I’ve done a quick word count, and my total number of words for the thirty stories I’ve written for Like The Prose this June is 58, 451 – that’s not including any other stories I’ve written as entries for competitions or in response to other people’s prompts.
Today, for the first time, I feel exhausted – which could be one reason why today’s piece is the shortest in the competition at only 384 words. It’s not the greatest piece of writing – the title and the last line are the only bits I’m truly happy with; but the germ of an idea is there and maybe, one day, I’ll go back to it and wrestle it into something I like better.
What’s really important is that I stuck with it, writing something every day, whether or not it was my preferred genre or something I knew. It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and it’s also taught me to look at different styles of writing and dare to experiment. For that, I am grateful.
Meet Me In The Gap Between The Words
You said you would take the blank, white canvas of my heart – and create. A song spilled from your pen, weaving words into a tapestry of vibrant colour, creating a world in which we were the only two. Margins of reality ran down the page of your imagination, ruled by the constrictions of everyday life, but you and I were doodles of defiance and we spattered our joy across the universe we had found together.
For a long time, your words danced across our lives in a whirling bacchanalia. We were caught up in the heady feeling of togetherness, the giddy laughter, the drunken sensation of being inebriated with love. You twirled me in and out of fairy tales and sent me hurtling into space. Every love song ever written was one you had penned for me and the rhyming couplet of us lengthened into a sonnet as you covered us both with a cloak of clichés, hiding us from the outside world. That was then. That was the beginning.
Do all lovers love like this so that every day is Christmas and New Year’s Eve, every exchange a Rachmaninoff Concerto, passion rising to a crescendo of stormy emotion?
The pristine pages of our history yellow with age. Edges furl as our lives become well thumbed, sometimes ripped through carelessness. A tear stains my face; suspicion stains your heart. Words become distorted as they slide off the page and into reality. We hurl them like plates; twist them like knives. Who would have thought that love could be moulded and shaped into something sharp and destructive? Is your heart full of tears (to rhyme with fears), or tears (to rhyme with cares)?
I set fire to my angry words, the incandescence of my rejection flaming into a blaze of hurt. Its smoke spirals upwards. Now, only bitter ashes remain. All my words are dust.
In the aftermath of grieving, in mourning all the lost phrases and paragraphs and the gut-wrenching feeling of finding that – sometimes – words are meaningless after all, hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of us.
And I will meet you in the gap between the words where the only thing that matters is the sound of my heartbeat next to yours.