Friday, 18 May 2012

That Special Someone

At first, like everyone who's been before, you succumb to her. You don't quite know how she does it, but there is something about her that makes you feel special,  needed, central to her concerns. Perhaps it is the softness of her speech that soothes your soul. Or the tilt of her head as she listens intently to your every word. Or is it the sincerity of her response to you - the way she makes you feel she's always on your side, the two of you against the world?

Other people, older and wiser than you, warn against her wiles. They point out the ways she has misled them in the past. They tell you tales of  broken promises, of roads to heaven paved with wilful deceptions. The lies built on so many lies that  truth is a long forgotten concept, buried deep beneath the ground. But you don't believe them. You won't believe them. How could you imagine that those wide brown eyes might be deceiving you? Or think her gentle voice is really full of guile?

It is only when your paths begin to diverge that the doubt creeps in. The moment you express an alternative point of view you detect a hardening tone of voice, a narrowing of her eyes. For months she has had you wrapped up warmly safe from bitterness and cold, but now you begin to sense a chill is in the air. Still you won't admit your fault. You don't want to admit your fault. Till even you begin to catch the faint criticism lingering behind her words of praise and your faith begins to weaken, your eyes to open.

It takes the arrival of the neophyte for you to finally succumb. To allow the truth to rise from the depths where it has lain buried under so many lies and broken promises. Your fall from grace is as rapid as his ascendancy, as the favours that were once bestowed on you are suddenly granted elsewhere. You try to warn him, but he doesn't listen. You tell him everything, but he doesn't believe you. He won't believe you. How could those wide brown eyes be decieving him, that beguiling voice be misleading him?

There is nothing you can do, except to join the others, older and wiser than you. They warned you once and  though you did not heed their warning they welcome you into their ranks. All you can do is watch and wait for paths to diverge, faith to weaken, eyes to open wide.


Larry Kollar said...

We're helping a friend through a breakup… so this story is eerie in the way it mirrored our situation (where the guy was the liar).

Anonymous said...

No meter, no rhyme, no resonance. This prose is dull. Hackneyed and cliched. The sermon barely disguised as story. This "neophyte" work deserves to lay "buried deep below the ground". Feminine beauty and by extension femininity are here extolled as sinister virtues somehow incompatible with the truth. Does the author have an axe to grind? I am sure she will go on to much better things. My advice? Look at the sentence structure. Appeal to all senses and avoid prentensious prose. There are many excellent writers workshops out there. Get on one. You will find it an illuminating experience. Good luck.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Dear Anonymous,

Sorry you didn't like it, but I'd respect your comments more if you'd actually told me your real name or shared your writing credentials. #Fridayflash is an experimental community and we play around with words/ideas etc.Sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn't. This clearly wasn't one of your favourites, which is fine by me.

However, you have read a whole lot of things into this piece which were not the intention. I'm not talking about beauty or femininity I'm talking about manipulation. And in fact, although Larry felt it reflected a male/female break up, I was actually considering a manipulative person in a powerful position who controlled the workforce until they saw through them (hence use of the word "neophyte"). You're absolutely entitled to your interpretation, but it wasn't what I wrote, so I'd suggest your reflection says more about you then the writing.

A word of advice to you, if you offer criticism please do it openly and supportively. That's what most responsible writers/readers do. That's what the #fridayflash community is about and celebrates. It's easy enough to rip something to shreds but far more more constructive (and useful to the writer) to say - this didn't work for me because...

I'm sorry this piece didn't work for you - did it not cross your mind that the words are deliberately ordinary and that I am attempting at least to play with them. I'm quite happy to see that it could read as bad prose, and you're entitled to your opinion. I'd like to see some of your prose before I judge whether your opinion is worth having.

For the record, I have attended as many writing courses as I'm going to, and my writing record speaks for itself. So thanks for the patronising advice, but I'm doing just fine.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Dear Larry,

Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it and it made you think of your friend's situation (& that the gender didn't matter). As I've said to Anonymous I wasn't thinking romance so much, though I can see the title (thought up late in the night!) might lead you to see it that way.

I was thinking generally of several manipulative characters I've met professionally and how they control and divide the workforce. Clearly not quite there yet, but as I say #fridayflash is experimental, and sometimes you have to just get the writing out there!

Sulci Collective said...

The strange sensation I got the further I read this, was that it wasn't romance, it wasn't work power battles, but it was Lucifer bemoaning the appearance of Man or Jesus as the new favourite and it traced his increasing bitterness at the perception of being shunted aside. It reminded me of Milton, though not the language of course.

Marc Nash

John Wiswell said...

At first I thought she was some succubus, though that's far from your usual work, Virginia. By the end I simply thought she was ambition.

Chuck Allen said...

I liked the way the ending wrapped back to the beginning showing the cycle in its entirety.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Eventually she'll fall too - liars like this always do. Or so I hope.

Wonderful piece.