Aine looks stunning as usual. I spot them through the knot of suitors my father has picked out for me to choose from. I think the whole ‘marrying off your daughter’ thing is archaic, both he and Aine know it.
Aine joins me as I awkwardly watch the crowd, so I am happily relieved when they ask me to dance.
They lean in close to whisper carefully, “Run away with me Zahli.”
My breath catches, but my smile is wide. “Of course, yes!”
Aiene brushes a tender kiss to my cheek before taking my hand to lead me from the hall.
This was written for the 2020 Hindsight project with the February prompt to re-write January’s 1000 word piece in 100 words 🙂
Sometimes I wonder What I would say To my younger self
I could lie But What is false hope From a face Just recognisable But not quite my own
I wonder If just maybe I could help her Find me Earlier
I am much better now Not much more But enough
And better Could be enough For her to hope
I wonder Though If I told her then What I become That I would not Become me At all
I would erase All that I could become All that should be Just to help her
Should better be enough For now I wonder And Is that same better Enough for later Too
Will I soon ponder This same question Again Will I deliberate On whether much better Would be enough For Me to hope Too
Will I meet them Now To unravel a future I should not yet know
I wonder Then Could I rely Time and time again On knowing better Can be better still
Could that be hope?
For now For then For later Too
Written for this weeks YeahWrite Fiction | Poetry grid, I have played around with the optional technique available based on a poem by William Carlos Williams. It was interesting playing around with that form, I am happy enough with what happened though…
The dress I’m wearing is far too tight in all the wrong places. I’m short and broad, with very little waist. This does not do well in ladies’ high fashion these days. You would have thought that the earth colonies wouldn’t have reverted back to the clothing of the 1800’s yet here we are.
The hall has been fitted out to mirror that of an old earth regency dance hall. The pale wallpaper stretches neatly to the ceiling from which hangs a delicate chandelier. Flowers hang in pots at each point where wallpaper meets the stone of each pillar.
It would be almost believable, if it weren’t for the glass ceiling which stretched out above us. A glass ceiling looking out into space. The darkness beyond was spotted with stars and distant planets, all surrounded by swirling galaxies of rubble and space dust.
I am always happy to have a party, especially one with an intergalactic guest list such as this. There is just one problem. As the eldest daughter of the leader of this galaxy sector, I am expected to marry outside of our sector to a wealthy suitor et cetera, et cetera. Soon too, but that is the last thing on my to do list (if it is there at all). The need for young women to marry well, or to marry at all is archaic. Quite literally.
I consider running (always a suitable option), but I haven’t even had a drink yet, or a dance. That’s when I spot Aine [AWN-ya] through the crowd and all thoughts of running disappear instantly.
Aine looks stunning, as usual. Their midnight blue suit looks like it has been sewn from the fabric of space itself, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. The Lakree have incredible talents when it comes to being a seamstress. I notice the swirling galaxy over their heart is the same deep purple of their eyes. Clever, I can’t help but think.
My own dress is a deep red. No stars or galaxies here, but the trimming does shimmer. Thanks to Aine, of course. They sewed the trimming on for me. I’d been rifling through their box of offcuts and took a fancy to the pearly trim. It is much too extravagant, even for the daughter of a sector leader, but Aine insisted.
We stand off to the side of the party, near the refreshments table. The table itself runs along one side of the grand ball room. Even the usually plain wooden floors manage to look impressive amongst the beautifully dressed people and candle lit walls.
Beside me, Aine is scanning the room, and there is no doubt in my mind of what for. Their gaze flits around the crowded room, but they never actually move from their position next to me.
“Can’t you relax?” I don’t mean for my words to sound so harsh. It is usually me acting like this in crowds, and I immediately regret all the times I have done so.
“I am relaxed.” The obvious lie seems to roll easily off their tongue.
“You’re looking for someone…”
“Almost.” Aine replies in a tone that clearly says, ‘I’m plotting something’. “I’m scouting out the quality of possible partners for you.”
I can’t help but sigh. Knew it. “My dad put you up to this didn’t he?”
“Sure did,” Aine smiles apologetically. “This is just for show though.” They then whisper, gesturing to their eyes with the hand not holding the delicate glass of champagne.
“Oh?” I know it sounds stupid, but the sound is out off my mouth before I can stop it.
“I have a different plan, if you’ll come with me.” Aine’s smile brightens the already well lit room. When they look at me it is as if the room just slips away.
“There are plenty of handsome men who have noticed you.” Aine continues, though I can tell, now at least, that they haven’t really been looking.
I play along. “Don’t lie to me!” I gasp dramatically. “They’re all looking at you.” And I don’t blame them. Aine is stunning, and much more graceful than any human could be.
Aine rolls their eyes. “Slander,” they joke, a small chuckle leaving their lips.
I smile, and taking a sip of my champagne I gaze around the room.
“Dance with me.” Aine asks. Calmly, as though it is the easiest thing in the world.
I splutter a yes as they lead me to the centre of the dance floor. Once my steps are synced with Aine’s I can’t help but feel like I’m just as graceful as they are. We spin in time with the music, weaving in and out of the other dancers with practiced ease.
Aine draws me closer in time with the beat to whisper, “I thought it would be easier to talk like this.” They spin me out and pull me back in close.
“Uh huh.” I deadpan, not quite following.
“When you dance with someone you make your own world. No one will hear us talk here.”
“I see.” Classic Aine, I smile.
“Zahli,” Aine begins, they miss a step, stumbling slightly but I steady them easily and lead us on.
“Yes?” This must be big, I think, Aine is usually so collected.
“I want to ask you to run away with me.”
My breath catches in my throat.
“Tonight, I brought my own space-craft, we can leave right now if you want to.” Aine watches me carefully, her deep purple eyes never leaving my own.
“Is that you asking me?” I smile wide, my chest feeling lighter than it has in months.
“Is that you saying yes?” They mirror my question, a knowing smile on their face.
“If you’re asking, then yes, more than anything else in the world, yes!”
“In that case,” Aine pulls me in to brush a light kiss to my cheek, “I am asking.”
Aine takes my hand again as the song finishes and we run from the crowded dance hall to a realm of endless possibilities.
Gazing at that necklace just to take it as your own
I pondered while walking if to stop you
Here I am
You must stop or be stopped
Forgive me you will now be incinerated
Written for this weeks YeahWrite Fiction | Poetry grid with the prompt ‘The main character (MC) sees someone about to commit a minor crime. Do they use their superpower or not?‘ and an optional technique to use based on a poem by William Carlos Williams. I attempted the technique but extended it a little for my story…
As soon as I heard that another film adaptation was being made of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women I was both overjoyed and a little apprehensive. I have loved the novel since I was a teen, and with that much love for a story, a film adaptation will be held within high expectations.
I needn’t have worried.
I left the cinema having gone through an entire packet of tissues, but for me that was inevitable. This adaptation of Little Women was beautiful. I was absolutely enchanted by the scenery and sets, each shot carefully crafted to show the point in Jo’s timeline that we following at the time. In saying this, it took a little while for me to follow the jumps in time, but not enough that it took away from my viewing and understanding of the film.
I was very happy with the casting. The character of Jo is such an important one for me and I think Saoirse Ronan fit perfectly in the role. The same goes for most of the rest of the casting, there was something strange to me about Timothée Chalamet in the role of Laurie. While I think he did do a wonderful job, there was something that I feel didn’t quite work. It felt to me like he gave the character a lot more life for the scenes set back when Laurie and the sisters were all much younger, within the scenes set further into the future there felt as if there was something missing.
I remember realising though, on my walk home from the cinema, that my perception of Chalamet’s Laurie was probably clouded by my love of Jo’s character and the idea of her as a free spirit. I feel like this idea negates my previous points somewhat, so I’ll have to do a re-read of the novel, as well as watch some of the other adaptations again to see whether it might be a different understanding of both Jo and Laurie’s characters to how I previously viewed them. I have a feeling this may have contributed to the way I saw Chalamet’s Laurie*.
My favourite thing about this film (as with other adaptations and the book), is the relationship between the four sisters. As someone with sisters myself, I know the feeling of feeling completely infuriated with them one minute, then loving them the next. It is always wonderful to see, and with the casting of the March sisters for this adaptation the sibling chemistry of both love and rivalry was tangible.
This film’s original score was beautiful. I have been listening to it nearly non-stop since I left the cinema. I can’t comment technically on the music itself, but to me it fit beautifully with the characters and the scenes they were in. It made the film a delight to watch, and really brought a lot to the more emotional scenes of the film.
Overall this adaptation of Little Women was a beautiful film which seemed to have been put together with a lot of care. It had a huge amount of heart, and was a true tribute to a story about family, love, and finding yourself in a world which isn’t quite ready for you yet.
*Watch this space, (if you’re interested that is), I have a feeling I will talk back to this idea in another post.