Skip to main content

Cupid Painted Blind

Michael toed the fresh snow with his shoe, revealing the frozen black slush left from a week old storm. He pulled his jacket collar up over his bare neck and tried to look at nothing in particular.

Trying desperately to keep the coral rose in his left hand from sight, he carried on, continuing his way down the street along the uneven, un-shoveled sidewalk. He left a dissipating trail of breath behind him as well as a long line of footprints in the snow. Every step brought him closer and closer to her house and further and further away from contentment.

Shifting his grip on the flower, he caught a thorn on his index finger, drawing blood. The blood crept down, past his fingernail, the moisture inviting the cold to bite his finger. Such a bite as to cause Michael to wonder whose idea it was to give spring flowers to lovers in the middle of winter. It made little sense to him, but custom dictated his gift.

Well, he thought, perhaps not so much custom as the inevitable smile that it would bring her.

As he rounded the corner, his thoughts turned from flowers to fear: her boyfriend’s car was still in her driveway.

“Shit,” he told himself and tried to find a hidden purchase behind a gnarled maple tree, naked and asleep for the winter. Peeking out from behind the trunk he could see the exhaust billowing from the tailpipe, the car was running. Was he leaving or just arriving? Even though his hands were stiff and hard to use in the cold, he checked the last text message he’d gotten from her. “Valentines Lunch? 1:30?”

“Absolutely,” he’d replied.

“Good answer,” she’d shot back.

He checked the time on his phone and discovered that he was ten minutes early.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t explain being there, he and Sarah had been friends for years. It was the flower that he’d find hard to explain. He imagined himself strolling up to Luke and saying, “Hey. How’s it going? You heading back to work?”

“Yeah,” he’d reply. “I just stopped in to see Sarah for lunch.”

“That’s too bad. I don’t know if you know this, but we’re dating behind your back and I'm taking her to lunch. See? Here’s the flower I’m bringing her for Valentines Day.” Michael then imagined himself withdrawing a book from his coat pocket, “And this is my present for her. It’s a book of poetry and it’s beautiful and full of all the romance she lacks living with a putz like you. I’ve even personalized it with a love letter on the copyright page.”

And then he’d haul off and punch me in the face, Michael thought.

He smirked to himself, wondering if he’d ever have the brash arrogance to do something so definitive in his relationship with Sarah. The sound of a car door slamming shut roused him from his daydream.

The rest of this story is available in the collection "Cupid Painted Blind" available on Amazon for the Kindle.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for helping us keep short stories alive.

Terry Finley

http://terryrfinley.bravehost.com/
Juliette Tang said…
It's great seeing the work of other people in the short story community.

-Juliette Tang

http://myopictopics.blogspot.com
Me, Amplified said…
i think i hate duke (yea, yea, i know his name is luke).
that was really good, i could see everything as i read. and i loved the characters, they were so real!
bravo

Popular posts from this blog

Anatomy of a Scene - City Lights

We're going to break down another scene this week, and it's one of my favorites in cinema history. It comes from the ending of City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, which I think is the greatest romantic comedy ever made. 
It's a touching film from 1931 and I would make it mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to learn to tell a story.
The scene we're going to be breaking down comes from the very end of the film, so if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you. Go watch the film. You can rent it for $3.99 in HD on Amazon or for free on Hulu with a free trial or plus subscription. You should just buy the Blu-ray, though. You're going to want to revisit it.
For those of you familiar with the movie, or for those of you who are going to ignore my pleas to watch it and go ahead with this post anyway, I'm going to set this clip up a bit before you watch it.
City Lights tells the story of Chaplin's Tramp and how he falls in love with a blind flower …

Anatomy of a Scene: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid might be one of the most meticulously well-written movies ever made.  William Goldman scripts are almost always something special. He's a master of creating something that's interesting, every scene has a kinetic energy to it that keeps you moving. He's a talented prose novelist as well. His novel of The Princess Bride might be even better than the screenplay and the film.

But today I want to talk about a scene in particular for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:



This scene comes early in the movie and we're still working to understand the relationship between Butch and Sundance, as well as Butch and his gang.

Goldman does something amazing as he's able to mix humor, character building, excitement, suspense, and an advancement of the story into the scene. There are so many building blocks at play here, and because the scene is so entertaining we hardly notice.

And the dialogue is so sharp I can't even stand it.

One of the mos…

Anatomy of a Scene: The Third Man

It's time again to break down a classic scene. One that's well-written and, in my view, a fine example of excellent craft.

I've done some of these articles from books (like The End of the Affairand Starship Troopers) and other movies (like Citizen Kane, City Lights, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), but now it's time to take a look at a scene from The Third Man. It blends the best of Orson Welles (as he's in the film and drives this scene) and Graham Greene, who wrote this particular screenplay.

Before we get to the scene, we need some context.

The Third Man is a tale of the black market in Vienna, just after World War II. It's about a cheap, dime-store Western novelist named Holly Martins (played by Joseph Cotton) and his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles.) Lime offered Martins a job in Vienna, so Martins leaves America and arrives, only to find that Harry Lime is dead. Penniless, without a friend or reason to be in the country, h…