It’s time to leave.

The ship draped over the sea, her brother wistfully watching it as the engine roared into continuous life. “You don’t know what’s out there anymore,” Lauren said.

“No,” Tom shook his head. “I don’t. But, I can’t stay. I thought you’d be happy for this—we could finally leave.”

“I would be leaving everything behind. It’s over. We can live here freely.”

“I can’t live here freely, not in my mind. I have to go.”

“Leaving me behind…”

“I told you,” he was terse, “you can come with me.”

“I can’t.”

“Why do you feel connected to this devastation? It took many lives from the world, including ours. You feel, what, pity for a world that’s been long gone? Face it, it never existed.”

Lauren made a face. “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

Written for the 7/19/2021 dVerse prosery prompt, using the quote, “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife”–Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928)

This is one part of how I visualized the island novel collaboration ending, but that’s no longer going to be how it ends. 🙂 I am much more cruel to my characters.

Also a note for anyone who reads the story, chapter 11 is currently being rewritten.

Categories: Prose, Stories/Excerpts

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

55 replies

  1. Contextually, I am far and away, but the simple prose of conversation paints an excellent picture of character, intent, and the lingering enigmatic air surrounding them. A Prose Challenge, hm? Curious.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much! Yeah, I try to make the story not too reliant on the context of the novel collaboration chapters, but there’s still a lot that’s left unsaid.

      And yes, a prose challenge over at dVerse! It’s really fun, you should join in. Lisa’s the host for this prompt, this time using a quote by Zora Neale Hurston. Just need to write a maximum of 144 words utilizing that quote in a piece of creative flash fiction or non-fiction prose. It can’t be prose poetry, to note, just pure prose. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • And so it is done.

        I’m afraid I’ve hardly the time to dedicate myself to properly sitting down to read your prose works, but I have been updated time and again about them. Collaborations are quite amusing, so I hope they have at least been that for you.

        Still, my original thoughts stand – even without any context at all, you’ve done a splendid job of drawing in character from the nebulous language and conversation.

        Lovely, as always.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I understand that entirely, Masa. It’s going to be a literal monster to sit down and make changes/edits to the final product when it’s done, hahaha. It has been quite amusing, yes.

        Thank you again for the kind words, always appreciate your thoughts. ❤

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I feel for her, not willing to leave. If you didn’t mention sea, I might have thought they were talking about leaving a planet on a space ship. In any case, mysterious. I laughed at your remark about being crueler to your characters. 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I loved being dropped into an ongoing plot, to endeavor to make sense of the action, like channel surfing (which I hate when others do it in my presence). This prose seems absent of your poetic darkness, a nice contrast, illustrating your scope and talent.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It’s so clear that these two are bonded and also clear that this is a crossroads for both of their lives. I like the way it’s left, not really sure if she will dig in and stay or end up leaving with him. I love this expression: “The ship draped over the sea.” Good writing, Lucy!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Why is chapter 11 being rewritten? And how will this affect the story… 🧐

    Liked by 5 people

    • It shouldn’t impact the story at all as I’m keeping the subsequent chapters in mind, along with what I plan for the final few chapters of this story.

      As for why I’m rewriting the chapter, chapter 11 was written by a friend and we had a falling out. Now I would have kept it on there, but we agreed he would kill off his character in some type of sacrifice; and I just don’t feel comfortable going back on that promise, so it’s just easier for me to write out the character entirely as it didn’t contribute much plot-wise.

      In retrospect, chapter 11 was probably too late to add another major character only to kill them off. This was done much earlier in the story with another character, and I don’t necessarily think it’s good to repeat it like that.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. An engaging flash piece that gives us just enough inner conflict to feel for the characters!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I like your ship draping over the ocean. Your story makes me think of a mix of Noah’s ark and my ancestors who made the voyage to this country seeking a better life! well done Lucy!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I like this dystopian vision, but wonder what dreadful fate you have in store for your characters!

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Lucy – I love how tantalizing this is – it leaves me yearning for more details!


    Liked by 5 people

  10. Lucy, what an intriguing glimpse at a bigger piece. It has a dystopian sci fi feel to it. I see the links to the chapters – I know what I’m reading later today!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Love the mystery here and the emotions clearly felt through your words, Lucy.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. That is really clever. You’ve really taken a notion and brought forward the true depth it contains.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. To stay or to go? One of the eternal questions. (K)

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Wonderfully done! I also loved the ship draped over the sea. Their connection is so fierce, I wonder if she truly can stay behind.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. The intrigue birthed of this flash fiction is palpable.

    I wonder if they’ll be free of whatever purgatory which holds them… I suppose only one way to find out!

    Liked by 6 people

  16. You have a talent for dialogue, Lucy.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. This is expertly wrought! I love the remark about being more cruel to the characters 😀 one of the best things about writing is that we have the power to give them voice and make it unforgettable 💝💝💝

    Liked by 4 people

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