Sunday, 20 January 2013


It is time for the first RomanticFridayWriters challenge of 2013. 
The theme this month is "out with the old, in with the new".  
We have 1,000 words or less to show intent, not outcome.

Here is my contribution:

As Big Ben struck midnight, fireworks exploded in the night sky
People were pushing and jostling each other good naturedly
The noise levels in the hotel ballroom grew louder and louder
Everybody started linking arms, started singing, smiling with great humour
Auld Lang Syne was belted out with many mixed accents not one Scottish

Ellen looked for her cousin but couldn't see him in the crowded venue
She joined in the fun, crossed her arms and grabbed at a hairy tattoo
A girlish laugh escaped her lips as coloured streamers fell from the ceiling
Landing on heads, tickling noses, carpeting the floor, a myriad of colours merging

The music died, the dancing came to an end as the night was concluding
Bringing them all back to some sort of reality as the minutes started ticking
Away at the beginning of the New Year, Ellen wondered lay in store for her
A deep masculine voice interrupted her musings and ponderings sending a shiver
Along her trembling body, obviously only the after effects of her energetic dancing

Her cousin Andrew appeared out of nowhere and interrupted the moment laughing
‘My dear I’ve been looking all over for you,’ he said looked at her companion adding
A nod as he outstretched his hand, ‘Hello Tommy, how are you my dear fellow?’
‘Andrew!  Long time no see, old chap,’ he replied clasping Andrew’s hand and his elbow.

Ellen realised the two men knew each other and she raised her eyebrow quizzically
‘Sorry cuz,’ said Andrew, ‘we go way back to our training days in the Army.’
The men exchanged numbers as Andrew began to usher them out to a waiting taxi
The cold night air punctuated their words, there was no way they’d feel drowsy
Calls of goodnight and laughter and Happy New Year rang out as the cabs departed
Andrew and Ellen in one and Tommy in another to destinations far less crowded.

As Ellen emerged late the next morning she greeted her aunt with a kiss and a hug
Returned with a loving smile and a gesture to sit, eat toast and drink tea from her mug.
Recounting her evening at the dance she blushed slightly recalling the last few moments
Then she noticed the two empty chairs and her uncle’s and Andrew’s absence.
Realising the time was almost midday she couldn’t believe she’d slept through

‘They went to work early this morning,’ explained Aunt Tilda, ‘just to check the crew
They’ll be back shortly so be prepared for some teasing about Tommy and you.
Dancing the night away is what I’ve heard,’ continued Aunt Tilda, ‘so give me a clue.’
Ellen’s face grew hot and she blushed without knowing the reason why,
‘I think he liked me,’ she replied with a twinkle in her eye.

A month later, Ellen had settled positively in her new post at the university
The telephone on her desk rang and she answered it quickly and brightly
Surprised and a little delighted to hear the voice on the other end announce his name
‘Tommy, how are you,’ she responded gaily hoping she didn't sound lame

‘I’ve been away, overseas,’ he explained ‘but I’m back in town for a little while.’
She scanned the pages in her leather bound diary absently patting her hairstyle.
‘Friday night is good for me,’ she said holding her breath in excited anticipation
She could feel her pulse race and her blood quicken with a satisfying sensation.

Her students and professors kept her mind busy until the end of the week
When she rushed home to try on the new dress bought from her favourite boutique
‘Andrew, you can stop your ribbing, it’s only a dinner date, nothing fancy.’
‘That’s why you are floating around in a dreamlike state, whimsical and dreamy.’
‘Tell me what you know of Tommy,’ Ellen begged and pleaded her cousin, Andrew
‘He’s a great guy or was when I knew him; we lost touch several years ago as you do.’

The doorbell rang and Andrew whispered in her ear, ‘have a great time, love.’
He opened the door to a suave looking Tommy, spic and span, taking off his glove
They grinned at each in the way that men who have secrets do
Ellen thought there are things here I don't want to know about these two

They pulled up to a quintessentially English pub restaurant out in the country
He took her arm and steered her through the door to the bar with its nooks and crannies
The menu was superb, the food delicious, she drank some red wine and he had a shandy
He wanted to know all about her, what she did and why she lived with her cousin Andy.

Now it was his turn and he seemed rather reluctant to share his story as fully
He gazed into her grey/blue eyes and immersed himself in her inner beauty
‘I think I’ve been waiting for you all my life,’ he told her with some deference
‘Then I find you by accident and have to wait a month with patience and silence.
My job makes lots of demands; it takes me away, a lot of times I will be out of contact.’

She stared back into the depths of his beautiful blue eyes, trying not to surrender
To the emotions that suddenly attacked her as she decided to tackle head on the pressure
‘What company do you work for,’ she asked as she raised her glass watching him carefully.
‘Actually it’s a government body covered by the Official Secrets Act,’ he admitted throatily.
‘No problem then,’ she said promptly, picking up the dessert menu nonchalantly.

The drive home was spent in companionable silence, his hand resting lightly on her knee
At the front door, he held her against his toned body, as he said, ‘don't be angry with me.’
Ellen thought and decided she would trust this lovely man and what will be, will be.

Word Count: 990:  FCA


  1. Such a lovely story, this one I really didn't want to end because all the way through, and I know it's probably only me, but I felt that Tommy and Andrew were more than .... friends?

    I hope for Ellen's sake that I'm wrong, she is really taken by him, but there's a secret?

    Or, you tell me -- am I way way off?

  2. Intriguing... I'm thinking there's a whole lot more to all three characters!
    Laura x

  3. "The Official Secrets Act" now that is intriguing. What girl wouldn't fall for the secret agent? I love the flow of this Sally. A couple missing words here and there, but the story kept me reading on. I think I even flushed when he was telling her he waited all his life for her. You really set up the romance nicely. And the mystery of his work, adds a bit of impending tension to the relationship.

    Excellently written. Thanks for the bit of intrigue to get my morning started. And thank you for participating in RFW this month. I hope your schedule settles down a bit.


  4. Hello Sally. Yes, this is intriguing all right. What secrets did Andrew and Tommy share? Wartime, post wartime. Loved the set up and the way you move through events chronologically. Tommy was well crafted, just the right amount of mystery. Not sure what the 'don't be angry with me...' is about--because he's a spy? Anyhow, you have a whole story here worth telling--perhaps we'll hear more of them.

  5. Like the others commented, I enjoyed the intrigue as well. Thanks for the terrific poetic elements as well.

  6. Very romantic but I want to know more about these characters and the intrigue.

  7. I need to know more about these characters! You really drew me in. :)

  8. January 21st, 2013

    Dear Sally,

    I love this story/poem! Your writing is superb. You build up the setting - a New Year's party - and show us these intriguing characters. So romantic! So mysterious! And a little dangerous! Please say that there is more to this story!? Are you inspired by real people or have you just dipped into this time period and pulled out these people because they seem to fit the time and place? Well done!

    Great characterization! Wonderful setting! So much is implied rather than said outright.

    I'm impressed.

    Thank you for visiting my story about a romance made in Heaven. Actually, I came up with the manuscript title, Shyness is a Burden before I wrote the story for RFW. The title of Nils Frej's novel, came to me when I was thinking about something that my father had told me toward the end of his life; about being bashful. He was a very shy man who found happiness in his family. But I think about the many shy men and women who never marry the right people or get ahead in their careers because they were basically afraid of taking the necessary steps. Remembering some of your other beautiful stories that you have written for RFW, I think you may understand what I mean.

    Nils Frej has not written his novel. If it is to be written, I am the one to do it. All I know is that it is a sad story about isolation and overcoming fear.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Best wishes & hugs,

  9. What will be will be -- but it promises to be something mysterious and romantic: the greatest of teams. :-) Great job. Thank you for visiting my entry, Roland

  10.'re gifted with an alluring prose, well done ;)


  11. I've not seen a romance written this way, I liked it. And I agree with the others who have said, when is part 2?


  12. Oh, to be in love again...and with a secret agent at that! (:
    I can see this turning into a novel, like I do with so many of your pieces. Wonderfully written, Sally. And I agree with other as well, when is part 2? (=

  13. Very nice flow to the poem, I liked it a lot. But you leave us with a lot of questions! I hope Tommy's intentions are good... and is the Official Secrets Act a cover story?? Very intriguing, Sally!

  14. Elegantly narrative style, the characters held my interest right from the start, why did she live with her cousin Andy? Liked that you leave the reader to speculate on this and many more issues. Well done.