Sunday, November 2, 2014

By the sea 2.0

Daylight Savings Time is kindof awesome because I woke at the regular time, but still had an hour to enjoy that sluggish, half-asleep dream state where (sometimes) my brain likes to tell me stories.

No editing happened on this at all... I wrote it all in less than 5 minutes while I drank coffee. I really do think writing flash fiction improves the overall quality of my first drafts...

I could write this story into a novel... well, rather, I think it could be one of the 'drawer inhabitants' stories from this.

Once there was a castle by the sea which beat the shore with furious waves. They built a platform out into the water, hauling stone from a far off quarry, and there they called girls to sing the sea calm. Day and night they stood until their voices gave out, then the waves dashed their bones to sand.

Once there was a rocky shore, rich with tidal pools, rich with life, until stones were throw in and walled up. Sorcerers were called to sing spells, a war cry to frighten the corals, the barnacles, every small creature that could not swim away, those who had been crushed by the first assault. And though the invaders were fierce, the wind and waves did not tire, and they beat back each sorcerer to protect their smallest, most defenceless wards.

Once there was a great core of stone that was dug up, piece by piece and shaped into magnificent statues and architecture. But instead of becoming grand and admirable, some was shaped in rough blocks and cast into the vile, salty water. Instead of  gleaming white in the sun and admired, it grew green and pitted, and the waves raged and tore, wearing each mighty block into sad, shrunken shadows.

And once there was a girl who was called to sing by the sea.


  1. Oh, awesome! I really like the idea of frightening corals. Also the whole story, but that spawned a fun thing in my head about ecological catastrophe (since coral death is one of the major signs of a mass extinction) and I pictured all this singing and the seas dying as a result...

    1. I'd totally read that!

      ...better singing corals than singing crustaceans?

      (as in, 'The Little Mermaid')

      I'm irked at myself for using 'admired' and 'admirable' in the same paragraph... but overall, I liked the play of perspective... because in fairytales, you really only get the hero/heroine's. And yes, I intentionally went from human, to less human, to inanimate, then rounded back to 'human' at the end ;)

      I think too much 'contemporary' writing is making me crave a little of the magical.

  2. Charlie and Jay, for use later in the novel :)

    “Onthe there was a cathtle by the sea which beat the thhore with furiouth waveth and – it’th not working!”

    I crack open my eyes as Jay shoves his way into my bed. “Jay. It’s – four in the morning. At best.”

    “I needed help thinthe it was two. I waited,” he says, as if that should make everything all right. “Charlie, pleathe!”

    “What is it?”

    He thrusts his tablet at me like a sword. “There’th thith game where you have to thpeak the opening narration and it won’t let me in!”

    I count to thirty. Twice. He just waits, anxious and worried. “Fine.” I take the tablet, skim over the game introduction and begin to read: “Once there was a castle by the sea which beat the shore with furious waves. The castle belonged to the ancient sea witch and as all rivers long for the sea, it called the sea to the rivers and wound swamp whole towns and cities under a ruin of waters. Desperate to destroy the castle the Kingdom called upon the services of their oldest magician, as cruel as he was wise, and he drafted the werewolf army of the king and changed them into mosters of the sea so that they could attack the castle and destroy it, and thus the merwolves would bring an end of the reign of the sea witch.”

    “Thankth!” He takes his tablet back.

    “The game really requires that?”

    Jay blinks, hops off my bed and tries not to look guilty.


    “It’th an optional extra for more pointth,” he admits. “You’re always buthy right now and we’re always doing important Thtuff and I jutht wanted to talk.”

    “And use me to get a better score in a game?”

    “You are a friend,” he says, fighting back a huge grin.

    “Friends have other uses than helping you in games.” I sit up in the bed and gesture for him to get back into it. I can always drink espresso later. “Tell me about the game.”


    “Yes, really.”

    Jay grins hugely and begins telling me all about the quest and merwolves and the sea witch and I make sure to ask the right questions and just listen. I figure he’s really trying to tell me something else, but I’m not sure even Jay knows what it is so I just watch him play the game and relax and hope this is the point where we become proper friends again.


      You get triple-points-score for that!

    2. Also a crap-load of typoes and screwing up one ess for Jay. But yeah: I had planned to reference them in the draft at least once as a giant in-joke :)