Fiction: Weep


No clouds at all. The soft waves masked a riptide, and there were no swimmers. Even the morning’s shell seekers had retreated from the midday heat,  and white sand ran into green ocean ran into blue sky in uninterrupted succession.

On the balcony, James sipped his iced tea. The ceiling fan whipped in circles without stirring the air down by the table.  “I haven’t seen it this tranquil in a long time.”

Melinda nodded, but she didn’t speak. She watched the condensation weep down the side of her glass.

“There will be others,” James said.

Again, she nodded without saying anything, still watching the droplets zigzag down to eventually collect in a puddle  around the base. In the distance, a white speck pierced the horizon, grew into the shape of a fishing boat, then drifted out of view, heading in the direction of the docks.

Melinda picked up her glass, but not to drink. She wiped the water off the table and put the tea back down untouched. She looked at the place where the ship had vanished, but nothing else emerged from the cove.

James looked there too, for a little while, but then returned his eyes to the tea. He used one finger to stir the ice around, and the clinking cubes cut into the balcony’s silence. He stopped stirring.

“I suppose everything ends, doesn’t it?” he said.

“I suppose so,” Melinda answered, and at last she took a drink from her glass.


This is the first time I’ve put fiction on my blog, and I’m linking up with the folks over at Trifecta who use the rule of 3. Stories must be between 33 and 333 words and must be based on Merriam Webster’s third definition of a chosen word. Sound pretty obscure? That’s just exactly why I like it.

Anyway, when commenting on my fiction, please know that I welcome constructive criticism. I’ve got a thick skin. I like the chance to resolve things that aren’t working.


28 thoughts on “Fiction: Weep

  1. You’ve got some really good detail in this, and it created a strong atmosphere — I particularly liked the dripping condensation and the ineffective ceiling fan. I was left very curious about what they’re talking about! One question: what’s a sheller?

  2. Ooh! That is some awesome fiction! I really liked the condensation of the water juxtaposed with the water they could see out the window. And the ending left so MANY possibilities–you could go in any direction here!

  3. This is always how I feel when it’s time for me to leave a place I love. I want to linger, to savor it for a few more minutes. The best fiction connects with something inside us. Like this.

  4. Since the previous comments focused on initial responses–I too like this piece and wonder what the couple in the story are talking about– I am aiming for a constructive comment.
    “Melinda nodded, but she didn’t speak. She watched the condensation weep down the side *[of what?]* while the ice melted in her glass.” I wish knew grammatically why the structure of this seems odd, but my grammar isn’t what it should be. Anyway, I’d reorder the sentence to: She watched the condensation weep down the glass. Not a great fix-it, but I assume you get the idea.
    Great blog! I look forward to reading more of your writing-

    • Thanks! The sentence feels weird to me, too. I initially wanted the ice in there, but I think your fix would work well. And your grammar is fine – there is indeed a missing object in that predicate. You don’t need the precise vocabulary words to recognize an issue and point it out!

  5. There’s definite opportunity for more here. This is very intriguing piece and I love the choice of the source of “weeping” you decided on. It is quite a contrast between the waters, and I want to know why the ship disappeared!!
    My only small thing was that I wondered why she picked the glass up just to wipe it off and set it back down untouched. It’s not because your story doesn’t make sense or anything, it’s just the greatest sentence that piqued my interest. Is there something wrong with the drink? Is she poisoning her husband? That kind of stuff. You just left me wanting more, so I really hope you will write more fiction and add to this piece.

  6. And now I want a glass of ice tea. And a beach. And a verandah with fans.

    That description reminds me of an old restaurant in Hong Kong, The Verandah. Many of my friends who were earning much more money than we were went to brunch there often. When they would go on about it, I had visions of something probably much more from the movies than what it turned out to be when I finally made a trip myself.

    The food was everything I had hoped it to be, but my imagination made the destination much more romantic than what it turned out to be. Isn’t that always the way?

    Anyway, your description brought me back to my imagined restaurant, so thanks!

  7. I thought like Sam. I was thinking poison. 😉 Perhaps I read too many murder mysteries. 🙂 I love the description of the scenery in the beginning: “and white sand ran into green ocean ran into blue sky in uninterrupted succession.”

  8. So? ???

    I too liked the detail in this. I could see the scene. Good tension between them contrasting with the tranquility outside.

  9. Ooh, this is good, there’s a real depth to it and it’s very intriguing, I love how you capture that tension and heat in the little details. I’m not going to presume about the characters, their relationship and their story so I’m just going to have to demand more! 🙂

  10. Hi again. I’ve just noticed a few typos in my comments. Can you post this one:

    Welcome to the challenge, Jester Queen. If a piece of writing can be judged by how quickly it can transport its reader to a different place, then this goes down as a very good piece of writing. You made the scene so easy to imagine and although the source of the tension is never revealed – or perhaps because of that — this little episode really appealed to me. I hope you’ll be back for next week’s challenge.

For the love of Mike, TALK to me! (Concrit welcome on fiction)

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