Friday, October 2, 2009

4 Lost Men

Adam hurried along the tea tree lined path that followed the river. Branches closed in above him. If he took the road, he would reach the house sooner. It was sheer pig-headedness that had made him choose the path. The trace of maybe that had once meant something else. He stumbled over a tree root and winced. His hands felt in his short pockets for the mobile, and pulled it out. The battery was very low. There was still no response. He broke into a sprint as the path curved around to the right and the river appeared.

A stranger stood at the end of Chris’s bed. He liked her coat, “a trench coat” Jacqui smiled and raised her eyebrows. The filtered sun light bounced off her uniform as she bent to prop up the pillow. It was hot in here. Maybe she would take it off. She was standing in some kind of hole, or was it a tunnel. She might need a coat there. She spoke to him through space. He floated towards the tunnel dragging the top sheet with him. He would be safe there, away from all this noise. The tea trolley stopped, and Maggie walked in with two metal lidded dishes on a tray.

The fish had been biting well at the second stop. Three calamari and five big flathead, not a bad haul. It had been rough as usual coming out of the river but once they had made it through to the deeper ocean the sea was calm. The odd dragonfly hovered around, the bait box and a breeze lifting from the water cooled them. The boat bobbed gently.

“Pull the lines up?” asked Jim

“Yeah, we should head in.” replied Todd

“I don’t fancy navigating the river in the dark”

“I’ll get the anchor” said Todd, moving up to the front of the boat and started hauling arm over arm.

“It seems to be stuck”

Jim put the two rods away and grabbed the wheel. He turned the key in the ignition, nothing. He tried again, silence. Jim turned around, a puzzled look on his face.


  1. I like your writing style, but I'm uncertain what's happening here. I get the men fishing, but the first 2 paragraphs confuse me...they seem to be talking about other people. How does it tie together?

    Now I'm wondering what's happening to the 2 fishermen! :)

  2. Ganymeder,thanks for your praise it is encouraging to hear. The binding thread here is the idea of lost. Adam is in danger of losing something precious to him, Chris has lost his mind. Jim and Todd without an engine are lost, and they have also lost their peace of mind. This piece is more of a visual poem than a story, though it could well form into a longer story with some nurturing.

  3. I needed your explanation to appreciate your piece, I admit!
    I like the tunnel imagery for Chris.

    I have to ask - if 3 calamari are part of a "good haul", how big were these squid?! :)

  4. I like the different takes on 'lost.' you present here.
    I vote for the nurtured longer story option. It would be nice to see these three disparate threads woven into something bigger

  5. I like it even more now that you've explained it. Thanks. :)

  6. How did I miss this on Friday?

    I really liked the tunnel visual too. More to explore for next week?

  7. Maybe not next week for this one but sometime soon.

  8. I was very confused until about half way through when I realized they were indeed four separate (three actually with two men together) scenes. The desperation of the first man came through nicely, but I am unclear just what he lost. About half way through paragraph 2 I had my aha moment. The writing is fine, but the disconnection of the pieces is a bit disconcerting (though the title helps tie them together).

  9. An interesting idea that if nothing else has provided you with three situations you can explore in depth later. After reading your explanation the piece made more sense as a flash fiction. If your intent was to get the reader thinking about these things after they have clicked away from your site, then its worked on me.

  10. I was confused when I first read this piece, but your explanation made it make sense.

    I wondered if 'tea' would be a thread that tied all the stories together.

    You write beautifully.