Haunting - Romantic Friday Writers' Blogfest

Ooooooo... All Hallow's Eve is coming... And, to celebrate, another blogfest:

"Romantic Friday Writers, a weekly on-going blogfest run by L'Aussie and Francine Howarth, has an open challenge to everyone to write a 400-word story or poem on the theme Haunting for Friday 28 October." If you'd like to participate, head over to the Romantic Friday Writers site.

Denise asked me to play, and the more I thought about Ayten and Devran, the quicker my resistance crumbled. So here she is from a scene early on in her novel, Verse, Venice and Viziers. She's waiting in a chapel of the church in her hometown; it's about an hour before her father's funeral begins. And we're in Devran's pov:

She had an elbow propped on a lectern, scribbling on a scrap of paper with the stub of a pencil. He coughed, to let her know he was there without startling her, but she jumped all the same, whirling round with a hand over her heart.

"Who were you expecting?" he asked.

She narrowed her eyes. "No one."

"I thought - the look on your face -"

"Who would seek me here? Except you, it would seem. Must you dog my every footstep?" She set down her pencil and curled the paper into a tight scroll.

"You of all people ought to know it's not safe to wander alone."

"I came with Rosa." She tucked the scroll into her sleeve and strode past into the church.

She hadn't changed her dress, he realised, but someone had lent her a black cloak to wear over all. Why hadn't he thought of it? But she never would have let him help.

Her firm footfalls resounded from column to column. Nothing hesitant about this girl. She'd decided he wasn't worth talking to, and would ignore him as if he'd never walked in.

But there had been fear in her face. He crossed himself, with a glance at the altar. I can't help it; I've got to follow her.

She sat in the first pew, her head bowed.

"Ayten. I apologise if I'm intruding." When she did not speak, he slipped in beside her. "I lost my mother two years ago. I know a little -"

"So do I." The snap had gone from her voice. "I was twelve when my mother died. Sometimes I can still hear her voice."

"Can you?"

"It grows more faint with each passing year." She fingered the scroll in her sleeve. "That's why I write to her."

"Do you now?" As gently as he could, he held a finger to her cheek and brushed aside a tear. "I'm sure she's reading over your shoulder. And now your father will, too."

I came in at 332 words. I might have kept going except that in the next line, Ayten and Devran are interrupted by others arriving at the church... It's funny - I keep sharing the moments where the two of them are connecting. Next time I might post an argument or two!


Linda G. said…
Oh, nice moment between the two of them! Thanks for sharing it. :)
Anonymous said…
Lovely. Absolutely.

This scene is very touching given her reason for for being there, and I love the way you draw reader attention to the scrolled up paper (?), which is obviously of great significance to her.

Her coolness toward Devran implies she fears exposure of feelings she prefers to remain hidden from him.
And, his gentle removal of her tear speaks volumes.

I don't know Devran as a long-term character or what his position is in the frame of things, but I'm getting vibes his thoughts about her are not always pure in innocence of friendship! ;)

Nicely written and atmospheric.

L'Aussie said…
Hi Deniz! Thank you so much for answering the call to play this Halloween! I really enjoy your characters and here we have very likable ones!

There was a nice touch of tension speckled throughout and I found the scene at the end when Devran touches her tear very endearing. A lovely haunting tale.

I'd like to read more of these characters and I'm sure we will be in for a treat!

Happy Halloween!

Andy said…
My first time visiting.

I really enjoyed reading this.
Great flow and conversation. I too liked the bit of romance in the ending.

Thanks for sharing.

This Unknown Spirit
Donna Hole said…
An argument can keep a romance going :)

These two are strong characters. I liked the idea of her mother reading over her shoulder.

Anna said…
Dear Deniz,
Nice to meet you! Thanks for sharing this lovely text. Your two characters are intriging. I would love to read more!

Best wishes,
Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 25 - 'Haunting'
N. R. Williams said…
Intriguing. You tell just enough to wet our appetite. Not sure if the girl will ever care for the boy who obviously has a thing for her. Well written.
Adura Ojo said…

Definitely spooky...mother reading over her shoulder. And the suggestion father might read too...
Madeleine said…
A sweet tale with a shared moment and a potential blossoming romantic relationship.
Leo said…
How beautiful, the romance and the haunting elements are both there, and both quite subtle and eloquent! Enjoyed this read!
Kiru Taye said…
This is my first time here. I enjoyed your snippet. It's a nice read and it got a bit haunting in the end when she talked about hearing her mother's voice.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Joshua!

Thank you for the detailed read Francine and Denise! I'm happy that you liked the characters - I'm writing their novel during NaNo!

Thank you Anday, Donna, Anna, Nancy, Adura, Madeleine, Leo,and Kiru. Looking forward to reading your tales!
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi, Deniz,

I really like this setting... In church, Ayten, wearing the same clothes, hinting some kind of tryst.

Great tension in the dialogue ... nicely done.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much Michael!

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