Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entry #63

In Vino Veritas
by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley


He uncorked the bottle: Saint-Émilion, vintage 2087. She had no idea what Bordeaux cost out here but he wanted to wine her and dine her as if she were human, treat her like a date on Earth. Anything to prove they were meant for each other. No reason to call it off, just because of that scene in the mess. "No reason at all" he said, pushing a glass towards her, "why we can't make this work."

"I love you, you know that." She shook her head. "But that's not enough. I couldn't survive on your Earth and you couldn't stand to stay away."

"Sure I could," he said. "Who needs that troubled old planet? I love it here."

A sad laugh escaped her. "Our swamps make you itch. Your people won't accept me; you'd be ostracized from the space platform. Love would turn to hate."

"Stop worrying about tomorrow. Just be with me! We'll make it work."

"That's foolish." Her eyes filled with tears. "You’ll lose your home, career, everything."

"And I'd have you." He pressed the wine-glass into her limp hand. "A toast! To trust and true love."

She paused and then took a sip. "To true love.”

"That's better! You shouldn't argue with me."

"You don't know everything," she said.

He leaned towards her. "What don't I know, huh?"

Her voice was barely a whisper. "You don't know that this is poison to our kind." The wine-glass slipped from her lifeless fingers and shattered on the floor.

30 comments:

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh my. How very sad!

Well done.

Laurel said...

Oh. Never saw that coming.

Artful setup with the vintage year. In that one sentence you set the scene nicely.

The Preacherman said...

Love SF and this rocks! Sad end but well worth getting there. Nice one.

Four Dinners

Kunjal said...

terrific is the word I would use:)good work:)

wrath999 said...

A sad and powerful love story

alex

JR's Thumbprints said...

Our first galatic-Romeo-&-Juliet-love-story. How tragic for her to take that fatal drink. Good job!

sylvia said...

Thank you! I'm loving all the contest entries and how many different interpretations of "In Vino Veritas" there are. This is great.

My word verification is "sitat" which is so apt. I've done nothing but sit at the computer and read stories since yesterday morning! :)

Karen said...

Your dialogue is excellent, and I love the SF take on this! Very, very good!

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't have time to read all the entries, but this one rocks. I thought that she'd poison him somehow to shut his nagging and pushy self up; but you surprised me.

Chris Eldin said...

Fantastic ending!!! I love the world you created! Yes, sad, but also worth the trip as another commenter said!
Very nice writing, very nice!

Catvibe said...

Nice piece. Although it was sad, I giggled because I didn't see it coming. Great world, great writing.

Adisha said...

Soooo sad ... but well done !!!

Aniket said...

Sylvia,

This is a story with a greatness quotient of the magnitude of inter-galactic proportions.

Just about time we thought we've seen it all. Brilliant set up.

Don't I love sci-fi. Vesper is on vacation and haven't seen Terri around this year, otherwise they'd be drooling over this piece. They are huge sci-fi fans too.

May you live long and prosper! (vulcan style)

sylvia said...

You are making me blush now!

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the story. And especially that it made sense! It's hard to trim it down to 250 words and not rip the heart out of it.

fairyhedgehog said...

Very nicely done. The ending was a sad surprise.

Aerin said...

Wowza, Syl. Awesome. I was hooked from the 2087 Bordeaux, immediately impressed with the unique setting. It flowed so nicely, and no, I didn't think you ripped the heart out of it - I thought it was just perfect, not too much, not too little. Wonderfully original and well-written!

Rohan said...

AWESOME...
What a setting...!

Whirlochre said...

Is Cry Fi a genre yet? If not — you've bagged it.

Kimberly B. said...

I like it! It's difficult to do much world building in 250 words, but you do it, and do it well. Such a sad twist at the end!

Therese said...

I really enjoyed this. It's almost a lament.

I can't decide if she knew she was going to die when she saw the glass of wine or not. But I like that.

Great idea. Fantastic execution.

sylvia said...

Thank you.

And oh wow, I love the idea of Cry Fi as a genre !

Hoodie said...

bring on the alien love!

i loved this!

BernardL said...

Imaginative take on the wine.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh well done, richly imaginative. Great story!

pjd said...

How unbearably sad. He's such a dreamer, an idealist, a romantic. She's such a realist... or seems so at first, when she's playing the foil to his over-the-top romanticism. Then at the end she reveals her true, cynical and defeatist nature in taking the wine.

I once heard (source long since forgotten, but it was someone famous I think) that a novel develops character while a short story reveals character. Your short really does a huge amount in so small a space. A masterful job of revealing her character at the very end, when faced with a do-or-die (literally) decision.

Brilliant.

JaneyV said...

Sylvia - I commented on this days ago. What the heck happened to it??? This was one of the first entries in the competition that I read and I think that you did an amazing job. It's a beautiful and poignant love story and it felt whole an real. You packed so much into your word count.

I'm so sorry that I didn't appear earlier but I promise this has been in my top 5 since the get-go!

sylvia said...

pjd: I would argue cynical. Above all, she wants him to be happy. Her method is defeatist but romantic, I think.

And thanks all. I find myself lost for words, not something that happens often!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Great setting and set-up - I would be glad to hear more from this story.

McKoala said...

Oh Sylvia, how sad! Beautifully constructed story.

jason evans said...

Wow. Poignant, inventive sci-fi. Great job! Strong writing too. (St. Emilion is a fave too.)

Very high scoring.

Welcome to The Forties Club!!