Write on Edge: Desire on Display

Renata watched the champagne drip down Thomas’s beard and into his cravat, the sweet wine instantly staining the cornflower silk.

“That’s rich!” she hissed as Thomas dabbed at the damage, “you have no trust in me?  I am the woman who has remained your faithful servant and mistress for more than two years, never once treading on the reputation you guard like a priceless mural in a gallery.   Yet, you still find it in your heart to make accusations and assumptions about my loyalty?”

It was Thomas’s turn to blanch even while his cheeks reddened with contempt beneath the stubble, “You bewilder me my dear, for I know your mind is as fair as your countenance…”

Renata dipped her head, “You flatter me, sir, for you know the suave words and diction that can bring me to your side. As always, you delight in the simple knowledge that Iwill succumb even when your launguage is coarse and your nature condescendng. ”

He grabbed her above the elbow, pulling her close where Renata leaned in, inhaling the familiar scent of sweet tobacco, but the words he affronted her with were less than charming. “You silly, selfish girl.” shaking his head at her as one would a disobedient child, “It is simply beneath you to talk to me in this way. I have told you what is expected, I have made every effort to be fair in my attempt to dissolve this affair and for this I am punished?”

“Punished?” Renata repeated. “You still believe yourself a victim in all this?”

Thomas let go of her arm and took a step back, “I do. Our attachment has reached beyond the mutual attraction which brought us together; voices are reaching me and threatening my very name.”

She fired back, “if we are going to give those rumors any credence, then you cannot feign ignorance of the many words said about the woman you call wife and the allegations for which you seem to have an endless source of forgiveness for.”

Renata felt the bile and tears rise in her throat, “we have professed love for one another Thomas. This is something you believe is easily retracted, as if you can just repeal your feelings with the expectation of understanding and sensibility?  Love, my darling, is anything but sensible.”

“I cannot love you in a world looming with a menacing demeanor.”

“Ah my love, I know you intimately but never once did I take you for a coward. A man of secrets, to be sure, but never one with  such a weakness of character.”

Thomas’s face ignited in fury, “What of my family? What of my children or your own?”

Renata regarded him with temperance, “What of them?”

“Have you no regard or compassion for any of them? You would choose this…”

Renata took his hand and looked into the eyes of the man she loved, “I do not know, Thomas, what I would choose, because you have never given me the opportunity to do so.”


For the WRITE ON EDGE Prompt of the week, we were shown this picture and asked to write what came to mind about it.

Jackson Pollock Gallery

I felt that some people treat themselves and their feelings like a museum.

This Story started as a Trifecta challenge, HOLLOW MAN and then continued with another challenge, Retaliation (which is the scene which takes place right before this one).

This is the 3rd piece.


(thank you for coming over to read it!)  

12 thoughts on “Write on Edge: Desire on Display”

  1. There’s no good way to end an affair, is there? Ugly all around.

    I was a little confused by your use of the word “complementary” in the second paragraph; you might want to look at that.

    1. HI Annabelle,
      thank you for this, I changed the sentence and a few other things. I appreciate the critique and the suggestion.
      have a great weekend

  2. Renata and Thomas have an interesting dynamic. I’m curious how so much mistrust developed. I’d love to see more of their emotional connection played out in their physical behavior. I think the meat of what’s between them is getting lost in the dialogue, which can be tricky with period pieces.

    1. thank you Cameron..for that critique. I don’t really know what I’m doing and having you look at and tell me what you feel about it will help me rewrite it.

      as far as how so much distrust happened…well….I guess I just need to keep writing. 😉

    1. Hi Cait,
      thank you..it’s so nice to see you here. I appreciate the comment very much.
      This period is hard to write and I’m “trying” 😉

  3. There is always enough blame to throw around at everyone. It is never just one person’s responsibility, and very unfair to try say it is. The tension in this piece is palpable.

    1. I agree Tara.
      I’m more interested in learning how to write in this “voice”, I love this time period and am trying to write for it. I am going to keep trying to hone that part of the craft.

      Thomas and Renata…well their story isn’t over yet, we’ll see where it takes them.

  4. Nice piece, both characters are a piece of work and of course the children. Neither are worried about their children, just themselves. Great job!

    1. HI Tessa,
      I wouldn’t say they are not concerned about the children…but like any couple, they need to know where they stand with one another.

      thanks for coming over to read, that means a lot to me.

  5. I think it’s wonderful that she stands up to him about not having the opportunity to make her own choice about their fate. Sometimes having the choice taken away is more hurtful than either decision.

    1. I am so glad you liked this…
      and yes, I think even writing I didn’t realize that that is what has her so upset until I saw it in your comment. It’s the choice not being hers, or feeling like she is being villified, when all she did was love him.

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