Friday Fiction – The Crossing

Another story courtesy of Madison Wood’s photo below. Please let me know what you think – I thrive on criticism of my writing, so don’t hold back if there’s something you think I could do better or change.

For those who wanted to see the expanded version of last week’s Knight Returns story, please click here. Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Crossing

Mike’s across already. Longer legs? Better balance? Or just more confidence. I’m still teetering on the first stone. The stream rushes beneath me in torrents barely six inches deep. I could just wade over, but there are stepping stones for a reason.

I prise one foot from the rock it’s melded to, then a dragonfly lands on the next stone and I am unable to move again. He’s so tiny, he straddles a rock that will barely hold my toes. Reassurance, or a dare? I don’t know, but as he takes flight, I fly with him: safely across the stream.

43 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

43 responses to “Friday Fiction – The Crossing

  1. I flew safely with the two, too. A lovely story. Mine is here and linked too: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/fridayfictioneers-the-omen/

  2. …as he takes flight, I fly with him: safely across the stream.
    It’s now stuck in my head.

    http://logo-ligi.com/2012/06/21/a-silent-moment/

  3. I recognized the sensation of having a foot melded to a rock, and I loved the insect’s ‘reassurance or dare’ being the catalyst to success.

  4. Lovely story. Very beautiful and well thought out.
    See my attempt: http://niftitalks.com/2012/06/22/fly/

  5. You took a simple event and made it into a fun story. Great observational detail. My story is here: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  6. Really enjoyed this I also like the idea of flying across with him.

  7. your guy is attentive!
    In his position, I’d have never noticed the fly!!

  8. Lora Mitchell

    Aha…as she flies across with him, she may soon find out he’s a damselfly and not a dragonfly. lol. I’m #2 on the list.

    • I wondered if I’d get in trouble for that tactical change. In my experience, people like the character I’d imagined don’t know the difference and call everything a dragonfly. Growing up with them in our pond (the flies, not the people), I got taught the difference, but I still figured my character wouldn’t know.

  9. The damselfly shows the way. I like the description. I could hear the water. I’m on the list.

    • I wanted to add more description, but I’m glad what there was worked for you, Lady M! I’ll be checkign out the list later today so I’ll look out for you.

  10. I certainly identify with the narrator’s problem – this is what happens when you have short legs and a tall family! I did find the ending a little confusing – did she just get enough confidence from watching the dragonfly to keep her balance, or did she somehow miraculously jump the rest of the stream?

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one with short legs! Sorry the ending confused you, it was deliberately ambiguous (you know me!) but my personal feeling was that the fly just gave her the confidence and impetus to go for it.

  11. rgayer55

    As a child, I spent a lot of time playing in and around small streams. We would catch crawfish and other water creatures, such as hellgramytes. The rocks are often covered with slick moss, making for treacherous travel. Thanks for taking me back there.

    Sorry about the confusion on mine. Sometimes I forget that we don’t all have the same shared experiences growing up.

    • Not at all, Russell – my loss I am sure. There’s no harm in making cultural references – you’ll just have to forgive international audience members who don’t get them!
      I’m glad my story took you back to your childhood – sounds like it was a fun place to be.

  12. the biggest inspirations can come from the smallest places, and things.

  13. Very nice. You tell a full story with purpose, theme, and strong characterization. It’s hard to do in 100 words and you do it well. What impresses me most is your creation af a well-rounded character by showing how s/he realtes to the situation and surroundings.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, keli. I feel like that’s the purpose of flash fiction, and it’s challenge, so I’m delighted you think I succeeded this time!

  14. I felt totally caught up in this image. Very believable. Thank you.

  15. I loved this, and I relate to the narrator for a different reason. I am physically challenged, walk with a cane and often find myself unstable or “teetering” in the normal course of walking. I will now think of that damselfly and her grace as inspiration to move forward!

  16. There are stepping stones for a reason, I’m definitely one who believes on small steps! Nice message!

  17. A lovely story well told. It took me back to days out hiking along the river. I too have had my feet melded to the stone. Very believable.

  18. Dear Jen,

    Yours was a beautifully focused piece. Stream, rocks, gracefully perched damselfly. I love how you weave your words.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/kaleidoscope/

  19. This is a brilliant one…i did not notice the stream beneath. Well done!

  20. Great work with the delivery of the descriptions. The torrents of rushing water pull together all of your character’s fear in that one “looking down” moment. Then the way the character reads a meaning in the movements of the dragonfly struck me as particularly realistic for someone in this situation. Nice job, and thanks again for your comments on mine (I was away for a long weekend, so I apologize for the delay in my response!)

    • Hurray – your first few words are cheering for a student of description – it’s nice to believe I can do it in this tiny space. Gives me hope for longer pieces too.
      Hope you enjoyed your weekend away – thanks for stopping by upon your return.

  21. I was wondering if the need to cross upon the rocks would put those two at odds, but no, there was a budding friendship awaiting instead. Nicely done.

    http://thebradleychronicles.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/flash-fiction-friday-shearing-placid/

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