Exactly How Beautiful

by | Oct 30, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 16 comments

I wrote this based on the prompt “potion” in Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction challenge.

Exactly How Beautiful
By Laura McHale Holland

I want a potion—a strong one—so I can jump up and down in the stands at a Giants game. Rain pouring or wind roaring, it won’t matter. It won’t matter because I will be thick skinned with rosy cheeks and narry an ache in my joints.

I want a magic elixir so I can make love with my sweetheart in a tent on a far off beach from dusk to dawn, with no worries about what the future will bring.

I want a golden potion to take me back—if only for a day—so I can race full tilt down the sidewalk to catch a streetcar and know in that moment exactly how beautiful I am.

Photo by jadis1958
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  1. Jerry Kohut

    you are a beautiful lady, it was good it only rained in Giants park instead of St. Louis (much colder there). On the beach is where we belong.

  2. Ann Philipp

    Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  3. admin

    And thank you, Ann, for leaving such a nice comment. :o)

  4. admin

    Thanks, Jerry. It’s fun to see how bits of life’s events transition into stories. I never know what will pop out. The Giants were certainly on my mind. … I once spent a month on the beach in Agadir in Morocco. Getting there was a formidable challenge: everything I had with me—except my passport and money, which I wore on my body—was stolen my first night in the country. Someone in the group I was travling with gave me a vinyl Air France bag, and other folks gave me odd bits of clothing, and off I went. And once we reached Agadir, it was heavenly.

  5. wordwranglingwoman

    Loved this one. Why, she’s just like me. Patrice

  6. Barbara Toboni

    Love these tiny sweet moments caught in the blink of your eye!

  7. admin

    Thanks, Barbara! I like the idea of tiny sweet moments.

  8. admin

    Thanks, Patrice. I think she’s just like a lot of us. Wouldn’t it be something if we could all know from an early age how beautiful we are?

  9. Andrew Swingler

    What a lovely wish. I do hope she gets her heart’s desire.

  10. JazzBumpa

    Very nice, though, as a Tiger’s fan, painful for me.

    That night on the beach does sound nice, though . . .


  11. admin

    Thanks, Andrew! For each of us to know from a very young age that we are beautiful, and to be able to carry that with us throughout our lives, is one of my wishes. I see that you wrote a story based on the “potions” prompt, too. I’ll go to your site and have a look.

  12. admin

    Thanks JzB. The Tigers will have their time in the sun again, and all of us probably could use a little more time to spend with loved ones on the beach.

  13. Lisa Shambrook

    Breathtakingly beautiful writing, it just aches with their desire. Love this!

  14. admin

    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving this wonderful comment. It’s moments like these that keep me going. I’ll be visiting your blog soon.

  15. Robin Leigh Morgan

    First THANKS AGAIN for your concern about me and my family regarding Hurricane Sandy. Things in NYC are slowly getting back to “normal”. Sorry for the delay: I’ve been busy getting with the final steps in getting my first novel self-published [through CreateSpace.

    Oh yes! If it could be only that easy–just drink a potion/elixir/or what have you, and POW all is has it once has been. But, there are more important things–things regarding relationships [as you’ve already stated] and missed opportunities. There are so many, many songs which deal with these issues; songs like “Time in a Bottle” – Jim Croce, “I Could Turn Back Time” – Cher, and the one I like the most; “Yesterday [When I Was Young] – there several versions of this song but I like by one by Dame Shirley Bassey the most.

  16. admin

    I’m glad you’ve come through the storm intact and that things are returning to normal in NYC. And congratulations on your soon to be released novel.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas about my story and what they brought to your mind. That’s quite an emotion-packed performance by Dame Shirley Bassey. I think the song is darker than my story. The way I see it, the woman in my story doesn’t regret her past. She has had a good life, and she’s come to realize through the many decades of her life how beautiful she is now and has always been. She wishes she could have known that when she was young, when she was experiencing many wonderful things, which she enjoyed, but she just didn’t realize her own glorious beauty at the time. If the story had ended “was” instead of “am,” it would perhaps be more akin to Yesterday When I Was Young and other fine works that focus more exclusively on regret.

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