On Valentine’s Day I made an offer on my Twitter: drop me a GIF and I’ll write you a strange little love story.
I only had a few takers, but I sure had fun writing them! I’m saving them here for posterity, where they can all be enjoyed in one place.
‘Ouch, dammit!’ You’re walking down Main with one of your heels in your hand. It broke right off your favorite red boot, and now you’re hiking like a hobbled horse, trying to make your bus stop. Moments later in a huff of exhaust, the bus flies by you.
‘Noooooo!’ You throw the heel after the bus in a rage. A snicker from behind you makes you whirl around, and a handsome, muscular, bare-chested fellow is suddenly the victim of your ire. ‘What are you laughing at?’
He sobers. ‘Need a lift?’
You watch him warily. ‘You have a car?’
He shakes his head. His sneakers, running shorts, and ball cap are all adorned with little white wings. You’ve never seen that brand before.
He offers his hand. For some reason, you take it. Your heart hammers against your ribs and your fingers grow warm under his touch. ‘Don’t worry,’ he says. ‘I’ll get you where you need to go.’
The new upstairs neighbor is loud all day. Drums, piano, and some wind instrument you can’t identify through the floor. When evening falls at last you trudge up the stairs to confront whoever lives there now.
When she opens the door, all back-lit from the dim lamplight, hair and pale skin softly glowing, you introduce yourself. ‘Sorry to be a nuisance,’ you say. ‘I work nights, so daytime noise is hard for me.’
She steps back from the door, her silk robe slipping to reveal the soft curve of her neck and shoulder. If you had a pulse, it would be racing.
‘Why don’t you come in?’ She asks. ‘I’m sure we can solve this over tea.’
You run your tongue over impossibly sharp incisors. ‘Yes, of course. It’s so nice to be invited.’
She presses the point of her sword into the soft spot beneath your jaw. ‘Clever girl.’ If you hadn’t spent your whole life training to kill her, you’d…
But you can’t think that way. In a flash you whirl away and the dance begins again, steel flashing in the moonlight as your swords meet again and again. Who gets the upper hand changes each time the steps to the dance switch pace, until you can’t remember a time that it wasn’t you and her and the winking blades and the moon.
But you stumble and she bests you again, straddling your chest with the flat of her blade against your neck. Her face is so close you can smell the mint leaves she chews. You gasp against the steel and feel it bite your flesh, a trickle of blood collecting in the dip of your throat.
‘Surrender,’ she demands.
‘Kiss me,’ you groan.
You both acquiesce.
You don’t plan to start February 14th by becoming a Queen of Faerie.
As you’re leaving the cafe you frequent daily, a strange figure bumps you, spilling your mocha down your white blouse.
‘Apologies,’ it says, eyeing you hungrily.
Flustered, you blush. ‘None required.’
It smiles, showing sharp cheekbones and even sharper teeth. You hesitate.
‘A muffin for your trouble?’ It asks, drawing a pastry covered in berries and crumble from who-knows-where.
You, like a fool, take it.
‘What’s your name?’ it asks.
And you, like a fool, give it away.
What’s interesting to me in writing tiny stories and microfiction is the way you can work with ‘common’ knowledge and implications. To understand each of these meet-cutes, you need to understand a little about common tropes and SFF knowledge. To get to the depth of them, you’d need to know that Hermes is a god who protects travelers and wears wings on his hat and shoes. You’d need to know that vampires can’t enter an abode without an invite. You’d need to understand the trope of ‘enemies to lovers’ or know that you don’t eat Faerie food or ever EVER give them your name.
I had a ton of fun writing these. Let me know which was your favorite!