Inspiration Monday – Names

This week I’ve swapped my usual Thursday and Friday posts. If you’re looking for the Friday Fictioneers, check out yesterday’s short story. If you’re looking for InMon, you’re in the right place. Feedback and critique feed the muse, and she’s hungry.


No-one calls me Elizabeth. My parents must have said it once or twice when I was born, but all my life they called me Kit, in reference to a joke even I don’t remember. I grew up Beth at school, then stamped my authority and became Liz when I left home, as though that would make me a different person, and separate me from the agonies of teenagehood. It’ll be on my gravestone, I suppose, “Elizabeth Belinda West – beloved…” What? Friend, I suppose, I’ve no family left to mourn me.

When he says it, Elizabeth, my mind doesn’t recognise it as me. His face is close to mine, a tender look in his eyes, as if he might kiss me. Again. His mouth was on mine moments ago; I can still feel the moistness on my lips where his closed over them. I have dreamed of this moment for so long and yet I can’t remember it now.

He says it again, more urgently this time, “Elizabeth”, but he makes no move to approach again. I have opened my eyes, but perhaps he wants me to speak.

I move my tongue, my lips, as though for the first time in an eternity. I am mouthing the words, but it takes a moment to make them sound.

“Liz,” I say, eventually.

“Liz, are you OK?”

“You kissed me.” It’s the only thing I can think of. Pathetic, I know. A grown woman with a crush is bad enough. A grown woman with a crush on the guy at the bus stop. A guy she’s never spoken to. And now, that’s all I can think of to say.

“Someone had to.” His reply confuses me and I begin to look around. I am lying on my back, but this is not the soft bed of my fantasies. I’m in the street. There’s a car bumper a few feet away, and a small crowd standing above us. “Don’t try to talk, the ambulance is on its way.”

The thought comes into my head again: a guy I’ve never spoken to. “How did you know my name?”

“It’s on your work pass.” He smiles again. “Chris Marlowe, my friends call me Kit.”


Filed under Inspiration Monday, Writing

11 responses to “Inspiration Monday – Names

  1. Nice story! Both named Kit, how touching, a kinship of sorts.

  2. I like this….nicely done.


  3. I also really like this one – the introspective start and gradual reveal of the situation work really well. Also – Chris/Kit Marlowe – he had mean parents!

    OTOH, as a first aider, I’m cringing slightly at the lack of real-world accuracy (“kiss of life” = NOT like that); I suspect you’d decided not to worry about that, for the sake of the romance.

    • Nonsense, Stu! I know a kiss of life isn’t a *kiss*, but in that moment of coming to confusion, all she knows is that a moment ago his mouth was on hers. Unless you’re going to tell me that the kiss of life can never truly revive someone, in which case I’ll have to refer you to my most recent first aid trainer.
      And yes, he either had mean parents or ignorant ones. Not everyone’s heard of Christopher Marlowe, so it’s possible they didn’t know what they were doing!

  4. Gaaaah I love it. Such a great amount of history and personality and action in this piece without ever sounding exposition-y. Really, really enjoyed it.

  5. Wait a minute! When I started reading, I did not realize it was fiction and thought your real name was Elizabeth. That is one of my favorite names and I decided I would call you Elizabeth. I named my daughter Elizabeth, well actually it’s her middle name, as her mother and I had a deal and she got the first name if it was a girl. Since she’s a girl, her first name is Krista.

    But since I realized this was a fictional piece, Jennifer is okay, since that is also a favorite name of mine, because I’m in love with Jennifer Garner.

    My third favorite name is Amélie, because I’m also in love with Madame X.

    Nice take on the prompt, Jennifer.

  6. Pingback: Inspiration Monday: the truth lab « BeKindRewrite

Feedback feeds the muse. Join in the conversation here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s