January 21, 2011

A Message and a Post - From Ryan

[... posted by Ryan]

Well everyone. We've gained a third contributor. His name is Will, referred to us by Ted. I hope everyone enjoys his stuff. Also, I'm working on several short stories and novels at the same time so I'm going to be posting little bits of them from time to time and in between I'll update with poems or short stories I've already finished. The one I'm updating with today is my attempt at a romance. I don't know how polished it is, I just know that I can't stand writing romances. It was a practice at my strength of being a writer though.

His age shows on his face; in the wrinkles that form the wavy lines above his worn brow. The chalk dust on his hands and face only serve to add more age to his to his already ghost like appearance. He still uses chalk and ebony boards to teach his students the way of the world. In class he tells everyone that the ebony board is more personal than the power point slide; chalk and erasers can't hide their flaws behind digital make-up. The worn brown patches on the elbows of each shirt and blazer he wears are a tell tale sign of his commitment to his students; staying up late each night to scan just "one more" essay, just "one more" response.

His father grew up during the civil rights movement and used to tell stories about how he saw Dr. King speak at the Washington Monument. These stories of his father's past were the teacher's favorites. He always asked his father for one more story, one more moral.

When he went off to college his favorite authors turned out to be revolutionaries. Not just Dr. King but Voltaire, Henry David Thoreau and Whitman as well. His favorite thing to say in class was "those who could stand up before their nation, their peers and before the ones they loved and declare what they believed in was right for all people, and they were willing to fight for the benefit of all people, then they were truly the heroes of their times." When the teacher was the student he still lead the class and offered them up the ways of the world and the ways of honor and respect amongst the world. His teacher's became his peers and out loud before the end of each semester he would say "just one more. Just one more soliloquy of pride and love and the feelings that were lost long ago. Just one more kiss between lips and one more under budget staging of Troilus and Cressida… Just one more anything so I feel like I haven't missed out."

When the teacher started dating and looking for someone to spend the rest of his tomorrows with he spoke within his head "no more, even though I'm willing to go for just one more." He had almost given up hope until one day in the library. He bumped right into her while he was staring off into the science fiction section, fantasizing of futuristic knights defending their home front's, getting the girl and winning the honor of knowing they had fought and won for their country, for their planet and for their home. When he bumped into her he immediately noticed the way her eyes glistened a shade of green he had never seen before. It was a pure color that attracted him to her eyes, but it was the smell that made him realize she was the one. It was vanilla; real vanilla, not the scent of white chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but real vanilla. It was emanating from her hair, the prettiest shade of blonde and red, he could see her telling people that "the color isn't on a hair dye box, so it isn't a true hair color." Her hair color didn't matter to him. After bumping into the combination of the wonderful smell, her beauty and his hearts beating he couldn't think of anything else to say aside from the reflex of "excuse me. I'm so sorry."

He had ruined it; his first impression on the one he thought to be his true love. He walked away a sad and disappointed man, all the way to the Heinlein section before realizing his mistake. Almost to the Philip K. Dick section before her smell moved like fate through the shelves and aisles and right before he could turn and run back to her he notices Neil Gaiman's American God's and remembers the love Shadow had for his wife, even in her death and he walks back to her. The beautiful girl with the blue eyes, she smelled like vanilla he kept saying in his mind. 

His run back to her felt like a thousand steps, a day's run across an empty field where the only thing he could see was her beautiful face. She stared down into her selection of romance novels and she couldn't decide between a novel by Linda Howard and a novel from Helen Parramore. The teacher had read both selections and recommended the Howard novel, not because he liked it, but because a respected colleague had told him of the books themes, the love story and the adventure. Her reply was more of a physical reaction than one of words; she looked up into his brown eyes and stared. The moment was not lost to them and as they peered into each other's eyes they could only wonder what the other was thinking and as the red began to show on her face he introduced himself. Her response was just as wanting as she said "My name is Elizabeth." That was all she said. 

He wondered for a moment. How could this beautiful woman not see the beauty I see in her, or sense the longing I have for her now? He picked up a romance novel, and at this point he couldn't even sense the title, only that it had an "Oprah's Book of the Month" club sticker on it. He stared at his reflection in the luminescent and golden sticker and told himself that this was one of those moments where he couldn't show that he was fearful, that all his past ten minutes of staring into space and remembering characters in books was for her. He built up his courage and with one last exasperating breath he said "Do you like coffee?" 

The look in her eyes was a look he thought he said seen often enough. He thought this was the moment where he should take the hint, excuse himself and walk away and just as he began to walk away she said "Oh I'd love to get some with you." This was said in a high pitched voice, much higher than when she had said her name and from this the Teacher could tell she was as excited as he. "I brew my own and I only live a few blocks away. I would love to walk you back to my apartment for some drinks. The sky outside is getting dark but I did bring my magical umbrella so I can protect us both from the rain or any creature that may be lurking in the night." A smile grew across her face as she stared happily into the Teacher's eyes, piercing into his soul. He could feel her searching around inside his heart, attempting to discover his intentions. They are true his mind finally said and at once she stood, said "let's check out and go my Noble knight."


But this was my attempt at a short romantic story. It actually branched off into a compilation of even further romantic short stories that I'd like to compile into one. But they definitely work better as separate short stories. Enjoy!

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