FFfAW : How passionless – how bloodless

Thank you Louise, with The Storyteller’s Abode, for our photo prompt this week!


It was as she read Norman’s proposal of marriage that Phyllis realised she didn’t love him and that he would never love her.

The document laid out in reasonable terms why they should marry – from financial considerations, through to them both being moderately attractive so they would no doubt produce tolerable looking offspring.

All very logical, written in Norman’s neat script, the handwriting of a Victorian spinster, Phyllis had always thought.

She’d never heard of anyone being proposed to by letter. Her sister Irene had been swept off her feet by her blue-coated lancer, cheeks still flushed from the chase as she waddled down the aisle.

How cold and unfeeling Norman seemed by comparison, with the chart showing his projected income over the coming ten years, his list of material assets, the improbabilty of him losing his hair prior to his dottage.

How passionless it all seemed – how bloodless.

But then, Irene’s lancer has soon been skewered in battle, leaving her penniless and screaming as the soldier’s brat clawed its way out of her belly.

And besides, Norman’s father had died young too, victim to a weak heart – a hereditary condition Norman had failed to mention in his proposal …

Phyllis reached for her pen, laid a fresh sheet of paper on her writing desk.

Dear Norman …


Written for Pricelees Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See the picture and write a tale. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

30 thoughts on “FFfAW : How passionless – how bloodless

  1. Dear Norman, I know you have a weak heart, but have you thought of joining the lancers? I’d make that a prerequisite before I signed any pre-nuptials …

    I’m sure she’d put it more tactfully than that! That’s the sign of a well-written short story, you imagine the resulting scenario

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Love that. Yes, I’m sure she’ll be watching for her moment, making sure his extimation of his fortune is correct before taking the plunge. I’m sure many marriages have begun with a similar pragmatism. Thanks very much Chris 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s always one if you look hard enough 🙂 And you never know – Norman might live till he’s ninety and lose all his money on a horse. Then she’ll be stuffed!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In a way, I think they are. Even though she seems cold and calculating, he is too so shouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t marry him for love … and tries to work out how long she’ll have to put up with him! Thanks Joy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. She’s a sly one but I can’t blame her lol. There has to be some upside to marrying this guy besides his credentials which don’t mean love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This kind of agreement must have worked for many women – find someone not too awful who’ll support your material needs. It’s not to be sniffed at in a time when you could starve to death every easily. Head over heart – one nil to head 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. God, this has the tone of some of the Chekhov short stories I read last year in the UK, over winter. Good time to read that, kind of cuts to the bone. Nice one, Lynn. Good with the Cat Stevens and low light in my den, right now. Cheers, Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you know how I love Cat Stevens – anything is better with his voice to accompany it. Thank you for the generous comparison, Bill. Who can blame her really? She needs a man for money and she’s seen what love can bring a woman. Accountants win over dashing lancers 🙂 Thanks again

      Liked by 1 person

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