Greek mythology characters such as Icarus and Midas (inspired by the gold leaf used on the painting), and allusions to those stories ended up in the final piece.
Word count: 463
Trigger warnings: Death and bereavement.
Notes: I’m English so use British spellings.
Critique preference: FCA
He warms my icy hand in his, the softness of his lips like butterfly wings brushing my cheek. I close my eyes and allow him to sweep me away.
Blades of grass tickle my bare feet and the honey-sweet scent of bluebells and buttercups wafts into my nostrils. Squeezing my eyes tightly closed, I focus on the firm arms enfolding me, our bodies entwined like the roots of a tree. The afternoon sunshine flickers across my eyelids and a balmy breeze plays with my hair. It is always summer here. Somehow, he knew this is where I needed to be.
“You can open your eyes,” he says. My stomach clenches. I can’t.
I should be content with the gentle caress of his fingertips across my collarbone, but it’s never enough. I can never resist a glimpse at him, and that’s when the illusion shatters. At once I’m blinded by his brilliance, but then his skin turns rigid and cold at my touch. He is nothing more than a gilded statue, spiderweb cracks spreading across his beautiful face…
I wake drenched in a cold sweat. Trying to keep his face in my mind is like trying to hold water in my bare hands, and he fades away from me.
“That’s not going to happen this time, my love.”
His calm voice brings me back to the present. A vibrant meadow under a bright cerulean sky. I peek up at him as he cradles my face, his eyes gleaming like the smooth tiger’s eye paperweight he bought me for our first anniversary.
“See? This is real.”
I press myself against his chest and my aches and pains melt away, like easing into a hot bath. Yes, this is real.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispers, his breath tickling my ear.
I glance down at myself incredulously. The shapeless cotton gown is gone, replaced by a resplendent golden robe, decorated with elaborate floral patterns. I never thought I’d wear this dress again. But why shouldn’t I? I can wear anything I want here. A crown of fresh flowers materialises upon my head as his lips meet mine. We glow from within, recreating the mantelpiece photo.
We had burned brightly and fiercely back then. I had not noticed the drip of melting wax, nor the acrid stench of smouldering feathers until I was already falling. I always thought he would be here to catch me.
Hot tears prick the corners of my eyes. “We should have had longer.”
“I know.” He wipes my wet cheek with the back of his hand. “But now we have forever.”
All the things I wanted to say seem irrelevant now. He is here with me, and that’s enough. He kisses me again and I radiate light until it’s all that I am.
I hope you enjoyed my piece. I’d love to hear your thoughts and constructive feedback in the comments below.