Sunday 15 July 2012

RFW Challenge No. 40 - 'Greener Pastures'

Welcome to Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 40 for Friday 13th July 2012. RFWers is a fortnightly challenge that is founded by and hosted by and Donna Hole. Challenge No 40 is the theme, 'Greener Pastures'.

My text for 'Greener Pastures' is a continuation of my text for 'Stuck in the Middle'. Please read the text for 'Stuck in the Middle' before reading my text for 'Greener Pastures':
Paul waited seven years for his wife, Jenny, to be declare legally dead, before proposing to Priscilla. Paul's first wife was missing after her ship went down in a storm. There were lifeboats and survivors, but she was never found.

Paul invited Priscilla out to dinner at the new French restaurant, Victor Hugo. They had just finished their Lobster Thermidor,  and were about to order dessert.

'I'd like to have the Bavarian cream. What would you like, my love?' inquired Paul as he returned the menu to the waiter.

'Oh, that's sounds good. I'll have that too', replied Priscilla,  beaming of pride and expectation. This was no ordinary dinner. 

While they waited for their Bavarois au Chocolat, Paul dug into his jacket pocket and pull out a small gift-wrapped package and put on the table.
'Oh, what have we here? ' asked Priscilla, lighting up like fire-fly.

'A little present for you', said Paul smiling slyly as he slowly pushed the package on the white linen tablecloth over to Priscilla, 'Please open it!'

Priscilla tore away the wrapping paper and found a small box. Inside was a beautiful emerald and gold ring with a hand-written note: Will you marry me?

'Oh, Paul, you remembered my favourite colour! The answer is yes!' replied Priscilla, in time before the waiter came with their desserts.

Paul smiled and was about to say something about their future together when the Bavarian cream arrived. Paul ordered coffee and surveyed all the well-dressed men and women sitting at white linen-covered tables, celebrating something, just as they were. It was then that Paul saw a woman who looked familiar. She was standing by the entrance, speaking with the head waiter.

'What is it, Paul? Don't you feel well? You look as if you've seen a ghost.'

'No, I'm fine. Couldn't be better!' lied Paul as he was trying to think about what this meant. The woman he saw was Jenny, his first wife. He could see her clearly. Had she seen him? 

[Text Copyright 2012 Christina Wigren]


According to WordCalc, the word count for 'Stuck in the Middle' was : 340

And now, here is my text for 'Greener Pastures': 

Paul paid the waiter and rose from the table, 'Would you like to wait here while I get our wraps?'

 'No, dear, I'd like to use the ladies'. I'll meet you at the door.'

 As Paul approached the coat-check, a blond woman touched his sleeve.

'Jenny! Is it you?' whispered Paul.

'Yes, Paul. Take this and call me. We need to talk,' murmured Jenny as she shoved a note into Paul's hand.'

Paul unfolded the small paper as he saw Jenny march toward the exit.


 'Well, what happened last night?' inquired Charlotte, Priscilla's roommate, 'Did he propose?'

'Oh yes!' squealed Priscilla showing her left hand with the emerald engagement ring.

'Oh, it is so pretty! When's the wedding?'

'I don't know yet. We didn't talk that much. He just drove me home and that was that.'

'Maybe he was just tired.'

'Yes, suppose so,' replied Priscilla unconvinced.


There was a telephone number on the paper that Jenny had given Paul. He dialed and waited.
'Hi, it's Paul.'

 'Thank you for calling. I have so much I would like to talk to you about. Would you be willing to meet me somewhere to talk?'

 'Yes. I think so. Where do you want to meet?'

Jenny gave him directions to The Silver Spoon, a restaurant on the other side of town. Paul wasted no time in meeting her there.

Is the magic still there? thought Paul as he took Jenny's hand and walked toward the entrance. 

'I've already had dinner, but I can have some coffee while you have a meal.'

Paul and Jenny sat down at a table. Paul looked up at Jenny and asked,'What happened? Why didn't you let me know that you survived?'

'I couldn't. We were going to take the boat, which was why our names were on the passenger list, but we changed our minds at the last moment. Tom had this idea to take an airplane trip instead. Well, to make a long story short, we got off course and crashed on a tiny island. Tom was badly injured and we had no radio contact. I did what I could to help tom, but he died a week after we crashed. After that, I was alone.'

'When did you get off the island?'

'About a month ago. The embassy helped me get to hospital and there we started trying to find out if I have anyone left to help me.'

'If I only knew. We all thought that you were dead.'

'How are the children?'

'Sarah was only three when you disappeared. My brother and sister-in-law have really helped me with Sarah and Colin. They can't have any children of their own, so they want to adopt them.'

'Have they done that?'

'No, not yet. We have only recently gotten a presumed death certificate.'

'Am I presumed dead?'


'Do you still have any of my things, my clothes, books and such?'

'There are a few things left, that I could not part with, but I had an auction and sold most of everything else.'

'I see.'

To be fair and honest, I must tell you that I have been seeing someone.'

'Oh? Is it serious?'

'Well, I thought I might remarry.'

'What do you think, Paul? Is it too late for us? I still love you, or at least I still love the Paul I knew.'

'I want to help you any way I can, Jenny. But I think the best thing would be for us to not be married again.'

Jenny put her hand to her mouth and tears rolled down her cheeks.

'Yes, Paul. I think you're right. But it hurts.'


[Text Copyright 2012 Christina Wigren]

Word count for 'Greener Pastures' is according to WordCalc: 647; FCA; Full Critique Acceptable

Best wishes, 

This text is fictitious and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or firms, is purely coincidental. 

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