Snazzy Snippets is an awesome bimonthly link-up for writers. It’s hosted by Emily @ Loony Literate and Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout. It’s a great opportunity to share snippets of your writing (500 words or less).
Today, I am going to cheat a little and share the first 700 words of my short story, The Circus. It’s basically a response to all of the prompts (A heartwarming snippet that makes readers go “aww!” or A kissing snippet or A snippet where love interests first appear together). Also, I shared a different snippet from this story last time and you can read that snippet here!
For weeks Safa and Raizal meet at the bookstore and brush fingers as they browse. They fall in love over steaming cups of cocoa, make out in coffee shops and lose themselves in back-alleys. But eventually Safa grows tired of being a secret.
That afternoon, disappointment settles deep in her stomach when Raizal, once again, doesn’t invite Safa to her house. Raizal has been to Safa’s house twice and each time it was a tense affair consisting of silence and unease – Amma banging the dishes angrily because she was furious that Safa had “chosen this life.” But for Safa, this decision was made five years ago when she began falling in and out of love, reaching for different kinds of happiness each time. There were crushes. And her heart trembled each time she saw the girl. But soon she forgot them, keeping only photos to remind her of affairs gone south. Now, the only person she glanced longingly at was Raizal, another good behti who had ended up choosing love, chosen her instead of stern parents who claimed it was “just a phase.”
Today, Safa is tired, emotionally worn-out but she is also hopeful. She dresses aching slowly, fumbles her way through a closet full of dresses before finally choosing a semi-sheer dress that clings to her hips. Safa stands in front of a full-length mirror and braids her hair into a fishtail. For now, the fact that Raizal hasn’t given up on this relationship will be enough.
She opens the door to find Raizal sitting on the sidewalk, reading a book, the wind playing with her long brown hair. She hates that they have to exist like this, ignoring the tension in her house and the nosy neighbors who clearly disapprove.
Last night, Safa shattered every vase, fingers trembling, and mouth tight when Amma dared suggest that someone might actually hurt Raizal because she chooses to love differently. Some days it’s difficult to control the magick but there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her girlfriend safe.
“Hello,” murmurs Raizal, putting down the book and standing up. She opens and closes her mouth several times before finally whispering, “Is everything okay?” When she licks her lips nervously, Safa can’t stand it anymore. She pulls Raizal close and kisses her. Then there is only silence and sunlight, soft breathless sounds escaping Safa’s mouth.
“You know I can’t think when you do that,” says Safa, wrapping an arm around Raizal’s waist. Raizal’s top rides up and she rests a hand on the sliver of skin between the top and her black skirt.
“When were you going to tell me?”
“About what?” Safa tenses, pulling away from Raizal so she can face her.
“You didn’t tell me you have magick.”
“It’s not something I like to speak about.” Safa doesn’t know how to explain that magick is not a good thing in her hands – she has spontaneously combusted more times than she can count and most importantly, she doesn’t want to scare away Raizal.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Raizal repeats like a broken record.
“I don’t know.” Safa could fill a hundred notebooks with things she does not know.
“Okay. Okay.” There is a pause and Safa’s heart stutters to a halt.
“I love you,” blurts Safa.
Raizal blushes and changes the subject as one does when they’re not quite ready to say ‘I love you’ back. “I…went to the bookstore.”
Raizal picks up a hardcopy of The Secret History from where it rests beside a flowerpot and hands it to Safa. Clouds heavy with rain are clustering above them and Safa is consumed with the sudden urge to pull Raizal inside and kiss her silly. A tattered flyer floats down and lands on top of Safa’s head.
THE CIRCUS IS HERE (again)!
From March 1st to March 3rd, come escape your mundane life!
“We should go!” Raizal’s eyes are bright with excitement and Safa smiles okay. She doesn’t want to deny Raizal this even though the circus is the last thing Safa wants to visit. She hasn’t told Raizal about her family’s enemies. “The ringmaster is not to be trifled with!” Safa’s father likes to scream on many a drunken night but freedom tastes like Raizal’s lips on her own and Safa thinks it would be fun to visit the circus, just this once.