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The Constant River

It’s that time of the week again – Friday Fictioneers time!

Every week a bunch of us write 100 words (or thereabouts) Β in response to a photo prompt, which this week has been supplied by Erin Leary. The talented Rochelle is our host – why don’t you give it a go?

This week’s other entries can be found by clicking here.

This is something a bit different from me this week. There’s no humour and nobody dies horribly (sort of). I’m not sure I like it, it makes me melancholy. Hey ho πŸ™‚

Copyright Erin Leary

Copyright Erin Leary

The river flowed sluggishly through the lowland fields beneath the weak light of a watery sun. It had been birthed high in the mountains. It would become part of the great water.

In its travels it saw many things. Trees and grasslands. Mountains and plains. Four-legged beasts and man-things.

Its waters ran red now, red with the blood of many man-things upstream. The river cared little for such things. It was forever. It was constant.

The man-things were temporary. Inconsequential.

The river understood this as it flowed indifferent to Man’s inhumanity toward Man, continuing its long journey to the sea.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    January 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    No black humor? Who are you?

    Just kidding of course. Well done!


    • January 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Maybe some black humour or at least a horrible death next week πŸ™‚


  2. January 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I like it, Draliman, while reading I followed the water..but you don’t get me in there at the end πŸ˜‰ Pawkiss πŸ™‚


    • January 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      I know that some furry friends don’t like going in the water πŸ™‚


  3. January 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I really liked the voice here, and the concept of the ‘man things’. That phrase has just the right amount of disdain to it. Well done.


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Thanks. I thought I’d try something slightly different this week.
      The river knows what is important and what is not.


  4. January 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I really like this one… I would love to see it evolve into something bigger… πŸ™‚


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Thank you! I’m not sure where else I could take it, but worth thinking about.


  5. January 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Lovely rendering of the timelessness of nature and the time endingness of Man.


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Thanks, that’s exactly what I was trying to portray!


  6. January 15, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Ooh, very haunting! The description at the beginning is lovely, and then it was really cool to realize we were in the perspective of the river. And then the mention of the blood was unexpected and intriguing. Awesome!


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Thanks! I almost removed the blood, it disrupted the flow (if you’ll pardon the pun) at bit, but in only 100 words it’s sometimes tricky to get it just right. I certainly didn’t want to axe words from the description at the start to improve the flow later on.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  7. January 15, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Still waters run deep and deep water runs……… er….. deep. That was a powerful piece πŸ™‚


  8. January 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    From the river’s view. I like that!



    • January 16, 2014 at 7:40 am

      I thought I’d look at things from a more timeless point of view.
      Glad you enjoyed it!


  9. January 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Wow that was really good, really gets you thinking about the ‘bigger picture’ as they say. Well done


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Thank you! I think that’s why it made me feel a bit melancholy – writing about people being somewhat short-lived and unimportant in the bigger picture.


  10. gentlestitches
    January 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    The humor is in the irony that the people upstream are most likely fighting over who ”owns” the river. A very engaging, thought provoking piece! πŸ™‚


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Very possible – the river brings life to the countryside and the people, after all.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚


  11. January 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm



  12. January 15, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    A poetic write here. I like the realization that the man-thing is temporary.


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Thanks – hence my melancholy in writing it, that our lives are nothing compared to the timelessness of nature.


  13. January 16, 2014 at 12:53 am

    No bodies in the river!?!?!? Why, this is an outrage!!! πŸ™‚

    BTW, am I the only one who thinks that picture looks a lot like the background of The Scream?


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:47 am

      πŸ™‚ please don’t strip me of my smiley face with bullet hole πŸ™‚
      Actually, now that you mention it, it does look like “The Scream” (except without the screamer).
      Darn, I could’ve done a comedy dialogue with that πŸ˜‰


  14. January 16, 2014 at 1:19 am

    This is how I imagine a river might see us. Just one more animal, living here temporarily. I wonder if this river was near the Little Bighorn?


    • January 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Yes, it deigns to give us water to keep us alive, but in reality we’re only here a short while in the grand scheme of things.
      That could have been the battle which supplied the blood!


  15. kz
    January 16, 2014 at 2:46 am

    powerful piece. i liked the river’s indifference through all this


    • January 16, 2014 at 8:02 am

      The river knows that we’re only here a short time in the grand scheme of things.


  16. January 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    You lie. There is horrible death, just upstream, out of frame. So I guess in a way you don’t lie. Either way, I enjoyed this.


    • January 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      That’s true! I just wasn’t so obvious about it this time. Unfortunately since it was “out of shot” it messes up my 2014 FF “death count” πŸ™‚


      • January 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        Death is death and it was mentioned in a round about way… I say it counts. But my vote doesn’t count for much in most circles.


        • January 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

          It does in mine! (ticks death column)


  17. January 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I liked hearing the river’s point of view. We man-things and woman-things too often believe we “own” the planet. But as you (and the river) pointed out, we’re just temporary tenants–and not very good ones!


    • January 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Not very good tenants at all, but I think the river is patient enough to wait until we’ve gone.


  18. January 16, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I really like this DR!A different POV,yes but worth pondering-abusing nature is our way but highly possible that nature has her ways to deal with it by ignoring our puny actions-she is more powerful than we give her credit for πŸ™‚


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Unless we completely blow the planet to bits, sooner or later nature will recover. And nature is patient πŸ™‚


      • January 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        Could not agree more with you on this DR:-)


  19. January 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    To personify the river… a great take… love the perspective and that you tell a much larger story from mens perspective.


    • January 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I thought it was time that nature had its say.


  20. Helena Hann-Basquiat
    January 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    It sort of reminded me of the writing of James Michener or Jean Auel, who often anthropomorphise the land at times to tell the story of the actual PLACE. That last line is wonderful, darling.


    • January 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

      I have to admit I haven’t read those authors, but thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  21. January 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Excellent stuff – we think we are so powerful, but really, we’re not…


  22. January 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Loved this esoteric approach.


  23. January 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Oh, it is a bit melancholy. But nicely done. Humans live like we own the earth and are the most powerful beings alive, but even we are slaves to time and mortality.


    • January 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Indeed we are, but nature will outlive us all. Even though we damage it eventually it will recover (hopefully).


  24. January 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Very clever. Perceptive. We should all take this on board.


    • January 18, 2014 at 5:18 am

      I hope we will but it’s not easy when lost in the hustle and bustle of life.


  25. January 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I always thought water would think itself higher than most other things. Well done! I liked this a lot.


    • January 18, 2014 at 5:20 am

      We’re just fleeting distractions from water’s point of view – its endless cycle of evaporation and precipitation.


  26. January 18, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Dear Ali,

    Are you familiar with the song “Old Man River?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh9WayN7R-s The clip’s kind of longish but you’ll get the idea.
    I enjoyed your POV in this one. Few stories carry off the anthropomorphic. You’ve done it well, sir.




    • January 18, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      Thanks for the clip – I do know the song (at least I recognised it!) and I see how apt it is now I’ve listened to it again.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my contribution!


  27. January 20, 2014 at 3:03 am

    wew, that photo pretty scary >,<


    • January 20, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Quite a lot of people did ghostly stories this week!


  28. January 20, 2014 at 8:05 am

    This photo has certainly inspired some sinister fiction this week!


    • January 20, 2014 at 8:18 am

      It is quite a gloomy and spooky one!


  29. January 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Love It! πŸ™‚


  30. January 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Love this piece & love the way you casually slipped in the blood red river,” … nothing dies horribly in this one” lol πŸ™‚


    • January 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Nothing dies horribly that we can see, anyway! It was a bit of a departure from my usual stuff but I guess it’s good to try something different once in a while.


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