07 July 2013

I've Been Here the Whole Time - A Bit of Short Fiction

Something about the hot weather and this photograph mixed together nicely for me. For the first time in ages, I'm actually early for our writing prompt this week! Make sure to check it out and see if you get inspired.

I had been walking for hours. No water. No food. The desert sun beating down upon my back. I had agreed to walk to the nearest gas station. Somewhere, miles and miles back was my family, sitting in the stalled SUV, waiting for me to return. I wonder if I would ever...

A bird called out in the distance. The first sign of life I had seen or heard in a long time. Was he lost too? Separated from his own family? Uncertain of their safety and whether they were okay? He called out again.

The flat landscape ahead of me blurred. I shut my eyes and willed the sensation of a slight breeze. It was either reality or in my head, but a small gust of wind blew my hair back. It smelled of flowers and those funny recipes my neighbor loved making. Custard pie. She loved making custard pie. I could smell it in the wind.

I opened my eyes and the wind disappeared. The gravel under my feet crunched. God, would I ever get out of this place? Endless, stretches of empty horizon. There was nothing ahead of me. How could I have gone on so long? I hung my head down and listened to the bird in the distance call out after me.

I shut my eyes again and the gravel became sand. Like on a beach. Where was I? No, I wasn't lost in the desert. I was on the beach, near the ocean. Going to meet my family under the umbrella near the water. It was someone's birthday. We were there to celebrate. I kept my eyes shut and imagined the cool salty air. The sound of laughter in the distance. Cords from kites stretching into the sky dancing with the birds.

The birds. I opened my eyes again and heard that bird calling in the distance. I didn't see an endless horizon this time. Was it yet another myth created by my mind? More trickery? Or did I really see the ocean stretching out before me? An endless, endless ocean.

I stopped and leaned on a large piece of driftwood formed in the shape of an alter. I said a prayer. I've been here the whole time. The beach, the ocean, my neighbor's custard pie. I continued on to find my family under the umbrella while waves of madness tickled my feet.


  1. This was really good.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Well done, Nicole! I'm left wondering how it all turns out--just like the family in the SUV. Nice touch, by the way, to up the gravity of the situation with that little bit of information. I liked this a lot!

  3. Very tense, Nicole! I like it. :)

  4. You had me wondering there - glad it seems to have worked out OK - great use of the prompts. Custard pies - loved it.


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