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Going Home Again

I wrote a 400-word fantasy romance flash fiction to celebrate 400 Twitter followers. Enjoy!

“Well, you look great,” I said.

Then I immediately felt like an idiot and coughed to cover it up. “I mean, of course you look great. You don’t age.”

“Right,” he said, smiling. “I apologize. How inconsiderate of me.”

The air shimmered, like the heat haze of a mirage on the blacktop, and I was suddenly staring at the refined good looks of a successful man heading toward his forties. Gracefully.

“Better?”

I made a face. “No, that only makes it weirder.”

He sighed dramatically, a sound that brought a flood of memories, and not all of them unpleasant. Then he was once again the handsome, reckless young man I’d met in the forest on my way home from school. A very long time ago.

“So. May I ask why you’ve returned to the Valley?”

“Mom and Dad,” I said. “They’re selling the house. I’m helping them pack.”

“Ah.” He smiled again. It was not an entirely trustworthy smile. “I remember that house. Your room had the small, round window, no? And the light through the trees was dappled green across your skin.”

My cheeks blazed. Of course he would say something like that. His kind had absolutely no sense of decorum.

“And how are things in the Land of the Ever-Fair?” I asked, changing the subject.

“Impossibly tedious,” he sighed.

I laughed. “I’ve been to the Twilight Lands. I don’t think they could ever be tedious.”

“Lonely,” he said, casually. “It’s been lonely. Since you left.”

My cheeks flared again. “It’s been twenty years since I left.”

He tilted his head, narrowed his eyes. He’d always struggled with the concept of time; it was one of the many irritating things that led me to refuse his offer, the night I turned eighteen and he took me beneath the moonlight.

The last time I’d seen him, actually, until I bumped into him yesterday at Starbuck’s. Of all places.

And no, things had not exactly turned out the way I’d imagined, back when I was young and beautiful and found I could refuse him. Before I’d learned decorum was a fancy mask for lies, and punctuality tedious.

“I never rescinded my offer,” he said, eyes blazing in his dark face. “Would you come with me, now?”

I leaned across the table until our cheeks were almost touching, until the air between us was heavy with his scent, the sweet, wild tang of my first lover.

“Kiss me,” I whispered, “and I’ll consider it.”

Click here for my 300 word fantasy/romance flash fiction.

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