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Romance Contemporary Fiction

A book was screaming as I locked up the library.

I could hear it as I turned the key in the door and switched off the lights. Dust danced, swirling in the rays of the setting sun shining through the gaps left between the curtains as I closed them, like fairy dust, mixing with the sweet scent of old books lingering in the air. The promise of happy endings, stacked high on dark wooden shelves towering to the ceiling, at heights way out of reach.

I adored the blissful tranquillity of the evenings, these quiet moments among the stories asleep on the tall shelves. That day was no different, as beautiful and peaceful as any other; except from the screaming. 


If I told anyone, some might have thought I was going mad, like I started to believe, for the screaming troubled me the whole day and yet I simply couldn’t find the source. It wasn’t coming from a person, that’s for sure: the library was empty, I even checked the basement. Rolling my sleeves up, I checked my watch. I had an hour to spare before I needed to head to the weekly Warhammer workshop down the street, and I hoped that would give me enough time to find where the muffled cries for help were coming from and get to the bottom of the mystery. Though the calls were that specific sort of quiet I couldn’t be sure if it was in my head, a feral thought bouncing wall to wall in my skull, screaming to be noticed, or if it was really a sound in the world outside my own head, I put my bet on the latter: I didn’t like the idea of going crazy. The voice seemed to grow in desperation, so I took a deep breath and listened carefully, closing my eyes as I pressed the side of my face to the shelves, feeling the books’ spines with my fingers, round, flat, rough, smooth, thin and beastly large, whilst listening to their sounds. They were all dead silent of course, but the voice grew louder as I approached the fiction shelves, and finally, I located where the voice was the strongest. Slowly opening my eyes, I looked at the books under the “Romance” sign and ran my hand over a few , until my fingertips reached one that I did not recognise. Narrowing my eyes, I leaned closer to read its title, tracing the metallic print with my finger along the curved, hardcover spine. I was sure I had never seen it before.

‘The Never Written Story…’ I read in a whisper.

The voice calling for help seemed to tremble as I touched the letters, but I might have imagined it.

‘Is anyone there..?’ the voice asked. I pulled out The Never Written Story and opened it.

‘hELP!’ the voice shouted at full volume and I jumped back screaming, slamming the book shut and throwing it on the floor.

‘What was that..?!’ The voice sounded both hopeful and terrified. ‘Please… I’m trapped. Don’t leave me in the dark.’ It pleaded with such pitiful desperation, that even frightened to death, I could not leave the book on the floor. My heart was still racing as I knelt and reached for it.

‘Don’t scream.’ I hissed as I carefully flipped the cover open. The voice sighed in relief as I took the book to a comfortable corner with a coffee table, and making myself comfortable on the cushioned bench switched on a reading light.

‘Thank you…’ the voice muttered, then gasped. ‘Oh my god…’

I started reading.


Light flooded the page as the librarian opened the book, and the writer could finally see and make sense of the darkness, if not the realisation which struck him that same moment–


‘I am inside a book..?!’ the voice exclaimed.

‘Wow.’ I was hooked. With a capital ‘H’. ‘Did you write this..?’


The writer skimmed the lines, shaking his head. No, there was no way he wrote this. He knew nobody liked a self insert, but indeed, his name was on the cover too, along with another. It must have been his co-author’s work then, but it shouldn’t have been put on the shelves just yet, without his input. Not with his name on the cover but the typos still in the bookk. Frustrated, the writer reached out and put the extra “k” from the word “book” into his back pocket. He was always the one doing the line edits. This was all but a draft, an idea, something they had to brainstorm and shape into the riveting novel it deserved to be, but he was all alone, in a vast sea of somebody else’s prose and without the outline for a map. Then, he heard the librarian give a sympathetic sigh.


‘No way..!’ I put my hand over my mouth.

‘This voice, are you… the librarian?’ the voice asked me. ‘Are you able to help me get out?’

I was speechless. Was this really happening? I was having a chat with a book!

‘I don’t know.’ I said honestly, after getting over my surprise. ‘How did you get in there? Did you accidentally sign a magically binding contract to create this story or something?’

‘I don’t think so– oh. Oh! But… I don’t even know what kind of story this is… Horror? Mystery?’


The librarian glanced at the book’s shelf, and thought: that’s pretty accurate.

‘Romance.’

‘Romance,’ he said, annoyed at the book for putting his thoughts in writing. The writer scratched his head.


‘Where are the characters? This novel needs at the very least, a hero and a love interest, but I know for a fact I am here all by myself.’ As the writer said this, a suspicion started prickling at my mind.

‘Hang on…’ I turned about two hundred pages at once, to see if this was going in the direction I thought, and started reading fast.


The writer was comforted by the librarian’s soothing voice, as he continued reading him their story, guiding him through the dark night of the soul, both feeling the hollow pain after all was lost. They were defeated. The writer wanted out of the story, and the librarian wished he could join him on the page. ‘I wish I could hold you now,’ he said, and the writer pulled out the spare letters from his pocket to spell “ILY”. Both closed their eyes for a moment, and hugging themselves as they imagined embracing each other–’


‘Of course she would go there…’ the voice muttered.

‘Nope!’ I slammed the book shut. The writer panicked.

‘Come back!’

‘Have you seen where this was going?! I did not consent to this!’ I pushed the book away from myself, to the far end of the little coffee table.

‘You don’t know that! You skipped so many pages, we have no idea of the plot and character development, is it really impossible to think you would catch feelings for me?’

‘Yes. This was AWFUL writing. Besides, I’m done falling in love with fictional characters.’

‘What if you are the fictional one?’ The writer teased.

‘Tsk… Right, I’m the one locked in a book.’ I rolled my eyes.

‘On that note… It is pitch dark again.’

‘I’m sorry.’ I opened the book. ‘So how do we get you out of there?’

‘Ask my co-author. It’s her first draft.’


Said the writer, unaware that this, in fact, was draft number three and still just that bad. The writer gave him the contact details, and the librarian typed up an email on his phone, sending the message to the book’s co-author with the subject line “URGENT Help Needed In Regards to The Book Never Written,” detailing their sticky situation.

She is going to think I’m a lunatic, he thought.


I continued reading, and my phone flashed with the reply in about fifteen minutes.

‘She replied.’

‘And?’ The writer perked up.

‘She wrote… “Hahaha, I love your humour, Charlie! The Book Never Written? I really never wrote that. My current WIP is The Book Not Yet Finished, and I assure you no writer is trapped in it except for myself as of right now. Oh, is that it? If one is trapped in a story here is the thing: you just have to finish it to get out, and get it out. But you know that already. I’m glad you enjoyed reading Our Sweet, Happy Beginning, I had a blast writing it. Always happy to receive a fun, creative comment; and THIS email takes the cake! It’s the first time I’m being accused of witchcraft and I’m living for it. Thanks for sending this, it made my day! I accidentally trapped my friend in a book, I’m still laughing.”’ I read slowly, becoming more and more disappointed with each word. The writer started sobbing.


The librarian put a hand on the page, tapping it gently whilst massaging the space between his eyebrows. He decided to skip the Warhammer workshop; finishing the painting of his dragon could wait for another week. The writer needed him more.

‘Well, what did we expect..? It sounded like a joke. It’s alright, it’s alright. I can’t have a crying book on my shelves. Aren’t you a writer? Apparently, all you have to do is finish this story. You can do it. We can do it. Page by page, I will be right here with you.’

The writer stopped tearing apart the sentence–

‘Really?’ He looked up in what he thought the direction of the librarian’s voice was, with a letter “s” and a period “.” in his hands.

‘You are not just messing with me, are you? You will help..?’

‘I promise.’ the librarian said in a warm tone, a kind smile audible in his soft voice.

‘For Christ’s sake, must you write me so cheesy..!’ the librarian grumbled but the writer didn’t hear it. He was still processing the words that came before, the ones that were like the spring sun’s kiss, light, warm, and promising better days. The librarian really leaned into the genre, he thought with a smile, enjoying the warm, fuzzy feeling wash over him. Maybe being written into a romance novel was not the worst of things that could’ve happened to him.


‘H-hey!’ I protested as I read the lines. ‘Slow down!’

‘Stop reading my thoughts!’ The writer’s face flushed red.

‘Oh, are you blushing?’ I grinned, leaning back in my seat. Now, that was entertaining.

‘Now, this isn’t fair..!’

‘Yet, I will read all your thoughts, feel all your feelings, you’ have nowhere to hide–’

‘You are forgetting you are written in here too… And that, I have the power to alter things.’ 

‘Oh. Right.’ 


Don’t think of anything, don’t think of anything, don’t think of anything compromising, anything embarrassing, don’t think of anything, definitely not anything that should be censored, don’t–


‘Oh, will you stop? You are wasting page space, I’ve got a book to finish and I don’t need your filler thoughts.’

His voice sounds nice, the librarian thought, and cussed right after, for thinking it out loud. The writer laughed. 

‘Thank you. You sound lovely as well… if it’s like this, we might as well be up front, right? Now… let’s get on with this.’

‘Sure,’ I sighed, and turned the page. ‘I have a feeling we are going to pull an all-nighter, so let me just grab some tea.’


The librarian was considerate enough to leave the book open so the writer could work in his absence. In five minutes, he returned with two cups of tea, in case the other had somehow popped out of the book. The writer thought it a sweet gesture, and as he was in charge, he wrote it to be his favourite kind of tea, though he feared he would not be able to enjoy it.


‘Ouch, was that foreshadowing?’

‘I’m sorry…’ I looked at the poor abandoned teacup, unsure what or who I was feeling sorry for. The wasted tea, the wasted effort I made preparing it with a biscuit on the side, the special little teacup feeling rejected, the writer who wouldn’t be able to enjoy the warm drink, or myself for I wouldn’t see him smile and say “thank you, you’re my saviour,” sipping tea across the table.


The writer smiled and thanked the librarian.


‘It is really embarrassing how you see my thoughts. It’s so late now… all I think is nonsense.’

‘Adorable nonsense.’ The writer agreed sweetly.

‘Delete that.’

‘No. We better accept this whole book is going to be a hot mess.’


The hours stretched on, and the writer’s tea went cold on the table as the two turned the pages, subjecting themselves to clichés and romance tropes, fighting writer’s block and polishing prose, their thoughts, their feelings laid bare on the page for the other’s eyes. There was no avoiding the fall. Reaching the midpoint turn, the librarian admitted to himself he fell in love. The writer stopped for a moment, to stare at the line.

I hate this book, the librarian thought, and buried his face in the pages, inhaling its smell, unable to put it down.

I hate this book, the writer thought, still making it better and better line by line.

I hate this book, they both thought, because they were there on the page, and yet, a whole world apart.


I looked at the lines written, bracing myself for the heartache brewing between the lines.

‘This is not going to be a happy ending. Aren’t romance novels supposed to have a happy ending, as a genre requirement? Was this book on the wrong shelf?’

‘Don’t worry… I have it all planned out,’ the writer said, his voice excited, as we approached the end. ‘How much space do we have left?’

‘One page…’ I stroked the corner, not wanting to turn it. The writer took a deep breath.

‘Before you turn the page–’

‘I’m terrible at goodbyes. Do we have to?’

‘We are running out of space as we speak,’ the writer warned.

‘Once it is done, you will…’ I hesitated.

‘I will finally get out of this book, I hope.’

My mouth went dry and the cold snake of anxiety twisted in my stomach as I looked at his unclaimed tea. Where will he go..?

‘I will be left with a book so… empty.’

‘It won’t be like that. I will give us our sweet happy ending,’ the writer promised. ‘Turn the page.’

I stopped myself from saying I didn’t want him to go, and, taking a leap of faith, turned the page.


“THE END”


My heart dropped right down to the basement of boxed up and forgotten stories as I stared at the two dreaded words on the otherwise blank page.

‘No, no, no, you said you will give us a happy ending! You can’t do this, do you hear me?!’ I shouted at the book, but no answer came. I tried to be quieter. ‘Are you still there? Hey..?’ I called softly, flipping back over the pages to the beginning. ‘Are you still there somewhere?’

But no matter how many times I skimmed over the pages and each of their lifeless but beautiful lines, there was no one left. The writer disappeared, leaving behind the book, the abandoned shrine to our one night love story. I only had myself to blame for this: I knew it was going to hurt from the very start.


When a ray of sunshine found its way through a gap in the curtains to wake me, I was still in the library, using the open book for a pillow. My eyes were strained and tired as I sat up and closed the book, gently touching the writer’s name on the cover. It had to be a dream… A dream that left a very real pain in my chest.


The silence of the library, the absence of the writer’s voice weighed heavily on me throughout the day, and for once I could not wait for the day to end and go home.

I was about to close up, when somebody darted through the door and hurried straight to my desk.

‘Finally!’ He grabbed The Never Written Story I kept close to myself, ‘You won’t believe how many libraries I’ve turned up to find this– I was beginning to think it didn’t exist!’

‘That book–’ I reached after it, but stopped myself. The book belonged to the library, after all. I just couldn’t help not feeling ready to part with it. His eyes settled on me.

‘It’d be super embarrassing to get this wrong… you’ve read this book, right?’

I nodded.

‘It was heartbreaking.’

‘Oh… I’m sorry.’ He was not even trying to hide his smile. His voice rang familiar, tugging at the heartache the book left in me.

‘I don’t recommend borrowing it.’ I said, my eyes fixed on the cover. I didn’t want anyone to take it, that book belonged to me.

‘I’m not taking it,’ he said to my relief. ‘I’m only here to finish it.’ 

He smiled and slid an extra page in after the last one to complete The Never Written Story. 

‘As I promised I would.’ He added a little bit quieter, his eyes flickering onto me. Like a bolt of lightning, it struck me why I thought his voice was familiar. 

‘No way…’ I stared at him, like I saw him for the first time, my fingers twitching towards the book. He let me snatch it back from his hands.


‘What do you think?’ he asked with stars in his eyes, as I opened the book on the last page, my eyes darting between him and the added text, lost for words and lost in that dream again.


Inside the book, on a handwritten page, was the writer’s mobile number, and one perfect line teasing the sweet, happy ending he still owed us:


Let’s turn another page.


And that was where it began.


April 20, 2022 13:02

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60 comments

J.C. Lovero
00:17 Apr 21, 2022

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!! Alright, just getting this out of the way. Give me a happy ever after or happy for now, and I'm SOLD. Such a sucker for romance, don't even get me started. This was a clever take on the prompt. I was expecting a mystery, whodunnit story with the whole screaming bit, and you surprise me with a contemporary romance? Kudos. You got me. First and last lines are always so important (to me anyway), and you managed to nail both. The first line hooked me with intrigue. I just had to read more. A...

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Riel Rosehill
05:30 Apr 21, 2022

OH HIIIIII (Thanks for the heads up about the typo..! ) I'm so happy you liked this story, because it was one of my favourite ones to write! There are some pieces here I sweat blood for and hate after some that come natural and I really enjoy - like this. My kind of story for sure! Except I don't tend to write a clean and wholesome happy ending, but I think I needed something lovely after last week's story... And yass Warhammer - I gave this character a dragon 'cause I want one... (But we've not even finished painting all the figures w...

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J.C. Lovero
10:48 Apr 21, 2022

Looks like you brought Zaddy out of hiding with your contemporary romance! Although I can't blame him - this was a good story to come back to after vacay LOL Good luck this week! Still on team #rielzack4life for that co-authored piece 🤩

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Riel Rosehill
11:13 Apr 21, 2022

Thanks! I'm so excited to see what you & Zaddy will come up with for these prompts (the deadline is approaching!) - you can probably tell but I'm just so into library week! :D

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J.C. Lovero
11:40 Apr 21, 2022

Yep - you're the speedy one this week! Zack was on vacation so that's understandable. I have no excuse besides getting my butt in chair and cranking it out 😇

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Zack Powell
05:49 Apr 21, 2022

I just returned from an Easter vacation and this is the first story I came to, so forgive me in advance if my commenting skills are rusty! (Side note: Super jealous you cranked this out so early. I am exactly four sentences into my story, LOL.) Ok, review time! As always, you nailed the opening line. I read the genre tags, then read the first line and went WTF, then looked back at the genre tags. That definitely gave me whiplash. You said it in your story already, but I'll reiterate: Hook with a capital H. I'll second what J.C. said - the ...

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Riel Rosehill
06:18 Apr 21, 2022

Hey, welcome back! Hope you had a fun Easter vacation! 😁 (Looks like you weren't stuck in a magical book after all!) The librarian had a name btw, but it's true it was only used when he read the email to himself... I thought because the book was an early draft of an idea and no named characters - this will be my excuse for not using names :D You know, I debated the order of those ending lines too, like you did... There were many variations before I eventually settled on what it is now, which is the best so far but whether it's the best pot...

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Zack Powell
06:50 Apr 21, 2022

It was very fun! The vacation coincided with my parents' anniversary, so all in all it gets two thumbs up from me. 👍👍 (Though the magical book sounds like it would've been fun too.) Side note: I feel awful for not co-authoring something with you. We'll see what the upcoming prompts hold for our future! Shame on me for not catching the name drop! You're absolutely right that it was in there. (My excuse is writing that original comment at 11 p.m. LOL) I'm probably going to be flip-flopping on the order of the ending lines all week. Which just ...

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J.C. Lovero
10:54 Apr 21, 2022

"I'm probably going to be flip-flopping on the order of the ending lines all week." I think "Let’s turn another page" leaves it more open to the reader's interpretation of what the librarian could have done. This ends the story with the writer making the move and the librarian making a choice; whereas "And that was where it began" is a little bit more definitive on what happened afterward, implying the librarian took the writer up on the offer. It displays the librarian's agency in the narrative a little more. Plus, it ties to the title. ...

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Riel Rosehill
18:43 Apr 21, 2022

I've been thinking about this the whole day... I also love the idea of ending on "Let's turn another page" BUT I just as much want to hang onto "And that was where it began".. so I tried to move it around but it sounds worse if I put it anywhere else - I don't have the editing skills to make it any better whilst satisfying all I would want from it... Relatable author struggles? I'm stuck but I'm okay with it as is.

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J.C. Lovero
20:04 Apr 21, 2022

For what it is worth, I like it the way you originally wrote it 😍

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Riel Rosehill
07:05 Apr 21, 2022

On that side note: don't feel bad! You know I already had a plan for this from day one, and besides, if you were on vacation (yay!) - I think if it's a co-write project it probably needs the whole week to coordinate, haha. We'll do it one day! Xx

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Asia The Writer
12:55 May 03, 2022

This story is so AMAZING! The opener! The opener! "A book was screaming..." this great engaging hook I can not go without saying how wonderful it is. The type of writing style you have; attention to detail is so similar to my own. I love it. Great work!

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Riel Rosehill
15:37 May 03, 2022

Thank you so much! I started to really think about my openings lately. I'm glad you enjoyed it, it's one of my faves, so every nice comment is much appreciated! 😁

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Cindy Strube
17:25 Apr 29, 2022

Riel, This was such fun! Took some surprising turns- which is good! I have some story concept notes (stories never written - yet) exploring the idea of characters coming off the pages. Guess that sort of fantasy appeals to my sense of the absurd. Really enjoyed your version!

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Riel Rosehill
00:07 Apr 30, 2022

Hi Cindy, thanks for reading and commenting as always! I'm glad you enjoyed it, it's one of my favourites!

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22:06 Apr 27, 2022

Omg. This was so cute. You almost had me with the twist ending. The characters here are so well written! I love your writing style, and the tone of the story was really well-done. I am such a sucker for quirky romance, and this romance was done so well. I am looking forward to reading more of your work!

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Riel Rosehill
22:11 Apr 27, 2022

Thank you so much! I think this was the first romance I did with a happy ending (okay, apart from my space lizards!) but I really loved writing it. I'll be following you for more of the good stuff too 😁

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Deidra Lovegren
16:29 Apr 26, 2022

I would love to see this as an animated short film -- so creative. Best line: ‘What if you are the fictional one?’ The writer teased. Indeed.

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Riel Rosehill
16:41 Apr 26, 2022

Sshh, I don't think we should tell him about that! ;) Thank you so much for reading & leaving this lovely comment! <3

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L.M. Lydon
15:04 Apr 26, 2022

The interplay between characters here is really enjoyable. Very unexpected and such a clever direction to turn the prompt in!

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Riel Rosehill
15:09 Apr 26, 2022

Thank you! It was very enjoyable to write too.

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Thom Brodkin
12:37 Apr 26, 2022

Riel, I had to come over and visit your latest story. As you said we are both on the recommended romance readings (say that three times fast) and we are tied with likes, at least we are until I like this story and put you in the lead. I love how you embraced the prompt and still made it unique. I also love how you left the reader to imagine the happily ever after. I’d like to say more but I need to get to the library. I’m going straight to the romance section and checking out The Never Written Story. I hear it’s quite the page turner. 😀

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Riel Rosehill
13:32 Apr 26, 2022

Haha, thanks, give it five stars on goodreads whilst you're at it! "Say that three times fast" - now that's a challange with an accent and a slight lisp, but I'll blame it on being a writer that I can't verbally say a thing properly :D PS Good luck in the contest!

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Thom Brodkin
14:22 Apr 26, 2022

And to you as well. May the best romantic win.

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Thom Brodkin
23:57 Apr 28, 2022

It looks like I’m out. Go Riel!!!

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Riel Rosehill
05:35 Apr 29, 2022

Oh no! I'm too scared to look now to see if I'm still in... 🤞

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16:56 Apr 25, 2022

Fascinating concept, well written. Must admit the nature of the conversation did confuse me a fair bit - because of the confusing situation I suppose. I wonder, if we had a bigger word-allowance perhaps, if that element could be smoothed. But overall this was fascinating and we'll written, with an enjoyable arc.

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Riel Rosehill
17:01 Apr 25, 2022

Hi Marcus! Thank you for your feedback - I was right at the top limit for the wordcount, so I suppose that is partially to blame for the lack of clarification in places - I too would have wanted a little bit more detail if I had all the word allowance..!

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L. Maddison
17:55 Apr 24, 2022

I’ve always felt I develop a relationship with the books I read but you have taken this to a new level! I love that you end with a beginning.

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Riel Rosehill
18:20 Apr 24, 2022

Thank you! Yes, I think this story only works because we can fall in love with a book in such a short time :D

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Lavonne H.
17:35 Apr 24, 2022

Dear Riel, Perfect! Perfect beginning, perfect ending and (to quote Mary Poppins) "practically perfect" all the way through. You had me with your first line--why would a book be SCREAMING????!!!! If that doesn't get the judges saliva flowing, I don't know what will. Your language is written with a light and flowy touch: "The promise of happy endings, stacked high on dark wooden shelves towering to the ceiling, at heights way out of reach." Sometimes love is 'out of reach'; what a strong pairing of image and meaning. I won't repeat what all t...

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Riel Rosehill
18:35 Apr 24, 2022

Thank you Lavonne!! Your comments are always so uplifting! Also, now there is this image in my head of all the judges drooling over their keyboards over our stories which is awesome. 🤣 I loved writing that line of happy endings out of reach, in fact, it was my favourite line so I'm super happy to see you comment on it! Thanks as always for reading and for the appropriate hashtag! ❤️ I'm sure we all LOVE the feel of books and would rub our face on them in the library if it was deemed acceptable to do so!

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Shea West
04:00 Apr 24, 2022

Riel-- As promised I arrive at your story's doorstep! I think I've entered a simulation or the matrix or inception because of this line right here: I was hooked. With a capital ‘H’. Now, I know one of the 3 musketeers (J.C or Zack aka Zaddy) made this comment on one of your stories recently and I love you for pulling it in. Unless I'm completely making this up?? This is beyond clever! It gave me The Pagemaster vibes, you know the movie with Macauly Culkin... like it could be read as not only an adult contemporary romance, but a small shi...

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Riel Rosehill
10:13 Apr 24, 2022

Hi Shea!👋 Well spotted - you're right! The original "hook with a capital H" comment was mine on one of Zaddy's stories but he threw it back at me recently, and I fancied passing it onto the librarian here, I quite like that it created inception vibes for you. 😃 I very much liked the mix of innocent magical story crossed with adult romance, I'm happy you liked it too! This was one of my favourite stories to write, so thank you so much for this!! Xx

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Shea West
04:56 Apr 26, 2022

Recommended list🙌🙌🙌

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Riel Rosehill
05:32 Apr 26, 2022

🎊YESS!!!🎊

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Corbin Sage
19:09 Apr 23, 2022

Hello! This is a great story! I was not expecting the twist, and the ending had me desperately reading (if one can do so) to wait for their reunion. I'm always interested in ways to write outside of the conventional writing rules, and writing a story inside of a book inside of a story definitely fits that definition. Good job!

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Riel Rosehill
20:26 Apr 23, 2022

Thank you! It was a fun format to work with. I'm happy to hear you were desperately reading (I know exactly what you mean!) by the end - it always makes me happy when the readers route for my characters! 😊

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Michał Przywara
20:57 Apr 22, 2022

This was a great story! It had an intriguing beginning, and I had no idea where you were taking it, so I had to read on. It started mundane, became mysterious, then fantastical, and then of course romance. It just kind of kept growing and growing, and then there was a crushing false ending and a bounce back to happy. Lots of good lines here. ‘For Christ’s sake, must you write me so cheesy..!’ lol. I liked all the interplay where they could read (and write) each others' thoughts. Lots of clever things there. Getting stuck in a book could ...

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Riel Rosehill
21:09 Apr 22, 2022

Haha, yes, I think it was definitely a horror story for the writer until he had been found... For sure the premise has the potential for something quite dark, but I fel like happy romance this time :D As always, thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate your comments! X

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14:48 Apr 22, 2022

This is like- the polar opposite of my take on the prompt. I've done so many stories akin to this in my head, they're cringy at times but so so worth the read. I really like how you wrote this. I found the librarian talking to the writer bits a little confusing, however that might just me and not the writing itself(maybe take a look?). I adore the ending too, it's nice and inspiring unlike my "Oh sh- they're the bad guy" kinda deal. This story's nice and refreshing. Truly wonderful, amazing job Riel : )

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Riel Rosehill
15:03 Apr 22, 2022

Oh, thank you! I was trying my best not to make this cringy, haha :) On the confusing bits, I'm not sure which parts you mean exactly but I suppose switching between the librarian's POV and the narrative of the book in italics is what made the dialogue a little confusing in places? Tbh I'm too deep in it to be able to pinpoint, where that might be! But I know it's a bit of a strange one, probably especially when you start reading it - it is definitely an unusual way of writing a story so I think "confusing" is a very valid citicism, though ...

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16:15 Apr 22, 2022

It's good : ) Yeah, that sudden switch back and forth, some bits in italics, I found confusing. It's good nonetheless, I think it works. While it was confusing, I quickly got who was speaking/thinking and all that.

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Kelsey H
11:59 Apr 22, 2022

Your opening line was a great set up, and the whole beginning was completely intriguing because I couldn't figure out where you were going to go with the mystery screaming book. I definitely did not expect the turn it took, so creative and the way you did the back and forth of the writer and the librarian was amazing. I love how it covers the pain of the creative process too, like the reference to Draft 3, and the discussion of the terrible writing, self inserts, etc. So many funny and sweet bits too, like the cup of tea and "dont' think any...

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Riel Rosehill
12:34 Apr 22, 2022

Thank you Kelsey!! I loved being able to give them a happy ending, it's so difficult for me with stories this short, especially with romance..! But I very much enjoyed writing this, I'm glad you liked reading it too! X

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:34 Apr 22, 2022

Hi Riel, this story was just amazing. I love horror stories, but I'm secretly a sucker for a good romance (don't tell anyone....lol) You did a great job writing this and the use of the prompt was excellent! This tale held my attention all the way, and I didn't see anything out of place. I can't wait to read more of your stories because I think you're one hell of a writer! I loved this one!! :)

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J.C. Lovero
20:43 Apr 22, 2022

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE me a good romance (and it's no secret). Join the fanclub! 👩‍❤️‍👩 💑 👨‍❤️‍👨 👩‍❤️‍👨 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 💏 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

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Daniel R. Hayes
21:02 Apr 22, 2022

That's awesome! hahaha!

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Riel Rosehill
05:51 Apr 22, 2022

Thank you so much, Daniel! Who would have thought you are into romance? I'm so happy you loved my story, this one is definitely more my natural style than the funny horror last week, haha!

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Daniel R. Hayes
17:25 Apr 22, 2022

Yeah, when I first started writing on here, I wrote some romance. I had those scary stories floating around, but I didn't want anyone to think I was crazy... lol. I eventually got over that though, hahaha!

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Riel Rosehill
17:50 Apr 22, 2022

Haha I can so relate, I definitely don't hold back with my stories anymore! And luckily we don't have to :D

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Suma Jayachandar
02:29 Apr 22, 2022

Ah fabulous!You have come up with something completely out of the box and have painted rich descriptions, lovable characters and great atmosphere! But the true genius lies in its ending. Open to interpretation by the reader. Well done!

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Riel Rosehill
05:46 Apr 22, 2022

Thank you so much! This is one of my favourite stories so far... And I'm so happy you liked the ending, a lot of thought and debate went into that..!

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Bradon L
00:50 Apr 22, 2022

Wow!! Spectacular! Other words that come to mind are, awesome, sweet, beautiful, creative, and cabbage. I could read this over and over. Well done!!

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Riel Rosehill
05:43 Apr 22, 2022

Cabbage 🤣 Thank you Brandon, I'm happy you enjoyed it! ❤️

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Dorsa S.
13:38 Apr 21, 2022

i don't usually read romance, but this one was definitely an exception! the pacing was well-thought out, and everything is polished and clear to read. a few of the lines you wrote are very flowery and elegant, which i could never get enough of. tremendously imaginative take on the prompt!

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Riel Rosehill
15:32 Apr 21, 2022

Thank you Dorsa! I'm always really happy to hear when someone who isn't into the genre still enjoys my story. I like a good romance but I feel like it is easy to miss the mark with it, and I did wonder wether I would be able to pull this off in a short story, as making the characters fall in love in one night would normally not get the thumbs up from me... but I thought if it happens over a whole book's journey it's realistic enough and (hopefully) won't feel like insta love oe too over the top - I hope that worked out! :D

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