The stars shone brightly in the moonlit sky, the birds no longer chirping. Isla buried herself into the blankets on her mothers bed. She was too scared to sleep on her own. As the mother stroked her hair, she sang into the darkness. Isla recognised the song as the one her father used to sing when he was sad.
"Oh the wind whisks me into sorrow
As the ferry takes me far away
Oh the bees no longer make honey
Because the flowers are dead in my heart"
Soon her mothers voice faded away, but Isla was still wide awake. Not in her own bed, or her mother’s bed, but by a riverbank. She struggled to see anything due to the fog that coated the sky, but she could still hear. She could hear her father’s song. As Isla walked toward the lake, she became aware of shadows of people in the reflection of the water.
Isla felt a tap on her shoulder and heard her mothers voice saying, “come with me”. Her mother then turned and paced down the riverbank and into the water where a boat was waiting. Isla followed reluctantly and joined her mother as she got into the boat.
As they began to drift off into the fog, Isla could hear the song again. It was being sung in a male voice. At first, she looked around her, and even above her. It felt so close. Then she remembered the reflections of people, so she looked below her and into the water, and saw him. Her father.
“Mother! Mother look! It’s papa! He’s here!”
Isla’s mother glanced at her and laughed, then continued gazing forward into nothingness. Isla then began to notice that the singing had stopped. She hurriedly looked back into the water and saw that her father was no longer there. Then she remembered that her father was going the opposite way to her mother and herself. She kissed her teddy goodbye and quietly slipped into the water before her mother could notice.
As Isla swam, it began to feel as if she was going into the past. Painted in the sky were images. Memories, that Isla had made with her father before he went to war. She swam and swam, surely she would be with her father now, but she wasn’t. She guessed that maybe he was never coming back. Isla then started to realise how stupid she had been. Her mother is just trying to move them forward, but her trying to find her father is just taking them both backwards. Into the past.
Isla snapped herself back into consciousness, she was determined to catch up to her mother again. But it was too late, all the time Isla had been thinking about her father, she hadn’t been thinking about keeping her head above water. As she could feel the air being sucked from her lungs, she woke up.
Isla sat up in bed, gripping the blankets so tightly, her knuckles were turning white. She turned and looked over at her mother who was fast asleep beside her. She seemed so peaceful and calm. Isla used to wish she felt like that, but now she finally did feel like that. She snuggled into her mother, and while humming her father’s song, she drifted off into a peaceful and calm sleep.
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Hi, Hollie, There was actually a moment in this where I thought that it was going to make me cry (it's the point where she kisses her teddy goodbye and slips into the water) because it reminded me of my daughter so much. I think there's something really beautiful about the idea of a child trying to come to terms with the loss of a parent and the metaphor of slipping off into the water is really nice. From a critical perspective, one thing I noticed - and something that I struggle with too - is that you slipped between the present and the...
Hi Gareth, Thank you so so much for your feedback and I love how my story made you slightly emotional, it shows me that my intentions for this story got across to the readers which is very encouraging to me. This story was actually a school assignment where we had to take an image and write a story about it! And this is what I came up with! Your feedback was very very helpful because I do tend to struggle with the present and past tense, and people have pointed it out before! I do tend to get lost in what i'm writing and I usually don'...
Hello Hollie. I like the enchanted dream-like feel you have created in this piece. There is a strong sense of loss with a satisfying resolution at the end.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I wrote this for a school assignment where we had to look at an image and write a short story about it! I didn't think it was that good but I posted it anyways just to get some feedback (expecting to to be constructive criticism) but your post is just full of positivity so that is really encouraging and nice to see so thank you so much again!