The Pebble

In Fiction on February 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm


The Pebble

My house is in the south by a river, far from the DMZ. At night, the river reflects the moon and the walls seem bathed in water. When my grandson wakes me, which is most nights, he is like a mirage.

“Grampa,” he says, “I had a bad dream. I dreamed I turned into a rock and fell into the river and drowned.”

I dreamed I was a pebble in your pocket. I dreamed you dropped me but you didn’t see.”

I roll to the wall and squeeze my eyes shut. Maybe if I move further south the dreams will stop.

This is my response to the week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt (photo by David Stewart). I’ve been on vacation and I don’t think I’m back on my game yet, so lay your constructive criticism right on me.

Comments and links to stories welcome below!

  1. Hope you had a great vacation! Did you go somewhere away from home?

    This story flows so nicely but makes me sad that they both have such bad dreams. With the information about the DMZ and moving south, I’m inferring the grandfather had bad experiences in or with North Korea. Beautifully written and begs for more.


  2. I really felt the emotion in this. A well spent 100 words.

  3. Dear Brian,
    Welcome back. Hope it was a good vacation.
    Your story reads like poetry. I like the ethereal quality of it.

  4. I like how you described the reflection of the river on the wall. It makes teh story feel unreal. welcome back.

  5. Some feng shui needed in that home. Wonderful storytelling.

  6. A dream or a nightmare? EIther wy it is so well done!

  7. beautiful writing and images here. The two quoted sections evoke so much emotion and make me ache as a reader. I feel so much sadness for this man.

  8. sad and touching..painful..

  9. oh that’s gotta be a most annoying situation. well done.

    in this line: “… the river reflects the moon and the walls seem bathed in water.” consider putting a comma after “moon.” compound sentences should have a comma with the conjunction.

    also, here: “Maybe if I move further south the dreams will stop.” consider a comma after “south.” it’s the end of a dependent clause, which needs a comma when it’s at the beginning of the sentence. if you were to reverse the order, it’s funny how the comma isn’t needed. like this: “Maybe the dreams will stop if i move further south.”

  10. A sad tale. I read it two ways. The first was pretty much at face value with grandpa and grandson exchanging their nightmares in the middle of the night. The second way I looked at it was as a much sadder story about the old man haunted by dreams brought about by the loss of his grandson who may have drowned in the river that he lives on. He may even feel or be responsible for the boy’s death and he is tormented by a litany of dreams told to him by the specter of a boy who no longer shares this world with him. In this version both dreams are told to the old man by the ghost of a boy and the old man turns away from the ghost to hide his grief and guilt.

    I got all of that out 100 hundred words. Beautiful job.

    • Thanks Andy! Your second reading is spot on (though both are valid I’d say), and I’m glad you caught all that! (there’s a reason I say the boy seems like a mirage)

      • Glad I got it right. It would have been really embarrassing if you replied saying, “What are you talking about?” You write beautifully and on many levels. I enjoy what you do.

  11. […] Related: The Hideout // Silence // The Pebble […]

  12. […] The Hideout // The Pebble // Patient […]

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