This flashfic was entered into the competition in the Romantic Novelists Association’s magazine, Romance Matters, issue 2 2021. The theme was ‘inspiration’. My entry was one of three runners-up!

In search of the perfect chat-up line

It was no good; no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t think of the right words. “I was just passing,” didn’t feel right. “I’m surprised to see you there,” was too bland. And so was, “I noticed your light was on and wondered if you were all right.”

He chewed the end of his quill, spat out a few feathers, and tried again. “Isn’t it a lovely evening?” Boring. “I like the way you’ve done your hair.” God, no. His language tutors would be disgusted with him. Where was the poetry? He needed something that would melt her heart the way she had dissolved his own.

She didn’t have the kind of name that rhymed with anything. He scowled. He needed a decent simile. Flowers? He toyed with petals, rejected several vulgar jokes, and decided his well of inspiration was as dry as his quill.

Perhaps he’d think of something later. He walked across to the window embrasure, gazing out at the light afternoon sun. The crescent of the moon was already visible on the horizon, but pale and wan in the bright light.

Inspiration struck and he dashed back to his writing desk and scribbled furiously, then sat back with a contented sigh. Yes, that would do it. “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks …?”