In a Parisian café, after and before.

I sit alone stirring my coffee turning cold. There is no reason to stir, I always drink my coffee black but the sound of the spoon hitting the porcelain masks the persistent drumming of rain against the fogged-up window.

I know you will not come; not this time, not ever. Soon I will leave the café where we met so many heart-beats ago.

But I also know there are moments caught between heart-beats. moments when I still can hear your laughing at my rotten French pronunciation. In those moments I imagine that spring might bring you back.

I rub my hands against each other feeling the reek of lilies.
You hated lilies, but I could not muster up the courage to bring roses to your grave.

Roses are for lovers, but you had left me long before you passed.
Long before I killed you.

Kiss by the Hotel de Ville by Robert Doisneau

Today it’s Prosery again at dVerse, where we write prose in 144 words or less, or exact as in this case. We also have to include a line from a poem which today is selected by Kim from a poem by Louis MacNeice, entitled ‘Coda’.

The line is: ‘There are moments caught between heart-beats’…


February 17, 2020

29 responses to “In a Parisian café, after and before.

  1. I love the title, the photo – black and white photographs like this are my favourites – and the setting, Björn! The sound of the spoon and the ‘drumming of rain against the fogged-up window’ prepare your reader for what is to come. You built in the twist so well, with the lightness of the paragraph about ‘laughing at my rotten French pronunciation’ that I almost believed that spring might bring her back, and then I read the chilling last line.

  2. So masterfully done. I love the coffee stirring to mask the sound of rain, his sure knowledge she will not return, all the little clues that support what totally surprised me, that last line!

  3. You and Lillian, masters of flash crime fiction. Yours really conjures international intrigue, like an episode of TWILIGHT ZONE. Great sense of place and sophisticated cold-blooded evil.

  4. I love the part about the scent of the flowers on his hands. I believe he is still in love with her. Just as I believe he is hopelessly insane.

  5. This so fits the tragedy of love gone strange, a true Parisian tortured love as novels tell, and also the insanity of non-recognition, he cannot see what he can see. So enjoyed the twist Bjorn and the dark.

  6. Masterly done. First it feels sweet and romantic, then the twist right at the end. So you have to start over again to really know what the story is
    all about.

  7. OH MY GOSH! What a double shocker ending! I was so enthralled — mesmorized is a better word, with the spoon stirring and into this person’s mind and then bam! She’s dead and bam! again: he killed her! WOW!

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