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7th August
posted by amber

One Twilight Tale

Once upon a time, a courting couple were walking down the lane at twilight.

“Don’t be silly,” she said, “of course, I’m not afraid.”

“Well, what do you think that noise might be?”

“It’s a cow following us, that my father gave to me.”

“That’s never a cow. I’ve never heard a cow growl like that!”

He turned to look back, but she grabbed his hand and pulled him forward, saying, “Okay, I wasn’t going to tell you, but it’s a dancing bear for us to earn our living with, that my father gave to me.”

“But we’d have to join a circus, and I’d rather have a settled life,” he said, standing stock still in the middle of the path, tugging back on her hands. The twilight deepened, shadows creeping from the dark trees on one side of the lane to mingle with the shadows of the dark trees on the other side of the lane.

“Oh, you silly, where would my father get a dancing bear? Honestly, you’ll believe anything. Come on then, you need to get me home by midnight.”

“Can I stay in your barn? I’m afraid to walk home with that thing, whatever it is, lurking in the woods.”

“We’ll have to ask my father.”

“Is he waiting at your house to meet me, then?”

“No, silly. That’s him behind us.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This odd story was inspired by the title and first line of Jo Walton’s short story in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2010 anthology.

Hey – this is story 99! Number 100 tomorrow. Any requests or suggestions?

1 Comment

  1. Marilyn Snyder

    Here are a few first line suggestions:

    She had kept the secret for a long time but now she would have to reveal it.

    Although she couldn’t see anyone, she knew she was being watched.

    On the surface, she looked calm and composed but inside she was terrified.

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