Promised Waters

Solar floodlights expose the beachfront like daylight. Crowds gathered there nightly to escape the endless heat, their music drowning the waves. I move on over slippery rock-pools and round the cliffs further up the coast.

Human sounds fall away as the cliffs lower to reveal a river mouth and marshy swampland, visible now beneath unburdened starlight, and rest upon a tree root.

They don’t have oceans on Mars, yet. That’s why they’re sending me.

Starlight glints off flecks of sand beneath my bare feet.

They say there’re stars in the sands of Mars.

Perhaps the waters will free them.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner

August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community
In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where it leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

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19 thoughts on “Promised Waters

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  1. Your story is quite deep and beautifully written, Rebecca. I wasn’t sure if the narrator was the water or a being. I was sure it was the water, second time through, until I read ‘bare feet’. I don’t mind a puzzle though, and it is beautiful either way.
    I also love the image you chose. The people look almost like stars in the water on the sand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting perspective Norah. I can see how the narrator’s voice felt like the water itself. Perhaps that’s the intrinsic connection the character has with the water? I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it made you think.

      And I spent way too long searching for just the right image. This one reminded me of Mars, I love how you see the people as stars in the sand. I like to think we can be stars of hope for the world and its future.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Norah, that’s kind of you to say. I believe you are too. All the generous work you’ve done for future generations is inspiring, I’m certain you’ve changed lives, guided them toward more hopeful futures of their own. Teachers are vital, your work is vital. I’m grateful to know you.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks D. It’s great to hear you enjoyed this one.

      Charli’s (the prompt creator’s) statement of making a “water promise” inspired the title specifically, but I loved her intention to spend time in or near water every day.

      I have a deep appreciation for the powers (scientific, life-giving and otherwise) of water, and how it acts upon the surface of our planet. It seeped through to my character.

      I feel like every character we write, must contain a part of us in some way. It’s fascinating to discover what’s shared after a piece is done. And futile to try to separate ourselves too completely either. At least, I’ve been unsuccessful so far.


  2. You use your genre so well to tell a story because it give you a frame and a chance to reflect. I can see your instincts at work, The noise and bright lights of humanity, giving way to nature. Your sentences pairing down. And then the sci-fi element, the revelation of the POV character going to Mars. And the human element, the wonder, curiosity and courage to go. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Charli. Instincts often drive my writing. I rarely begin with a goal in mind for these pieces, instead, I start with an image, something the prompt inspired, a still-frame of sorts and I just write what comes. Sometimes, if the image doesn’t form, I brainstorm and work with key words, and apply them to characters and potential situations. Those are harder. This prompt was whimsical for me, as you imagined it would be. And from the end came a powerful hope I wasn’t expecting. I enjoyed writing this one and I’m glad you found pleasure in reading it.


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