Microfiction #Three Line Tales: The Lake

This is for Sonya’s writing challenge, three lines prompted by the photo.

photo by Sean Tan via Unsplash


“Get back off of there,” his mother yelled from the lakeside. “Can’t you read? It’s dangerous!”

“Don’t worry—I’m not going in,” he called back airily, adding under his breath, “so just get off my case, will you?”

He hung over the rail, and peered into the impenetrable darkness of the water, so absorbed in the agitation he could see he was causing on the shore, he didn’t hear the slop and suck as something heaved itself out of the water behind him.


Selkie calls

The Daily Post prompt is: smooth.

Photo ©Samratjulme


The lake stretches into the dusk, ashrill with mosquitos and pocked with dragonflies hunting. I watch for night to fall, for the hot sun to smoulder into a cool ember and drop over the edge of night. For then, in the twilight zone between dog and wolf, when all cats are grey and the moon and stars but a dreaming, you will slide, oil smooth and water-slick, from the reeds. You will rise from the smooth, waveless lake, carrying with you the salt tang of the ocean, the dark, mystery of the deep green tunnels, and I will be waiting. In your arms, will be the sealskin, your gift of a double life, and in your eyes, the light of desire. You will call me, and I will run through the shallows to join you in the great vastness of the undersea world.

Microfiction: Waiting for Mélusine


I have given up everything for you, she said. All I ask is that you do not pry.

Everyone is entitled to their secrets. Even women. Even women like Mélusine who are not women at all. I should have let her have what she asked—respect. For me she left the lake and the underwater ways, the dark, water-echoing tunnels that run to the sea. For me she left the sinuous depths, the dark ocean currents, the hunt of swift silver fish among swaying weeds. But it rankled that I had not all the power, for her to be able to tell me, no.

So I watched. And I saw. And Mélusine, because she is not a woman at all, knew that I saw. In her fury, she gathered up our children and leapt with them into the lake. They have no father. And what rankles still, is that perhaps they have no need of one.

I watch, here in the shadows, hoping that she will come back. But the fear hangs over me, because I am a man, and just a man, that she will return only to seek revenge. The dark lake mists gather and the ripples race to the shore. They lap at my feet, drawing me from the shadows and into the blood red light of the dying sun. She is there. She has come.

The mists twist and rise and draw back from that face, those eyes, beloved and dreadful, and it is too late to run. There is nowhere to hide from that gaze. Whatever she wants from me, she will take.

A cold wind blows


A cold wind blows from off the sea,

Shakes the buds on the hazel tree,

But doesn’t bring you back to me,

Or set me free, or set me free.


A cold wind blows across the lake,

Despite the wishes that I’d make,

Still it was you the wind did take,

My heart will break, my heart will break.


I watch geese wing across the sky,

For where you are is where they fly,

I yearn to follow, soar so high,

I can but cry, I can but cry.


A cold wind blowing through my heart,

I never dreamt that we would part,

This, the end that I’d thought the start,

Love’s cruel dart, love’s cruel dart.

Night swans

A circular poem.
The painting is by Josef Pankiewicz


Darkness wells,
Swells through river water and the night,
Light shimmers pale.
Sail, the swans, ghostly white,
Tight closed eyes, necks bent in sleep.
Weep, the willow on the bank’s edge.
Sedge trembles ’neath the breeze,
Trees make tangled shadows between the moonlight threads,
Spread wide the ripples on the lake.
Wake, white beauties when the morning breaks,
Wake, where the night darkness wells.

100 word story: Enchanted swans

Photo: Swans on the Baie de Somme


She watches through the hole in the door, the swans settling on the lake and wonders what they look like in human form. She sighs, and her heart flutters like beating wings in her chest. Though dark clouds lower in the sky, no wind disturbs the sedge, and the snow white birds glide without fear on the still waters. Unlike her, they are not doomed to stay. Soon they will rise in a flurry of white feathers and scattered crystal water droplets, and she yearns to join them, borne on strong, broad wings beyond the pain of this mortal life.

Morning by the lake

Poem inspired by the painting, this beautiful mild winter’s day, and mixed feelings about what next.


Sun rises behind the mountains.

Light streams

Casting a mist of gold dust

On still waters.

The air sings,

I lick my finger,

Hold it to the breeze.

Gold dust clings,

Coating my hand in glory.

I raise my face to the sky,

Eyes fill with the turquoise

Of a robin’s egg.

Feet tread the water’s edge,

Sinking in the silver sand

Where the dreams of ages lie,

Sifting their memories in the soft depths.

Light streams still

Over the purple peaks,

And gold dust and the robin’s song

Weave tresses of happiness.

Tepid on my bare feet,

Water washes back and forth

Whispering stories from the farther shore.

Will I dare to brave the beauty

And break the harmony,

Shatter the colours of the still, placid lake

With my frantic splashing?

By the lake



We went down to the lake that afternoon

Just you and I as we used to do.

As we walked you took my hand

And as ever my heart went out to you.


You skimmed a stone across the lake

Your hand so sure, so strong your face

And I smiled at the kingcups golden bright

That clad the banks at our favourite place.


The sun beamed down from a perfect sky

And the breeze blew soft as it does in June.

The scent of the pines recalled summers past

While the crickets chirped their hot dry tune.


The setting sun was at your back

As you sat me down on a fallen tree.

Your voice was soft as it always was

When you’d say sweet words meant just for me.


But you took my hand and it fit in mine

As you broke the news you had to tell.

Though your voice was as soft it destroyed my world

That day by the lake that I knew so well.