Tidal Returns

“And the water taught me what to look for in a friend.  The tide went out, but it always rolled back in.”

— from a song on another world


Photo © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

She navigated the rocks to sit beside him.

“Staring at those waves won’t bring your daughter back.”

“I miss her.”

Narl didn’t mince words.  She liked that.  “She’ll visit when she can.”

“And until then?  Her off at sea. My boy off to the city.  What am I to do?”

She could be direct too. “You could remarry.”

Narl grinned through his grizzled beard.  “Who would have me?”

“Some foolish old woman, I suppose.”

“Don’t know no foolish old women.  Guess you’ll have to do.”

She squeezed his hand, heart pounding with the surf, and helped him watch the waves.


Some of you might remember Narl from a trio of stories I wrote earlier, about a young woman leaving home to marry a sailor from another land.  You can go back and read them here: Hard to PortUnstoppable Waves, and Deep Currents.

Word count: 100.  Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge.  Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting, and for providing the photo prompt!  Click here to see the other stories.


39 thoughts on “Tidal Returns

    • Thanks Lynn, I’m optimistic. 🙂 I was struggling to come up with something that wasn’t super sad, but everything I could think of with the waves and the beach kept getting sadder. So I figured I’d start with sad and turn it into a happy ending, that was the best I could do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Funny, I adore spending time by the sea, but it makes me feel sad too, as if there’s something I’ve lost there, or part of me is out in the waves. Can’t describe it properly, but the sea is a strangely wistful place – well, the British seaside anyway. Lovely write, Joy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Being by the sea doesn’t make me sad, but more quiet and peaceful and reflective. Although often when I reflect, I get sad, so there’s definitely overlap. The southern California seaside is wistful too, when it’s not noisy and filled with tourists. Although also gorgeous. Still, I’d love to see some British seaside.


    • Aw, that’s sweet of you to say! Yeah, it made me feel that way too, even more so because they’re older and on at least the second time around on this. Love stories not just for young people anymore!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say it’s never the knees that are the problem, or even the specific words, but the why and the who(s) and the what long before that question. But yes, I think this particular couple have a pretty good chance. Thanks for reading, Bjorn!


  1. Aw. This is very cute Joy. I enjoyed that he knew she was the old woman she was talking about when she suggested he remarry. I thought at that point it could’ve gone either way. Lucky he is wiser than many men in another world and time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it, thanks! Yeah, I get the feeling that they’ve known each other a good long while, and he knew exactly what she meant. (I liked that he implied she was neither old nor foolish in response, too.) Now, whether he would necessarily say yes, that’s a different question. People can get set in their ways, you know. Glad he decided to get un-set.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They are very lucky, given they live in a small port town where there aren’t a lot of other options, that they happen to get along so well. I love a happy ending! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike! Confession: I edit quite a bit to get them to seem to flow so easily. Eneana is a very Earth-like world, so the water is blue. Well, *most* of it. You never know what we’ll find if we go peeking into new hidden corners. ((wink wink))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think they seem well suited for each other. Being single with two adult children that live far away, I empathize with Narl.I’m glad he found his (not so) foolish woman.

    Beautiful story, Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I do like to mix it up with my love stories — love isn’t all about young kids freaking out over falling for the first time, after all. Warm and calm and comfortable has a lot going for it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Liked the almost humour here. (In case you’re wondering what I’m only now accessing your back catalogue it’s that I’ve been so head-to-writing-mill recently; now I’m trying to catch up with the reading,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie. I like the idea that good old Narl has someone he can be so comfortable with. I’m always doing such awful things to my characters, it’s nice to bring them a little happiness sometimes!


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