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Building Ripples (flash fiction)

May 2, 2013

Anton Gaudi building, taken by Kent Bonham

Passersby were startled as the skinny, wavering, old-looking man suddenly halted and dropped to his knees, his torn pants on the sidewalk across from the wavy building. His face—ravaged by sun and wind—slacked in awe, as if seeing a whale leap, and his gray beard parted to allow words out: “Thirty-four years on the seas. Island to island. Port to port. Forever in between. Now this. The curves like waves. The sun dances on the windows like on the quivering, never-ending water.”

A pause as the crowd stared.

“This,” the kneeling man said, “this is now home.”


Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright Kent Bonham
Story copyright Dave Williams

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2013 6:08 am

    Dear Dave,
    Tender and poignant. You painted a vivid picture.

  2. May 2, 2013 8:40 am

    I agree with Rochelle–I could see him vividly and I can see how he related the curves of the building to the sea. Nicely done. I hope he has found his home.


  3. May 2, 2013 9:36 am

    The old salty dog retirement village?
    Did his crew put him in there?

  4. May 2, 2013 9:45 am

    Oh, how sweet. He found his land home; so like his salty love.
    Very touching… 🙂

  5. May 2, 2013 12:27 pm

    A very different interpretation of the building.
    Very poignant, and very well played out scene.
    Very good work

  6. May 2, 2013 12:40 pm

    oh Wow. Beautifully written!

  7. May 2, 2013 1:22 pm

    Very nice! He is weird, though. Of course, I like weird!

  8. May 2, 2013 6:38 pm

    Hmm…we are in different mindsets today…as I looked at the photos I saw a series of half-skull death masks…so expected the old sailor to think of friends lost at sea…hmm…that was coffee I was drinking right? 🙂 Enjoyed your post.

    • May 3, 2013 6:19 am

      I think it’s amazing that different people can see much different things in a photo. Or a painting or poem, etc. Now that you mention them, I can see the death masks in the balconies.

  9. May 2, 2013 8:46 pm

    That poor old man. I’m glad he found something that “moves” him on land. Interesting character; made me curious what his tales of the sea are.

  10. May 2, 2013 10:14 pm

    The descriptions were lovely. Everything reminds him of the water and sea.

  11. May 3, 2013 2:17 am

    Why do I have the feeling it’s actually a nursing home and he doesn’t know it. You go in and come out in a pine box.

    • May 3, 2013 6:22 am

      I didn’t imagine a nursing home, but if he feels comfortable there, then I’d like that. Maybe the old man would rather have that than die alone at sea?

  12. May 3, 2013 2:32 am

    Good analogies.

  13. May 3, 2013 9:38 am

    It does look like a nice place to finally be at rest after so much wandering.

  14. May 3, 2013 12:21 pm

    Nice story – I’m glad he found a place to call home 🙂

  15. May 3, 2013 3:52 pm

    Such a place as a home.. hope it works out

  16. kdillmanjones permalink
    May 4, 2013 6:56 pm

    I really like the writing in this piece. “Forever in between” says it all. Really nice.

  17. May 5, 2013 10:25 am

    you’ve created a really interesting character and your descriptions are great, i could almost see him! 🙂

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