Welcome Back to Renaissance, Where Everybody has a Secret

Today marks part 2 of the #REN3 blogfest, in which I continue the tale of Dant, Remi, and Jana. For those who didn’t catch my first installment, check it out here. The Rule of Three Blogfest is a shared setting collective storytelling experience, hosted by Damyanti, J.C. Martin, Lisa Vooght, and Stuart Nager, and you can see some of the latest news and entries by checking Stuart’s online paper.


There are a different set of prompts every week and a 600-word limit (not counting the title). Because I have to push it as much as possible, this entry (like my last one) is exactly 600 words. The prompt I chose was: A relationship becomes complicated. The exact way this prompt applies won’t be fully apparent until later installments, but I assure you that I’ve used it (in triplicate, actually). As requested, I’ll mention the word count and the prompt at the bottom as well.

Old Times’ Sake

Jana found an envelope wedged in her door when she opened it in the morning. It fell to the ground face-up. A sketched picture of a tulip stared up at her. She sighed. Tulips were her favorite. Three men would remember that, but only one wouldn’t simply buy a picture of a tulip and paste it on there. Remi. She eyed the trashcan by the door.

What was Remi thinking? What if Tegan had come by this morning and seen it? She slipped Remi’s note in her pocket and hurried out. Now she’d have to make a stop before the flower shop. There was only one person who could talk sense into Remi. Hopefully he was awake.

Jana hustled down Faraday Street, giving up on trying not to jog when she passed Metley. She was sweating by the time she saw the familiar sign: Heriot’s Pass, home of Dant’s famous Renaissance Brown. The windows were still shuttered.

She knocked. “Dant?”

The door to Heriot’s swung open, protesting with a squeak that Dant never got around to fixing. He always said it gave the place character. She edged her way in. The bar smelled like soap. It always did before customers came in.

The voice of a man swearing echoed from the back. Jana smiled. Dant was in the back bar. It was never a good thing when he had to clean up back there. She made her way through the connecting hallway, wondering what sort of crazy private party had been held last night.

When she got to the back bar, she found Dant scrubbing under a bench on his hands and knees. He wore a mask over his nose.


Dant jerked up and banged his head on a table. He rolled to the ground.

“What the fu—” Dant’s eyes locked on her face and widened. He rethought his exclamation. “Jana? What are you doing here?”

She fished out Remi’s letter and tossed it to him. “An employee of yours left that in my door this morning.”

Dant pushed himself up. “Remi? How’d he wake up early enough to get that to you?”

“What am I supposed to do?” Jana asked. “If Tegan had seen that he’d have flipped. Can you talk some sense into Remi?”

“Of course,” Dant said. He tore the envelope open.

“Don’t—” Jana protested.

Dant pulled out the note and held it up to the light. “Congrats for everything, Jana. I wish you all the best. I’m headed to the Espadon overlook today for old times’ sake. Meet me if you want. Love, Remi.”

It was sweeter than she had expected. No pleading. It hardly sounded like Remi. “I can’t just run off to the river to meet an old boyfriend. I have work. I have a fiancé,” she said.

Dant nodded. He laid Remi’s note on a table and sat down. “I know. Didn’t sound like him, though. Maybe Remi went and grew up while we weren’t looking.”

“Too little, too late,” Jana said. She watched Dant stare at the floor. “You actually think I should meet him?”

Dant shrugged. “It’s the first time I’ve heard him act like a grown-up. Maybe he just needs to end it clean, hear it from your own lips.”

“Then he’ll have to hear it another time,” Jana said. “Please tell Remi not to leave letters in my door anymore.” She spun around and left. She exited Heriot’s and headed west. The flower shop was east. Her heart beat like a jackhammer. Damn it all, Remi! And damn Dant too.

She was headed to the Espadon.

Prompt: A relationship gets complicated. Word Count (according to MS Word 2010, excluding the title): 600.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check out the dozens of other fantastic writers participating in the #REN3 blogfest. The easiest way to find them is just to read Stuart’s online paper (and as a bonus, you get to see how cool paper.li is).

About the Author

Written by MRM

I'm a speculative fiction writer that spent lots of time trying out new places to live before finally settling in NC. I love code, craft beer, football, and fiction - in no particular order. My currently running works of serial fiction can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. If you're comfortable moving files around to your ereader of choice, always pick Smashwords as your e-bookstore of choice - they give authors a much bigger slice of the pie!

12 Responses to Welcome Back to Renaissance, Where Everybody has a Secret

  1. Li @Flash Fiction October 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Of course she couldn’t pass that up – what woman could :-)) Will be interesting to see who – or what – awaits her.

  2. Jana Denardo October 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    awww poor Jana. This could be a tragedy in the making. Can’t wait to see what happens.

  3. Donna Hole October 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Wow, complicated is right. I read your first post to. Great character building for both posts. I’m anxious to see who has left the letter; but I fear tragedy lies ahead in the next post.


  4. Colleen October 13, 2011 at 1:12 am

    This is really good writing! I missed Part 1 last week but read ‘em both just now. I actually feel a little nervous about the meeting–overlooks and exes seem like bad things could happen.

  5. Misha October 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Aw shame! Poor Remi. I wonder what will happen with Jana, Remi and Dant. :-) I think I know where the complication is coming from.

  6. The Golden Eagle October 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I have to wonder what’s going to happen by the Espadon . . . or if it was even Remi who wrote that note.

    Great writing!

  7. MRM October 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks, everyone for all the feedback. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story so far. I’m doing my best to make the rounds and read everybody else’s as well. Kudos to the organizers for getting this whole thing together!

  8. deniz October 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Ooh, she’s going anyway… can’t wait to see what happens!

  9. Chris Kelworth October 15, 2011 at 11:27 am

    The plot definitely thickens. Are we going to find out more about Tegan as a character?

  10. Barbara Evers October 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I agree with several of the other comments here. It looks like Jana is headed for trouble, and I’m guessing it won’t be Remi waiting for her. I’m glad she’s going, though. Can’t dangle that out there and expect us to accept her not going.

  11. May-Day_Aura October 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I figured she’d go…but is the note really from Remi? Hmm…good thin you have the next story up so I can find out. =)

  12. Corinne O'Flynn (@CorinneOFlynn) October 21, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I love it! Just now catching up on reading all the posts… I would have headed to Espadon too.

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