Much Longer Than Always

First off, this story was written nearly four years ago. At its birth it was 203 words. I offered it as my first story for Sunday Photo Fiction, the very first photo prompt I joined as a blogger. When I saw the picture of a fountain, it made me remember that story that I thought I might rework and which actually took too long to find. (I may have too many posts!)

This is definitely an exercise in how to reduce a story. The current version is under 100 words. The story’s all there. Maybe? The fluff removed. What do you think? You can compare the two by reading below and clicking on the link above.

Warning. The original story included strong language, which I’ve kept. If you find that offensive, please don’t read on.


Much Longer Than Always

Charlie hides in the shadow of the blossoming dogwood, wanting to see Tom before he sees her. But now, as clouds shade the sun, make her shiver, she’s positive he’s forgotten her.

She wanders to the bench, fiddles with her phone.

A marine surveys the courtyard.


She nods.

He hands her an envelope.

Shitty news my former bald leukemic girlfriend: I beat cancer. I never, ever forgot you. I joined the Marines, evidently died in this shithole. I pray you never, ever see this. The irony would be too fucking much. Excuse my French.

Love, much longer than always, Tom


6 thoughts on “Much Longer Than Always

  1. I read both and don’t think you’ve lost anything. It can be fun to revisit old stories. Mine always seem to need a lot of work.

    I think love sears one on our consciousness… “much longer than always.” Great line.

  2. Dear Sascha,

    A cruel irony indeed. Good job of cutting it down. A great exercise in finding what words are truly necessary to the story. Well done



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