Thursday, May 26, 2011

Venus Rising - Romantic Friday Writers


This week's prompt for a 400 word story.
Join Romantic Friday Writers here




Venus Rising


     Serena smoothed her dress self-consciously, checking her hands to see that they were clean. Wearing an Armani that cost more than half of her salary hadn't made her feel glamorous; instead, it had caused her more anxiety than usual. Michael had chosen it, paid for it, and laid it on the bed in the cabin for her to wear to the Captain's table. He wanted “every man in the room to want her”.
     The ship rolled gently under their feet, but the perfumed and glittering couples continued to glide effortlessly on the dance floor.
     “Another drink, Madame?”
     As if on cue, Michael looked over the bare shoulder of his foxtrot partner and froze her.
     “No, thank you.”
     “Care to dance?” A deeper voice. Serena looked up to see a gentleman beside her, arm extended. Tall, powerfully built, with soft eyes and a genuine warmth about him; it was a welcome invitation, and yet...
I am not allowed to dance with other men. How could she say it aloud? It sounded utterly ridiculous.
     “I'm sorry, I don't dance that well. Thank you for asking though.”
     He continued to stand there, hand outstretched.

     She was rigid with fear, but he guided her gently, expertly, one warm hand in hers and the other barely grazing her back. Chandeliers, jewels, music and wine combined to make Serena's head spin. Her partner gazed into her eyes once or twice, with just the hint of a smile, then kindly looked away.

     “Did you enjoy your little dance?” Serena flinched at the hostility in Michael's voice, her stomach churning as he gripped her by the arm and steered her out onto the deck. The deserted pool lapped quietly, shimmering under the moon. He slipped a finger under the gold chain around her neck, then yanked it free. “I can dress you up in all the finery in the world, but you're still nothing but a useless, uneducated piece of trash. Sleep on the couch tonight; I don't want you in my bed.” His arm came up, and she thought that he would hit her. Instead, he gave her a shove and stalked off.

     Serena stepped into the pool, her scarlet gown flowing around her like a blood stain. The water, warm and welcoming, closed over her head, the world but a murmur in her ears. As the moon reappeared from behind a cloud, she stood up, droplets sparkling on her skin, the dress clinging to her lithe body, fragile, elegant, oblivious to the pop of a flashbulb and the photo that would make her famous and launch her new career.

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24 comments:

  1. WoW! I love this! The suspense was gripping. My mind was whirling. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. Will there be more?

    Excellent! Well done!

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  2. Oh, sensational! You've captured the atmosphere beautifully. I was immediately on her side.

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  3. Hot, sensual, and so much back story to take in, as well as her road to the future. You know it..we want more, Li.

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  4. Okay, romance is not my thing but I really liked this. I hope at some point she hires him as a servant boy. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  5. I really appreciated the sentiments of the opening, walking in more nervous for wearing more money, rather than feeling important because of one's new attire. That set a promising, self-conscious tone.

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  6. You always go to the most unexpected places with your story. I thought for sure she was going to become fish food. I'm glad she didn't, I like your ending much better. That's why you're the writer and I'm not! haha!
    I've missed reading your blog, sorry I've been so absent lately. Our internet has been slower than molasses. We've had a lot of crazy storms, that added to our already slow poke service, is not the greatest.
    I hope all is well with you. I will enjoy reading back through all that I've missed, for as long as my internet will allow! You're brilliant, as always! :)

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  7. Oh, wow. Very powerful stuff. And I have the image clearly in my mind, even with just your few words.

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  8. Loved this, wonderful imagery, especially the gown flowing around her like a blood stain. Kudos!

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  9. when you say romantic... This was very, very good indeed

    marc nash

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  10. Brilliant Lisa. I've spent all week turning 582 words into 400 without realising that it didn't really matter and now I realise that description is what invokes the senses when it comes to romantic writing. I'm still learning :-D I'll try and get that prose done soon but it is proving to be a bit of a struggle for me (not emotionally I just can't find the story to put it into and a monologue is making me seem pompous).

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  11. I would say to to dump the bum, he isn't worth it.

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  12. Li - gorgeous! The images and feelings in this piece are so strong. I almost felt like I was reading in images, not words... great ending - this would make a fantastic book...
    Lxxx

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  13. Smiling as I read... I´d love to read more stories from you, it was really nice. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. What a jerk! I was totally into this, I hope better awaits Serena.

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  15. Go girl! This had a real sleeping with the enemy passion about it :O)

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  16. Very, very, cool! You made me root for Serena, who is unhappy despite the finery. But who could be happy in a situation like that? Good to know she'll have a way out.

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  17. Great story full of intensity, I think in large part by the delicious description of the little details, the real drivers of the plot and they generate in the reader's mind a lot of evocative images and inferences, so that a contribution to so many micro-stories of information with so few words. I thought great.

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  18. No submissive romance here! Great stuff. You led us to believe that she was going to drown herself. Love the imagery: Serena stepped into the pool, her scarlet gown flowing around her like a blood stain. Serena showed 'em.

    Perfect for the Glitz and Glamour. And thanks for showing readers - eg Jules, that it doesn't all have to be wine and roses and satin cushions.

    Denise<3

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  19. Hi,

    Well-crafted piece of suspense, and fab ambience in descriptive flow. :)

    best
    F

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  20. Oh I do so love a good flash fiction story and this is one. And the ending is superb! Many thanks indeed for joining our Weekend Creation Blog Hop with this, this weekend too - You're, most welcome.

    Shah. X

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  21. Is it OK if I quote from this for a future post? I've been looking for a scene like Serena in the pool, and I would link back to here.

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    Replies
    1. Sure, glad you liked it! (Sorry about the delay in answers, I've been setting up a new computer and learning how to use it.)

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