Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

Friday Fictioneers — Adrift Alone

Genre: Haibun (Japanese-style poetic prose)
Word count: 100

~~ADRIFT ALONE~~

She sits at the end of the jetty penning a tanka poem to her lost love. Earlier attempts bob about on the seawater inside screwed up balls of paper; they slowly unravel into sodden single sheets with the words sucked out of them.

He sails away,
the figurehead of his boat,
captain of nothing.
In deeps, beyond redemption,
sink the wrecks of human dreams.

He floats becalmed in a rubber dinghy amidst flotsam. The sun beats down on him and cooks his brain, as he composes his epitaph.

Here lies a shark that ate a fool who died alone.

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Photo Prompt: copyrightΒ Β© Fatima Fakier Deria
Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories

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43 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers — Adrift Alone

  1. I love the sodden sheets with the words sucked out of them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sarah,

    One word for this piece, “Wow!” So much story artfully crafted. Love it.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,
      “Wow!” is an excellent word. I’ve heard those in the publishing industry talking about the importance of an author “wowing” them with a novel, so this 100-word story is a good start. I am so glad you loved it.
      All best wishes,
      Sarah

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There was a shift to this I didn’t quite expect. That first sentence had thinking she was mourning him, but it seems she was more angry than sad. I wonder if it would make her happy to know he was angry at himself in the end too. This was an exquisitely well told story that does honor to the form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Rommy πŸ™‚ I think she doesn’t know what she feels, which is why she keeps screwing up sheets of paper and throwing her poems in the water. One minute angry, one minute sad, one minute mystified. Relationships are so complicated and all too often end badly, but hopefully not this badly D: The more I contemplate upon this story, the more sorry I feel for both of them!

      Like

  4. This really is exceptional, Sarah! There is so much crammed in to so few words here, from the images to the surface meaning to the meanings tucked into the words, out of sight, waiting for a reader to discover them. Very good writing, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Bill, my dear friend πŸ™‚ This story might be short, but it took me about two hours to craft, which is probably why there is so much crammed into it. I think it was two hours well spent, looking at all the lovely comments people have made. It has certainly filled me with enthusiasm today, as I did two hours of work on my novel editing, before I did anything else. Only 150 pages (double-spaced) to go…
      Also, I’m about three-quarters of the way through reading your book. In fact, yesterday evening, I decided to record one of my favourite programmes on TV, so I could read your book instead, as I was dying to know what happened next!

      Like

  5. I love the tragic epitaph. The entire poetic tale is wonderfully weaved together–from prose to tanka to end, from the way we get to experience the poet’s longing and demise… all just wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the two voices here. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I detect a subtle humour here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. michael1148humphris on said:

    Sad and lovely – I will to learn from this

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm. Rather sad. What would happen if she hired a helicopter and rescued him? πŸ™‚
    Beautifully written, though. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are supposing that she knows what has happened to him! Anyway, the last time I put one of my literary characters into a helicopter, he had a complete meltdown πŸ˜‰ Thanks for saying it’s beautifully written. I am in need of encouragement to feed my self-belief just now, as it won’t be long before I go down that perilous route of submitting my novel to publishers and agents. It is about 3 years I’ve had the courage to pursue the traditional route to publication, but I think my writing has matured since then and I’m now sure what sort of novels I want to write and the audience that will most appreciate them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is shiver-me-timbers good! Your writing – the strings of words you put together – is the glue that makes an author. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, Sarah. This was fabulous. So many parts I like I’ll just say, bravo all ’round

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover on said:

    That last line was simply perfection. I could feel the conflicting emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely, my dear, simply lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very nice. I love the shark epitaph.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Masterfully done. I liked the idea of the filed attempts floating on the water and half hoped they be mixed and rearranged on the waves to create the ultimate tanka

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Michael πŸ™‚
      You know, I hadn’t even thought of that concept of her ideas being rearranged on the waves. It certainly adds another dimension to the story.
      I often wonder, when prose and poetry is discussed at university or reviewed in the Sunday newspapers, how often something is read into works that the authors themselves hadn’t even thought of!

      Like

  15. What magical lines are these ‘In deeps, beyond redemption,
    sink the wrecks of human dreams.’ I am going to watch your writings intently from now onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Neel πŸ™‚ I am thrilled that you found some magic in my words. If you’re going to watch my writings intently from now on, I must keep up the magic, so as not to disappoint you!

      Like

  16. This so much reminds me of the concept of jisei.. the Japanese death poem written by a Samarai before going to war. I love the chasm between them

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Such beautiful imagery. Lovely. Sad. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh, that is so sad! But beautiful. I love the way you have combined prose & poetry in your 100 words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Rebecca πŸ™‚ I’m glad you loved the combination of prose and poetry, as it’s the first time I’ve done this. Everybody’s encouraging comments have made we want to write some more stories of this sort.

      Like

  19. Brilliant! How differently one feels from time to time. You have captured this so well!

    Liked by 1 person

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