Friday, August 25, 2006

Entry #38

Two Months at the Lake with Strangers and Old Friends
by Fringes

Night was here, and her mother was packing for their short walk back to the lake house.

"Rory! Get away from those rocks. They're wet and slippery and you'll fall and hit your head or something."

Or something. It was always something. Rory gave her mother a thumbs up and climbed over the rocks back to safer ground.

Daddy never warned her about anything. He was never scared she was going to hit her head and bleed all over the rocks and die. They dove and swam in the lake and he called Rory his little brave fish. He was so cool. Daddy wasn't ever coming back. She overheard her mother telling somebody that at Target.

Rory wandered to the short pier and sat at its edge, scanning the lake for his boat. He could come back. He could come back tonight. Daddy was always changing his mind about things. That drove her mom crazy. With a polite nod, the woman in front of them at Starbucks that day agreed it would drive her crazy, too.

Washed in moonlight made pale by the gathering clouds, her mother looked less tired, less sad, less lonely tonight. Two months at the lake with strangers and old friends made their other life seem unnecessary. Still, Rory wondered what Daddy was doing back at the apartment, if he was thinking about them.

Rory jumped from the pier to help her mother gather their things. They'd brought their entire lives to the lake's sandy edge.

[Fringes blogs at where chocolate chip cookies and Mike's Hard Lemonade are freely available to those who ask nicely.]


Jim said...

The innocence of a child. Too bad, sometimes, that it can't stay that way.

Joni said...

What a great portrayal. Of course Daddy is so much cooler, while Mommy keeping things together seems the prude and the nag. What a nugget of truth there. This was beautiful.

briliantdonkey said...

Great post and story fringe. The innocence of not knowing any better by children is both touching and tormenting at the same time. Like someone else said, too bad it can't stay that way.


robert rohloff said...

Good story. Very visual.

Lisa said...

It's interesting to see how children view their parents. Sad to say, though, many children can probably relate to this story.

anne frasier said...

a lot of nice lines in there, fringes. it was hard to pic a favorite, but i really liked this great sentence:

Washed in moonlight made pale by the gathering clouds, her mother looked less tired, less sad, less lonely tonight.

i don't know if it was intentional, but you have a lot of nice repeated sounds.

that's shortly followed by:
"They'd brought their entire lives to the lake's sandy edge."

which also repeats some of the earlier sounds. it gives it all such a nice, gentle cadence.


anna said...

The song of our times.
It is very interesting to see the whole shebang through the child's perspective. I especially loved your finish. Good stuff!

fringes said...

It's a great feeling waking up to all of these wonderful comments. I dreamed last night that someone said:

"Reading this story gave me a brain aneurysm."

Jim, Joni, BD,Robert,Lisa...Thanks to all of you for the kind words. Anne, yes, there is intentional rhythm in most of what I write. Anna, I'm glad you liked the ending. I wanted so much for it to work well.

Bonnie Cehovet said...

What a wonderful story - well written, well paced, with great depth.

Perhaps this is not the end of this story. :)

klgilbert said... very poignant. Made me feel so many things. The ending is affective. You write in a wonderful literary style.

LOL....hope your dreams are sweeter tonight.

Marcail said...

A beautiful, bittersweet story.

Writing Blind said...

I love your take on this, the rhythm, the repetition. And that last line, wow. '

Are there any cookies left, by the way?

fringes said...

kl (can I call you kl?)...thanks for that. Maybe I will sleep easier tonight.

Marcail, thanks so much. I was hoping you'd like it.

Rebecca, thanks for loving on the story. I saved six cookies just for you.

Scott said...

I'm from several broken homes, and spent most my life wishing my parents would get back together someday. This piece really spoke to me. Good job, and I should say, as usual.

Robert Ball said...

Powerful emotion from such simple words. The love of a young daughter for her father comes across so intensely.

Southern Writer said...

Reading this story gave me a brain aneurysm (Hey, I couldn't let your dream go unanswered).

In reality, I liked it, and I agree with Anne. I totally loved those lines. You captured the point of view perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Strangers, indeed. Too often kids see their parents go through these events and use limited experience to define a moment.

Beautiful prose.


fringes said...

Scott, I'm so glad the piece spoke to you. That means a lot to me.

Mr. Ball, thanks. I love the power of simplicity.

Lesia...haha...that was more of a nightmare than a dream, but thanks for thinking of me.

Flood, what a wonderful compliment. Thank you for everything.

fringes said...

Bonnie, I didn't mean to leave you out. Please forgive me. Yes, it is the end of the story. I love stories that are completed in the readers' imaginations!

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

Well written.
I have to agree with Anne "they'd brought their entire lives to the lake's sandy edge" really is a powerful sentence.

bekbek said...

It's like they have their entire lives here because they're not going back, a nice compliment to her father not coming back. There is no back, only forward, as the girl is beginning to realize.

I like that this isn't bitter or loaded with blame. She's clinging to hope, and she's irritated by her mother's comments, but it is not without love. Very nice.

Bofire said...

I like your blog.
This is a well structured, cleanly told piece. Good work.

fringes said...

Linda, bekbek and bofire: thanks for the compliments and the insights. I am grateful for your generosity and that of the other commenters.

Bhaswati said...

Very nicely portrayed, Fringes. The innocence of children and their inability to fully comprehend such complex situations brings such poignancy to stories like these. Great read. :)

Anonymous said...

No aneurysm, just a really enjoyable story!

Thanks for writing it.
--Next Door

fringes said...

Bhaswati, thank you. It's been a long time since I tried a child narrator throughout the story. This is the first time the child didn't sound like a 40-year-old woman.

Next Door, good thing about the aneurysm. Neither of your next door neighbors is very good in panic situations. We'd leave you to die, one running out the front door, the other out the back.

Thanks for the encouragement. Your comments were very nice.

mr. schprock said...

I just now got around to reading this. This story could be my favorite. This is the work of a real artist. Consider me blown away.

fringes said...

Mr. Schprock, I am blown away by your being blown away. Thank you.

jason evans said...

The last line evokes such an intriguing concept. I have to wonder if these two bring their whole lives with them wherever they go. Until pain eases, at least.