Short story: Rowing on the lakes of Canada

My world is green, opaque. Fronds of women’s hair beckon me down. Slippery kisses against my pebble-dashed skin. Content, I sink to the gritty bottom to be nibbled by the fish, the eels, the worms until I will be divided into my constituent parts. Like oil and water I will separate and be remade as scales, shells and fronds of women’s hair.

Suddenly – a refraction, a disturbance of scattered light. Look for me another day I say to the hand reaching down towards me, but I am snatched from my watery home, coughing, choking back into the boat, like a newborn.


I wrote this to the beautiful Lakes of Canada sung by by Sufjan Stevens (originally by Innocence Mission). You can listen to it here (the song starts at .55).

I’m writing a novel and I used this picture prompt from Rebecca Tsaros Dickson as inspiration for a scene. So this piece of writing was a combination of novel, picture and music.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to join in or to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture, provided by

6 thoughts on “Short story: Rowing on the lakes of Canada

  1. Beautiful descriptions, I love the idea of separating like oil and water to be to be remade.
    I’m constantly amazed at what lovely language you pack into your short stories, and if all these are glimpses of your novel to come, I think it will be very special.
    And now the picky bit – sorry – you used ‘fronds of women’s hair’ twice. Oh, and I think newborn is one word.


    • Thanks for your comments Trudy. I used fronds of women’s hair twice on purpose – it’s something she sees on her way down and so something she imagines becoming – but maybe it doesn’t work… As for new born – that certainly wasn’t deliberate and I’ll change it now! Hope your writing is coming on well.


  2. Stunningly beautiful, Claire. Thank you for participating in our writing prompt. I hope you come back for the next one (issued every Friday at noon).

    P.S. I won’t read these with a critical eye because I believe we need to “Just Write” without detachment and doubt in order to find our most creative place. That’s why we began the writing prompts. A jumping off point, of sorts, for writers to warm up. xo


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