Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Heart-Stoppers' - Romantic Friday Writers - No.17

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday the 2nd of September, Challenge No.17, is 'Heart-Stoppers'.
Here is my text:

Sanna had tried to forget about Tomas all summer. What's the use? I know nothing about him. I'm probably more interested in him, than he is in me, thought Sanna summing up her unattractive features such as the extra kilos/pounds on her once slim body and her dowdy clothes.

But when Tomas hugged her at school the other day, it started again. She started thinking of him and wanting him. She wanted to embrace him, to hold him, to kiss him and be kissed by him. To feel his warmth near her. It would even be nice to just hold his hand.

It was Thursday morning and Sanna took her seven-year-old daughter, Lisa, to school. It was the first week, late August and still pleasantly warm. Parents and pupils dressed in summer clothes gathered at the locked door waiting to be let into the classrooms.

'Does everyone have fruit with them to eat at the first break?' a teacher asked. Lisa asked her mother, Sanna, for her apple to show that she was indeed prepared.

'Mamma, it's not cut into pieces!' said Lisa to her mother. The tall and well-built Tomas appeared out of nowhere and spoke to the first-graders.

'Not cut?' said Tomas, and took Lisa's apple. 'We can cut it with a knife or...' and then he pressed the apple between his hands and twisted it until it split into two equal halves. He gave the two pieces of apple to Sanna who wrapped them in paper and put them in Lisa's school-bag.

'Did you see that?' squealed Lisa who was wide-eyed and completely impressed by Tomas' exhibition of strength. But she was not more impressed than Sanna, who had watched closely, and saw that Tomas' hands were both strong and gentle. All that sanding in wood-working builds the muscles in your fingers, thought Sanna to herself as she secretly wished that Tomas would take her in his arms and kiss her. But 'Thanks for your help, Tomas,' was all that she could say, if she even said that. She thought that she had said that, but maybe she only thought of saying it and did not really utter a word.

Thoughts of Tomas usually made Sanna's heart beat faster. This time, her heart nearly stopped.

[Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]
Word count according to WordCalc: 385 : FCA (Full Critique Acceptable - Write what you like, as long as it is well intended. Constructive criticism is always welcome.)

Best wishes,

This is a piece of fiction. To read more short-short stories with my character, Sanna Rumsten, please visit last week's RFW-post '
Smooth Sailing' and these posts for Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus:

Anna's SC Wk 68 'If I die young'

Sanna's Sunshine SC Wk 66
'John Tell, expert on tourism' Anna's SC wk 65
Books are heavy-Anna's SC wk 63
A Rainy Day in July-Anna's SC wk 61
Anna's SC-56-Sanna visits a grave
Anna's SC-53-Sanna finds her voice
Anna's SC-52-Sanna's novel
Anna's SC-51-Harvey's Place

Thanks for reading!

First Commenter:

Ms. Queenly
Cradle of Cicadas,
Stories from the South


Queen-Size-Queen, Small-Size-World

To read more texts for 'Heart-Stoppers', Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No 17, Friday 2nd September, please go to this site or click on the image below:


Ms. Queenly said...

Sanna is so sweet. I actually identify with her in the way I once thought about love interests ^_^. Its so authentic to her personality to me that she doesn't even know whether or not she's spoken to him or not because she's so nervous.

I wonder: Does Tomas know about her feelings at all? He seems like a nice guy, which is good, but if he was a little bit spicy that'd be hot, if you ask me! lol

Ms. Queenly said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

I'm really looking forward to Sanna and Tomas getting it together. This is where it's going, right?


Anna said...

@Ms. Queenly
Dear Ms. Queenly,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Sanna and Tomas. I think I am a little nervous about how to get Sanna and Tomas together. Sanna is having doubts about her attractiveness and whether or not Tomas likes her more than other other women. She thinks that other women are prettier and smarter that she is.

Tomas is a teacher working in a world dominated by women. Yes, there are other male teachers at this and the other schools where he works, but he has a plenty of opportunity to meet women, female colleagues and the mothers of pupils. The question here is whether or not he feels that Sanna has that little extra that makes her stand out; that makes her special just for him.

Another problem is that they are not high school or college students, they are adults in the middle of their lives, and in Sanna's case, she has been married, is recently divorced, and has two children. Tomas has also children, but they are older and not as prominently in the picture as Sanna's, because Tomas is Sanna's son's shop-teacher. Sanna has not told him that she is divorced. She has mentioned that she has moved, but he may not have understood the reasons behind the move.

Sanna does not know whether Tomas is married or divorced and free to go out with her. He said that his children were going to visit their grandmother, but he did not mention their mother as his wife. But that does not mean that he is free.

There are episodes that could be written either as a way of getting them together or as background information. For example: Tomas helps out in Sanna's son's swimming class and is involved in the search for him when he goes missing. This gives Sanna the opportunity to tell Tomas that she believes in his efforts on her son's behalf.

This is were we see Tomas' dedication as a teacher. He is genuinely worried and concerned about the children who are his responsibility, but this is a professional concern. Sanna has no idea whether or not Tomas feels more for her children and for her than in this professional capacity. This uncertainty makes a shy person like Sanna, even shier. She longs for affection but is afraid of rejection and embarrassment.

From the beginning, it is her son that gives her the idea that Tomas is an attractive man. At one point, her son says that he wishes that Tomas was his father or that his father was more like Tomas.

Yes, Tomas is a nice guy. But he is foremost a dedicated professional who cares about children. He's a good teacher and is well-liked by his pupils, even if some think that he is too strict. He works within the small world of four schools in a middle-sized town.

Does Tomas know that Sanna likes him? Yes, but, she tries to hide the fact that dreams about him. He knows that women in general like him, but he is not a womaniser. He does not want to be misunderstood or become the subject of gossip. That is the reality of his job. But this is fiction, so I am going to break a few rules and try to push these two together. I need to sketch some background on Tomas to make it believable and then devise a situation that gives them the opportunity for a little more intimacy.

Thank you for your input and encouragement.

Dear Denise,
Thanks for visiting and cheering me on. Yes, this is where it's going. I am also looking forward to getting Sanna and Tomas together. As I have explained above, I need to give them a time and a place for romance!

Kind regards,

Francine Howarth: UK said...


You've conveyed a lovely concept of Sanna's confused thoughts! She obviously has the hots for Tomas, and it would be nice to get inside his head: know what he's thinking, if at all, about Sanna. ;)


Ruth Madison said...

I like how the little girl has such clear admiration for him, just likes him because she likes him. Her feelings are not confused or clouded. And then her mother's feelings are an adult's feelings, so much more difficult to unpack.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

I loved the ending Anna and the use of the theme to give the myriad of emotions that she's feeling for him.

J.L. Campbell said...

Oh, yeah, Sanna has it bad for Tomas. You've done well in showing that she really is taken with him. I was also impressed by him splitting the apple.

Kiru Taye said...

You certainly have a romance story in the making. I'd love to see how you get them together eventually.

Laura said...

I love the image of him splitting the apple - sends your mind reeling and focusing on Tomos's hands... which has to be a good thing. Lovely, sweetly written story i could totally identify with!

Anna said...

@Francine Howarth

Dear Francine,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Yes, you are right about the need to know what Tomas is thinking. Sanna is thinking that he is 'too-good-to-be-true', so we need to let Sanna know if there is any real hope; if Tomas is married, divorced or a widower.

I don't want Sanna to fall in love with a married man and become the 'other woman', so a hint of a background about what happened to the mother of his children may help. I may make him a widower.

Sanna and her former husband could never agree on child-rearing. One of Tomas' finest and most attractive qualities (besides being a drop-dead good-looker) is his ability to talk to and work with children.

I may be able to get them a little closer next week for 'Lunch Date'. We'll see.

@Ruth Madison

Dear Ruth,

Showing how children react to Tomas is an important part of his character-description. I could have put the squeals of admiration for Tomas in the mouth of another child, but the 400-word-limit stopped that. I could let Sanna's daughter, Lisa, unconsciously understand that her mother wants to get to know this man and have her even react negatively to the idea. Lisa may be wary of men in general because she doesn't like her father. There are many choices here depending upon what I want to happen later on.

I like the way you described an adult's feelings as 'more difficult to unpack'. (Nice image!)


[Oh dear, I need to take a break here and run down to the laundry-room!]

Best wishes,

Anna said...


Dear Madeleine,

Thank you for your kind words about the closing of my text. I try to write something that fits the theme. These texts are sketches/first drafts and have never been published before. I don't have answers to all of the questions that arise in the process of writing. I am hoping that if I keep writing and trying out different characters and combinations that something may be good enough to use in a longer work, such as short story or a novel.



Dear Joy,

I am also impressed with Tomas splitting that apple. Truth be told, I did not make that up. I am not that creative. The man who is the model for Tomas, actually did this, and when I saw it, I just had to use it.

But now that I have reread my text, I think I could have written it better. Instead of writing as I did:

'But she was not more impressed [---], thought Sanna to herself as she secretly wished that Tomas would take her in his arms and kiss her.'

I should have used the word 'fingers' or 'hands' so that the image of the apple in his hands becomes her face in his hands or fingers. I could have written something like this:

'as she secretly wished that Tomas would hold her face in his hands and kiss her.'


'as she secretly wished that with those gentle fingers, Tomas would draw her face toward his and kiss her.'


'as she secretly wished that Tomas would caress her face with those strong and gentle fingers.'

It's just a thought.


[Back to the laundry!]

Best wishes,

Beverly Diehl said...

Nice story - I love a man with skillful hands. :-)

You have a knack for creating interesting characters in a very short space. Nice job!

Life said...

it was amazing... all your posts have this gentle touch to it...:) it just keeps the reader on the tips of the post..:)

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