This blog post is a little bit different and very exciting, well for me anyway, as I am as boring as watching paint dry. I am teaming up with my favourite book reviewers blog to work on an amazing collab post.
So what is the challenge? I hear you yelling at me… well, it’s a writing challenge of course, based on one single prompt that we both have to interpret in our own way. We decided upon a visual prompt rather than written and after much mulling over images we settled on one that we both could work with. High maintenance disposition of writers and all that! The aim is to write 1,500 to 2000 words max, one writing session, references to the prompt must be included in the story and no prior planning! We can edit it only to remove mistakes but nothing else, and well seeing as I am the worst misbehaver when it comes to grammar, spelling and punctuation, I am pretty sure I have no point in editing mine anyway! LOL
He had watched that same girl walk past the cottage almost everyday for the past three weeks, same long blonde hair covered with a wooly purple hat, green parka and pink wellie boots pulled over skinny jeans, she seemed young maybe early twenties and out of place for this area. Come rain or shine she had made the journey along the winding country lane almost as close to his front door as anyone had ever dared, then beyond to the hills in the distance every morning before six am. The thing which stuck out to him almost from day one was not the small slim figure, her hair concealing her face in a mass of golden waves or the way her body seemed to sag in exhaustion , most likely from her long walk in wellington boots, but the single pink fresh cut flower she carried with her ritually. Held in pink tinged hands going numb from the cold, She never seemed to wear gloves. At first he had seen her briefly as he made coffee in the kitchen, warm and cozy before heading out to start plowing the higher fields for the day, checking the sky for signs of bad weather, grey clouds rolling in. There she had been, walking past as though it was the most natural thing in the world. He had been surprised to see anyone this far over to the west of the town, normally he saw only horse riders or lone dog walkers sporadically up closer to the main farm house where his parents lived, never a single young girl walking alone so early in the day when the sun had not yet fully taken the tinge of dullness from the air.
He stood mesmerized that morning, hand vacant of coffee , he had been waiting this time, watching in anticipation. Seeing her had almost become part of his ritual now, like seeing a robin in winter perched on the fence almost daily when the snow fell, she was part of the day. Today she had no hat on, the weather wasn’t warm enough to be without it but here she was, he frowned as she slowly walked by, irritated by the fact she had come out without it. Never looking up, that mass of wavy blonde hair forever concealing his perfect mysterious stranger. He had wondered many times over the past couple of weeks what she would look like, imagining a delicate face with soft blue eyes and a full mouth, he could fantasize anyway. He wondered where she was going. The only thing along that road for miles on end was fields and forests, the next town too far to walk. He never ever saw her return, usually, he had left moments after seeing her to head to his parents to start planning the days chores with them and the other farm hands. He stood by the window, openly on show but he knew she never turned this way, she never looked up, her focus always on her careful footsteps watching the gravel on the bumpy road and avoiding pot holes, always gripping that single flower. He wanted to know what the flower was all about… Why did she always have one in her hand? It intrigued him. He watched her walk slowly out of sight over the hill until the tip of her hair was completely gone and felt disappointed. Strangely, watching her for the past weeks had become more than an interest and the start of a nagging urge to speak to her, to find out why she walked by everyday. The only thing which had stopped him until now was the gold wedding band she wore on her left hand. He was no fool, women with husbands in this place should be avoided at all costs, he had had enough of sexual advances from bored lonely stay at homes in the past few years and enough trouble from jealous husbands to last a lifetime.
Mathew was aware that he wasn’t exactly lacking when it came to looks, many women had tried to snag him in this town but none intrigued him the way this girl seemed to, even then he knew once he figured out her mystery he would soon bore of her, most likely another plain jane farm girl with ruddy cheeks and bored expression. He pulled on his heavy coat and boots by the door, pulling on a hat, he caught sight of his reflection. All male chiseled roughness staring back, his sandy hair covered but his blue eyes piercing in his weather-tanned face. He knew he was considered hot but he never saw it, he only saw the chipped tooth from fighting in school, the scar across one eyebrow from an over energetic fall from a tree swing as a teen and the unshaven rough face of a guy in his late twenties who couldn’t give a crap about grooming products. He was well built from a lifetime of working on the farm, manual labor coming easily to him, he had spent his life outdoors so he was pretty tough and women seemed to like that. He was never short of a bed fellow since he had hit puberty, always, eager girls trying to hook him, hoping for a ring on their finger. Mathew wasn’t interested, he had no interest in any of the women around here, most he had known since forever and they bored him. He headed out jumping into the range rover in the drive and hit the road to turn left toward his parents. He hesitated at the junction looking along to the right where she had gone, his foot hovering over the accelerator.
‘What are you doing Matt?’ he said to himself in the rear view mirror. Despite openly questioning his motives he found himself turning right, he would just drive by, maybe get a glimpse of what she looked like finally and then his fascination would die, right? He followed the bends in the road, before long seeing her up ahead, she moved to the grass verge on hearing a car but didn’t look around, this irritated him more. What was he thinking? He should have been heading the opposite direction and going to work, he had a ton to do that day. He drove past her , glancing in his rear-view until she came into view but felt only disappointment at the fact she was looking down, her hair falling over her face in the gentle breeze. Seeing the gate to the side of the road ahead he turned in coming to an abrupt halt and jumped out, the field was being left to go to seed for grazing so he had no reason to be there but he needed to end this. He opened the gate and checked the latch knowing this one had always been broken, he was stalling for time until she got close, he pulled out a rope from the fence which had been holding it closed and ripped it away. He had more rope in the car, he intended to make it look like he was just here replacing it, quick and easy. One look at her and then he would be gone. He watched from the corner of his eye as he rummaged in the back of the car, seeing her getting close enough that she would have to walk around to pass. The idea hit him as she came out to move around, still not looking up at all. He paced fast around the near side, past the front and walked straight into her as she came to the front, tactical move with one goal. To get the girl to look at him.
She walked straight into him unaware that he had stepped out in front of her with a yelp, he caught her arms as she tripped over his boots, her head snapping up in shock at the collision. Mathew gulped in surprise as he had been faced with the most beautiful girl he had ever laid eyes on, his senses momentarily deserting him. Her pale skin had a smattering of light freckles over a small cute nose, perfect pouted pink kissable lips in that delicate face he hoped for and the softest almost grey-blue eyes he had ever seen. She had instantly taken his breath away making him feel like a fourteen-year-old tongue tied kid. The effect had thrown him.
‘I’m sorry I wasn’t looking where I was going’ she smiled shyly only adding to the winded feeling in his chest, he was literally dumbstruck over the girl. Her voice was as soft and young as the sounds of summer.
‘No.. it was me’ he admitted, the impulse to be completely honest without actually making him out to be a weird stalker , he hated the way his heart was hammering in his chest, his hands clammy all of a sudden. He had never reacted this way to women.
‘Oh No’ she breathed suddenly, her eyes downcast as she noticed the crushed flower between them. Mathew cursed under his breath, he hadn’t meant to do that and he felt awful, a stab in the stomach kind of awful.
‘I’m sorry, look my mum grows pink roses I’m sure she has some we could go pick one if you like’ he had no idea why he felt so hell bent on taking the look of dismay off the girls face, that gold wedding band winking at him like a shiny poke in the eye. Some guy was sure as hell the luckiest guy on the planet.
‘It’s okay’ she looked up, a sadness in her eye ‘it’s stupid really…she won’t miss it for one day’
‘Who won’t?’ he asked gently, wanting to know more about the girl, wanting to fix what he had just done. He wondered if he should admit that he had seen her every morning walking by. Ask her about the flower but he didn’t need too.
‘My mother’ she looked away, holding a memory in her minds eye that was obviously painful ‘She died along this road, this was hers’ she holds up her hand pushing the ring with her thumb, Mathew felt a strange peek of hope inside his chest. ‘I bring her one of her favourite flowers every morning, to lay where she left me’ she had bitten her lip holding back a tremble and his instinct was to wrap his arms around her. He was blown away by the force of emotion she stirred in him.
‘I’m really sorry’ it was the only thing he could think to say, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her, standing so close he could smell her light floral scent and clean shampooed hair, she had no idea how turned on he was despite the fact he had almost made her cry and just told him the saddest thing he’d ever heard. Jesus he felt like an Asshole.
‘It’s okay… I’m getting there’ she smiled ‘she had a good life, she had only moved here a couple of weeks before she crashed’
He suddenly clicked, the memory of a fatal accident over a year ago, in the middle of the night some woman had gone off the road in a rain storm. He hadn’t known her, some city woman, a widow who had moved to town , he guessed this girl had come long after and was somehow making peace with her grief after so long. He wondered if that meant she was temporarily here and suddenly didn’t want her to be.
‘Look let me run you back, maybe get another one and I can bring you back here…it’s the least I can do’ he looked at her beseechingly, aware that he couldn’t stop looking at that mouth, the full perfect curve of those lips and the overwhelming desire to kiss her. She really was getting to him on all sorts of levels.
‘Really? You would do that?’ the happiness on her face was the deciding factor, hell he would skip an entire day’s work to play chauffeur to that smile.
‘Really’ he grinned at her, that face infectious with happiness. She clapped her hands in childish glee and bounced up to kiss him on the cheek, such an innocent childlike motion , badly timed she had come lip to lip with him as he turned. Stunned into stopping while still pressed together he impulsively caught her face and kissed her properly, surprised with his own impulses and the fact she immediately responded. A mere second of a chaste rushed kiss, but it sent an explosion of adrenaline through him, sure she had felt the same shockwave he just did, he was blown away by such a random instant act on the side of the road at six am. He pulled away awkwardly, noticing her face enveloping in the cutest blush he had ever seen.
‘Did that just happen?’ he asked her shocked that he would just kiss a girl like that.
‘I guess you will have to ask me on a date now’ she blushed biting her lip and giggling nervously without meeting his eye ‘Can’t have random strangers kissing me on the side of the road without at least one ‘ she looked down at her feet shyly. Mathew felt the grin spread across his face, she had him, before he even knew her name he was hooked.
‘I could sure use some breakfast after we come back with your flower?’ he asked softly, feeling the surge of excitement as she looked up at him with the most enthusiastic, Yes he’d ever seen.