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!
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