Venus and Mars

Lydia Thompson wiped the eight months of collected dust off the book she’d purchased at an end-of-summer sale.  Her husband had left to drop the kids off for a weekend stay at his parents’ house. The two hours he’d be gone provided the perfect uninterrupted opportunity to immerse herself in someone else’s life.  She curled up on the couch with the book, noticing the scent from a lavender candle burning on a nearby table.  Though it put her in the perfect mood to read, she couldn’t help but feel guilty for not doing something more productive; like dusting or vacuuming.  Another deep breath and healthy dose of lavender helped banish those thoughts as she forced her eyes to read the first sentence of Chapter One.

Sasha, her white Maltese, snuggled in the bend of her knees.  After reading for a while, she felt the dog tense.  For the first time, Lydia noticed that her legs were in need of a good stretch.  Sasha’s head lifted and her ears perked, listening for something.  Finally, Sasha jumped from the couch and began barking.  That was when Lydia heard the garage door open.  She glanced at the clock, surprised that over two hours had passed since she began reading.  Eleven chapters in, she wasn’t ready to leave yet.  Lydia ignored the barking dog, and her stiff neck, and picked up the story where she had left off.

“Did you miss me?” Michael asked several minutes later as he tossed his keys on the counter.


“Can you believe we have a whole weekend alone?”


Michael flopped down onto the cushion at the opposite end of the couch.  “What should we do?”  He asked with a lopsided grin and arched eyebrow.

“In the pantry.”


Lydia looked at Michael.  “The soup.  It’s on the top shelf in pantry.” 

He plucked the book from her hands.

“No, wait!  I have to know what happens next.”

“I’ll show you what happens next,” Michael said.

Lydia frowned and lunged for the book, but Michael jerked it out of her reach.  He grunted when she landed on his chest.

“I say we do something we can’t do freely with kids around.”

She lifted herself from his chest and looked into his eyes.  She smiled.  “You’re right!  I know just the thing.”  She stood up and held out her hand to Michael.

Michael took her hand with a grin.  “Now we’re talking.”

Lydia pulled him toward the hallway and then stopped.  “We’ve put off organizing the linen closet for ages.  Now is the perfect time.”


I’d love to know what you thought of the story.  My responses may be slow the next week due to family stuff, but I will respond – I promise.  Just wanted to let you know so you don’t think I’ve gone ‘Diva’ and quit responding to comments 🙂


20 thoughts on “Venus and Mars

  1. Tori Nelson June 2, 2011 / 7:45 AM

    Love the last line 🙂
    This is really good, Janna!

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2011 / 9:16 AM

      Thanks, Tori. I’m glad you enjoyed it. More silly than reality, but that’s what I needed this week!

  2. momsomniac June 2, 2011 / 8:27 AM

    It is a cute, well-written story, but honestly, stories with male/female stereotypes like this leave me feeling a bit sad. I realize many women will be able to relate, but other than the READING bit, I cannot.

    Perhaps folks like me just aren’t the target audience. Still, thank you for sharing it with your readers. I love how you openly share your fiction and I always enjoy your style and pacing.

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2011 / 9:13 AM

      Yeah, this one was an exaggerated stereotype, for sure. Men and women are wired differently, but not usually this far apart :) I couldn’t imagine this happening in real life.

      This was a fun mind-breakthat I did to clear my other stories out of my head so I could re-read and edit again. It’s easier for me to do when I get the details out of my brain. And, since I didn’t have another writing-related topic in mind for today…

      Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts, Momsomniac. I’m always interested in knowing what people really think, other than interpreting silence/no commentas “hated it.”

      • momsomniac June 2, 2011 / 10:08 AM

        Well – I am honest! : )

        Your ability to pace for humor amazes me. I am also impressed that you share so freely, because I think you could be getting paid for a ton of the stories you simply post on your blog. They may not always be “for me”, but they are ALWAYS brilliantly paced and well-written.

        • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:16 PM

          Thank you for your honesty (and compliments, too,) Momsomniac! One of these days I might look into outlets for my short stories, but I’m still focused on my novel dreams. I do appreciate your feedback 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel June 2, 2011 / 10:58 AM

    There’s a woman with a sense of humor. Of course, she was only kidding! Cute story! Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:17 PM

      In a sense she’s a lot like me (making jokes at inappropriate times.) Although, I have not pulled that one on my hubby…not sure how he’d react!

      Thanks for reading and offering your opinion, Carol 🙂

  4. carldagostino June 2, 2011 / 1:25 PM

    Seems like words from older people.Not that they don’t embrace(pun intended) intimacy, just that orderliness take precedence. At least he got her to the linen in the closet if not the linen on the bed.

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:21 PM

      “Embrace intimacy”…good one, Carl! I used to be more of an orderly type, but right now I’d pick sleep over organizing any day 🙂

  5. nrhatch June 2, 2011 / 7:57 PM

    Enjoyed it, Janna.

    Maybe they’ll find a set of silk sheets in the linen closet and he’ll be suitably rewarded for his “patience.”

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:23 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! There’s a good chance they both got what they were looking for (I’ll leave that up to reader interpretation.)

  6. pattisj June 2, 2011 / 8:26 PM

    I thought it was well written, Janna. I saw myself in Lydia with that twinge of guilt regarding the housework. I liked the humorous ending, but don’t think it really ended there. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:25 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Patti. I also suffer with guilt over what I’m not getting done, but I’m getting better at ignoring it 🙂 You are probably right, there’s more to the story…but I don’t write that kind of story – I’ll leave it to the imagination!

  7. Patty June 2, 2011 / 8:56 PM

    I have never heard the term “Gone Diva”. I don’t think I would’ve ever thought that of you!
    I felt like I was reading a script from my own life. It was pretty real.

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:29 PM

      I don’t know if ‘gone Diva’ is really a phrase or not. I don’t want to take credit for making it up, because I probably did hear it somewhere 🙂

      Thanks for reading the story and sharing your thoughts on it, Patty. I am happy that you found it believable.

  8. widdershins June 2, 2011 / 8:56 PM

    Nice one Janna. That ending could go either way. Be interesting if you continued on with ‘what happens next’.

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:31 PM

      Thank you, Widdershins – I’m glad you enjoyed the story. You’re right that anything could happen, but I don’t think I could write about all of it 😉

  9. dorcas June 4, 2011 / 12:41 AM

    good one Janna.. I could imagine Micheal’s reaction … 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 4, 2011 / 10:32 PM

      I’m so glad you like it, Dorcas. You being able to imagine is reaction is a good thing 🙂 (Yay!)

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