Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: June Prompt

For the month of June Christine posted a creative writing prompt with the topic of Waves. So below is my attempt to to stretch my short story writing muscles.

I wanted to keep it really short, and at 471 words, I think I reached that goal.

My other idea for this story was to do a kind of play on Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. You can be the judge of how successful I was with this one.


Waves roll in with great fanfare.

Great white foaming crowns. Crash and roar as each one breaks against the rocks. And then that final plume of spray, water droplets of confetti. Such pageantry.

It’s easy to forget that silently beneath the surface, they are sucked under to roll back out. It’s perpetual motion in both directions. A simultaneous hello and good-bye.

Growing up Oceanside it was the fear of the latter that ruled my life. There were constant reminders of the Ocean’s power to take things away.

It started small with the goldfish annually won at the County Fair that died a week later and was then returned to the sea.

Then the toddler next door drowned.

A few years later a whole fishing boat of tourists were lost. They searched for over a week, but not a trace of them was ever found.

The message was clear. Things put into the sea - disappeared.

That’s why it seemed the logical place to dispose of a dead husband.

I killed him. Let’s get that out of the way. Not entirely on purpose. I did love him in my own way, after all.

In the wan moonlight as I watched his body being sucked beneath the waves, I even felt sorry that I would never see him again.

I would have been ever more sorry if I’d known how wrong I was.

The next night the ocean brought him back. Flopped up on the shore like a dead fish, the outgoing tide lapping at his bloated toes.

Pulling him back into the water was even more unpleasant that time than the first, and at that point I had no desire to see him or anyone else in such a state again. And yet he returned. Night after night the ocean deposited him on the stretch of beach that served as my back doorstep.

No matter how many times I pushed him back out the man refused to disappear beneath the sea.

Clearly, things could not go on this way.

And so pockets were filled with pebbles, the weight of them making even walking difficult suggested that drowning would be easy. Then together, my dead husband and I, we waded out to sea. The waves started at our feet, pushing against me even as they climbed higher, as if a warning to turn back. Then they were overhead and as if giving into the inevitable they relented, no longer pushing me away, but now sweeping me off my feet into their embrace and away.

At the bottom of the sea the waves roll in and out upside-down. The surface drama is muted, while the power beneath them to give and take is on constant display.
But they no longer carry my husband with them.

No, he is now at last resting beside me.

If you want to take part in this creative writing prompt check out the post on Christine's blog and leave a link back to your own blog there.


  1. I LOVE THIS!!! Very nice Kate. (and Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favs).

  2. OOOOHhhh, Kate that was eerie. I love how you started general and segued into personal. Wow. Very good.

  3. I will never look at the ocean the same again! LOL! Great Job! Definitely gets a readers attention and involved. Bravo!

  4. I really liked this. I was drawn in immediately at the beginning and then gripped even more when the dead husband was introduced. Great job!