water

Rejuvenating

a flash-fiction piece

The Fountain of Youth in the town of Bellum-La-Gosee was extremely old and had sprung a leak. The fact had first come to the attention of townsfolk when it was noticed how new the paving surrounding the fountain was looking and how the weeds at its base were turning to seeds. Not “going to seed”, exactly, in the parlance of gardeners, say, but quite literally transmogrifying themselves into the seed from which they came. It was decided something ought to be done least the whole town was rendered rejuvenated at a considerable loss to the historical tourist trade.

The Mayor proclaimed an open tender for the works and set about interviewing tradespersons, but all that bid for the contract had to be turned away, being considered not old enough and at risk of becoming too young over the course of the repairs and leading the Mayor into accusations of committing the crime of exploiting child labour.

Eventually, they found a plumber so old, and with tools so badly worn, bent and broken, that they decided it was worth a chance that he could fix it whilst remaining an adult and before his equipment would turn back into the raw materials of the earth.

And thus the fountain was restored and the plumber went back to his own town a very wealthy young man. Yet no one thought to ask, how was it that the fountain sprung a leak in the first place and did not naturally repair itself? There are some things we will never know, not because the answer is elusive but because we don’t think to ask.


written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Elemental Writing Challenge – “Rejuvenating”

This week’s elemental focus is Water. The prompt word is Rejuvenating.

image by John Wilson via Unsplash.com

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Flash Fiction Challenge: A Bucket of Water

Looking into the bucket, I imagine the water as molecules; an impossible vision. We’re told the space inside an atom is greater than its matter, which implies that if we could remove all that space from the water, it’d leave just a sheen of matter at the bottom.

“Why is water wet, and snow dry?”, Gail asks, having watched a documentary on polar bears. Whenever polar bears leave the sea, they roll in the snow to dry themselves. It’s essential to stay warm in the Arctic.

“I don’t know”, I say. There’s more to this than meets the eye.

(99 words)


written for The Carrot Ranch Literary Community writing prompt – “A Bucket of Water”

“In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads!”

image via The Carrot Ranch.

#writephoto: Before The Flood

Removing themselves from the tent, the three of them sat cross-legged on the sheet of tarpaulin, and looked skywards.

“Red sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning”, said Japheth.

“Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight”, added Shem.

“Baked potatoes on lamb, shepherds’ pie!”, said Ham.

Shem plucked a sod of grass and threw it at Ham. It struck the top of his head and bounced away; they all laughed at that.

Outside of the city, the sky appeared vast and overwhelming, its shocking redness increasing its imposingness; the broken plane of cloud resembled a sheet of bloody tripe.

“I imagine it’s like being inside the belly of a dragon”, said Japheth.

“Like a belly of fire?”, asked Shem.

“Do you think the dragon’s fire starts in its belly?”, said Ham, “wouldn’t it more likely start from its lungs?”

“Don’t be daft. If we were inside its lungs, it’d have a coughing fit. It’d cough us to the other side of this field!”, cried Shem.

“It’s commonly held that the dragon makes fire from its pyrotid glands, situated at the back of its throat”, said Japheth.

“Are they very big, these pyro whatsit glands?”, asked Ham.

Japheth shrugged in ignorance and said, “Dunno. Why?”

“Well, they’d have to be to get us, this tarp’, the tent, the field and all these trees inside…”

Shem plucked up another sod to throw at Ham and caught him squarely on the side of his face. Pieces of grit flew into his ear. Just then, the dragon coughed and expelled all three across the field and over the trees in a plume of flame. They screamed but Ham screamed the loudest.

He woke in the dim half-light of new day with Shem barking hotly into his left ear. A rasping, congested voice, something about his turn to light the fire, put the water on, and make breakfast. He’d been dreaming again. Outside it was raining; he could hear it softly pattering on the canvas overhead. It looked like another wet day ahead, like the six before; and how many more?

Removing himself from the tent, he crouched down and lifted a corner of the tarpaulin which covered the fire pit and the wood. The wood seemed dry but the pit was waterlogged. He looked skywards and cursed until the rain burned his eyes and he had to turn again to the ground. It was a good job they weren’t shepherds, he thought, because they sure hadn’t heeded the warning.

(415 words)


Inspired by and written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo #writephoto prompt – “Renewal”.

image by Sue Vincent.

#writephoto – Calm

Calm Excites

Calm excites. An accidental paradox.
Emotion springs, gathers in pools, gains ground, and flows:
a vibrant stream; a turbulent brook; a rolling
river, winding down but never petering out,
sustaining through innate strength; on the surface,
barely a ripple noticed, while below, the deep
unspeakable swell of the soul easing.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo #WritePhoto Prompt – “Calm”

For me, there is a sense of peace which is attainable, although it might be just momentarily experienced, but imagining or being given an image of such a place, or time, elicits excitement. Even in a moment of calm, sometimes I catch myself unawares and it’s thrilling to realise, here I am at peace. A paradox of responses.