This week’s Friday Fiction photograph comes from Sarah Ann Hall. When I saw it, I was immediately reminded of the “white picket fence” story I wrote for another FF prompt a couple of months ago. I’m still proud of that story, and I almost just posted you a link to it and got on with something else. However, the muse doesn’t lie down once she’s been woken up, and she kept on whirring in my head. Eventually, she gave me a first line, as she so often does, and once I’d written it, she led me like a faithful pony to the rest of the story.
For those who want to read it, I’ve included the original version. It’s 150 words and includes that first line the muse provided, which had to go when the editing began. As ever, you are welcome to just read the final version, which appears immediately below the photo, and I welcome your critique on whatever you read.
One final note – Once I had the story, there was only one name I could use for the main character: Sandra Crook is a fellow Fictioneer who spends far more time than I do on the river. I hope she will forgive me borrowing her name and one aspect of her life story. The rest is entirely fictional. Well, except the danger of shaving on a narrowboat, which as my husband will testify, is not!
Every Journey Begins With A Single Step
Sandra eased the boat through the narrow entrance to the aqueduct, keeping her eye out to be sure she didn’t hit the rubber runners on the bank. Ian was shaving, and the tall stinging nettles wafted dangerously close to the open bathroom window.
“Shropshire’s hardly the Seychelles!” her friends had laughed, when she’d told them about her honeymoon.
But Sandra had never been happier. Two weeks had turned into twenty years and that first step onto the narrowboat had been the best she’d ever taken … after the fifteen steps up the aisle to Ian’s side, of course.
“Every journey begins with a single step,” her grandmother had told her. This journey had been no different, she supposed, except that first step had been the only one.
Sandra eased the boat gently through the narrow entrance to the aqueduct, then kept her eye on the left side to be sure she didn’t hit the rubber runners on the bank. Ian was shaving, and the tall nettles wafted dangerously close to the open bathroom window.
Sandra smiled. When Ian proposed this honeymoon, her friends had laughed.
“Two weeks in Shropshire? What happened to the Seychelles?” Alison mocked.
But Sandra had never been happier. She had Ian to herself, the weather had been kind and the river welcoming. What more could she ask for?
That single step onto the narrowboat had been the best she’d ever taken … after the fifteen steps up the aisle to his side, of course.