Love in a Country Road

Here is a cybertale written for a competition for 'Country Road'. There are lots of ways to attack it. Try completely reading the first page, then come back and re-read, following the links. Of course, you can simply read and immediately follow links as they occur.

In a place that could be anywhere Marli was suddenly aware that the love of his life had climbed from a car and was about to cross the road at a place a little further up the street. This vision transfixed him - muslin skirts, a sort of irradiant sex vibe that made men everywhere lift up their heads - and  he did not hear his cup vibrate out its little song of unrequited love against his china saucer.

His eyes were drawn from the place in the draft of a story he was writing and he simply forgot the need to work. 

Marli wrestled internally - not too strenuously, it's true.  Unrequited love has this habit of feeding on itself, and Marli - who was addicted to books on chaos theory and quantum mechanics - recognised in Love's digestive abilities a black hole analogy. Unlike most romantic heroes Marli was actually able to pursue two or more trains of thought simultaneously: so he thought idly of black holes (no light escaping, & Schrodinger's Cat suddenly positing an image in his head that did briefly and more effectively than the passing BMW  temporarily obscure his view of SHE ) while at the same time urgently debating the question of whether he should follow his love and perhaps, just perhaps, 'accidentally' bump into her and maybe, just maybe, something would develop and they'd sit for a cup of coffee or perhaps he'd suggest that curry place around the corner (how were the funds going?) for lunch...

She meanwhile had stopped briefly at the window of Folio Books; one of his favourite places on Earth (oh, how he loved her) but moved on.

Yes, he was up. Yes, he slipped five dollars beneath the saucer to pay for his coffee and those two little heart-shaped shortbreads he'd eaten. Yes, he had determined that he would follow her, safely, at a distance which would... what? Foolishly keep him from her eyes. Didn't he want to meet her, arrange an assignation?

She sauntered - is that the word? Marli demanded of himself - no, moved, no, flowed, no...


Let us leave Marli debating verbs and follow SHE into a Country Road store.
What temptress's  garment will she select?



Head home.

Stephen Kimber, 2000