50 Word Stories: Just Dancing


We twirled in the tide with nothing but the ocean and our breaths for an orchestra. Above, the moon waltzed with the stars as if captured by the mood. Time was an afterthought, sunrise and sunset distant memories. Even the night paused. Why? Because sometimes you just have to dance.

The One You Never Knew

Author’s Note: I don’t know why, but I had a sudden urge to write something dramatic.

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The tide rose in my wake determined to wipe me from the granite I clung to; it could not dislodge me. Fingers like limpets pressed to the rock as I scrambled, clambered and crawled. The clear air made fire of a throat used to the liquid nectar of a saline sea, yet still I fought my way towards storm-riddled skies.

To look down upon that which I’d always looked up to played tricks on my tired mind. I felt I might reach across the distance between us, touch your shoulder, stroke your hair, feel the curves of your wetted body pressed to my own. You were perfect, you see, an air breathing angel huddled against the squall. And for one sick moment, I thought to tip you into my domain, dislodge you from your little, brown boat; what a monster the ocean had made of me. Of course, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

And there, as I spied upon she who’d spied down on me, I forgot where I belonged, forgot what I was, forgot time and its consequences. I lingered in gasping breaths until I gasped no more. It was worth the pain to see you whole and to imagine what our life might have been.

When I lost my lungs, night descended. When I lost my grip, I fell. You may have heard the splash, but you’d never have known it me.

Like Oceans

If gratitude was an ocean, I’d have poured myself upon her. To see her float in my waves, drown in my eyes as I did hers, hang weightless for all eternity in swirls of aquamarine, a price worth paying, I think.

We met by the ocean; it seemed perfect symmetry it ending there, too. I wrapped her in a warm embrace, took a breath and waded into the waves. She soon quietened, her screams lost to the breakers, then depths, then deep.

At the end, just before the darkness took us, she smiled. I hoped she’d forgiven me, blessed us both in her way. Then again, she might just have been glad to be rid. I couldn’t blame her, I was.

Cool Winds

A cool wind blew off the ocean; it tasted of yesterdays.

Being by the churning Atlantic brought back memories of the past and the weeks I spent at the seaside with family. They were happy times, I think. There was a certain innocence to watching the waves crash against the shore without wondering where they came from or where they’d go.

I started worrying about such things much later in life. There was a name for it, an abbreviation, but I could never recall it; I’d forgotten so much.

But as I took my last laboured breaths those memories returned with a clarity bordering on cutting. Like a crisp winter’s day, they entered my throat, coursed through my veins like ice, froze away the pain.

A cool wind blew off the ocean; it tasted of today. Until I dipped beneath the waves, anyway.

My Midnight

Author’s Note: This is a story I wrote some time ago. It was written for a specific theme that I don’t suppose will ever return, so I thought I’d post it for you. I hope you enjoy it as it was one I was always proud of writing. Yet another I’d rather post than leave to fester in a file on my laptop.


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She bathed in the waters of the midnight sea unlit by the vibrant moon. Mysterious in her dark allure, she radiated a misting shade far beyond that of the night. An ebony presence outlined by rivulets of flowing stars, her slender figure slipped through the surf in silence. Even the sea gods shied from touching so divine a darkness. Her purity demanded it.

Almost spectral in those quiet hours, I observed her from behind the sand dunes. She gave no acknowledgement of my presence, or any other, so there I remained unable to tear my eyes from such exquisite a form. She made slow passage through the shallows taking her time as though savoring every delicious moment. I prayed she did it to tease me; a wishful fantasy. Unhurried, she passed my hiding place in slow, undulating strokes, fearless of those creatures that lurked near the ocean boundaries. Then again, why need she, the night was she and she the night.

And so it was I lingered on her horizon as I did each night since first spying her. Drawn to her elemental majesty, I watched from so near, yet so far. However long I dallied it seemed never enough and always over too soon. Time can play tricks on a person in such situations. How I yearned above all else to hold, kiss, love her; tell her I watched over her. But I could not. The coward in me prevented it and the coward within that proved too scared to speak up.

And so it was I made my peace in being content to look but not touch, listen but not speak. Still, what I wouldn’t have given to see her eyes just once. It would have been worth the risk to know the color of perfection, would it not? The same question every night. I must have asked it myriad times from dusk to dawn and back again. There was never an answer to quench my thirst for her.

Time moved slower than usual, or so I imagined. The October moon hovered in an obsidian sky, a diamond set upon a ring of night, and never once looked like descending. The silver orb cast its light upon the ocean, but could not touch she. That saddened me. Such beauty deserved so divine a spotlight more than any soul I had known. And so in a moment I would eternally regret, I revealed myself. Shattered, our tryst lay in tatters.

No sooner did I rise from my eastern berth like a dawning sun, at first slow just peeking above the dunes, then faster ever rising, did she depart. In a haze of smudged charcoals where the pair of us collided as sea mist, then fog, she vanished. My heart felt ripped from its all too mortal cage.

Cursed to never know the one soul I wished, I paced the dawn beach ashamed of my timidity. By the time the tide had swallowed her damp footprints, I had forgotten her. Or so I told myself. By night those thoughts would change.

Once again my midnight would consume me, and the heartache would begin anew. For I, a lowly fisherman did not deserve a goddess for a bride, though I hoped. If I could have talked to her, held her in a tender embrace, then perhaps she would’ve known and wanted me. Perhaps? Sometimes, I thought she already did. Sometimes, but not often.

The End