A little crush by Catherine Garden

A little crush by Catherine Garden # Ashley stretched out; straightening from the hunched position she had held over her stall for the last half an hour. Pulling her thick olive green cardigan closer to her chest in the cool air she proceeded to carefully place the black board at the front of her table....

This content is for 12 Short Stories in 12 Months members only.
Log In Register
34 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark
Member
1 month ago

Catherine, A great story that is thoroughly enjoyable. You took us on a roller coaster of emotions. Very glad it wasn’t a happy ending.
Loved all the descriptions especially the German and his coffee.

Anusuya
Member
1 month ago

You painted a vivid picture of the market as it woke and came to life, Catherine. Wonderful use of the senses of smell and taste,too. The bitter-sweet nature of their relationship comes across beautifully in the sentences you leave unfinished. Great story telling!

HoneyMustard
Member
1 month ago

You do a great job of showing, especially on the setting. I was transported to the Oranjezicht market in a flash – I could even see the various stand owners involved.
I’d love to know more about this man Peter that everyone seems to be crushing on – there’s very little to reveal why he is such a catch! Something for next time perhaps?

ChristineH
Member
1 month ago

This was so easy to visualise. I loved all the touches of colour from the olive-green cardigan at the start to the perfect rose quartz ending. Excellent showing of the tension between Ash and Peter, without spelling it out. I enjoyed reading this.

Paul J P Slater
1 month ago

Hi Catherine,

I enjoyed this and can easily visual the early morning market waiting for the throng to start.

Phrases like “was boiling” and “was preparing” always make me instead think of “boiled” and “prepared”. It saves a word each time and somehow feels better. Just a thought.

As the story progressed I expected Lucy to come over with a bottle and 2 glasses and I may have thought of another use for the stone but I am sure Ashley did not want to throw it at Mr. Smarmy.

My biggest comment is that, while you are understandably hiding Ashley’s corporate past, it might be better to use the opening paragraph to share more of Ashley’s thoughts and less of the mechanical movements. That way the reader gets to know more of her dilemma.

I share Ashley’s enthusiasm for avoiding the corporate life and have myself from time-to-time shared a few corporate reveals though this story is more personal.

Your story makes for a good opener to a longer piece. Give it some thought.

Thank you for sharing a wonderful story.

Keep writing.

Cheers,
Paul

del richards
Member
1 month ago

What a sweetly told tale -much left unsaid but all the more effective for it.
A few little things I would change from an editing POV – Capital letter for ‘Cheesemaker’ – should that be a lower case ‘c’
And maybe ‘brought’ kale from the same farm _or did he buy it?
A ‘large cap’ for Lucy’s coffee – should that be ‘cup’ or is it cappucino? I hate coffee so I have no idea if this is a normal abbreviation!
Maybe a handful of adverbs could go and the story would still be fab and flow better.
I thought your characterisation was excellent and also the background to the market gave me an instant teleportation to the place. I could smell the scents of food and herbs and everything else. I could feel the coldness of the morning. You really carried this off to perfection.
You also nailed the ending – no fairy tale finish but a hint of a possible continuation of this saga.
Good use of prompt too. Well done .

Peggy
Member
1 month ago

This is such a sad story, but so well told, Catherine. I loved the character development and the description of the market, I could easily imagine myself there, smelling the coffee and the German pastries, as well as the tea and soap.

I’m glad Ashley has Lucy as a friend, to help her get past her feeling of loss and regret, and move forward with the new life she’s created.

Well done and thanks for sharing!

SM Prasad
Member
1 month ago

Hi Catherine,
That was written beautifully. I like that the story was “pregnant with pauses and meaning” which is what I was thinking when the pregnant fiancee showed up. Your story was full of hints so that the reader had to construct the story and yet, because it’s a story that is universal, the reader is certain, like Lucy, about what must have happened. Ashley is thriving after taking a leap away from the humdrum of office life and the unrequited romance, so we are reassured that even though this was a painful moment, she will do ok. A really well done story, where the reader is a voyeur and has to piece together the story. Great idea and an excellent read!

June Hunter
Member
1 month ago

Hi Catherine. This is such a descriptive piece, with excellent dialogue. I could smell the coffee and the soaps. I do feel, however, that you have a lot of unnecessary adverbs in the piece. eg ‘cheerfully jubilant’, ‘jubilant’ already implies cheerfulness; ‘voice squeaked unnaturally’, a voice squeaking is already unnatural. Also ‘mixed emotion of been’ – should be ‘being’. All in all this was well written and, although sad, I enjoyed it. Well done and thank you for sharing.

Limor
Member
1 month ago

Hi Catherine! Team Ashley for sure. Peter has dark days ahead with that new love interest and your portrayal of Ashley: her dreams, ideals and heartache was truly vivid and enjoyable. The value of writing in a mentor or a confidant, Lucy, brought so much more to this piece than just a pang of heartache and a memory. Lucy leads this short story into the light at the end, which I value immensely when reading. Your characters were spot on, I felt I was eavesdropping in the market, watching it all unfold.
Thank you!
L

Amy Trakos
Member
1 month ago

A lovely story Catherine I really liked the setting of the market and felt I was there from the very beginning, smelling the coffee and the bacon! A sad but all too real experience of past love. I really enjoyed this thank you.

Sarah Muzaffar
1 month ago

A beautifully described story. Had me in right from the first line. I had hoped for a reunion, however life is as it is, sometimes there are no second chances! Thank you for writing this wonderful piece.

Nicole
Member
1 month ago

Beautifully written and heartbreakingly poignant, Catherine. The story was easy to dive into and flowed well. Your words included the reader, allowing us to feel Ashley’s rollercoaster of emotions. Holly’s portrayal was particularly strong, giving us an immediate sense of her competitive and proprietary nature.

Randy Hughes
Member
1 month ago

Nicely done on digging into the emotions of things unsaid. The subtext was handled nicely, letting an old life hang around, and a new life dance forward into the fog. The lost love, possibly the real reason for changing careers, now lost forever (at least for the story), give the plot purpose.

Thanks for sharing

Becky
Member
1 month ago

Nothing more heart-wrenching than regret over things left unsaid. Yours is a thought-provoking piece based on what-ifs. Should we beat ourselves up over what could have been? Are we better off letting things take their own course? Ashley was in a good place until Peter turned up out of the blue. The good place is still there with or without him, and I hope that she realises this in due time. She gets to go home with the spoils of a successful day as a self-made lone entrepreneur, and he goes home with the annoying Holly. Fair call, I’d say 🙂 I don’t think she needs to beat herself up too much about what she wished she’d once said. Well done for an entertaining read.

Amrita Sarkar
Member
1 month ago

Hi Catherine,
This was such a heartbreaking tale! I loved the characters you have sketched here. So many stories remain unfinished and we store in our closets in the boxes ‘ What if’s’. Your descriptions are so real…I love the market, stall and the market imagery you have painted with your words. I especially loved these lines, “The German baker was boiling his own…the market would begin.” When Ashley meets Peter after a long time, i had wished that their romance will get another chance. And I had also hoped that Lucy will play a part in bringing them close. But Holly’s entry into the story took me by surprise. Can’t say I liked her too much. I wonder though why Ashley had moved away from Peter. A heartbreaking tale of love lost! Thank you for sharing!

Sue
Member
Sue
1 month ago

A well-told tale, your descriptions setting the scene so well that I could almost smell those soaps and the items from the German baker! I had to laugh at the Ayurvedic turmeric tea and the yellow-stained mugs! One can only imagine the disfunction in that group of people.