Flash Fiction: The Boat

Once upon a time, there was a boat. It was a simple boat, crafted by bare, rough hands in the heat of summer with carefully bowed planks of red cedar. It was large enough for two but never more than that, though that had never been a worry. There were only two, had only ever been two.

misty lake

The boat had spent many summers resting placidly at the center of the lake, as fish hooked themselves onto a baited line. Had spent many winters sheltered from icy winds inside a dark, dry shed. The boat had spent years exploring the tangled expanse of the lake, searching the unknown corners untouched by men. It had been left to rest for days on moist, wild islands where strange noises pierced the night. And more than anything, because this was the boat’s most important job, it had ferried the only two people it had ever known home. Always home to the same algae slick dock.

Once upon a time, there was a boat. And there were only two, had only ever been two that knew the curves of the boat like they knew their own flesh. The boat had silently soaked in their tears and their sorrows and the echoes of their laughter. Over years and years and years the boat rocked them gently while they fell into one another, while skin touched skin, trembling every time.

Memories saturated the red cedar planks, tears long dried left telltale stains at the core. After a time the boat was brought home and never left, rotting quietly where it sat on the rocky shore, nursing the nostalgia as though it was precious. Once upon a time, there was a boat. And one still summer, long after the last excursion out on onto the lake, long after the fish were no longer being offered bait, the memory soaked wood, the now splintered planks of cedar, were undone, unbowed, unmade, and rejoined the earth.

4 Responses to “Flash Fiction: The Boat”
  1. Love your writing, thank you for sharing,

  2. I love this so much.

    I love that opening line. “Once upon a time, there was a boat.”

    I love that you told the story from the boat’s perspective.

    This is not just hyperbole. This is excellent work.

    Paul (paulliadis.com/blog)

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