Plymouth Writers Group International Writing Competition 2015

Porphyria’s Lover

Short fiction

A prose retelling of Robert Browning’s famous poem


Plymouth Writers Group International Writing Competition 2015, commended finalist for "Porphyria's Lover"The rain set early in tonight. It fell from a sky stretched thin to wrap the world in a cold black blanket. I heard it echo on the roof, clattering like castanets against thin tin shingles. Rain is twice as loud in darkness as in light, and I imagined the castanets were rings on a tiny fist, pounding to be let in. I imagined it so well that many times I stood, wondering if it was she, soaking on the doorstep, rain chilling her fragile bones. But no familiar yellow glow shone through the window. Castanets the rain became again.

Soon the sullen wind awoke. The aged elms curved around the house, bent at the waist, torn down for spite. On the lake, foamy crests broke the unending black of night, chasing the progeny of the previous gust. The wind outscreamed the rain and I feared I’d miss her knock. I closed my eyes and hid my ears. Minds joined by God need nothing of the senses to know the other is near. I listened with heart fit to break.

Awarded: Finalist, Commended, Plymouth
Awarded in: 2015
Plymouth Writers Group International Writing Competition