In a hand-me-down swimming suit – sailor collar and bloomers – Alice sat atop the rock. Charlie, Harry and Jack dived, their one-piece costumes sagging when they strode out of the water. Alice looked away. She watched them race each other on the sand and play tug-of-war with a chain. They demanded she select a winner, but there was nothing to choose between them: young, handsome men, full of life. She would have said yes to whoever asked first.
Two weeks later they were called up. Alice heard they didn’t even make it across the channel.
She should have kissed them all.
This is a Friday Fictioneers story. 100 (or so) writers writing 100 words (or so) inspired by the top picture.
Vote for Our Endless Numbered Days! The Reading Agency is holding a fun poll to see who readers think should win The Desmond Elliott Prize. Click here to vote for one of the shortlisted novels, including mine.
‘I used to follow her sometimes, in the early mornings,’ Gil said. ‘She never knew.’
Flora leaned forward beside his bed, waiting for her father to continue.
‘Once, I sat in the bird hide at Little Sea Pond and watched her shed her layers of clothes and emerge transformed into something ethereal, something not meant for this world. She stepped into the pond, lay back, and the water, it seemed to me, welcomed her, as if she had come home. She floated there as the sun rose – a naked Ophelia.
‘I never told her how much I loved her.’
Thanks to our wonderful hostess Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who has been guiding and inspiring us Friday Fictioneers for two years today. If you want to have a go at writing 100 words based on the picture above (this week supplied by The Reclining Gentleman) click here, or if you want to have a read of all the other flash fictions, click here.
This week I managed exactly 100 words, and rather than thinking about the rather chilly-looking pond above, I rather had in mind this paining by Millais.
My novel Our Endless Numbered Days will be published in early 2015. Click here to find out more.