Monday, 1 November 2010

First Short Story Rejection

Remember me saying that I submitted my first short story to Take-a-Break? well, I've had my first rejection. I knew it would come. How many people get lucky with their first submission? I doubt many. I expected the rejection and thought I would be fine with it, after all, it's rejection from a distance, but it did still did hit a nerve. I loved my first story. After I submitted it, I asked a friend who writes, to read it. She critiqued it and from that I confirmed with myself that it would be rejected. I have since started editing it as think the idea I was trying to convey, is good, I just need to make the middle section less......dull.

I thought I would share the original version with you. The edited version now has huge chunks missing that I need to rewrite. This is my first ever short story, my first attempt. I like it (well I would, wouldn't I) but I do know where it falls down now, but I thought here would be a good place to keepsake it.


The Arum lilies were beautiful. Stems, brightly green with stunningly, swirlingly, beautiful cream flowers. She loved the way they curled and the strength of the stems as she held them. A strand of ribbon binding the six lilies together. She clutched them tightly, breathing in deeply, allowing the floral scent and emotion to fill her senses.
Her eyes were closed.

It was her wedding day, every little girls dream. Her husband to be, by her side. It was her perfect day. Christie remembered the days in the run up to the wedding, visiting the small, family run cake store to check on the cake prior to delivery, three tiers, frosted to perfection and holding intricately made frosted lilies. She remembered trying on her dress to obsessive levels, watching how it flowed around her body as she danced in front of the mirror. The white bodice and capped sleeves, showing her tiny frame perfectly, whilst the drop of the silk from the bodice, swam around her slender legs, giving her the feel of a princess.

She had shopped for thank you gifts for her two bridesmaids, Sarah and Lucy. Christie and Sarah had been friends since the first day of infant school, at just five years of age, all pigtails and frilly socks. Both girls in awe of the large full time school and the new experience, latching on to each other in their mutual newness and fear of such a momentous occasion. Lucy had joined them a year later, moving to the area after her parents had split in a very acrimonious way and her mum had moved as far away from Lucy's father as she could. People often say that having a friendship of three is difficult to maintain, but Christie, Sarah and Lucy clicked, and true friendship held fast. The gifts were personal thank you's, not only for being a part of her big day, but for the years of treasured friendship. The trials and tribulations of teenagedom, where everything was a drama. Bad skin, boys and some fairly horrific fashion disasters. It had been a typical teenage roller coaster of a ride for the girls and one that bound their friendship even tighter together. The friendship bracelets were her tribute to them and all that they meant to her.

Now she also had Jonathan in her life. She noticed him when he started working in the large offices that were Peterman and son, conveyors. She noticed his tall frame, dark styled hair and endearing smile, the minute he walked through the large antique wooden framed double doors, into the open spaced office area. She figured he was out of her league. Not only was he incredibly handsome, but he was kind and gently spoken in any conversation. The day he asked to take her out, had been, at that point, one of the worst days of her career. He found her in Coffee-tup, the coffee shop on the corner of the block where they worked, her smudged mascara, giving her a look of the crazy, and her hair, having hands driven through it twenty times a minute had taken on a life of it's own. She was distraught after dropping the proverbial ball at work and having been hauled over the coals by her supervisor, and had promptly left for a strong sweet fix in her favourite place. This was where she was sat when Jonathan walked in. Christie hadn't noticed him enter as she had cocooned herself into the corner of the shop, as out of view as she could possibly be, sitting with her back to the rest of the shop in an effort to hide the demented panda look, which she was sure, was not the current look being shimmied down the London catwalks.

He had sat down quietly in front of her. He didn't even say anything, he sat and he looked and he waited. Bewildered, she gave an uncertain smile and at that, he quietly took her hand. The difficulties of the day forgotten and a place in her heart filled. From there, conversations, picnics, restaurants and days filled with laughter ensued, a journey to her place in front of the alter where she would give her life to this man. It couldn't be told in a dramatic way, her love was assuredly and definitive as time itself and she knew with all that she was, that it was consummate.

She could see the guests, the colours and smiles. The joy and emotion was tangible. It felt warm and sure, slowly caressing her as it enveloped and secured her. He was there beside her, everything, her world, her soul, her reason for being. She looked at her father, the man who gave her away, traditionally handing her to her husband, giving her new life.

She lifted and touched the flowers to her nose, taking a moment in the fragrance and feeling the heat of love. The softness of the petals caressing the tip of her nose. The sweet scent stirred something in her.

She opened her eyes.

Confusion welled up, a deep knot from her stomach, churning up into her chest, up welling, taking her very breath from within her. She held on to the strong stems, soaking up the scent into every pore of her being, she felt the gentle hands of Sarah and Lucy cupping her elbows and knew it was time to let go. With a breath taken from the depth of her soul, she looked down, deep into the dark hole in the earth opening up in front of her and opening her hands, released the beautiful cream Arum lilies, watching as they fell softly into the ground.

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