The prompt this week commemorates Dostoyevsky’s birthday and it took me a while to be inspired. I’m really finding that I get more creative the more restrictive the parameters (which actually aligns with modern research into how creativity works so isn’t that surprising, really).
This week’s elements were:
Short Story: Weak Heart
End of an Era
Mariana inhaled as she raised her hand to the doorbell, her heart fluttering in anticipation.
“Oh be quiet, you silly old fool,” she muttered toward her chest as footsteps approached.
The door opened, and there he was. Her tenant, Daniel, towered over her, blond and gorgeous. He’d clearly been exerting himself – no doubt last-minute cleaning for the inspection – and his muscular young body glistened beneath loose-fitting singlet and shorts. Blue eyes twinkled as he smiled at the old Greek woman.
“Mariana! Right on time as usual.” He leaned in to kiss her cheek and she swooned to his natural musk.
“Daniel,” she responded, forcing her voice not to waver, “always a pleasure!”
He invited her in and began the tour, pointing out where the tired paint was still fading and the tired walls still cracking. The unit was well-loved, despite its old, sun-bleached state. Mariana’s children kept insisting she should do the place up and double the rent, but she loved its old-fashioned charm – and she loved its current tenant, who could not afford a rise that high.
They got to the bathroom and she noticed some feminine touches: an extra toothbrush and pink razor resting on the vanity. Her heart skipped a beat.
“Daniel, you’re not sub-letting behind my back now, are you?” she admonished with a chuckle.
Daniel blushed. “My girlfriend stays here on the weekends,” he admitted sheepishly. “That’s not a problem, is it?”
She swallowed disappointment as her fantasy shattered. “Foolish woman!” she thought.
“Of course not, Daniel dear. I’m only teasing.”
The inspection finished and they exchanged their farewell pleasantries, although Daniel noted that Mariana seemed a little flatter than usual. As she got into her car she let out a wistful sigh.
Maybe her children had a point after all…