For me, the word count has always been my challenge. I tend to be wordy; however, I’m learning to edit out the stuff that isn’t necessary to the story. I think Twitter is teaching me this technique. Doing exercises like the one below do as well.
I recently stumbled on a site that challenged the writer to use the line, “They say love is blind” as the first sentence of a 350 word count or less story. The result was 339 words. I am about to enter a short-short story contest of 1,000 words or less, so I took my love is blind theme and embellished it so that the word count is now 691. Here it is.
Love Is Blind
By Maribeth Shanley
They say love is blind.
I can tell you from personal experience that it is indeed blind and often devastating.
When I first saw Josh, fireworks flew. As our eyes met, my body tingled and my heart beat rapidly. I’m sure I must have blushed because the corners of his mouth shot up approvingly. He was outgoing, intelligent and gorgeous beyond description. His wavy hair was dark brown; and, he had lots of it. I am 5’7”, so his height of approximately 6’ seemed perfect. His physique was strong; and his voice was gentle, yet commanding all at once. I’ve always noticed a man’s hands. I can’t explain why, but I do; and his were beautiful. So, when we shook hands, I felt as if I was going to faint. I’m sure I blushed again; but, so did he which made me think the sparks were mutual.
I make a habit of never accepting blind date invitations. However, when my friends, Jim and Barb insisted, I agreed. I trusted their judgement.
Once I met Josh, I was delighted I had. The four of us sat on the veranda of a trendy yet popular restaurant. The evening was warm, while a light breeze gently tossed our hair. Josh and I spent the evening sitting next to each other, and, talk we did. We talked about everything: where we lived, our backgrounds, and, on and on. The night was magical. It didn’t end there.
When it was time to part, he asked for my number and also asked if I would have dinner with him the following Saturday. I, trying not to behave giddy, agreed to all and asked for his phone number as well.
He called me mid-week to set the time he would pick me up. He was very polite as he told me he was looking forward to our first official date, putting the emphasis on official. As we said good-bye, my mind asked the question, is this the one?
That following Saturday he rang the door-bell at exactly 8 p.m. Not wanting to appear too enthused, I took a few extra seconds to answer.
Sparks again, as I asked him in. We walked to the kitchen where I offered him a drink. As we touched hands in exchange of the glass, my legs buckled and he smiled approvingly. He told me I looked beautiful. Little did I know that he was reeling me in for the catch!
After a wonderful evening of dinner and dancing at a local club, we returned to my apartment. He came in and we sat on my sofa and talked more. Soon he moved closer and asked if he could kiss me. I blushed, nodded and, as he put his arms around me, I melted into them. He caressed my face and kissed me ever so gently. I spent the next half hour in his sweet embrace. We kissed and talked in between. I was hooked!
I can’t quite identify when the mood changed, but I soon found myself in a half prone position and backed up against the opposite end of the sofa. He had his hand on my leg and up my skirt. I felt panicked. I tried to push his hand away, but suddenly he became even more aggressive. His hand was now on my panties and he was trying to pull them off. I don’t know how I managed to free myself, but I was free and on the floor. The look on his face was that of surprise, yet, his eyes appeared to be glassed over and frightening.
I jumped up off the floor, ran to my door, opened it and commanded that he leave. He slowly walked over, eyes still glazed, and attempted to man-handle the door shut. As he pushed on the door, I swung the bat that was hidden just behind me. Now appearing panic stricken, he ducked but bolted. I was dumbfounded and exhausted, yet, grateful at the same time as I spent the rest of my evening kicking myself for having been so gullible. Never, ever again, will I accept a blind date invitation!