Don't you think this would make a good photo, if only I could clear all the tourists out of the way, perhaps move a few vehicles. . .
I snapped the photo because a few lovers have clamped their looks onto the teeth of the Roman wolf. So many cities have been dealing with this problem of love locks, the damage they cause, the expense of their removal, and last week, I posted photos of a sculpture recently installed in Vancouver expressly for the purpose of allowing these tangible declarations of attachment. And at the time, I invited short stories -- postcard length -- promising to choose three of those stories and send a postcard from my travels to their writers. . .
It was a very spontaneous idea, and I wasn't sure if it would glean any responses, so I was delighted with the four entries -- two from one writer, who seems to have released a nascent talent for this form. Indeed, I think all three writers handle the tiny narrative form skilfully and engagingly. And because the four entries come from three writers, I can send a postcard to everyone who wrote us a story.
You can hop back to the original post to identify the photograph that prompted each story -- happily, each story here was inspired by a different photograph, although it might also be interesting to see two or three different interpretations for the same image.
I've decided that if any of you are still (or again, or anew) inspired to try your hand, I'll happily send a postcard to any new entries, within reason (I think I'm safe in assuming there won't be a deluge ;-)
Meanwhile, do enjoy the following clever little stories, and Lorrie, Eleanore, and Stacy, please send me your mailing address by email (to fsproutATgmailDOTcom, and I'll send you a postcard from Rome, although it will probably have a French postmark - two, two countries in one postcard!
For their 30th wedding anniversary, he presented her with a small box. Her eyebrows raised, then contracted. It was much too heavy for jewelry. Opening the box, she saw the heart, covered in diamonds. Real diamonds. She held in her hand, examined it, and raised her eyebrows again.
"We'll leave it here, in this park," he said. "A symbol of our forever love. No one will suspect these are real."
She leaned in for a kiss, as he pulled the second box from his pocket. "Here's something else."
It had not worked out after all. She had always wondered if he loved her the way she loved him and nothing he did could free her from that doubt. When some of her friends had taken their sweethearts to the park to put a lock on those strange statues, it had occurred to her that maybe they should do the same. If he was willing to confess his love for her in such a public fashion, she wouldn’t have to worry any more, would she? She suggested the idea, he shook his head. That was ridiculous. He loved her, he had told her a thousand times, wasn’t that sufficient? It was not, she insisted. She needed the ritual, the formal act. After that, she promised, she would believe in his love forever. He shook his head again and laughed.
But three weeks later, for her birthday, he took her to the park and unwrapped a shiny lock. “Let’s do it”, he said. She looked at the lock, then at him. “Where is the key?”, she asked. “There is no key. The lock opens with a code. You close it, turn the dial, and nobody can open it again.” “Unless you know the code”, she said. “But nobody does”, he said, folded his hands around hers, hung the lock on the statue’s arm and clicked it shut. “There you are”, he said. “Happy now?” She nodded. And wondered. Did he remember the code?