For Valentine’s Day my local writing group decided to do something a bit different and write about ‘Anything but Love’ on the night. The photo above was to be used as inspiration for writing with the caveat the piece could NOT be about love or romance.
The group produced some very humorous pieces as a result and as always it was intriguing to hear all the different pieces produced from the same starting point.
I produced a short piece of prose, which I’ve edited and added to for my Blog. At just under 720 words, I’m not sure if it falls under flash fiction or short story but either way it definitely isn’t romance.
Ivan tutted and shook his head at the couple locked in embrace on the beach, his beach. He perched on his warm car bonnet, arms crossed, watching them. He could barely make out their two separate forms; it was that dark and they were that entwined. It was only thanks to the sun setting behind them that he had been able to discern the lovesick couple.
If he really pushed himself, Ivan could perhaps understand how the scene was romantic to others but not to him. This was his special place but not for ‘that’.
He looked at his watch, pressing the button on the side to light up its face. He frowned and gritted his teeth. When were they going to move on? He had plans, far more important than what they were doing.
He looked back to the beach and fleetingly felt hope. He could no longer see the figures standing on the beach. Then in the dimness he saw them again and let out a huff of derision. They were no longer standing on the beach but they were still in the same spot, only now they were just a moving shadowy heap on the sand. Ivan looked up to the sky and swore.
He turned his back to the beach and was grateful for the sound of the waves drowning out all other noises. He paced up and down the car’s length before finally throwing himself into the driver’s seat. His feet jittered in the footwell and his fingertips angrily tapped against the edge of the steering wheel.
He was so furious, a vein throbbed in his forehead threatening to burst. However, Ivan knew anger would do him no good, it wouldn’t help him think. He closed his eyes, focused on his breathing, and tried to slow his pounding heartrate. Only two options came to mind, to wait it out or find another location.
The latter did not appeal to him in the slightest. This was his special place and no other could rival it. Even if he ditched sentimentality tonight, Ivan struggled to think of anywhere else that could cater to his needs. No, he would not leave. He would not be driven away by interlopers.
That left waiting, he wasn’t keen on that either but what other choice did he have? He leant back into his seat and stared at the diminishing sunset. Ivan tried to relax but every muscle felt bunched up tight. He reassured himself his plans would happen but just a little later.
He turned his attention to his surroundings, as they became darker, he become more hidden. That made him feel better. If the couple were to look up on the slope now, they wouldn’t be able to make out his car. Once they were finally finished, he was sure they would walk the trail heading away from him. Since there were no other cars around, the couple must have come from the local B&B further along the coast. He just had to wait until they went back there. It couldn’t be long now, the tide would be making it’s way in. They’d be soaked if they stayed there much longer.
Ivan looked at the glow-in-the-dark digits of the clock set in the dashboard then peered out towards the beach once more. The sun had disappeared and now moonlight flooded the beach, casting milky glow and lengthening shadows. At first Ivan couldn’t spot them but when he scanned the beach thoroughly, he did. He slammed his hands down on the wheel, palms stinging at the force. He couldn’t believe it. He could see the couple had moved further inland and were reclined on the large rocks that bordered the beach. He was sure he could make out the white wisp of a cigarette.
Ivan could almost imagine smoke coming out his own ears. Not only had they invaded his special place, desecrating it with their fornicating, but now they were impeding him from his important duties by refusing to leave. He inhaled deeply then stepped out of the car, not caring as the gravel crunched loudly beneath his soles. Maybe he should just add two more bodies to the one in his boot. A triple sacrifice to the seas. Didn’t they say good things came in threes?