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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Joe Catches A Ride
By Symantha McClennan
02/08/07


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Joe Catches a Ride




The fog was thick, its icy fingers trailing wet tears across my cheeks. My eyes ached from staring, sightlessly, into the pulsating gloom; ears hearing sounds that weren’t there with the extreme effort to find myself.

The priest chanted. His white robe neatly pressed, the blue bric brac up the front exactly matching that of the white cloth draped over the coffin. Life eerily drifting into death as the priest chanted and sang. The incense puffing out, creating a pulsating gloom as we sat in silence, eyes locked on the coffin sheltering the body of our dear friend.

I used my compass but it only whirled in useless circles like a dog chasing its tail. Like my boat in the fog shroud. “Out 60 degrees counterclockwise, return 120 degrees clockwise,” I chanted to myself, a mantra that I prayed would return us to safety.

“Joe always wanted to go fishing with you guys,” said his wife. “Can he go today?”
Gasping, gulping at each other like fish grounded and gulping their last. We nodded our assent. We would love to have Joe go fishing with us today; Joe in a box, in a bag, without a fishing pole.

Sixty degrees out, 120 degrees in; cold fog licking our faces, tasting our tears; Joe’s gone fishing!


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This article has been read 437 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/09/07
I've read this one several times now--there's something very compelling about the writing--but I have to admit that I'm a bit "at sea." I really don't get what is happening here. Perhaps I'm dense...I did notice two instances of "pulsating gloom", perhaps a bit much for such a short piece.

I really like your writing style, regardless of my confusion.
Jacquelyn Horne02/11/07
I assume that Joe went "fishing" as you poured his ashes into the water. I'm not sure here. You need to "picture" this event more with words. But I really liked the piece. It's a good thought and well written, just lacking a little clarity.
julie wood02/12/07
I love the beautiful, vivid descriptions in this story! My favorite lines: the fog's "icy fingers trailing wet tears across my cheeks" and "cold fog licking our faces, tasting our tears." Also enjoyed the alliterative words like "gasping" and "gulping."

I was a little confused about where the priest was--in the boat, or did that service take place before Joe's body was carried out to sea? Perhaps one line making clear a transition from one place to another, or else revealing everything happening in one place, would be helpful.

I could feel with the mourners--the fog fit the story's mood beautifully! Also liked the title including a personal name--that always sparks my curiosity!