WitD – Fish

1 · Fish

When Martha was eight and Elisha was seven, they named their gods. As far as they understood, when people named things, they were no longer things. And just like the trees, the grass, the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars, the fish who lived in the lake were too important to remain things.

“That one is Demeter,” Elisha said.

“You can’t choose that one. It’s already used,” Martha replied.

Elisha frowned. Always on the first time, she would choose something wrong and Martha had to correct her. Martha considered it her job, not like pulling weeds or sweeping the porch, but one she actually gained satisfaction from. Like a teacher.

“Zoobledoyce, then.”

“Stop. It has to be serious.”

“I am serious. Why can’t I pick that one?”

“Because it sounds like something a kid would say.”

“I am a kid. And so are you. Why don’t you pick a name?”

Martha always hated this part. It had happened so often it became ritual.

“Because we’re supposed to do this together.” She threw up her hands. “Okay, fine, that one can be Zoobledoyce.”

Elisha’s smile made her face look like a watermelon cut crookedly. She jabbed her finger at another catfish nipping at a seed floating on the water.

“And that one can be Smarly.”

“It’s my turn, and no, he can’t be Smarly. He looks more like–”

A cloud caught Martha’s attention. Clouds in and of themselves weren’t unusual. This time of year, they came often from the West, usually dark and full of rain. But when they came from the East, slithering over the mountains, whiter than mom’s company-only tablecloth, they were worth noticing.

“More like what?”

Martha heard the faint cry of Elisha’s voice, as if she were shouting at her from a mile away. She stood quickly and grabbed her sister’s hand.

“Come on, let’s go,” emerged from her lips, but the rest of her body remained frozen.

Elisha resisted. “What for? We’re not done!”

If Martha’s look had come armed with poison arrows, Elisha would have died on the spot. She yanked her sister’s arm again, lifting her off the ground.

“Ow! You’re hurting me!”

Elisha pinched Martha’s arm, but she refused to feel it. She pointed toward the mountains without saying a word. Elisha’s grip lessened and before Martha knew it, her sister was already ten feet ahead of her.

“Come on!” she yelled back. “What are you waiting for?”

2 – Brown

0 thoughts on “WitD – Fish”

  1. Okay, I like that you’re on to something, here. An idea came to me in the middle of the night, and I was up for more than an hour while my mind raced. I think I’m going to follow your lead and give this WitD a try.

    1. Gwen, I say go for it! Worst case scenario: You’ve practiced some writing. I love that about this idea. 🙂

      Just gotta ignore that critical part of your brain in the process. It was already telling me how stupid this was after the first sentence. How people would think it’s too weird or dumb, juvenile even. But I’ve since had dozens of ideas where this can go and become a “real” story.

      Really, there’s nothing to lose! I wish you the best of luck during the process.

    2. One other tip from Dean’s book: create an outline as you go. It helps keep the core story in your brain and makes it easier to pick back up after a “life interruption”. So after each scene, I write a one- or two-sentence summary.

  2. Great start, Phillip! Do keep going with this. Amazing how much you’ve already told about these sisters but in just a short segment. Their banter seems real to me. Although my sisters are much older than me, the “ritual” is something I experienced with girlfriends when I was a young thing. Someone always had to be the bossy one 😉 And I’m intrigued by what/why they are running from or running to. Love the imagery too: clouds as white as mom’s company-only tablecloth. Wow, what a great description! It says a lot about the girls and their mom as it does about the cloud. Looking forward to move 🙂

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