#writephoto: Winged waves

And we’re off on another WIP. This isn’t an excerpt, just playing around with ideas. For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt.

Screenshot 2020-06-25 at 16.01.57

All that is left of the great wave is a silver pool and the rippling fishbones of the sea bed. She wades into the silver, sending echoes or ripples rushing across the clouded surface, but no head rises from the shallows, no mouth breaks into a broad smile, no hand reaches out to draw her home. The wave has passed, gone, ebbed, drawing him and hope back down to the deeps. She listens for echoes of his voice, calling, but even though it was not her name he called, that bitter pleasure is denied her.

The sky fills with sorrowing cloud, and the waves roll restlessly. What has been done has brought no happiness, neither in this world nor the other. The fairy woman has him now or he is dead. He might live for ever in her arms, or he might be tossed into a watery grave should she tire of him, as she will. They always do. In her people’s stories at any rate.

She wades through the pool that remains silent, still but for the shadows she stirs, and a gull glides overhead, drifting with barely a movement of its wings, across the green waves. Something breaks—a hope, a heart, a chain? Memories flood back of the home they stole her from, calling her name louder than he ever did.

Nothing holds her to this place now though they would still call her slave. Nothing binds her here now that his voice is forever silenced. She summons the magic she has always had at her fingertips and lets it flow into the shape of a gull, a northern gull with memories of the icefields in her feathers.

When they come looking for her along the shore, there is nothing to see but a lone gull winging its way northwards.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

41 thoughts on “#writephoto: Winged waves”

      1. There always seems to me to be too much slap-happy dialogue in contemporary writing. It’s fast, easy to read and if you have someone say, ‘Look, there’s a forest coming up ahead’ it’s a lot quicker than having the writer set the scene and sketch it in. Simplistic, but nobody seems to care.

      2. I’m not worried about a fast and easy read. I’d rather have a little enchantment and take my time. Not that I read a huge amount of fiction these days.

      3. I’m never sure why people read novels. If it’s for escapism, to be transported somewhere else I’d have thought a bit of the unexpected, magic, emotion is necessary not the stream of junky mid-Atlantic dialogue strewn with brand names. But I’m just me, not the book-buying public.

      4. That’s the problem. Who you pitch at, and they want the widest possible market. Often (but not always) involves common denominators, lowest of.

  1. I do like this Jane, there is wealth of stories in there. I see so much potential here and my imagination leaps . Who is he, who is she, who took him the sea or the fairies, can she ever reach him again.💜

    1. If you look at the myth of Cliodhna and Caibhan it’s based on that, but told from another woman’s perspective. You’re right, there is so much to be found in the old stories.

      1. I just love all that magic and lore, I shall look Cliodhna and Caibhan, I have not heard of them are the Celtic/ Gealic they sound it.
        Have you heard of a book call Imajica by Clive Barker. It’s a big book a takes you on them most amazing journey through time, realities and universe. I can really recommend it .💜

      2. Yes, it’s an Irish myth.
        I don’t know Imajica, but I know the Abarat books. The imagination in them is tremendous and the artwork. I’ll look up Imajica. Thanks!

  2. That’s a transformation I’ve wished for on occasion.
    As to books, a friend who works in a library said that most people only want to read best-sellers…they need to be told it is good by the crowd.
    My problem with books is that there are so many I want to read and I read so slowly. I always read gifts from people first and I have a big pile of those before I even get to things I’d like to read myself. I admire people who read voraciously, and I know many. Of course they are always gifting me with the ones they love…(k)

    1. You’re lucky to be given the books people loved. I have a whole library of gifts from mother and godmother of books they were recommended, best sellers, award winners sent with comments like: I started this and have given up after page six, it’s meant to be very good though…

      1. There’s something reassuring in being given a best seller to read by someone who says it’s a load of rubbish. I feel I’m allowed not to like it and I won’t be alone.

      1. Absolutely! They always have to watch for predators including other birds. I suppose it isn’t that much different than humans. 😝

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