Love And Death

She’d been writing a novel, so two hundred words seemed impossibly short.

‘It’s just a game,’ he said. ‘Besides, anything can happen in two hundred words.’

‘You’re wrong,’ she sneered. ‘Every story needs love and death.’

‘What about I love you?’ he suggested. ‘Three words, speaks volumes. Leaves you one hundred and ninety seven to get a death in.’

‘It’s a tired old phrase. I wouldn’t touch it.’

‘How about this? The barman, there,’ he pointed, ‘loves the waitress. They were blissfully happy until the waiter convinced the barman she was sleeping with the pot-washer. He’s going to kill her tonight, and himself.’

‘Sounds like a soap opera plot,’ she said.

‘It’s Shakespeare! Othello, in thirty words. Love and death. With two hundred words, you could have a go at the complete works.’

‘Joyce spent nine hundred and thirty three pages describing one day.’

‘Then he didn’t boil down,’ he said. ‘If he’d come to me, we could’ve put Ulysses on the back of a stamp.’ 

They set off for home.

‘I love you,’ he said.

She froze. And then she waited for a car to come along, placed her hand firmly on his back, and pushed.