The wonderful Carolyn Spear led this week's hop…
This time the challenge comes from the very talented S. C. Mitchell:
Flash Fiction Challenge: Give us a romantic scene to set the mood for Valentine's Day.
Stephanie closed her eyes to blot out the glare of the computer screen. She felt empty, except for the churning frustration. Writers' block. Or in this case, copywriters' block. The client wanted something fresh to sell engagement rings over the upcoming holiday. But, what new could be said about Valentine's Day that hadn't already been? It was a joke. Hearts, flowers? True love? Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. There was no such thing. Soul mate? Not so much.
How about that old faithful image of the fairy tale knight in shining armor riding up on his white horse? Yeah, right. She mentally rolled her eyes.
She had to get outside, away from the torment of the keyboard that just laughed at her lack of creativity today.
Bundled up in a parka and scarf, gloves and a hat, Stephanie headed to the park. It was freezing out. But she hoped the fresh air would do her good, maybe clear her brain and allow her to enter the fantasy world of make believe romance.
You're a copywriter. You can make stuff up, right?
There were few brave souls out today, since it was too cold for the less hearty. She walked quickly, afraid she might freeze to death if she didn't keep moving. Without thinking, or looking, she rounded a corner. It all happened in a split second.
The horse reared and its rider twisted to keep the animal from stomping her to death. She heard "Look out!" but she was already trying to jump out of the way. She stumbled into the bushes and fell, face first, onto the frozen earth.
Then, strong hands were reaching for her. Gently, a man lifted her head into his lap and stroked her cheek. Stephanie blinked and found herself staring into eyes the deep green of a summer meadow. They were filled with concern.
"Are you all right? I am so sorry. I didn't see you."
"It was my fault…" she started to say, but the fingers touching her face were leaving a trail of irresistible warmth.
"Let me help you up."
She stood a little shakily and did a mental inventory. It seemed nothing was hurt but her pride.
He looked at her expectantly. He was so incredibly handsome, it took her breath away.
"I—I think I'm fine." She gave the man a half smile.
"Stay here. I need to get Popcorn."
Stephanie was confused. "But, I'm not hungry."
He laughed, a rich baritone sound. "My horse."
"Your horse's name is Popcorn."
"My favorite food." He said it as if it made perfect sense. And oddly enough, it did.
When he returned, she noticed the horse was pure white. Of course it was. This was too good to be true.
"I cannot tell you how sorry I am." He was so sincere and so amazingly attractive. "Can I take you to dinner to make it up?"
If his name was Prince Charming, she'd lose it.
She held out her hand. "My name is Stephanie."
He wrapped his fingers around hers and electricity passed up her arm. "Charles. Charles Prince."
Stephanie shook her head to loosen her preconceived notions. Did this mean there might be a Santa Claus? Or at least a fairy godmother!
Happy Valentine's Day and may all your dreams come true!