Thursday, 20 October 2011

Whispers - Two Stories! - Romantic Friday Writing Challenge No. 24 - 21st October 2011

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, started and hosted by L'Aussie Denise and Francine Howarth, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 21st October, Challenge No. 24, is 'Whispers'. I have written two texts for this challenge. These are two separate stories with separate characters. They are complete in themselves, but could be part of longer works if I chose to keep writing. These are new texts, written directly for this REW-challenge.

Here is text # 1:

LinkSource Wikipedia. This is the Public Library in Stockholm, where I think my story should take place.


'How was it?' Charlotte asked Sara as the two young women walked up a long staircase and passed a desk where a middle-aged woman sat looking at papers.

'How was what? Oh, you mean last night? Simply divine,'murmured Sara and smiled.

'Shhh!' said the woman behind the desk quietly and held her index finger to her lips.

'Oh, we're sorry', Charlotte whispered, 'Sara, why are we here?'

'We are looking for a book about...'

'Shhh!' said the librarian and pointed to a sign that said: 'No talking in the Reading Room.'

'...a book about unusual sightings in the deep forests.' whispered Sara.

'UFOs?' asked Charlotte, 'Why would you want to read a book like that?'

'Not UFOs, the little people with wings, pixies, faeries.'

'Shhh!' said the grey-hai
red woman.

'Oh dear. Isn't there someplace we could talk?' whispered Sara as she pointed toward one of several smaller rooms along one side of the great reading-hall. 'Could we use one of those rooms to talk?' she asked the woman seated behind the desk.

The librarian made a sign for her to come closer, 'No, those study-cells must be booked in advanced.'

'Could we book one now?' asked Sara.

'No, I'm sorry but there are none available, right now.'

'But they're all empty.' protested Sara, raising her voice slightly.

'Shhh!' whispered the librarian zipping her lips with her thumb and index finger.

'Let's just go.' said Charlotte.

'Yes, but I really need to find that book.'

'Then we can't talk.

'Shhh!' said the librarian and continued to stare at them. They walked away from her desk toward the exit.

'So you had a good time last night; where did you go; what did you do?' whispered Charlotte.

'We went out to eat at a restaurant,' whispered Sara and in an even smaller voice, 'He proposed'.

'What did you say?' asked Charlotte in an almost normal voice.

'I said, HE ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM' said Sara in a strong voice, just before they reached the exit doors.

'SHHHH!' shouted the librarian.

'What was your answer?' inquired Charlotte in a loud voice.

'Yes!' bellowed Sara as they ran out the doors and down the long stairway toward the street entrance, 'I SAID YES!'

[Text copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Word count according to WordCalc: 400; FCA; Full Critique Acceptable. Write whatever you like. Constructive criticism is always welcome! Don't be shy. Say what's on your mind!


This is an illustration by the Swedish artist-writer, Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) whose work I have admired since childhood. Take a look at more of her picture-books (in Swedish) here. Wikipedia has a page on Elsa Beskow in English here.
Here is text # 2:


Esmarelda, Aurora and Rosanna flew with their berry-baskets over the meadow and landed at the edge of the forest.

'Remember to be quick and quiet about picking the bilberries' instructed Esmarelda, 'I'll take first watch here at the large basket. You two fly around and gather as many baskets of berries as you can.' Aurora and Rosanna took each a smaller basket and sailed off in different directions.

Aurora, with her flamming red hair and moss-green eyes, landed by a plant that in proportion to her size, looked like a small tree with blue-violet, apple-sized fruits growing on it. She began to pick the blue fruits when she heard a soft whisper:


'Who's there?' she asked, somewhat frightened. Do I know the speaker?

'Aurora!' whispered the voice again when her basket was two-thirds full.

'Do I know you?' she murmured softly as she filled the basket to the brim and was ready to fly away.

'Please don't go. It's me, Petrus', whispered the voice that Aurora now recognised.

'What are you doing out here in the forest? I must return. Esmarelda will think I am taking too long to get back to the basket.'

'Please, Aurora, come closer', murmured Petrus as he hovered over the bilberry plants.

'Well, alright. Let me just put down my basket', said Aurora softly, putting her basket on the ground and flying up to Petrus. 'What do you want?'

'A kiss. Just a kiss,' whispered Petrus as he held Aurora's face in his hands and slowly pressed his lips against hers.

'Oh, Petrus!' said Aurora between kisses.

'Aurora, Aurora! I love you so much! Please say yes!'

'Say yes to what?'

'Marry me!'

'Petrus! What will father say?'

'I hope he will give us his blessings!'

'You must go now. Esmarelda and Rosanna mustn't know yet. Meet me at my father's house tonight.

'I'll be there, Aurora! I love you!' whispered Petrus as he fluttered away into the woods. Auroras's heart beat faster. She picked up the basket of bllberries and returned to Esmarelda.

Sometime earlier, while Aurora was talking with Petrus, Rosanna was filling her basket when she heard whispers. She saw Petrus kissing Aurora. Tears filled Rosanna's eyes. She loved Petrus. Now she hated Aurora. What should she do?

[Text copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Word count according to WordCalc: 392; FCA; Full Critique Acceptable. Write whatever you like. Constructive criticism is always welcome! Don't be shy. Say what's on your mind!

Best wishes,

P.S. These two stories are fictional.

First Commenter:

Ann Thompson


Ann's Snap, Edit & Scrap

To read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 24, with the theme 'Whispers', please visit this site or click on the image below:


Ann said...

Both of your stories are wonderful. I always hated those librarians that are constantly telling you to be

N. R. Williams said...

I enjoyed both stories very much but especially the last. Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Andy said...

Hello Anna.
What wonderful tales you have woven here.

Both stories are enjoyable, but being of a romantic mindset, I too would opt for the second one. It has more of a romance feel to it, with that twist at the end.

Your creativity knows no bounds!
Keep up the good work, my dear.

The Sweet Voice Of Love

Ruth Madison said...

Marriage on the mind! lol.

Those poor girls in the first story, how frustrating to get shushed all the time! (Maybe they should learn sign language...) Great way to build tension and definitely fit the theme.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi Anna! I loved both of your stories, but as Andy says, for romance, the second is the winner!

The first story ended up being so funny and I found myself laughing as who hasn't been in this situation? Sometimes as a teacher with students in the library, I've been the one doing the 'shusshing!' lol!

Adore your fey little stories and the second one was so sweet. Marriage on your mind in both stories!

As always, thanks for posting/commenting. I appreciate your kind words on my story and have replied on my post as always.


J.L. Campbell said...

They would, of course, have driven the poor librarian mad before they left. :) Close to the end you had the librarian shouting 'shhhh!' Think you could rephrase that since shhh is not something one can exactly shout.

You have a complicated situation in the second excerpt. I was interested to know how Rosanna will deal with her disappointment.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi again Anna. I can't find your email address. I want to share something with you but I can't find a way to contact you.


Adura Ojo said...

Anna, I loved both your stories. Your creative use of whispers in the first story, was a treat. The 2nd story has the edge for the romace factor and of course faeryland always has that magical quality about it the way you tell it.

Donna Hole said...

Both were delightful to read. The two women (BTW; its two "women" in the excerpt, not two "woman") in the library was humorous, and engaging for its familiar setting and circumstance. Their bubbly natures were infectious.

Poor Rosanna; to have to hear such happy news that has a devastating effect. I loved the sweetness of Petrus. And I liked how you introduced the fantasy aspect right away (. . flew with their berry-baskets over the meadow . .) and showed how tiny the characters are. The setting is perfectly described without any fuss or extra attention. Well done.


Kiru Taye said...

What a dilemma? Poor Rosanna. I'm really loving your faery stories. Will Aurora's father agree to the marriage? I'd love to read more. Good job, Anna.

Anna said...


Dear Joy,
The first story about Charlotte and Sara is a very rough first draft with many weaknesses.

You are right about not being able to shout 'Shhhh!' You can do it a little louder than a whisper, but it is definitely not a shout!

Denise has been kind enough to take the time to write an email letter about this text. I will be more careful about what I post in the future. 'Haste makes waste.'

I may not let Sara say that her boyfriend has proposed. These two girls are just too silly and immature to even think about getting married to anyone. I may change it to simply being asked out on to a special dance or something like that.

In some ways, I really don't like them. I side more with the librarian. This was one of these texts that wrote themselves. I let these two silly characters take over too much. I felt guilty after I wrote this story because actually I admire the work of librarians. I felt that I had betrayed them!

Best wishes,

Anna said...

Dear Ruth,
That was an interesting idea to let the two girls speak sign-language at the library.

Many years ago, I worked one summer as a newpaper delivery-person and met up with a pair of hearing-impaired people, a married couple, who used sign-language instead of speech, when they spoke to each other.

They worked on a delivery-route in the same area that I did. This was done in the wee hours of the morning. They had their daughter with them, who was a normal-hearing person. She spoke for them, to other, non-signing, people. She was about eight to ten years old.

I have always thought of putting that little family in a story somewhere, but I haven't figured out where it would fit in.

Thank you for your input!

Best wishes,

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