Wayback Wednesday Writing Photo Prompt ~ A Life of Hope ~ #fridayflash #WW #mywana

Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt

This is my #fridayflash from my visual writing prompt this week. 

via Flickr by trialsanderrors

A Life of Hope 

     Randall watched in awe as Marianne twirled high above the crowd. They awh’d and ooh’d over her spinning and curling. Well actually, she used to be Marianne, now she was Miss Stena and everyone loved her, especially Randall. He’d known since the moment he saw her staring out her parlor window across the park at the bright colored circus tents. The look on her face showed every emotion he’d ever felt. Then, when Miss Josie cried over a missing silk pillowcase, he knew Marianne was up to something and he was right.

     Randall knew Marianne would have an easy rise to stardom. Girls of her breeding just had better luck of it over ordinary folk. His face reddened as he gazed up at her. Her long legs seemed to stretch for miles and her beauty was matched by none. He hoped that some day Marianne would look at him, the same way he looked at her. Being a circus hand Randall didn’t’ have much to offer yet, but he could still dream, couldn’t he?

     After his nightly chores were completed Randall made his way to Miss Stena’s tent. The other girls usually went off with their beaus, but Marianne always left her admirers at the door. The scent of roses filled his nostrils when he entered her room. There were so many Marianne’s room looked like the Persian rugs she used to walk upon. The sight made Randall’s heart sink; with his pay he would never be able to give her such luxuries.

Marianne smiled at him. “Randall, did you see me tonight?”

Randall blushed. “Of course. I never miss your show.”

Marianne kissed him on the cheek. “You’re such a dear.” She slipped her small hand into his. “Come let’s play cards. One of the girls taught me this new game. It’s a riot.”

Randall motioned toward the rows of flowers. “Wouldn’t you rather go out with one of your admirers?”

Marianne waved him away. “I left Papa’s home to be free, not go out with some long faced fellow who thinks flowers will woo me.”

     Her comment made Randall pause for a moment. Did she mean she didn’t like flowers from those men, or all men? They played cards into the wee hours of the night. Just being around her made him feel he could do anything, be anyone, even be hers. His biggest desire was that this moment would go on forever. But, when the dawn light began to peek through the cracks in the tent drowsiness overtook them. Randall willed his legs to leave.

Marianne waved at him. “Stay, you can have Julianne’s bed. She’ll be back late.”

Randall fell into Julianne’s bed with a sigh. Marianne threw a pillow at him. “I knew you were tired. Why didn’t you say?”

“I didn’t want to bother you.”

“Bother me? Silly boy.” Randall’s heart sunk. Was that how she saw him? As a boy?

Marianne climbed under her covers and pulled them up tightly around her chin. “I’m glad I ran away, but some things I miss.”

Randall turned to his side and gazed at her. “Like what?”

“Rupert. He wasn’t always a pain, sometimes he was quiet likeable. I wonder what how he’s grown and if he misses me at all.” Her voice trailed off to a whisper.

     Randall was positive Rupert missed her. Everyone doted on Marianne; the gem of the household. Now that she was gone he imagined everyone moping around the dreary hallways. It was quite a wretched scene.

“I also miss the smell of Papa’s pipe. I know it’s childish, but I do. Something about the fragrance was comforting.”

     Randall made a mental note to himself to buy a pipe once he saved up enough money. Marianne stretched her hand his direction into the empty space between them. Randall touched the tip of his fingertips to hers, electricity jolted through him.

“I’m so glad you came with me that night. Without you I’d have no one who really knows me.”

Randall smiled from ear to ear. “Do you think you’ll ever get married?”

     Marianne retracted her hand faster than she could flip in the air. Her silence made Randall worry he’d ruined the evening.

She shifted, turning her back to him. “Maybe someday, years from now. But, it’d have to be someone special. Someone I can really talk too, like you.”

     Randall’s heart felt like it was going to explode. He hugged the pillow close to him and hid his grin in its folds. Maybe there was hope for him after all.



13 Comments Add yours

  1. ~Tim says:

    Please tell me she is just dense and not a horrible tease….

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @John Wiswell Thanks for the typos. I didn’t think of her that way when I wrote her part. Just struggling be who she wants to be, not what others want her to be.

      @flyingscribbler Hope your vaca was great! This could go a hundred different ways. The only thing I don’t like about circuses are clowns so you won’t see any of them in my stories as they tend to murder people. LOL

      @Tim Vansant Definately strong willed.

  2. OK, so this makes much more sense having read the first part! I love circus stories; there is something magical and escapist about them. So much to dig around in too. Great read.

  3. John Wiswell says:

    I thought this was very cute and not so manipulative. But maybe I’m the dense one.

    Minor typo: para6, “check” for “cheek”

  4. Peter Newman says:

    I’m a sucker for romance stories, especially where the sweet characters get together. Even if they are doomed to a life of abject poverty…

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @Helen Me too. He doens’t have much on his side other than his kind heart at this point.

      @Jason Thank you Jason. *blushes*

      @Peter Newman Awh…me too.

  5. Jason says:

    I love the tenderness, fragility and honesty expressed by both characters in this story. The scene is set beautifully. Charming.

  6. Helen says:

    Aww such a sweet story I hope it all works out for him in the end.

  7. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I hope she’s just playing the part with her admirers, and being truthful with him…but it certainly seems like it.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Icy, I hope so too. What’s a girl to do? Conform to social norms or live her own life?

  8. brainhaze says:

    Awwww what a nice read – like other comments I’m hoping she is just a little innocent rather than a tease – great story telling

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Thank you. The pics really got my mind going.

  9. Where have I been? Missed this story last week. I’ve seen you in costume on Facebook and you look great.

    This story is more romantic than some of your others and you also provided us with the possibilit of happily-ever-after 🙂 Good work and I love the picture also.

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