Fairytale Romance

Tuesday night book club ended much the same as any other week. The women read and discussed Leslie Meier’s latest whodunit, “Irish Parade,” which dealt with a reporter trying to uncover the truth about a case in which her office rival was charged with the murder of a corrections officer. Well, everyone read the book aside from Irene Beaumont, who cribbed her notes from Wikipedia, despite having been caught and called out on it on several occasions. Afterwards, someone posed the question:

“If you could wake up to one wish, what would it be?”

Cynthia Granger wanted clarity of mind in order to be closer to God. Sarah Clemmens desired a meaningful life, one lived in service to others, especially those in emotional need. Delores Babcock wanted to be more intimate in her relationships and less afraid of life. Brenda Trotter wanted to know, without the shadow of a doubt, what her purpose was in the world, because she felt rudderless for so very long now. When it was Geneviève’s turn to answer, she shrugged off the question, offering some lame excuse, because she wasn’t comfortable explaining that she was actively working on fulfilling her wish.

What she desired more than anything else in the world, was a fairytale romance, and she was determined to get it by hook or by crook.

Geneviève decided to attend a mixer one night, without alerting her friends and family in case it went horribly wrong, and, to her astonishment, she met a man who ticked all the boxes on her potential suitor checklist. So, she implemented a plan to stretch the wooing period in an elaborate game of chase, dodged his attempts at popping the question until she was sure that he had fallen in love with her madly, truly, deeply, withheld sex throughout the entire courting and engagement process, and the list went on.

When they were finally wed, Geneviève realized her wish had come true. She moved into his palatial estate, which he shared with his six older brothers, who had either gone missing or were all dead; her husband’s servants were all either animated household items that would burst into song spontaneously, or woodland creatures gifted with human speech; she had to leave a trail of breadcrumbs whenever she left the house alone in order to find her way home again; she had access to every room in the mansion, except one, which was always locked and possessed no keyhole or doorknob or other mechanism in which to open it; and the biggest clue was that her mother-in-law dabbled in some sort of ancient arcane religion, and was always involved in some project or other that always almost accidentally killed Geneviève.

It didn’t get more fairytale than that.

Text and Audio ©2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Lift Your Eyes

“There’s something you need to know about me. I was born with an extraordinary ability that allows me to see into the future. I know, it sounds a bit mad, but I swear it’s the God’s honest truth. This gift has given me the unfair advantage of always avoiding imminent danger by selecting the best possible outcome in any given situation. But the strongest vision I ever had involved you. Although you don’t know me yet, we have an incredible future in store for us, happy marriage, wonderful children, charmed life, the whole nine yards. We will have a connection like no other couple on the planet. Our auras have the capability to overlap in order to create a psychic rapport. The only hiccup in all this coming true is that you must initiate first contact or our fairytale relationship will never happen, so I desperately need you to lift your eyes from your phone and see me!” I shouted in silence until my emotions were hoarse.

Text and Audio ©2019 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

There is a Letter…

In my sock drawer, there is a hiding space behind a row of what my father calls grave socks as in one foot in the grave because they either do not have a match, are riddled with holes, threadbare at the toes and heels, or the ankle elastic has given up their hold on life. In that hiding space, there is a letter written carefully in a mixture of cursive and print. In that letter, are words, feelings, emotions, and admissions that a boy would never say directly to a girl’s face, not even on a double dog dare.

On a bicycle, there is a shy paperboy who, even though I have not responded to his first letter yet, would write me another letter, I am sure of it, reminding me of our time in the park. In that park, there is a rum cherry tree under which I made a promise to the shy paperboy of seven minutes in heaven.

In my closet, on an afternoon when no one is home, I make good on my promise with the shy paperboy. In the dark, my mind is filled with a sort of scary, sort of awkward fireworks that I can see but cannot hear because my heart is pounding so fast and loud that I swear the shy paperboy can hear it.

In that kiss, there is something I do not have words for, something that drops my guard completely, makes me feel truly comfortable with the shy paperboy and I am desperate to let him see me in my entirety.

In that feeling, I am crying harder than I ever have before, harder than I even knew I could, crying past the point when I run out of tears. In the tearless sobs, my breath is hitching and I realize that this is most likely the happiest and most terrified I will ever feel in my life.

In the silence, after the kiss and the tears, the overwhelming and slightly painful joy is replaced by the sound of a key sliding into a lock, the tumbling of a bolt and the jangling of a woman’s metal bracelets.

In the house, there is a mother who will tan not only my hide but the shy paperboy’s as well, if she ever finds out I have company without permission and especially if my room door is closed and that company is a boy who is in my room.

In the window, there is a scared paperboy climbing out and mumbling a prayer that he does not hurt himself or makes a sound when he drops a story to the ground below.

In my mother’s eyes, there is suspicion when she opens the door and enters my room, catching me rushing to shut the window, cutting off the cool breeze even though I am dripping with sweat.

In my mind, there is a list of excuses that I cannot find in the clutter of thoughts so I just stare at my mother as innocently as I can manage, as she walks past me and opens the window, about to stick her head out to inspect the backyard.

In my mouth, there is a fib, “A wasp!” I say just a bit too forcefully and I build on it by telling her there was a wasp in the room so I closed the door to stop it from getting into the rest of the house and I managed to chase it out and shut the window behind it.

In the moments that tick by too slowly, my mother glances at the window again, then at my face before turning to leave but as she reaches the door, she stops and says, “You should probably find a better hiding place. Your father’s been talking about throwing out your grave socks and you wouldn’t want him finding that letter, would you? And the no company without permission rule stands no matter how sweet a boy’s words are or how much your heart aches for him, understood?”

In the end, I realize I am not as clever as I think I am, nor is my mother that foolish or unreasonable and I discover a newfound respect for her as I answer, “Yes, ma’am.”

Text and Audio ©2019 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Tweets as Stories: There is a Letter…

In my sock drawer, there is a hiding space behind a row what my father calls grave socks as in one foot in the grave because they either do not have a match, are riddled with holes, threadbare at the toes and heels, or the ankle elastic has given up their hold on life. In that hiding space, there is a letter written carefully in a mixture of cursive and print. In that letter, are words, feelings, emotions, and admissions that a boy would never say directly to a girl’s face, not even on a double dog dare.

On a bicycle, there is a shy paperboy who, even though I have not responded to his first letter yet, would write me another letter, I am sure of it, reminding me of our time in the park. In that park, there is a rum cherry tree under which I made a promise to the shy paperboy of seven minutes in heaven.

In my closet, on an afternoon when no one is home, I make good on my promise with the shy paperboy. In the dark, my mind is filled with a sort of scary, sort of awkward fireworks that I can see but cannot hear because my heart is pounding so fast and loud that I swear the shy paperboy can hear it.

In that kiss, there is something I do not have words for, something that drops my guard completely, makes me feel truly comfortable with the shy paperboy and I am desperate to let him see me in my entirety.

In that feeling, I am crying harder than I ever have before, harder than I even knew I could, crying past the point when I run out of tears. In the tearless sobs, my breath is hitching and I realize that this is most likely the happiest and most terrified I will ever feel in my life.

In the silence, after the kiss and the tears, the overwhelming and slightly painful joy is replaced by the sound of a key sliding into a lock, the tumbling of a bolt and the jangling of a woman’s metal bracelets.

In the house, there is a mother who will tan not only my hide but the shy paperboy’s as well, if she ever finds out I have company without permission and especially if my room door is closed and that company is a boy who is in my room.

In the window, there is a scared paperboy climbing out and mumbling a prayer that he does not hurt himself or makes a sound when he drops a story to the ground below.

In my mother’s eyes, there is suspicion when she opens the door and enters my room, catching me rushing to shut the window, cutting off the cool breeze even though I am dripping with sweat.

In my mind, there is a list of excuses that I cannot find in the clutter of thoughts so I just stare at my mother as innocently as walks past me and opens the window, about to stick her head out to inspect the backyard.

In my mouth, there is a fib, “A wasp!” I say just a bit too forcefully and I build on it by telling her there was a wasp in the room so I closed the door to stop it from getting into the rest of the house and I managed to chase it out and shut the window behind it.

In the moments that tick by too slowly, my mother glances at the window again, then at my face before turning to leave but as she reaches the door, she stops and says, “You should probably find a better hiding place. Your father’s been talking about throwing out your grave socks and you wouldn’t want him finding that letter, would you? And the no company without permission rule stands no matter how sweet a boy’s words are or how much your heart aches for him, understood?”

In the end, I realize I am not as clever as I think I am, nor is my mother that foolish or unreasonable and I discover a newfound respect for her as I answer, “Yes, ma’am.”

About There is a Letter: The story began life as this sneaky tweet for a Wednesday Twitter hashtag game called 1LineWed (hosted by Kiss of Death @RWAKissofDeath) that I banged out while I was working my day job:

©2019 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys