The Waiting Water

In Fiction on January 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Island ocean

The Waiting Water

As day wanes the ocean turns black. The brackish foam boils on the rocks. The sun sinks and its crimson rays leak from the horizon as from a wound.

There is something appalling about the sea. About its mystery. I believe it is evil.

My friends drink and laugh. They sunbathe. They sleep with each other and collect designer labels. They forget the waiting water.

I can no longer abide this. There are things one needs to understand.

I free my line. I push off. The blood is drained from the sky and the ocean takes me.

This is my response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt (for the uninitiated, the prompt is the photo up top). Check out the Fictioneers and a lot of great fiction at Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s blog — you won’t be disappointed!

Comments and criticism are welcome (along with links to your stories if you have them) below. (The inspiration for this, along with the idea of the ocean as “appalling” comes to you via Moby Dick, so let credit be given where credit is due).

Happy weekend everyone!

  1. The annoyance and contempt is felt very well in your words.

  2. Hey Brian! I love the description at the start of this piece and the comtempt for his “friends”. If I could crit one thing, it would be the last couple of lines. “I must leave” and “I will not return” feel a bit like telling in the midst of some fantastic showing. I wonder if you could cut one or both entirely, and leave us to infer it all. Mind you, you mention Moby Dick. I’m not a fan of Melville’s writing style there, but I think maybe you’re being faithful to him and hats off to you for that!

  3. hmmm. “i will not return.” we have to look at that because, for him to say that, means that either he plans to commit suicide or he is psychic. the reason i say this is because it is written in present tense, so that rules out that he is writing from beyond the grave, albeit a watery grave. otherwise, you could have written, “i don’t expect to return.”

    let me know if any of that makes sense. well done.

  4. Dear Brian,
    Seems to me You’ve done some tweaking since I first read this on my phone in the car. (No, I wasn’t driving). Much stronger. I like “the ocean takes me.”

  5. I like this: “The sun sinks and its crimson rays leak from the horizon as from a wound.” Seems as though most everything else has already been said so I’m done. 🙂


  6. Great imagery in this piece Brian. I liked the ‘blood-sunset’ references. Nice work.

  7. Lovely poetic language here. 🙂

  8. Hi Brian,
    My ‘pinion is there is some beautiful and stylish writing going on here and I like the contrast between the happy frivolity of his friends and his dark moodiness. Nicely strung words! Ron

  9. Visceral. Your mention of Moby Dick adds an even more darkly emotional element. Nicely done.

  10. Your imagery is amazing. Wonderful post.

  11. Some fantastic imagery here – really enjoyed this 🙂

  12. Your opening description made me see the sea in a different way. Water in the dark and the sunset. Wonderful. I’m not sure what mind I am hearing… as I read the last line.

  13. I thought this encapsulated disillusion magnificently.


  14. Terrifying ending – it sounds like he’s just going to head out to sea and let it take him! Not a comfortable mind to visit, but a powerful story. Good job!

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