We have another new story for Fantasy Friday today. And this is from one of our good friends. Today’s story is by Ami who writes Ami’s StarSong. I love Ami’s writing! She only has one major flaw. It seems that Ami can see writing talent in other people, but she doesn’t have the confidence in her own writing that she certain should have. Perhaps a good spanking for undervaluing her talent is in order. But I am grateful that she is willing to share her talent with us.
She has a wonderful story here, I hope you’ll enjoy…
THE SILVER RING
“We’ve been married how long?” Daniel stands behind me, his voice accusatory and disappointed at best, angry and hurt at worst.
“35 years” I mumble, breath catching in my throat.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Did you mutter something?” His hand lands sharply, three times in the same spot on the same buttock.
“35 years” I try again, my voice comes out as a squeak, a good octave higher.
“35 years and you still can’t bring yourself to trust me.” He shakes his head sadly and sighs.
From my position in the corner of our bedroom, I can’t see his head, but I imagine him shaking it, and I hear him only too well. I shift uncomfortably. I’ve been standing in this stupid corner for all of ten minutes, hands clasped behind my head and naked from the waist down.
“You do right to feel guilty. Your bloody attitude! How would you like it if I made such disparaging comments about you in front of our friends, before going off and acting like a spoilt five year old having a tantrum?
“To say I’m disappointed in you is probably the understatement of the year! You can stay there and gaze at the bloody wall!”
“But Daniel I…”
“Shut up! You’ve said and done enough.
“I’m so angry I need to go and calm down. I advise you very strongly not to move a muscle while I’m gone.”
Daniel never slams doors. But he does this time, making me jump.
We cluster around Janey’s daughter, Sarah, to admire her new engagement ring. It is gold, a large blue topaz with a diamond mounted on either side. It sparkles in the light, and it looks so beautiful.
She explains that her boyfriend took her to Paris for the weekend, and proposed to her on the top of the Eiffel Tower. So romantic. Even Polly is lost for words, and believe me, that is a once a year occasion.
Sarah says her goodbyes and rushes out to show her ring off to her friends.
There is silence apart from the sound of teaspoons stirring Earl Grey in Royal Doulton teacups.
Polly holds out her left hand and waves her gold ring under our noses. It is a ruby surrounded by small diamonds.
“Steve took me to a wonderful restaurant and floated my ring at the bottom of a glass of champagne. I nearly didn’t see it sitting there due to all the bubbles. He was paralyzed with fear in case I swallowed it.”
As we admire it, Caroline holds out her own hand to show us her ring, which is gold with a dark blue sapphire and diamond cluster.
“Mike proposed whilst walking along a beach. I can’t even remember which beach it was now, but I do know it was raining and we were wearing wellington boots!
“He suddenly stepped in front of me and went down on one knee in the sand. I nearly died of embarrassment as there were several people walking near us and they all stopped and watched.
“When I nodded, he grabbed my hand, and the next thing I knew I was wearing this.”
“Don’t look at me.” Janey’s gold wedding ring has no glittery accompaniment.
“I always take my engagement ring off when I’m at home. I have my hands in water too much and it’s an opal. I wouldn’t want the stone to come loose.”
They all look at me expectantly.
I have been sitting with my right hand firmly covering my left. My cheeks flame.
“Oh you don’t want to see my ring. We didn’t have much money way back when we got engaged. My ring is only silver.” Did I imagine a rapid intake of breath?
“Oh come on, let’s see it” begs Polly. I am annoyed. She’s seen my ring maybe a hundred times before.
I hold my hand out, albeit unwillingly.
It was, and is, very pretty. Three identical half carat stones catch the light.
“But it’s gorgeous.” Janey and Caroline speak simultaneously.
“I suppose they’re those zirconias.” Polly gives my ring a perfunctory glance. “They seem to have lasted quite well considering how long you’ve been married.
“Is your wedding ring silver too?”
Sometimes Polly simply doesn’t think what she is saying or how it comes across.
“I suppose so. I’ve never really thought too much about it. Dan produced it in church, put in on my finger, and there it’s been ever since.”
“You’re lucky your rings still fit you” Caroline smiles. “My fingers have grown so much bigger, I’ve had my rings resized twice.”
“I’ve never needed to. My fingers have stayed about the same, although the wedding ring is a bit tight now. I always hoped that perhaps Dan would buy me gold rings one day, but I love these, and actually, I really couldn’t imagine wearing anything else.”
I hold on to my temper, but my face still radiates heat like a second sun. I risk a quick glance downwards. Both rings have lost their shine, although the three stones flash with hidden fires. I smile as I remember how I had to virtually twist Dan’s arm up behind his back to force him to get engaged.
Even so, it was the longest engagement of any of our friends. However, if long engagements are a recipe for success, the proof is certainly in the pudding. Several of our friends are on second and even third marriages. Perhaps Dan’s insistence that we work hard and save up enough for the down payment on a more substantial house was justified.
I think I have forgotten Polly’s remarks about my rings. I think I can rise above being jealous and letting the memories of my friends’ beautiful engagement rings have an effect on my attitude. But the more I think about my little silver rings, the more discontented I become.
It comes to a head one evening.
We are at Caroline and Mike’s house, and having consumed a marvelous meal, are lounging slothfully on their squishy sofas.
“Oh look,” says Polly smugly, “the colour of the wine matches my ruby.”
She brandishes her hand under my nose. Why my nose, I really don’t know.
“We were comparing rings the other day. Isn’t it about time you bought poor Ami something better than silver, you tight old so and so?”
The room suddenly feels overpoweringly warm, and all eyes seek out my left hand.
“I only told them that we didn’t have much money when we got engaged, which was why my rings are silver. We had such a long engagement, I wondered whether you might buy me a gold wedding ring, but you bought me a silver one because you said you wanted them to match.”
I notice Dan’s eyes darken with anger. I should take it as a warning, but the claret has done its damage.
“I like my rings, Dan. It really doesn’t matter that they’re silver. I’ve always liked being different. At least the stones are big and sparkly.”
Suddenly I’m not feeling too good. Perhaps Dan isn’t either. Shortly afterwards he makes an excuse and we leave.
The drive home is mostly in silence. I feel the need to apologize, but Dan never says a word, so I carefully clamp my jaws together.
I have barely removed my coat when Dan spins me around and glares at me.
“How could you embarrass me like that, Ami? You made me feel such a cheapskate back there. That bloody Polly. Where do you find friends like her?”
“I like Polly! I like Caroline and I like Janey! I don’t make comments about your friends.”
“No? Well my friends wouldn’t dream of making me feel small in front of them and their wives.”
I snarl at him and trot upstairs. I remove my shoes, which are killing me, then my earrings. I pull out the pin holding my hair up and shake it down around my shoulders. Dan looms behind me in the mirror.
“By heavens I’m going to tan your arse for you,” he walks purposely into the ensuite and returns with the hairbrush.
“It’s your bloody miserly fault,” I shout at him. “You bought the rings. I can’t help it if all my friends have gold ones!”
Get over that bed, or so help me you won’t sit down for the rest of the year!”
“No, I bloody won’t!” Now I am furious. I grab at my rings, tugging them off over my finger and fling them at him.
Daniel stops in his tracks, breathing heavily.
“Ami, you are a bitch!” He roars. He points towards the corner on the other side of the wardrobe. “One more comment. Just one, and that’s where you’ll find yourself. Now get ready and get over the bed!” He takes himself out of the room.
I reluctantly remove my skirt, my tights and my knickers. I am still seething. I tug the quilt over the wooden footboard and lean over. My back aches within seconds. I stand upright again.
Unfortunately Dan chooses that moment to return.
“You can’t do one thing I ask, can you?” He yells at me again. “Alright, if that’s the way you want to play it, get in that corner and put your hands behind your head. We’ll see if a few minutes of this precious corner time they talk about, helps sort you out.”
I frantically scan the bed where I have thrown my rings. The engagement ring hangs tangled in the tassels of the bedside lamp. But the wedding ring is nowhere to be found. I spend precious and terrifying minutes searching for it, but in the end concede defeat. I’ll have to look for it later and hope Dan doesn’t notice it isn’t back on my finger. I curl my lip, pout at the corner, and reluctantly place my hands behind my head. Stupid, bloody corner time! Must’ve been invented by men!
I hear the bedroom door open and close. Just when I think I can’t keep my hands on my head one second longer, Daniel asks me to turn around.
He is sitting propped up against the headboard, a pillow over his lap. I am so relieved. I hate leaning over the footboard.
I crawl up and get into position, fussing and trying to get comfortable. Okay, so corner time is what it is cracked up to be. It focuses the mind.
“I am truly sorry Daniel” I whisper. “I do love my rings. I do. I never meant to cause a situation.”
“Ami, how many times have I told you to think before you let Polly bring you down to her level?
“I’m going to give you fifty. Maybe that will convince you.
He hesitates a moment. “But your rings are not silver, Ami. They are platinum. And the diamonds are real ones. Why the hell do you think our engagement was so long? A small country could have existed quite happily for the five years it took me to pay for them.”
He swings, and the hairbrush makes its descent.
"Ow!" It crashes down again.
I lurch forwards, clutching the bedcovers for all I am worth, gritting my teeth and desperately trying not to reach back with my right hand. I have counted fifteen stinging, burning spanks and Dan is showing no sign of stopping.
My eyes wet with unshed tears, I concentrate on staring at the cracks in the floorboards, following them with my eyes as they disappear beneath the bed.
It's strange, I think, staring at the tracery of whorls and knots, how intricate the patterns in oak flooring can be.
Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen - I yelp with pain, grasp the edge of the mattress and hook myself forwards, trying to escape.
Something bright and shiny catches my eye.
Sequestered away in the gloom, half hidden amongst the fluff and dust-bunnies under the bed, is my bloody wedding ring!
Ami, thank you again. You really do have a talent and I hope you’ll keep writing for us.
If anyone else is willing to share a story please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Many have asked as to the best length for a Fantasy Friday story. There are no firm hard rules but I think anywhere between 500 words and 3,000 words works best.