Happy Freakin’ New Year! #DealMeIn #amreading

It’s the first of the month, as well as the first of the year, so there’s a new Hot Flash on my Hot Flashes page. Hot Flashes, in case you don’t know, are micro-mini short stories of 50 words or fewer.

ANYWAY, I’ve signed up for the Deal Me In challenge to read a short story every week in 2018. Yay! Here’s the first one:


Destiny and a Blue Cloak

by Thomas Hardy

A case of mistaken identity leads to a passionate romance between Agatha and Oswald; but when Oswald goes to India on a scholarship, it seems to be the first in a series of events that conspire to keep them apart.
– Length: 25 pages
– Age Rating: PG
– Genre: Romance

Hardy often writes of the implacability of Fate. In this story, the part of Fate is played by a young woman in a blue cloak – or possibly by two young women in blue cloaks.

The victim is the young man who mistakes one woman for another, as they both have the same blue cloak and he’s only seen them from afar and knows of one by her reputation for beauty. The poor sad bastard goes to India to make his fortune, pledging to return and marry his love.

This happens and that happens and [no spoilers] the two women cheat one another in various ways.

It can’t be said that either one loses since, in the end, giving each other one in the eye seems to be, as Hardy writes the story, the ultimate goal of each.

My heart bleeds for the person who appears least in the story. This is the genius of Hardy.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here (not counting the Hot Flashes) on my Free Reads page. I also have three collections (not counting the Hot Flashes collection) for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Two people are more interested in besting one another than they are in the object of their rivalry.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Happy Freakin’ New Year! #DealMeIn #amreading

  1. Dan Antion

    January 1, 2018 at 7:39am

    And the first cranky WordPress moment. It’s not letting me like stuff today.

    Happy New Year to you, your family and those kitties.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 1, 2018 at 8:11am

      Apparently, WordPress still thinks it’s December. It’s still snowing on my blog AND I NEVER TOLD IT TO. I mean, I love the snow, but I love the LIKE button more.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Deborah

    January 1, 2018 at 11:11pm

    Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful year!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Jay

    January 25, 2018 at 7:25am

    Somehow I missed seeing this when it was posted. I am a big fan of Hardy and have read all his major novels and a couple minor ones. I also worked my way through a collection of his short stories once, the most memorable one for me was called, I think, “The Waiting Supper.” Though it was a bit long for a short story, it was also a good example of Hardy’s “implacable fate” penchant. 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 25, 2018 at 8:00am

      Yeah, you don’t read Hardy for the laffs, that’s for sure. All the time I was reading TESS, any time she got into a good situation I started chewing my nails, ’cause I KNEW she was riding for a fall. Sometimes he has a (relatively) happy ending, but it always comes at a high cost to somebody.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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