Week Twenty-Seven prompt: Once Upon a Time

You should know upfront

That there is no once upon a time.

That this is not a love story.

That liars kill their kind.

Boy meets Boy,

one day on a train.

It sounds like a love story,

and it might have been

(for what is a love story but a story about love?),

but then they meet

the Girl.

She sits between them,

All five feet

a clear-skinned mystery

they want to solve.

A pinch and a tickle

they get for their troubles.

But, that day on the train,

they find a promise

in her silver laugh

in her small hands,

in the voice of her eyes,

“I am yours.”

From somewhere deepdeepdown,

they feel a push.

Boy and Boy slip.

Boy and Boy trip.

(They don’t want to get back up.)

Something as stupid as

an upside-down frown

holds them hostage.

She goes to them,

to Boy and Boy,

one by one.

She touches and

heat is hot andwhispersarehotter,

Skin to skin and skin to skin,

“IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou,

is that okay?”

It isn’t,

But-

people can get used to anything.

There is a week,

and then two,

she isn’t where she says she is.

Boy and Boy play darts

dripping with doubt.

They find her,

one day on a train.

She is kissing someone.

Familiar,

like her lips kiss his lips

every day.

It sounds like a love story,

and it might have been –

(for what is a love story but a story about love?)

but Boy and Boy don’t believe in love stories

any more.

She feels a push.

She slips, she trips,

She wants to get back up.

Boy and Boy wear upside-down frowns

as they hold her hostage

until the train comes.

“Such a shame.”

“Terrible accident.”

“So young.”

“What an awful way to go.”

There is no once upon a time.

This is not a love story.

Liars kill their kind.

Like it? Vote for it here!

10 thoughts on “Week Twenty-Seven prompt: Once Upon a Time

  1. I think this version is clearer – grim and also empathetic. I like “what is a love story but a story about love” and how you run the words together in some places – very intense.

  2. This is really good, it is a shame it hasn’t gotten much notice yet. Idol really does seem to favor short fiction and creative non-fiction, which is a shame because I like it when people play with the other genres. Will vote for this.

  3. I really like your use of refrain in poetry, especially as it’s a technique I often avoid and seeing it done so well always makes me think.

    That this is not a love story.
    That liars kill their kind.
    Such wonderful, ominous phrasing here.

    heat is hot andwhispersarehotter,
    Ooh!

    The progression of this story, where the two Boys think they can live with her loving them both (perhaps because she met them both at the same time), but cannot at all live with her giving love away randomly, worked really, really well.

  4. When there is 3, there is trouble.

    I didn’t expect the ending though. I should have, because you warned me at the beginning.

    I love how you use familiar phrases in some parts (like the second to last stanza) yet twist them to make something new and unexpected.

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