Thursday, 18 February 2021




Here we go again. #WEP 2021 begins with the first of our arty prompts - The Kiss! Get on board! Sign up on this post on February 17.



Tantalising, teasing, tormenting, the agony of waiting

He dipped his head slightly

She extended her neck,

Losing herself in his green eyes

The wait was excruciating …..


‘CUT! CUT! CUT!  What on earth are you two doing.  If I wanted slo-mo I would use the camera.  I said ‘hesitant’ not waiting for the apocalypse.  Esme, you should learn how to take direction.  As for you Marty, you are the more experienced actor, you should know better.  

Oh, not the waterworks, Esme. Give me breath!’

With a big sigh, heard throughout the set, Adrian called a ten-minute break.  Esmé walked off the set, trying not to scurry, keeping her head high before the tears began to fall unbidden down her cheeks.

She found a bench to sit on, started breathing slowly and deeply, eyes closed, fingertips touching each other, trying to ground herself and find her balance again.

‘We can’t have this, ducks, now can we?’  Nico sat beside her, his make-up brushes in his case, ready to touch up the beautiful, although rather tearful and sad face, before him.

‘Don’t take it so much to heart sweetness, his bark is worse than his bite.  You have that indefinable quality that can’t be taught, when you see it through the eye of the camera – the box office will go crazy with this film.’

‘Oh, Nico, I’m not sure I can do this.  I look into his emerald eyes and lose myself.  I think I have a major crush on the leading man.  How can I act as his love interest when I think I may be falling for him?’

‘I can’t answer that, ducks, just go with the flow.  You’ve got this.  Now, let me just repair the damage you’ve done.’

Nico smiled encouragingly at Esmé, receiving a brave, watery smile back.


Marty followed Esmé but stopped when she sat on the bench.  He peered round a marble column and saw Nico sit down next to her.  He wasn't really eavesdropping, he just wanted to make sure she was alright.  Esmé was so naïve, she exuded an innocent quality that he hoped she wouldn’t lose as she made her way in the cut throat industry of acting.  Little hope of that in this day and age.   He agreed with Nico, she had that indefinable star quality about her.  Knowing she was in good hands he made his way back to the refreshment table.

Adrian poured himself a strong, black coffee.  For the love of all that was holy, he needed the caffeine intake.  He knew directing a newbie would be difficult but she had to toughen up if she was going to get anywhere.   He knew star quality when he saw it and the sparks that flew between the leading man and the leading lady could lead to sequels, if they didn’t spoil it by doing something stupid and falling in love with each other.

Several months later, Adrian almost threw his laptop across the room but contained himself just in time.  That’s all he needed to read in the gossip columns.  Esmé and Marty had, apparently, fallen in love on the set of his new film, which by-the-way, was a box office hit.  Now though, a sequel was due to be made but with the leading man and lady ‘in love’ or more than likely ‘in lust’ he wasn’t sure how to go about directing them.  They probably wouldn’t listen to him anyway, couples never did.  He couldn’t see it lasting, they had too much going against them.

The following year the sequel was another box office hit – it became a rush job when Esmé’s pregnancy began to show.  The large, sparkling diamond on her finger offered a promise that didn’t come to fruition.  Marty became a troubled soul, sinking into depression not helped by drugs and alcohol.  Esmé tried to get him help. In the end she let him go, to preserve her dignity and the health of her baby, she fled home to her family.

She remembered that first kiss, locked it away in her heart and brought her daughter up in the small English village, happy in their seclusion from the big, bad world of hype and failed hopes.  Eventually she found true love – the schoolfriend who had waited for her all these years. 







He looked so handsome, suave and sophisticated, diplomatic and brave

Her heart skipped several beats; her tummy somersaulted as she smelt his aftershave

He espied her, smiled, stepped forward, catching her eye, she was frozen, a statue

Forgotten feelings, emotions assailed her, as she recognised Andrew.


He took her hand, pulled her into his body, cheek against cheek

She remembered, she felt, she forgave, felt free, felt so weak

There was nothing she could do as she returned his tight embrace

She whispered to him, her voice filled with love, lightness and grace.


The steps came back to her automatically as he held her firmly

His hand in the middle of her back, fingers splayed lightly

She turned her head, first this way and then opposite

Bubbling tentacles of joy reaching up from her heart


He guided her gently towards the open French doors

The strains of the orchestra dimming as they left the dance floor

The moonlight sparkled over the veranda traversing the lake

They stopped, caught their breath, did a double take


She started to say something he hushed her with his finger tips

The lightest of touches, brushing her scarlet painted lips

She gazed into his bright blue eyes, crinkling at the edges

Again, she inhaled his cologne, a sexy, masculine fragrance


Their lips joined, melded together, sweet like nectar

He’d waited so long to taste her, wanted to savour

This moment in time was theirs alone

He held her tight, releasing a guttural groan.



Word count:  970




  1. Fame is not something I've ever wanted or chased - can't imagine how difficult that life is!

  2. It's a beautiful story. But I really loved the poem! Well done. A director uses the emotions of his stars to tell a story. I couldn't do it, wouldn't want to. Talk about being stripped bare!

  3. Hi Sally - I really enjoyed both ... her leading lady life, then her escape to normality ... so pleased she met her childhood sweetheart. Ideal ... delightful - thank you - Hilary

  4. Loved the director's voice. You made me laugh out loud at his apocalypse comment.

  5. Eśme mesmerized me. Her tears, naivety, protecting dignity. Adrian's authoritarian nature suited and fitted the situation perfectly. Marty was really small. Nico was truly strong.
    The poem is sweet, too.

  6. Yeah, entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart. One needs nerves of steel and a very thick skin to succeed in it.
    Beautiful poem too.

  7. Very nice and, I think, rather realistic.
    In my brief stage "career," I once auditioned for a part where I had to kiss the actor who was auditioning. My face went beet red. The director said "if you don't kiss him, I will." I figured that Steve would probably prefer that Tony didn't kiss him, but who can say? I'm sure the kiss I gave him was the unsexiest kiss he ever received. I smashed my face against his and gave a quick smack.
    I didn't get the role, and I wasn't surprised.
    I was definitely not cut out for romantic scenes.

    1. Haha, at least he may have got a story to tell.

  8. Yeah, showbiz isn't for everyone. Esme didn't stand much chance, poor soul. Glad she could go back to family and find true love with her dignity intact.
    Nice take on the prompt. And nice to see a poem entry.

  9. Fun read. So glad I didn't pursue acting. My drama teacher wanted me to but I was so shy. We hear and read about these 'Hollywood' stories so much. Love, divorce, addiction. Glad your character pulled through.

  10. I love how you explore the action from each POV. Shows how our expectations are so different. I'm glad Esme turned her back on that artificial life and lived her life her way. A heartwarming story as always Sally. Thanks for pushing forward and publishing this for WEP's THE KISS.

  11. Aww. Couldn't let them have it, not a pair of actors. I am glad she had someone more healthy waiting for her at home. Maybe she wasn't cut out for the starlet life.

  12. I enjoyed both the story and the poem. I liked that Esme had her whirlwind Hollywood romance but then ending up settling down with the "boy next door". Sometimes we dream of fame and drama but what we really need is quiet simplicity. I thought you captured the different characters POVs really well, and the characters felt realistic.

  13. This short story contains so much! I can see how people fall in love while acting. I'm glad she and her daughter ultimately found happiness away from the spotlight. Hollywood seems alluring, but the price of fame is often too high.

  14. An interesting twist - glad she came to a happy conclusion, even if Marty didn't.

    And I'm always in awe of poems :)

  15. I enjoyed the layers of this story, the movie scene, the failed off-screen romance, and the reality of finding love outside of fame. The poem is intense and honest. Nicely done.

  16. As you highlighted, the difficulty of actors to kiss cannot be easy. We are so used to expecting them to 'be professional' but it takes some doing to portray emotion and yet stay grounded in reality. I'm not surprised Esme and Marty got carried away. Thoughtful story. I wish it could have lasted.