Staring at the surface of the water: Reflection (first perspective)

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright- The Reclining Gentleman

He stared down at the churning surface of the water, his reflection distorted.

The water was choppy; too murky to see the bottom. The churn stirred up beetles, which attracted fish, attracted the fisherman. He sat, waiting for the tell-tale pulse that would precede a strike.

Waited and reflected on old glories. A retired corporate raider, he had been feared. Boardroom battles, businesses gutted… wins, now lost in time. Forgotten, like him.

Reeling in slowly, the line snagged. He yanked back fiercely, feeling something heavy startโ€ฆ toโ€ฆ giveโ€ฆ

Maybe he could get this free.

One more win…

(97 words)

This is my entry to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers 100 word challenge – or should I say, Part One. This week I have written two 100 word stories, from different perspectives. My hope is that each story stands on its own, but that reading both will result in something… more. More what exactly, I’m not entirely sure. More interesting at least.

Anyway, I’m posting First Perspective today, and will have posted Second Perspective now! I’d be interested hearing your thoughts – on reading the first story alone, and whether your view changes after reading the second. Thanks for indulging me in this experiment. I recommend you click on the blue frog to read the other stories too.


Published by: wildbilbo

My name is Kristian Thoroughgood, alternately known as KT to my friends, or @WildBilbo on twitter. As of August 2015, I am forty years old. Australian. My blog is intended to be both a place for me to polish my creative writing muscles (not a double entendre) and for others to read and comment on my musings. Expect short stories, articles, essays and other brain dumps. My opinions are my own, and whilst I take care to be at least moderately informed about any topic I speak or write about, these opinions are subject to rapid change in the face of passionate arguments and greater evidence. Please note - on my blog, Evidence beats Passion.

Categories Fiction, Flash Fiction, WritingTags, , , , , , , 20 Comments

20 thoughts on “Staring at the surface of the water: Reflection (first perspective)”

  1. I like how you describe what’s going on underwater and then move into his musings on the past. The transition works well. The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, but as it stands I’m left feeling that he’s a lost cause – he’s only concerned about winning, but there’s so much else he could focus on, right in front of him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment – I think lost cause is very much how I envisaged him. He really hasn’t been able to leave his previous life behind him, and he feels left aside, forgotten. I viewed him as ‘distorted with murky depths’, much like his reflection in the lake.

      Cheers & thanks for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read the other post, and don’t know the concept of the fictioneer challenge, but I like this as an initial setting of the character. Strongly anchored. Two comments I have from my personal opinion. I would identify with the character more if he had a name. I constantly read short fictions that use the third person only and while I understand it is to maintain an air of the mysterious and keep the word count tight, I think in this case your guy needs a name. I also would like to feel a different flow in the sentence ‘1 more win for the list’. Maybe just ‘One more win’ ? A different word than list? I don’t know. Just MHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Colin, thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

      The other part hasn’t been posted yet (I set the timer to post this 24 hours after the first one :)). I’d be interested in your comments post this second perspective.

      Whether to names or not to name, that is the question. Always a difficult choice for me with these flash fiction pieces – its no more wordy to refer to the character as ‘Dan’ or ‘He’, so I find its less word count and more… creating distance I suppose. By reading about a character who is not naming, I find stories create a distance, and a broader view – like you are looking at someone from across the pond and watching their actions.

      By naming, I think you are correct, you do create more intimacy, more identification or connection. But the risk is you also create more sympathy, and In this story I didn’t view him as particularly sympathetic.

      But you may well be right… I’ll certainly consider this a bit harder going forward!

      And that last sentence has bugged me from the moment I uploaded it… I agree that they don’t really work.

      I’m loathe to edit these pages once I have uploaded them though (barring typos – they get action). I like to ‘own’ my errors, and hopefully see the improvement over time. I had a random thought about compiling the best ones of these and self publishing (in a few years once I have enough of suitable quality of course) – if that ever happens, I will certainly re-edit for these sort of changes.

      Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed the story. I have no problems with un-named characters in single character stories, or stories which involve two of opposite sexes. I prefer to do it that way as I personally find names distracting – they lend characteristics to the character for some readers. I must say though I’ve frequently had my work criticised for this omission. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve often wondered what happens to those once-feared corporate types, hoping they have a life less peaceful than the one you’ve portrayed. I like to think their life is hell before they go to hell.
    No name necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚
      Given your strong views of the corporate raider, I’d love to hear your view of the Second Perspective (the post that follows Reflection).


  5. Wildbilbo, It seems he’s always been competative and isn’t going to change at this time of his life. Some people are like that. I hope he’s at least finding some peace. Well written. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear KT,

    I read this one first and alone. Commenting now.

    This reminded me in part of The Old Man and the Sea. Full of pathos and regret and the sharp remembrance of times past when he was a big fish in the ocean. Very well done.

    Of to find part two….



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ and thanks for the comment – I agonised over the ‘pacing’ for this story, as I wanted to mirror the Second Perspective (which I actually conceived of first!).

      I wanted both to have a sense of building up to something ๐Ÿ™‚



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