Sand Castles and Salt Pillars #Friday Fictioneers

What you say?  It’s Friday Fictioneers again?  Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Madison Wood’s blog.  For great justice!

Here’s the photo, story is below.  Constructive criticism is always appreciated!

 

Sand Castles and Salt Pillars

“Legend has it that Heraclitus taught here,” the tour guide said as the foreigners peered down the little side street.  “Can anyone tell me what famous saying is attributed to him?”
I glanced up at the one lonely cloud in the vast blue sky.  Tendrils of fog swirled and writhed and dissipated into the abyss.  It was gone in the space of a minute, maybe less.
“Heraclitus said, ‘you can never step in the same river twice.'”
I picked up a rock, hefted it, tossed it up and down, discarded it.
You can never step in the same river once.

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About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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16 Responses to Sand Castles and Salt Pillars #Friday Fictioneers

  1. Jan Brown says:

    I like this very much. It’s a slice of life, a slice of someone’s inner life and thoughts as well as his more mundane, external activity. I loved the “tendrils of fog” but probably would have them dissipate into the atmosphere, versus abyss. “Abyss” is more revealing of how he’s feeling, though. The last line is great, and perfectly ends the story. Very well done!

  2. billgncs says:

    good one. I think your flash fictions continue to grow more polished.

  3. Anne Orchard says:

    It made me laught that they were correcting Heraclitus. I think maybe they’re a little bored with the tour! Well done.
    Mine’s here today http://anneorchardwriter.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/friday-fictioneeers-empty/

  4. Must’ve been a big rock if he had to heft it. Did that disturb the tour group? I liked your ending line. It captured his apparent despair.

    • glossarch says:

      I have heard that ending line before, I thought I recalled learning about it in Philosophy of Language. I did a search online last night to try and figure out which philosopher said it, but drew a blank. It could have been a koan (like “what is the sound of one hand clapping”) but for the life of me I can’t figure out where it’s from. Still, it’s something I occasionally puzzle over.

  5. Hi Danny,
    I liked the way you bridged the time gap between the present and ancient times. Snappy ending. Ron

  6. Lora says:

    Evidently there was nothing to say about this boring section of the tour, so he brings up some mythical question. He’s a tour guide, Why lead them down this empty alleyway? I thought Greece was more interesting than this.

  7. rich says:

    i think i’m not smart enough to exactly figure out the meaning of the ending.

  8. I’m not sure what it meant either, but I loved the story. Definitely gonna stay with me until I figure it out. Maybe it’s because once you step in, you’re gone? One of life’s puzzles.

  9. brudberg says:

    it puzzles me in a good way, I agree to that.

  10. This was sharp, precise and I think falls into the act of observation changing the observed — but prettier than I said it. The moment you step in the river, it’s changed, not the same as before you stepped in it. So even the tourists observing this alley, the narrator picking up the rock, moving it, discarding it has changed the alley they’re looking at.

    It gets better. By observing your work, commenting on it, we are changing the reality of it in the minds of others who’ve read it.

    • glossarch says:

      Wow, deep reading, thanks! The cloud and the rock were originally meant to represent the vastly different scales of time, but I like your interpretation better, especially since the last like actually *makes sense* now.

  11. rgayer55 says:

    I was a little confused at the last line, but I fell into a river once. Not on purpose, mind you.

  12. dmmacilroy says:

    This was a tight story, well crafted and very believable. Well done. loved the last line.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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