Thursday, 4 August 2011

'VOICES', Romantic Friday Writing Challenge No 13, Friday, 5th August 2011

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. For this week's theme for Friday the 5th of August, Challenge No.13, the theme is 'Voices'.

Here is my text:

Voices: A Tiny Voice

She could be washing the dishes or dusting the furniture, when suddenly she would hear that tiny voice. 'Lisa', it whispered. 'Was this the start of a hearing problem?' she thought to herself pondering whether this was tinnitus, a ringing in the ears that is only heard within oneself or if it really was a name that she heard, her own name, 'Lisa'.

Lisa had only recently moved into the new apartment and there were an endless number of things to do: put up bookshelves, curtains, paintings, unpack boxes filled with kitchenware, towels and other necessities of everyday life.

'Where is the cutlery? I need a dish brush to do these dishes!' she thought as the quiet little voice returned: 'Lisa' it said.

'Yes, it's a voice', Lisa reflected, 'It's not just a humming in my ears! But what does it mean?' She thought about the quality of the little voice. It sounded like her father's voice. But he had been dead for five years now. 'Whoever you are, whatever you want, please speak to me again and tell me what it is you want.' Lisa said trying to be brave. Then she whispered, 'Daddy, if it's you, please know that I loved you. Please forgive me for not being the daughter that you dreamed about.'

Lisa listened. There were no sounds but the hum of the refrigerator.

'Is there something I can do for you, Daddy? Is there something you would like to know? There was a lot that happened since you left us. I miss you so. But I'm fine, Daddy. I really am doing alright. I had to leave him. He wasn't kind to me. He wasn't like you. I love you Daddy.'

'Lisa', the voice said again.

'Yes, Daddy.'

'I love you, too.' said a very soft voice.


Word count according to WordCalc: 311

Best wishes,



Yes, I know I need to learn more about what Romantic Writing is. I just wrote a story that I happened to have within me right now. There are several sources of inspiration for this story. First off, I miss my father. I think Ann Thompson knows what I mean. In reality, I do talk with him - but just as Ann, I never hear an answer.

The idea of wanting to be haunted by the ghost of someone you loved, I found in Emily Brontë's novel, Wuthering Heights. I've read Wuthering Heights but it was the 1939 film-version and not the novel, that inspired me; more specifically the scene where on Catherine Earnshaw's deathbed, Sir Laurence Olivier, as Heathcliff, prays to be haunted by Cathy the rest of his life.

There are people who really do hear voices - but I am not one of them. Only once in my life did I actually hear my father calling or saying my name that was not a dream or a thought - I actually heard his voice saying my name (while I was doing the dishes). He was still alive then but living far away from me. I called him on the phone and asked him if something special had happened or if he had been thinking of me at that time. He was surprised at the question because nothing was amiss. I cannot explain it. It has not happened since, even though I have dreamed about departed loved ones and talked with them in these dreams, knowing that when I wake up that they would be dead. I used to dream a lot about my grandmother.

Now that my father is no longer available to talk on the telephone, I really do wish that I could ask him some questions and tell him about things that have happened since he left us, just as I have written in my story. But the only clues I have is through reading the books that I know he liked and read, such as Daphne du Maurier's novels. So I have read Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and am now halfway through My Cousin Rachel.

My father lived to be 88 years old, so it is my own fault that I did not take more time to get to know him better when he was alive. He was a very shy man, so he was not easy to get to know. There are those who loose a parent much, much earlier.

Another source of inspiration is a Swedish writer, P.O. Enquist (1943-), whose father died young of something easily curable today, like appendicitis, only in his thirties, when Enquist was only a boy. So he started writing letters to his father (in Heaven) to inform him about things that happened after he had left them. I have not read these letters. I don't even know if they are published anywhere. In a TV-interview, he just mentioned this as one of the reasons for him becoming a writer. I have been toying with the idea of writing to my father, but so far, I have not succeeded. I think that this is something that is easier to do if you are only ten years old. But I might still do it.


First Commenter:



Thoughts of Beauty in the Stillness of Dawn

To read more Romantic Friday texts for Challenge No 13, 5th August, please go to this site or click on the image below:


Andy said...

Hello Anna.
Good to see you writing for RFW.

I really like this. The familiar voice of reassurance and love.

By the way, don't forget to link your entry when the RFW Linky opens (it wasn't up yet when I checked).

Nicely done!

Ann said...

Wonderful. Makes me think of conversations I've had with my dad who has been gone for many years. I never hear him reply though. Too bad.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hello Anna. Thank you for joining Romantic Friday Writers. Your debut story is very poignant and I loved it. You did mention leaving someone so there was that tiny element of love or lost love within. Perhaps in future entries you can make the romantic element stronger. It doesn't have to be lovey-dovey!

As Andy says, don't forget to add your direct link. I'll go over and do that now! It usually goes up Thursday UK time. I work from Oz.

Once again, a warm welcome and we're all looking forward to reading your stories!


Donna Hole said...

A lovely sentiment; her father coming to comfort her in her new home, new life.

Or is it the setup for a nasty revenge/jealousy scenario.



Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna,

Welcome to RFW. This is a very poignant piece of writing. Lovely! ;)

True enough there's a fine line between love and romance and what we presume to be "romantic". The latter can refer to a place, a picture, even an object and or romantic element. Romance on the other hand we believe relates to a relationship between lovers, but love can relate to family and friends.


Ruth Madison said...

Oh, so sad! And so sweet too.

babyrocka said...

Lovely piece. Teaches how much of the soft, still voices we could hear if only we kept calm and "listened".

Daydreamertoo said...

Awwww very gentle, lovely read.

Beverly Diehl said...

Welcome to RFW, Anna!

I liked this very much. Nice contrast between being busy with a "to-do" list and trying to listen for that quiet little voice.

IMO, Romance isn't always in your face - sometimes we're recovering from it. Having to relearn what love really is.

Marsha A. Moore said...

What a bittersweet moment, having a precious chance to interact with a deceased loved one again. I enjoyed feeling her comfort.

J.L. Campbell said...

Lisa is brave indeed to speak to 'the 'presence' like that. Good touch to have her father fill the need she has for his presence just then.

Li said...

Very touching - it's a powerful and very raw feeling, to desperately want to hear from/talk to someone you've lost or who is far away.

Heaven said...

Thank you for sharing this story from your heart.

Though it didn't have the romantic element, the love between a parent and child knows no boundaries, even after death.

Nice to meet you ~

Madeleine Maddocks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Kiru Taye said...

I really enjoyed this piece. It's nice to see a different take on love on RFW. A good entry for voices.

Well done.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Interesting piece that has a gentle lyricism about it.

I can see that you have explained about Wuthering Heights and where you are coming from with the theme, though not strictly romance.
It could be easily made into romance by changing the characters from father and daughter to lovers or teenage crushes or something.
The most powerful pieces of writing can start out as autobiographical that then become adaptations by changing characters and other elements which becomes part of the fiction/creative writing. :O)

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi Anna. It was really great to have you enter in this week's Voices challenge. Re-reading your story/comments...Madeleine has some very good advice I think. As you write you will grow.

There is a discussion on-going on the RFWer site. Would appreciate if you would drop by, leave a comment and vote. We need your input!

Here's the direct link:

Thank you


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