Love Story
Francine Witte

Flash Fiction Winner

First, there were fig leaves and new light. Then, dinosaurs and ice. Next stop, 1790 with the hiccup of revolution still in the air. It dances on and on, this boy meets girl thing. Timeless as dirt and trees. This time, boy wears powdered wig and girl is whaleboned and breathless.

They twirl in their dance of true love, right now, a waltz. They could be happy for the rest of their lives. But something must act as guardian, just to keep happiness valuable and scarce.

So, there goes conflict, standing by the punchbowl, waiting its sure turn. It sends over girl's angry father, a general who has seen the boy go coward in war. He orders girl home, and she stomps off in a crinoline swish. And rather than follow, boy goes musket-clumsy with fear.

Gone forever, this perfect moment, this almost love. But not to worry, because fragile as it seems, true love muscles down through the centuries, breaking and unbreaking itself as it goes. Spinning and dipping, it finds the steps to whatever music is playing and even as you read this, at this very moment, no matter who or where you are, it is coming to a dance floor near you.

First published: February, 2002